(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Janamejaya said, 'O Brahmana, it behoveth thee to relate to me everything about the birth of Kripa. How did he spring from a clump of heath? Whence also did he obtain his weapons?'
"Vaisampayana said, 'O king, the great sage Gautama had a son named Saradwat. This Saradwat was born with arrows (in hand). O oppressor of foes, the son of Gautama exhibited great aptitude for the study of the science of weapons, but none for the other sciences. Saradwat acquired all his weapons by those austerities by which Brahmanas in student life acquire the knowledge of Vedas. Gautama (the son of Gotama) by his aptitude for the science of weapons and by his austerities made Indra himself greatly afraid of him. Then, O thou of Kuru's race, the chief of the gods summoned a celestial damsel named Janapadi and sent her unto Gautama, saying, 'Do thy best to disturb the austerities of Gautama.' Repairing unto the charming asylum of Saradwat, the damsel began to tempt the ascetic equipped with bow and arrows. Beholding that Apsara, of figure unrivalled on earth for beauty, alone in those woods and clad in a single piece of cloth, Saradwat's eyes expanded with delight. At the sight of the damsel, his bow and arrows slipped from his hand and his frame shook all over with emotion; but possessed of ascetic fortitude and strength of soul, the sage mustered sufficient patience to bear up against the temptation. The suddenness, however, of his mental agitation, caused an unconscious emission of his vital fluid. Leaving his bow and arrows and deer-skin behind, he went away, flying from the Apsara. His vital fluid, however, having fallen upon a clump of heath, was divided into two parts, whence sprang two children that were twins.
"And it happened that a soldier in attendance upon king Santanu while the monarch was out a-hunting in the woods, came upon the twins. And seeing the bow and arrows and deer-skin on the ground, he thought they might be the offspring of some Brahmana proficient in the science of arms. Deciding thus, he took up the children along with the bow and arrows, and showed what he had to the king. Beholding them the king was moved with pity, and saying, 'Let these become my children,' brought them to his palace. Then that first of men, Santanu, the son of Pratipa having brought Gautama's twins into his house, performed in respect of them the usual rites of religion. And he began to bring them up and called them Kripa and Kripi, in allusion to the fact that he brought them up from motives of pity (Kripa). The son of Gotama having left his former asylum, continued his study of the science of arms in right earnest. By his spiritual insight he learnt that his son and daughter were in the palace of Santanu. He thereupon went to the monarch and represented everything about his lineage. He then taught Kripa the four branches of the science of arms, and various other branches of knowledge, including all their mysteries and recondite details. In a short time Kripa became an eminent professor of the science (of arms). And the hundred sons of Dhritarashtra, and the Pandavas along with the Yadavas, and the Vrishnis, and many other princes from various lands, began to receive lessons from him in that science.'"