Kritavarma (Sanskrit: कृतवर्मा, Kŗtavarmā) was one of the Yadava warriors and chieftain, and a contemporary of Krishna. He finds mention in several ancient Sanskrit texts including the Mahābhārata, the Vishnu Purana, the Bhagavata Purana and the Harivamsa.
As is typical with the characters in the Mahabharata, Kritavarma is juxtaposed with Satyaki. Unlike the more hotheaded, independent-thinking Satyaki, Kritavarma is more subdued and traditional. When Satyaki breaks bonds with the Narayani army, holding his ties to his teacher Arjuna and his relative Krishna, as well as the righteousness of the Pandava cause, over his loyalty to the army (sworn to Duryodhana), Kritavarma fights for the Kauravas, since Krishna had promised Duryodhan that his Narayani army will fight for Kauravas .
Throughout the war, Kritavarma takes part in many acts. He engages in the killing of Abhimanyu (his own student), he checks Bhima's advance on the 14th day and defends Jayadratha against Arjuna. He also does not protest when Ashwatthama proposes they kill the Pandavas in their sleep. Far from being morally accepting of such acts, Kritavarma is portrayed as a very dutiful soldier. What his senior officer commands, he will execute without failure.
- Pargiter, F.E. (1972). Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.105.
- Bose, Buddhadeva (February 1986). The Book of Yudhisthir: A Study of the Mahabharat of Vyas (2nd ed.). Hyderabad, India: Sangam Books. p. 167. ISBN 9780861314607.