Ashwatthama the 12th rudra


Amidst all the characters of Mahabharat , Ashwatthama’s character always attracted me perhaps because he is one among the seven Chiranjivi. Would like to tell you the story of his origins

During Samudra Manthan , Halahaal the fuming posion capable of burning universe appeared and all Dev Danav Manav Yaksha Gandharva fled. All of them along with Lord Vishnu and Lord Bramha came to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva consumed Halahaal and held it in his throat. However unable to bear its consequences it started burning him. The Vish purush sprung out of him folded his palms , Lord Shiva asked him that although Lord Vishnu and me didn’t let you kill the people yet in Dwapar Yuga during Mahabharat war with my blessings you will be able to kill oppressive kshatriyas later you will assume the post of Saptarishis in following Manvantar. You will be born as Bhardwaja’s grandson and be raised as Brahman but attracted towards Kshatriyahood.

In Mahābhārata, Ashwatthama was son of Guru Dronacharya and Kripi.
His parents were ayonij that is they were not gestated in the human womb. Drona got his name as he was gestated in a “drona” [vessel made of leaves]. From his fathers’ side Ashwatthama traces his roots to Maharshi Angiras [who was saptarishi in first Manvantar during rule of swayambhu Manu] , his paternal grandfather is Maharashi Bhardwaj [ Saptarishi of present Manvantar governed by Vaivaiswat Manu] , his maternal grandfather is Rishi Shardwan  a divine saint  who was more  interested in archery than  Vedas. He meditated and attained the art of all sorts of Divyastra . He was such a great archer that no one could defeat him]. Ahwatthama’s  great great maternal grandfather is Maharshi Gautam [ also a Saptarishi of present Manvantar]. Needless to say being born in family of Saptarishis
and to pious parents like Dronacharya and Kripi , he inherited their wisdom and teja. Being born to Drona he is also called “Draauni”. He  had a gem stone embedded  on his forehead. When he was born he made a loud cry  like Indra’s horses,  he was named as Ashwatthaamaa by an akashvani. (Reference : MBH, 6-War/27) His  childhood passed in a very poor condition as his father didn’t get any job.

His maternal uncle was  Kripacharya. He and his uncle Kripacharya along with Hanuman ji are the only three living people who actually witnessed events of  Mahabharat  and played pivotal role in the great war.

Once baby Ashwatthama was very hungry, Drone saw Kripee giving him flour mixed water instead of milk. He felt very sad and went to his old time friend Drupad to ask for  one cow for his son. But he refused to give it. Drona vowed to take revenge from Drupad.  He later met Kuarava and Pandav and took out their ball from well and was subsequently appointed as their Guru by Bhishm.

Ashwatthaamaa was very mighty and skilled in warfare. He fought very bravely in Mahaabhaarat war from Duryodhan’s side. He was jealous of Arjun as he was exceptionally well in archery , virtue and favourite of his father but his anger bursts out only after Pandavas kill drona by deciet.He  took his father’s assassination very much to his heart and in his disturbed mental status  he vowed to exterminate Pandavs just like what Lord Parshuram did to exterminate oppressive Kshatriyas.

Untill Dronacharya dies his role was insignificant but he rises to prominence only after death of Karna when he promises Duryodhan that he will kill the Pandavs.

Source : Vishnu Puraan

The story is explained in detail in Sauptika Parva [The book of sleeping  warriors]  of Mahabharat.
SHalya was killed by Yudhishthira and the entire Kauravan army gets killed. Duryodhana initially fleds in jungle and hides in pond and fights Vrikodara [ Bhimasena ]. As he was blessed by his mother Duryodhana’s body becomes as hard as Vajra and hence Lord  Krishna hints [Vrikodara] to smash his thigh. Vrikodar does so and Duryodhana lies there waiting for his death abusing Pandavas.
The three Kauravan survivers left were Kripacharya , Kritverma [ Yadav and commander in chief of Narayani Sena] and Ashwatthama. Highly upset by the fall of their King they were sitting under a great banyan tree. Frustated Ashwatthama remembers how his father was insulted by Drupada, and his daughter married Pandavas , her brother Drishtyadyumna beheaded his father when he was in state of meditation and Yudhishthira’s lie that

“Ashwatthama hatah iti narova kunjarova”

Ashwatthama was killed don’t know if its man or elephant.

He also remembered that the whole plan was hatched by Lord Krishna himself who together with Pandavas boasted that theirs is side of Dharma. Very disturbed restless  and incesed Ashwatthama observed how an owl, attacked and harrassed by crows in the morning, attacked back at night and killed them. He realized that war was best fought from a position of strength. He got up and together with Kripacharya and Kritverma went to Duryodhana and found him there lying half dead besides the pond . He asked Duryodhan – “I will bring five Paandav’s heads for you . Just wait for me, don’t go away.” and he went away immediately. Kripa tried to dissuade him from doing this adharma but he didn’t listened to him. Kritaverma and Kripa accompanies him to Pandavan camp. There they see a ferocious demon guarding Pandavan camp he was having thousand eyes. This demon was none other than Mahakal Rudra who was guarding Pandavan camp as requested by Lord Krishna. Ashwatthama tried to win the demon but failed finally he realized who the demon was and decided to worship Mahakal  and offered himself as sacrifice . Mahakal Rudra got impressed by Ashwatthama and said “I was guarding Pandavas as I was instructed by Krishna to do so , now their Kaal has come” he handed his Chandrahaas sword to Ashwatthama and entered his body. Ashwatthama was now possessed by Mahakal Rudra.

Ashwatthama charged the Pandavan camp and wreaked havoc.  He kicked Dhristadumnya, to death as his punishment for Guru hatya. Shikhandi the transgender Panchal prince and Bhisma’s assasin was hacked in to pieces  and thousands of other  Pandava warriors were mercilessly put to the edge of Ashwatthama’s sword and perished. Those who tried fleeing away  were killed down  by Kripacharyya and Kritavarma who were positioned at the camp’s entrance. Ashwatthama sustained numerous wounds and injuries in this battle but nothing could stop him from executing his vow. Ashwatthama killed Draupadi’s five sons believing them to be the  Pandava brothers. There after they set fire to Pandavan Camp and celebrated they went to tell this news to Duryodhan but he was dead by then. Ashwatthama then went to Vyas Ashram. Where he was followed by Pandavas and he invoked Bramhastra in a grass blade and fired it for the destruction of Pandavas , Arjuna too launched his bramhastra to counter Ashwatthama’s. Bramhajee appeared between the two Bramhastras and commanded both of them to call off their astras as it may burn the entire universe. Arjuna was able to call his Bramhastra but Ashwatthama couldn’t do so , he re routed the Bramhastra to the womb of Uttara , Abhimanyu’s wife. Bramhastra burned down the fetus. Angered by Ashwatthama’s cowardice Pandavas decided to kill him but Krishna asked them to pull out the gem embedded on his forehead and cursed him to be leper and  roam for 3000 years.

Ashwatthama is destined to be Saptarishi in next Manvantar [The eighth Manvantar] The Saptarishis of this manvantar will be–Ashwatthama, Rishyashringa, Kripacharya, Galav, Shatanand, Kaashyap and Parashuram. . This Manvantar will be governed by Surya’s son Savarni Manu and hence the Manvantar will be called as Savarnya.

Source: Padma Puran,(SB 8.13.12,17, Garuda Purana 1.87.36).

There had been several news articles published in the newspaper reporting sighting of a very old man having dent on his forehead  in various places of India , you may find them on internet. Closing the thread I will only say that amongst the Hindu people it is believed that inorder to get long life , luck fame and properity following mantra should be recited every day :-

“Ashwathaama Balir Vyaso Hanumanash cha Vibhishana Krupacharya cha Parashuramam Saptatah Chirjeevanam”

Ashwathama, King Bali, Ved Vyasa, Hanuman, Vibhishana (Ravana’s Brother), Krupacharya and Parashurama are death-defying or imperishable personalities.

Nevetheless Ashwatthama comes first in the  shloka while remembering the Chiranjivis as he is partial incarnation of Lord Shiva and that makes him the 12th rudra. These Chiranjivins are worshipped along with 11 adityas , 8 vasus and Ganeshji before observing any Paath , Anushthaan , Religious austerities.

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44 thoughts on “Ashwatthama the 12th rudra

  1. Lord Krishna did a lot injustice to many characters of Mahabharata and one of them was insult of a warrior like Ashwathama. Lord Krishana incited Pandava Camp to kill Dronacharya by deciet and when Ashwathama shot unknowingly on Panadava camp as a revenge of his father’s death, which any son will do, Lord krishna not only openly insulted him but forfeited his precious mani also. Lord Krihna did to every one including Bhheshma, Karna and Duryodhana. Still we sya lord krishna is greatest god.

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    1. What Lord Krishna did was right for that situation. He wanted Dharma to rule and had Kauravas won the war there could have been lot of problems. Lord Krishna cursed Ashwatthama when he directed his Bramahastra towards Uttara’s womb to exterminate Pandav seed. At this action Krishna gets furious and cursed Ashwatthama.

      Ashwatthama was great friends with Duryodhan and Arjun but his fathers’ death made him violent.

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    2. Krishna Didnt do it coz he killed pandavas son…krishna cursed him coz he tried to kill the unborn child..which is the most unforgivable crime

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  2. @ Chinmay
    1. Mahabharata originaly told as ‘Jaya’ by Vyasa. It became ‘Bharata’, when Vaishampayana narrated this story to Janmanjay and finaly it became ‘Mahabharata’ when Ugrashrava told the story of Mahabharata. As it was written many times, some new stories were added in original Mahabharata.
    2. What you have written about about the birth of Dhritarastra and Pandu is right as per Mahabharata in its present form. But how Dhritarastra and Pandu were ‘kauravas’, as they did not have kuru blood in them ? Kurus had other male members(Somdatta etc) , who could have become the king. They would not have recognized Dhritarastra and Pandu as kurus. This is my assumption.
    3. Shanti parva seems to be a huge interpolation in original Mahabharata.
    4. Though the maximum part of Mahabharata seems to be original. Some interpolation was done to glorify some charectors like Bhishma, Drona and Karna, by the authers who admired these charectors.
    5. It is given in Mahabharata that Santanu gave the boon of iksha mrityu to Bhishma. But there is a contradiction hear. Sanjaya informs Dhritrastra about the death of Bhishma. But later we see in Shanti Parva that Bhishma was still alive and he taught many lessions to Yudhishthira.
    6. Had Shikhandi been shielding Arjuna, Bhishma would not have been able to attack Arjuna the way he attacked him. Bhishma pierced Arjuna with many arrows. How was it possible when Shikhandi was the shield of Arjuna? Bhishma would have never attacked Arjuna with his arrows fearing it could hit Shikhandi as well. But we see in the details of war that first Shikhandi, who was leading pandava army that day, attacked Bhisma. Arjuna was protecting Shikhandi and Duhshasana was protecting Bhishma. A battle took place between Duhshasana and Arjuna. Then Arjuna attacked Bhishma. Bhishma also countered the attack. Both Bhishma and Arjuna was face to face. 10 warriors including Drona and Ashvatthman advanced to help Bhishma. Bhima alone checked them for some time then Arjuna joined him. A face to face battle again took place between bhishma and Arjuna. Arjuna cut down Bhishma’s bow. Bhish threw a parigha at Arjuna arjuna cut down that weapon of Bhishma with his arrows. Bhishma took a sword and shield, but Arjuna cut down that as well. Arjuna deeply pierced Bhishma with his arrows and Bhishma fall. The detail of war shows that Bhishma was defeated by Arjuna.
    7. We see in the detail of war Mahabharata that war mostly took place in groups. All warriors of a group supported each other. Duryodhana’s brothers always guarded Bhishma.
    7. It is clearly written in Mahabharata that Drona kept on fighting even after Yudhishthira lied about Ashvatthaman’s death. It also given in Mahabharata that Drona’s arrows exhausted and Dristidyumna cut down Drona’s celestial weapons.

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    1. Mahabharata is full of evils and misdeeds and dipicts an ill traditions, which can not be said to be a healthy tradition for any civilised society.The main evils which I dislike about Mahabharata are:

      1. Duryodha was elder brother’s son so his right of throne is more than Yudhishthir.
      2. Gambling
      3. Cousin brother hating each other which caused a destruction
      4. people were greddy and selfish
      5. woman was treared as aa article of entertainment
      6. no respect for elders
      7. elders failed to discharge thier responsibility like Dhritrashtra, Bheeshma, Dron and rhipacharya
      8. Ill caste system Karna and Eklabya being worthy of getting good eductaion but Dronacharya disowned them since they were not princes or kshyatriya
      9. One wife being shared by 5 real brothers is again a bad tradition.
      10. Lord Krishna did blunders by interfereing the family fights of Pandavas and Kauravas
      Lord Krishna hid truth from Karna

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      1. Mahabharata tells what is evil and what is good and sets up high standards of human nature , politics , war and spirituality.

        Its up to us as how we see them.

        One should never forget that only because of Mahabharat we have got two famous granthas

        1. Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta
        and
        2. Durga Saptashati

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    2. There is no contradiction in your fifth point, because when Shikhandi and Arjuna shot Bhishma, he did not die. He was captured in the bed of arrows and could not fight. He did not want to die in dakshinayana. So he waited for a few more months, by which time, Yudhishthira had met him. And Bhishma could attack Arjuna even though Shikhandi was in front of him because in Dwapara Yuga, there were things possible which we cannot do now. If they shot an arrow while saying a mantra, it would hit the target irrespective of position.

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  3. Chinmay, I believe that Mahabharata is not a fiction because a fiction can not give so much socio-economic, geographical and historical details. It is the ‘itihas’ of ancient India. I also believe in Krishna teachings about karma.

    As we all know that Mahabharata originaly was ‘jay sanhita’. It was retold many times. The last time it was told by Ugrashrava around 400 BC. So in my view, the core and a maximum part of Mahabharata is real. But there are few interpolations as well. Perhapes these interpolations took place mostly in Gupta period to glorify some of the charectors of Mahabharata.

    I think that Vichitravirya would have died few months after his marriage, when both his wives were pregnant. Why a great sage like Vyasa would do such immoral act ? Santanu was not the god who could have given the boon of ikshamrityu.

    If Shikhandin shielded Arjuna, how then Bhishma was able to pierce Arjuna with his arrows and what Drona, Ashvatthaman, Shalya and Duryodhana were doing at that time ? Why they couldn’t deal with poor Shikhandin ? Again is it possible for a warrior to sheild other warrior when two groups of warriors are fighting ?

    War involves a lot of strategies. Both kauravas and pandavas took the help of propaganda war. Drona made plan to keep Arjuna away from Yudhishthira. Pandavas spread the rumer of Ashvatthman’s death. Drona was never known for his austerities. He was the mastermind behind Abhimanyu’s killing. He had been killing ordinary warriors using his celestial weapons. Drona did not give up fighting even after Yudhisthira lied about Ashvatthaman’s death. It is given in Mahabharata that Drona’s arrows exhausted after a long battle and Dristidyumna cut down his celestial weapons with his own celestial weapons. In my view Dristidyumna beheaded Drona exactily at that opportunity, when Drona had no weapon left. But to glorify Drona the story of his performing yoga was created.

    How a woman can give birth to 100 sons ? I think Dhritrastra had more sons than Pandu but not 100. Only 7or 8 of Dhritrastra’s sons were famous (Duryodhana, Duhshasana, Vikarna, Chitrasena, Durjaya, Dushkarna, Durmukha etc.) . Later to show the invinciblity of kaurava side the story of 100 sons was created.

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    1. Please read my comments as below :-

      –Not sure about Mahabharat was known as Jay Sanhita , so can’t comment on that , however if you believe Mahabharat isnot a fiction then I amnot sure what makes you doubt its stories? You have mentioned that these interpolations were made during Gupta period , What makes you think so? and what could be the reason for glorifying some characters?
      The real hero of Mahabharat is undoubtedly Lord Shri Krishna for the most.

      –It is explicitly written in Mahabharat that Vichitravirya died childless and that his wives Ambika and Ambalika were not pregnant. Vyasa was half brother of Vichitravirya .
      He was son of Queen Satyawati and Rishi Parashar. Vyas agreed to impregnate Ambika and Ambalika [through Niyoga] , because Satyawatee ordered him to do so. In ancient time getting impregnated through Niyoga wasn’t considerd as immoral and was totally valid by law.

      –Its’ not that only Gods can give boon , back in the time of Mahabharat the people were at the same spiritual level of celestial beings called Devatas. Although King Shantanu was born as a human yet this was reincarnation of Mahabhishak a celestial being and an ocean who was cursed by Lord Bramha to born as human and marry Ganga in human form – as he had stared with lust at Ganga his daughter – the story is mentioned in Adi Parva.

      –While dieing Shantanu had given boon of IcchaMrityu to Devvrat in lieu of his accumalated Punya – the human at higher spiritual level can do that.

      –Shikhandi was only preventing Arjuna from Bhishma’s attacks, this doesn’t gurantees Arjun to dodge arrows of Bhishma . Drona , Ashwatthama , Shalya did not interfered in the war of Bhishma -Arjun because as per law one can not join the battle when two Maharathis are fighting, he has to wait till the fight ends and then he can challenge. This was the rule setupby Bhishma himself.

      –Bhishma and Arjuna had one to one fight and Bhishma himself advised Pandavas to keep Shikhandi in between as he had taken a vow not to attack women.

      –Drona was excellant warrior and a superb teacher yet he fought from Kauravan side as he was paid by Dhritrashtra’s government to teach the prince . He was loyal to Hstinapur although he knew Pandavas were right and that kauravs are going to lose.

      –Drona had full confidance in his desciples – Pandavas that is why when he heard the news that Ashwatthama died he asked Yudhisthira to confirm to which he replied that “Ashwatthama died not sure if it was human or an elephant” to know the truth Drona sat in meditation giving up weapons and at this time Drishtyadyumna beheaded him.

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  4. Dear ace chinmay, I am brahmin and I have nothing against brahmins or any other cast. I just wanted to tell that in latter days some authers added some stories in originial Mahabharata to glorify some charectors of Mahabharata. There are some contradictions in Mahabharata in its present form such as, 1. Arjuna defeating Indra 2. Karna having inpenetrable kavach and kundal (he lost to Arjuna and Gandharvas with kavach-kundal on) 3. Bhishma’s ikshamrityu 4. Shikhandi sheilding Arjuna(how then Bhishma was able to pierce Arjuna with his arrows?) 5. Drona prcticing yoga at battle field(he had been killing even ordinary soldiers with his powerful weapons till then) 6. Duryodhana becoming invincible on 18th day (how the his body got wounded and why did he run away from the battle field leaving his brothers and friends to die?) 7. Gandhari giving birth to 100 sons 8. Yudhisthira going to heaven with his body.

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    1. The people did not made any interpolations in Original Mahabharat. They have come up with their version of stories and were published as well. If you refer to K.M. Ganguly’s Mahbharat you can find the difference while matching it up with Rajgopalachari’s Mahabharat because they have different outlook towards the events.

      Secondly the contradictions you have mentioned could you be little more descriptive ? I don’t see any contradictions as far as Bhishma’s IcchaMrityu or Shikhandi or Gandhari having 100 sons and that Yudhishthira going to heaven with his body is concerned.

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  5. @ soomedh

    soomedh, I appreciate your knowledge about Mahabharata. I do not say that Ashvatthaman was an inferior warrior. He was one of the great warriors. But on basis of his performence in Kurukshetra war we can say that he was not as great as Karna, Arjuna or Bhishma.

    Some people think that Drona, Ashvatthaman etc. were invincible in war. It is not true. We see on 10th day of battle Bhima and Arjuna successfully checked 10 kaurava warriors including Drona, Ashvatthaman and Shalya. They could not save Bhishma. These people were helpless against Abhimanyu. They could not defeat Ghatotkacha at the night of 14th day. Only Karna was able to slay him. Drona himself accepted that he can not capture Yudhishthira in the presence of Arjuna. Drona failed to defeat Satyaki and Bhima on 14th day. Kaurava warriors unitedly failed to save Jayadratha. Great warriors can not be successful everyday, when they are fighting with other great warriors.

    War involves a lot of strategies. Both pandava and kauravas took the help of propaganda war. Drona tried to keep Arjuna away from Yudhishthira using his tactics. Kauravas killed Abhimanyu using unfair means. So it would have been foolishness in the part of Yudhishthira if he would not have used some tactics against the enemies, who were cheats.

    I think that Mahabharata has been written and rewritten many times. So there are some contradictions in Mahabharata. I do not believe in the stories, such as Arjuna defeating Indra, Karna having inpenetrable ‘kavach and kundal’, Bhishma’s iksha mrityu, Duryodhana becoming invincible on 18th day, Yudhishthira going to heaven etc.

    Drona did not give up fighting even after Yudhisjthira lied about Ashvatthman’s death. It is given in Mahabharata that Drona’s arrows exhausted after a long battle. Dristidyumna cut down even the celestial weaponss of Drona. Seeing the opportunity he killed Drona when Drna had no weapon left.

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    1. Please note that Vyas is also biological father of Pandu and Dhritarashtra when he mentions in his book that Kauravs were

      the side of Adharma and that Pandavas were wronged means that he is telling the truth without being impartial as he is

      grandfather to both Kauravs and Pandavs.

      Now given that Mahabharat war was fought between the sides of Dharma and Adharma there is no reason for suppossed

      “Brahmins” to interpolate the Mahabharat ,rewrite it and glorify Ashwatthama now here are some finest examples that will

      answer to your question “why”

      1.Ravan was a Brahman but Bramhans do not glorify him rather they worship Lord Ram and hail him for slaying Ravan.

      2.Rishi Twashta’s son Vishwaroop was a Bramhan but it was Dev Guru Brihaspati (Brahman) who advised Indra to slay

      Vishwaroop for good.

      3.Shukracharyaa (Brahman) is Guru of Daityas (Demons) yet the Brahmans do not glorify him although he had the Sanjeevani

      Mantra.

      Please note that Shukracharya’s daughter Devayani married to King Yayati of Chandra Vansh and begot son Yadu . Yadu’s clan

      is called “Yadavs” In this Yadav clan Lord Krishna was born . All Hindus including Brahmans ,Kshatriyas , Vaishyas and

      Shoodras worship Lord Krishna NOT that Daityaguru Shukracharyaa.

      4. Lord Vishnu had slayed wife of Bramaharishi Bhrigu, Ushana who was also his mother in law ( Goddess Lakshmi is

      daughter of Bramharishi Bhrigu ) and mother of Shukracharyaa for the sake of Devatas and the whole universe, still the

      Brahmans praise Lord Vishnu and not the Bhrigu.

      5.Mahabharat was composed by Maharshi Vyas ( himself a great Sage and learned Brahman) and written by Lord Ganesh himself

      which Hindu in his dreams can dare to rewrite/override Mahbaharat ?? If it all it is done it is done by some non-hindu.

      Although , I second your comments on Ashwatthama was not as brave as Pandavas yet I feel that it was unnecessary on your

      part to blame Brahmans for glorifying Ashwatthama.

      Remember that Ashwatthama born to Bramhan parents and this is expected that he maynot be as good as Kshatriyas in warfare.

      Blinded by his fathers’murder he has done horrible act of attacking and killing sleeping people in Pandava camp this was

      their destiny. Ashwatthama is still atoning for his sins and doing penance , this has earned him the respect and he is
      worshipped along with other immortals.

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      1. That was for a reason. Ashwatthama u see is the 12th rudra. Krishna knew this would happen coz he already told draupadi that all will be destroyed only 5 pandavas will remain. Moreover reason behind the curse is that in Kaliyuga the peoples sins will increase to an extent..it will be impossible to control them by earth. So here comes role of Ashwatthama to carry all peoples sins. His role was not limited only to Mahabharat .

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    2. My friend… Our culture is the oldest known in the world and the technology was way advanced than ours… U ask how cme Gandhari had 100 sons? U might also think how old was Suryodhan wen Mahabharat was fought considering all 100 brothers fought along side him. The answer is simple… Cloning! U may twitch while reading this, but foetal cloning was practised in the past [ mentioned in ayurveda]. The powerful astras that we talk about so proudly were nuclear weapons. the lesser ones like agneyastra, naagastra were flaming arrows n a poised arrow, just pronouncing it naag astra doesnt mean the person aimed at gets entangled with venomous snakes. I donno about the kavach-kundal though my best guess is molten gold was poured over his upper torso so that,over the years it got attached to the dermis and became an impenetrable armour ( u might laugh at this :P) . .n getting back to Ashwathama… wat wrong did he do while attacking his enemies while they were sleeping? Should he really be cursed to roam the earth for thousands of years jus for this with sickness n misery? I say again, winning a war does not mean the side who won is the righteous one. To gain the confidence of the masses, just say the Lord is with us… or even better, I am the lord!

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    3. Dear Anand, it seems you only want to glorify the pandava warriors as you mentioned their dominance, the warrior like arjuna…who killed karna by deceit,satyaki …killed bhurishravas when he was in samadhi.You mentioned that shikhandi did not play any role in bhishmas death then why amba had to take rebirth? why yudhishitira wid his brothers went to bhishma to know the secrete of his death?if drona was fighting even after the news of death of his son, and satyaki killed him with his strength,then why arjuna got angree on satyaki?why yudhishitiras ratha..which was floating few centimetere above the ground due to his purity and truth settle down on ground with the death of drona? why arjuna almost failed to kill jayadratha and took krishnas help? why krishna had to charge on bhishma after seeing his valor? as far as abhimanyu is concerned, i don’t understand where did he get such power to defeat so many warriors single handedly ?in some of the texts i read, it is mentioned that he was killed by laxmana..the son of duryodhana.As far as my knowledge is concerned..none of the maharathis used any celestial weapon to attack him…why? why they preferred defeat over using powerful astras? these are such things which has no answers.
      As far as Ashwathama and ghatotkachas fight is concernred, ashwathama defeated ghatotkacha and destroyed his army of one akshohini rakshasas, he also killed Ghatotkahas son anjanaparva.When krishna realised that if they lose ghatotkacha fighting with ashwathama, their motto will not be fulfilled…and it was to use shakti astra of karna which can be used only once, karna saved it to use on arjuna. Then Ghatotkacha statred avoiding ashwathama by fighting in the night. It was very difficult to fight wid him in the dark and aim him as well.Karnas shakti astra had such powers that it does not get back without aiming the target….so it was only option left with the kauravas.

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  6. Ashvatthaman was one of the excellent warrior of Mahabharata, but not as great as Arjuna, Karna or Bhishma. If we see the overall performences of warriors of Mahabharata, even Satyaki and Bhima were better than him. Ashvatthaman everytime lost to Arjuna. Satyaki also defeated him many times. He could manage to check Satyaki only once. Bhima overpowered Ashvatthaman in their first encounter and Drona had to rescue his son. In next encounter both fought a very long battle with bow and arrows. Bhima had an upperhand in that encounter as well. Bhima cut down all the astras of Ashvatthaman. He nutralized even brahmastra of Ashvatthaman with his own brahamastra. Ashvatthaman once defeated Ghatotkacha, but he was unable to stop Ghatokacha at the night of 14th day of battle. His Narayanastra did not slay pandavas because according to Mahabharata Narayanastra can not slay anybody who do not oppose that astra.

    Ashvatthaman did not have the guts to challange pandavas in battle, so he decided to attack sleeping pandava and panchala warriors at night. I think that the story of his Narayanastra is an interpolation in Mahabharata by some brahmins to glorify Ashvatthaman. Had he been so powerfull, he would have saved Duryodhana on 18th day.

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    1. dear anand, i would like to answer u, had pandvas been powerful, they wouldnt have killed duryodhana unfairly, they woulnd’t have killed drona, karna, and bhishma unfairly..pandvas used unfair means itself implies that thay were not powerful enough to kill kouravas. Another question i would like to ask u…why pandvas spread the rumour of killing ashwathama? they should have killed him and told the truth to disarm his father…but they knew…ashwathama couldnt be killed by their powerful warriors.After the death of dronacharya, ashwathama first used narayanastra, but because of krishna, pandvas were saved, after that ahwathama used his powerful agneyastra, the flames of which completely consumed the ratha of arjuna with krishan, but due to the presence of hanuman on their ratha, they were saved. One last thing Mr anand…laying down the arms in a war means accepting the defeat….it was the 15 th day of war when pandvas laid down their arms in front of ashwathamas narayanastra…ashwathama might have failed in killing them…but had won the battle on that very day….if you have any queries….do not hesitate to ask….i am not bramhin

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        1. Dear Ajay…this is soomedh, you have asked me to have talk over my post, i would like to first say thanks to you. I have written a book on ASHWATHAMA named KRISHN SE PRASHN, and this book is selected by countries best publisher DIAMOND POCKET BOOKS. I would love to discuss about ashwathama with you, if you are planning to go for short film on him,please leave your email id and contact number on my email i.e. soomedh.sumedh@gmail.com. thanks..

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    2. Ashvathamma was not a coward nor was he an inferior warrior compared to the others. The presence of Narayanastra in his artillery itself is the proof that he is one of the supreme but defamed warriors. The Narayanastra can only be obtained directly by Narayan himself! You say that the kauravas were devious… wat about Pandavas? It all started becoz of them! Suryodhan ( Yes, Suryodhan n not Duryodhan. Here’s one more example how Mahabharata was contaminated by the people. Honestly y wud some one name their child ‘The do-er of evil’. ) was an equally good administrator as compared to Yudhistra. He cannot be judged wrong if he didnt want to lend pandavas a single pin point of the land, it was his father’s kingdom n he was the prince.. Bhima defeated him by hitting him below waist… tell me if kauravas were that devious wudnt Suryodhan hit Bhima below waist? Krishna himself planned against Karana, asking Indra to disguise as a Brahmin n ask for his kavach kundal. Karana cudnt be killed during day or at night, dat is why (as people say) Krishna eclipsed the sun. What chivalry is it wen u kill a dis armed warrior fixing his chariot wheel? Was arjuna really an honourable warrior? There are several questions looming doubting the Pandavas for their honour n righteousness. People ignore these questions saying they were supported by the Lord… that itself is the answer to all xplanations. Was Krishna really an Avatar of Vishnu? Or just a brilliant strategist? No one can judge people by a war, as the victorious one writes history! [ If it seems m siding with the Kauravas or something or am an atheist or i am from any other religion. Let me tell u m a Hindu, n i believe in only one God and the above text which i hav typed is an impartial unbiased discussion of Mahabharat.]

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  7. From where did you get the story that Ashwatthama was a Vish Purusha? Can you please tell me I am just curious…
    By the way your research on Ashwatthama is great! Looking forward to more of it from you… 😀

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  8. I just simply wanted to know , was Ashwatthama as great as Karna in prowess?

    Did Ashwatthama ever defeat Satyaki ?

    Why he and Satyaki didn’t participate in Draupadi’s swayamvar.

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    1. Warriors for eg Bhishma were like Pete Sampras. Ashwatthama was like Boris Becker erratic brilliance and with inconsistent performance. He did have ultra powered divine weapons but did not have the ability to execute control over them. His firing the narayana astra is the most powerful moment in the mb war where the whole pandava army including the pandavas cut a sorry figure. Drona and Drupad were friends ie like brothers. Drona considered drupad his friend as always. Hence Ashwatthama and Draupadi were like brother sister. thats what t.v. serial mahabharata shows. Dont know about satyaki.

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      1. Dear Niraj, in reply to ur questions i would like to answer, that ashwathama was no lesser than arjuna and karna in prowess only thing is that he never exhibit that before, he has stunned arjuna and krishna by his agneyastra but hanumanjis power saved both arjuna and krishna.
        about defeating satyaki, ashwathama defeated satyaki dhrishtadhumna and bhim single handedly during mahabharata war.
        About droupadi swayamwar,ashwathama was a bramhchari thats why he didnt participate in droupadi swayamwar.
        Hope these aswers will satisfy you

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        1. I don’t think Ashwatthama was a Bramachari… it’s jus dat Drupad and Drona studied in d same Gurukul and were like brothers. Drupad promised to give Drona a fair share of his kingdom wen they grew old, during harsh times Drona went at Drupad’s kingdom to fulfil his childhood promise, but Drupad denied. Since then, they became enemy.

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          1. Dear rohan, u said that ashwathama was not bramhachari, i would like to mention one thing,there is no evidence in almost all the books i read abt mahabharata that ashwathama was ever married, next thing is in ved vyas’s mahabharata krishna himself says that ashwathama is bramhachari…for your reference u can read pratap chandra roys english translation of mahabharata….hope it will remove your confusion

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          2. I feel great that people are still interested and like to discuss on the post even after two years , this implies that we all love and admire the characters of our ancient epics.

            To answer Rohan’s query that Ashwattahama is not a Bramhachari , We should first understand the meaning of term ‘Bramhachari’ . It means a person or ascetic who has pure body mind and soul. Though being a learned one yet he was jealous of Arjuna’s prowess and his character turns in complete negative way when he attacked the Pandavan Camp in the night, thus he wasn’t pure at mind. He was cursed by Lord Krishna and since then it is believed that he is alive in state of atonement , thus he is pure by mind as well.

            Moreover he is among the 7 immortals and the other 6 immortals , needless to say have attained the Param pada and well – known Bramhacharis. His name is chanted first in the stotra thus it implies that he is bramhachari and chiranjeev.

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          3. Doesn’t Bramhachari means a person living a life of celibacy>\?
            And as one has rightly said… Histroy is only written by survivors, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s right. Ashwathama’s character has been badly portrayed in Mahabharata… People judge him by what has been told to them for centuries, passed down from one generation to another, People judged him from the decisions he took, . not the options he had to choose from.

            Thankyou,
            Rohan Sawant

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          4. Thanks dude.. but whether he’s Bramhachari or not is not relevant for me… wat i need to knw is where’s the chintamani? What happened to Chintamani after Bhima removed it from Ashwathama’s forehead.. is it hidden somewhere?

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  9. I have a question… Where did Ashwathama get his jewel from? In the Vedas it s written that no human is born immortal, Immortality can only be achieved by a boon or the chintamani. After the chintamani was removed by Bheemsen, where did the Pandavas put it? Did they hide it someplace?

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    1. Hi Rohan,

      I just know, Bhima give that chintamani to Draupadi. Because Draupadi feel so sad after the death of her 5 sons. He hope Draupadi will be a little happy with his gift. And then Draupadi give that chintamani to Yudhistira, she ask him to put that gem on his crown.

      Where is the chintamani today?? Hmmm,, first you must find the ruin of Hastinapura. I think Mahabharata is a real story 2000 BC. It’s not a myth.

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    2. It is said that Ashwatthama was born with the Chintamani. Just as Karna was born with Kundalas Ashwatthama was born with the Chintamani on his head.

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  10. dear sir, can u please give me the reference od ashwathamas being 12 rudra avtar,any book name or strota.i will be very thankful if u do that favour to me.

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  11. Its seems that you have done deep research on mahabharata. I would like to discuss some things with you about ashwatthama.

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