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1. Who is Ashwatthaamaa?
2. Is Ashwatthaamaa still alive? 
3. Will this Ashwatthaamaa be Ved Vyaas of next Chatur-Yug?
4. Was Ashwatthaamaa Immortal?

Ashwatthaamaa was the son of Guru Dronaachaarya and Kripee (sister of Kul Guru of Kaurav family Kripaachaarya). He was immortal and had a gem stone studded on his forehead. When he was born he made a loud sound like Indra's horses, that is why he was named as Ashwatthaamaa. (MBH-1-G,6-War/27) His early childhood passed in a very poor condition as his father didn't get any work.

Once he was very hungry, Drone saw Kripee giving him flour mixed water instead of milk. He felt very bad and went to his old time friend Drupad to ask for only one cow for his son. But he refused to give it. Drone wandered around for some time until he met Kaurav and Paandav children making efforts to take out their ball from a well. He came home only when he had got one cow from Drupad.

Ashwatthaamaa was very mighty and skilled in warfare. He fought very bravely in Mahaabhaarat war from Duryodhan's side. He got out of control when he heard the Dhrishtdyumn killed his father unethically

Ashwatthaamaa and Arjun

Ashwatthaamaa got educated at his father's Aashram. He was not as good as Arjun, that is why he was always jealous with him. When Drone taught Brahm Astra to Arjun, he also insisted to learn it. Drone never wanted to teach him that, because of irrational behavior, but somehow he taught it, but only to invoke it, not to call off. The same thing happened what feared Drone. He illogically used Brahm Astra at Arjun and on request of Brahmaa Jee could not call it off.

When the war ended and only Duryodhan, Kritvarmaa, Kripaachaarya and he himself remained alive. Bheem had broken his thigh and he was lying on the bank of the pond. Ashwatthaamaa looked for him everywhere, but he couldn't find him anywhere. At last he came at the pond and found him there lying half dead. He asked Duryodhan - "Friend, You are in a very bad condition. Who has done this to you?" Duryodhan said - "Bheem has done this to me." Ashwatthaamaa asked - "Friend, What can I do for you now? I can do anything for you, just tell me." Duryodhan said - "If you can do anything for me, just bring five Paandav's heads." Ashwatthaamaa said - "I will. Just wait for me, don't go away." and he went away immediately.

He came to Paandav's camp. Everybody was sleeping. First he killed Drishtdyumn, the killer of his father. He looked for Paandav's tent. He found one tent where Draupadee's five sons were sleeping. They looked like their fathers, so as he saw them he thought that they were the Paandav. He immediately cut their heads and came back to Duryodhan to give him this good news but unfortunately Duryodhan had already died then.

As soon as Paandav knew about their sons' killing, Arjun said - "I know who has killed them. It is Ashwatthaamaa only. Then he promised to Draupadee that he would bring Ashwatthaamaa to her feet from any corner of the world and put him on her feet. Then she can treat him as she likes." And he went out in search of Ashwatthaamaa along with Krishn.

Seeing Arjun coming behind him Ashwatthaamaa ran all around but Arjun never stopped following him. At last Ashwatthaamaa hid in a Muni's Aashram. Both fought there for some time, then Ashwatthaamaa used Brahm Astra on Arjun. Arjun also countered it with Brahm Astra. Now both Brahm Astra proceeded towards each other.

* Then Brahmaa Jee calmed down both of them and asked them to call their Brahm Astra back. Surprisingly enough Ashwatthaamaa knew how to use it but he didn't know how to call it back, so Arjun got his Astra back, but Ashwatthaamaa couldn't get it back. Rather he directed it towards Uttaraa's womb where Pareekshit was growing, with the idea to destroy Paandav's Vansh.

Note :
Bhaagvat Puraan, 1/2 says that "Arjun got both Astra back since Ashwatthaamaa could not get his own Astra back. It would have resulted in disaster if both had collided. At the same time in Ch 3 it is written that the Brahm Astra was coming towards Uttaraa and she was requesting Krishn to save her child. MBH also supports this view that Ashatthaamaa diverted his Brahm Astra towards Uttaraa's womb and it killed Pareekshit. Then Krishn revived him and that is why he was named as Pareekshit.

So Ashwatthaamaa lost the battle with Arjun. On the advice of Krishn Arjun took out his gem studded in his forehead and brought him to Draupadee for her to decide about his punishment. Draupadee freed him without any punishment saying "First he is your Guru's son, second he is Braahman and she does not want any Brahm Hatyaa Paap, third by killing him her children are not coming back alive.

But Ashwatthaamaa's Astra entered the womb of Uttaraa and burned her fetus. Uttaraa ran towards Krishn for help. Krishn said - "If I have always spoken truth and fulfilled my promises then this fetus should get alive." And the fetus got alive. Later he was born as Pareekshit.

Ashwatthaamaa killed Shikhandee and Dhrishtdyumn also along with Paandav's sons.

Ashwatthaamaa and Krishn

This incident has been reported in MBH, 6-War, 42-battle-18 by Krishn to Arjun when Bheem followed Ashwatthaamaa to punish for killing Drauapdee's five sons. As everybody knows, Ashwatthaamaa used to be very jealous with Arjun, as Drone used to love Arjun the most. Krishn said - "Once when Drone taught Brahm Astra to Arjun his own son could not tolerate this. He also made several requests to teach that to him too, so he had to teach Brahm Astra to him also. At that time he cautioned him - "Even when you are in the greatest danger, you should never use it in the battle against human beings." But after a while he said, "It seems you will not be able to walk on the path of righteousness." Hearing these bitter words from his father he started wandering around to obtain every kind of prosperity.

Once when you were passing time in forest, he came to Dwaarakaa and stayed there. One day when I was alone, he alone came to me and said smilingly - "I have that weapon which my father obtained from Muni Agastya after a severe Tap. Give me your Divine disc which is capable to kill everybody in battle in exchange of that." Joining his palms he begged my disc. So to please him, I said - "Devtaa, Daanav, Gandharv, men, birds, snakes etc jointly together are not even equal to hundredth part of my energy. I have this bow, this dart, this Gadaa (mace), and this disc. I will give you anyone of them whichever you wish to have. Take it whichever you might be able to use in battle."

At this Drone's son asked for my disc, hard as thunder, of 1,000 spokes, and made of iron. I said to him, "Take it". He rose quickly and proceeded towards me to take the disc. He seized the disc from his left hand but he failed even to move it from the place where it was kept. Then he put forth his right hand and tried to take it but still he failed. At this he filled with sorrow. After he was tired, he ceased his efforts to take it.

Then I said to anxious and senseless Ashwatthaamaa - "He who holds Gaandeev, he who I love most, he whom I can give even my wives and children, he who is undefeatable even by Devtaa themselves, he who has had encounter with Shiv, even he has not uttered such words to me which you have said to me today. That son whom I have got after doing severe Tap on Himvaan for 12 years, that son of mine who is a part of Sanat Kumaar himself and is born to Rukminee, that hero, Pradyumn, has never asked me for this. Parashuraam also of great might has never said such words to me as you have said to me. Neither Gad, nor Saamb has ever asked me that which you of little understanding have asked me. All Yaadav respect you, let me ask you, "With whom you will fight using this weapon?"

At this he replied - "After worshipping you, it was my intention to fight with you only. It was for this I asked you this disc. If I had got it, I would have become invincible in the world. Since I have failed, I am about to leave. You are unrivaled to hold this weapon. No one else is capable to possess it." After saying this he left Dwaarakaa along with a few horses, much wealth and gems. He is a wicked soul, restless and very cruel. He knows the weapon Brahm Astra, Bheem must be protected from him."



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/22/13