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War Day 18: Ashwatthaamaa as Commander-in-Chief-Day-1 (2)
18th day of War - After Duryodhan's Fall...
Ashwatthaamaa Kills Paandav and Paanchaal

Sanjaya further said - "Ashwatthaamaa, Kritvarmaa and Kripaa headed towards Paandav's camp. When they reached the gate of their camp, Ashwatthaamaa saw a gigantic man standing there. He was wearing tiger skin dripping with blood as his loin cloth, and a black deer skin on his upper part. His sacred thread was a snake. There were thousands of eyes on his face. It seemed as if he will break a mountain into 1,000 fragments just by his look. Ashwatthaamaa showered his arrows at him undauntedly, but he cut everything. Then he tried, a dart, and other weapons but they all got useless as they approached that man. When his all weapons were exhausted, he saw Janaardan all around. Seeing this wonderful sight, he remembered Kripaa's words. He turned pale with grief.

He thought, " He who does not heed his well wishers' beneficial advice repents for his actions. One should not use weapons on cows, women, Braahman, kings, friends, one's own mother, one's Guru, a weak man, an idiot, a blind man, a sleeping man, a terrified man, one just arisen from sleep, an intoxicated person, treading a wrong path, and a distressed person. Wise people have always taught this to their younger generation, but I did not listen to it and now I am in great distress. Wise call it a great distress, when one is not able to fulfill his vow. Human Exertion is never powerful than Destiny. Because of my wickedness this great calamity has come on me otherwise Drone's son was never holding back from battle. I think it is my destiny. I cannot recognize this being who is standing before me but he is wonderful. I should take the shelter of Shiv. Only he will dispel this man standing before me."

Sanjaya said - "So he descended from his chariot and prayed Bhagavaan Shiv and promised him to sacrifice the five elements of his body to him to relieve him from this stress. A golden altar appeared before him and a fire upon the altar. Shiv's Gan also appeared there. Then he prayed them too offering his own body as a sacrifice. Mahaadev appeared before him and said - "No other one is dearer than Krishn to me. I have guarded Paanchaal on His request by displaying diverse kinds of illusions. By protecting them I have honored Krishn, but now their Kaal has come, the period of their lives has run out." After saying this Shiv gave him an excellent polished sword and entered into his body. Ashwatthaamaa got a new energy and with the help of Mahaadev he entered the Paandav's camp.

Dhritraashtra asked - "When Ashwatthaamaa entered the Paandav camp, what Kripaa and Kritvarmaa did?" Sanjaya said - "When Ashwatthaamaa was entering the camp, Kripaa and Kritvarmaa were waiting at the gate. Ashwatthaamaa had said to them - "If you can exert, you are competent enough to kill all the Kshatriya. No man should escape you." He arrived at a spot where there was no door and entered the camp, guided by signs headed towards Dhrishtdyumn's tent. All Paanchaal were sleeping like a log after their victory. Ashwatthaamaa woke Dhrishtdyumn up by a kick and he woke up. He recognized him as Drone's son. As he was trying to get up, Ashwatthaamaa pressed him down striking him with his foot. Dhrishtdyumn said to him - "Kill me with a weapon, not like this." And slowly he died. Ashwatthaamaa said - "There is no place anywhere for those who kill their Guru. That is why you are not worth of my weapons." and he started striking his vital parts with his foot.

While Ashwatthaamaa was doing this to Dhrishtdyumn, all others who were sleeping in his tent also woke up but could not make a sound from fear. Ashwatthaamaa came out of Dhrishtdyumn's tent and proceeded towards other area of the camp. Dhrishtdyumn's wives sent men after Ashwatthaamaa, they surrounded him, but all were killed by Ashwatthaamaa's Divine sword. Then he killed Uttamaujaa in the same way. He killed other followers of Drupad also like a sacrifice. He killed many people in that camp like Death himself kills. At last he saw Draupadee's sons and remaining Somak people, so he started killing them too. Draupadee's sons and Shikhandee came to face him, but he killed Draupadee's sons one by one - Prativindhya, Sutsom, Shataaneek, Shrutkarmaa, and then Shrutkeerti. In the last he killed Shikhandee too.

While this was going on in Paanchaal's camp, Paandav saw a Death-Night in her physical form - a black image with bloody mouth and bloody eyes, attired in a single red cloth with noose in her hands, standing in her full form before their eyes. She seemed to take away the spirits. Many foremost chariot warriors of Paandav camp used to see her in their dreams on other days along with Drone's son behind her. The Paandav soldiers saw that woman and Drone's son every night in their dreams since the war started.

Hearing that noise, thousands of warriors woke up and in sleep ran here and there. Some said - "Dhritraashtra's people could have never done this to us as this wicked Raakshas is doing. All this is going on because Paarth is not here." Even the animals ran away loose. The dust raised from their feet made the night doubly dark. Other Kshatriya also woke up and ran away in sleep. Guards also left their posts and ran away. Ashwatthaamaa was killing everybody whoever came in front of him. Who were running away were killed by Kritvarmaa and Kripaa. The earth was filled with thousands of dead bodies of people, and animals. Many Raakshas and Pishaach and carnivorous animals appeared there. When morning broke, Ashwatthaamaa decided to leave the camp. Having walked on trodden way of good warriors, Ashwatthaamaa had forgotten his grief. Paandav's camp was all silent when all this happened in their other camp. After doing this Ashwatthaamaa met his two companions, and they were also happy with this plan.

At this Dhritraashtra asked - "Hey Sanjaya, Tell me why couldn't Ashwatthaamaa do this before Bheem killed my wretched son Duryodhan?" Sanjaya said - "It is only because of Arjun. It was all done in the absence of Arjun, Keshav, and Saatyaki, in fact their absence made him able to do it. In great joy Ashwatthaamaa said - "Now all the Paanchaal, Somak, Matsya, and even Draupadee's five sons are killed. Now let us go to the King and tell him about this if he is still alive."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 04/08/13