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10-Sauptikaa Parv, 13-18 of 18
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War Day 18: Ashwatthaamaa as Commander-in-Chief-Day-1 (4)
18th day of War - Ashwatthaamaa is followed...  Everything is over...
Paandav Follow Ashwatthaamaa

After saying thus Krishn climbed upon His chariot and equipped it with all kinds of weapons. It had Kaamboj breed horses, and its axle was of the hue of the morning Sun. He had four horses yoked in it - Shaibya was on right, Sugreev was on left, and two other horses - Meghpushp, and Balaahak. Its flag had Vinataa's son Garud on it. After Krishn climbed on that chariot, Arjun and Yudhishthir followed Him on the same chariot. Krishn ordered His horses and they started flying with a great speed. They came to Bheem but they failed to stop him. Bheem came to Gangaa River. There he saw Rishi Vyaas sitting amidst many Rishi, and he saw Ashwatthaamaa also sitting in an attire of Kush grass and smeared with Ghee (clarified butter) near him. Bheem rushed towards Ashwatthaamaa saying "Wait, wait".

Ashwatthaamaa Uses Brahm Astra

Seeing Bheem followed by two Paandav brothers, Ashwatthaamaa thought that his hour had come [Sauptikaa, 13]  (read Ashwatthaamaa was Immortal). Then desperately he invoked the celestial weapon through a blade of grass picking from his left hand, saying "for the destruction of Paandav" and let it go. A fire appeared from that blade of grass."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Seeing this Krishn said to Arjun - "Shoot that celestial weapon which you have got from your Guru Drone and which can neutralize all weapons, to protect yourself and your brothers. The time has come now to use it." Arjun quickly remembered the Astra and softly wishing the good of Guru's son, himself and his brothers, let off his weapon saying "Let Ashwatthaamaa's weapon should be neutralized with this". The whole Earth trembled. Naarad and Vyaas came there and pacified the two heroes. They stood in between the two weapons to neutralize them. The two Rishi said - "You are well conversed with many weapons, how come that you used this weapons on humans?"

Vaishampaayan Jee says - "Seeing those Rishi, Arjun quickly resolved to withdraw his weapon and said to both Rishi - "I used it saying "let it neutralize the enemy's weapon". If I withdraw my weapon then the enemy's weapon will consume us all. You two are like Devtaa, do something for our welfare and the three worlds' welfare." And Arjun withdrew his weapon. Now even Devtaa could not withdraw this weapon in the battlefield except Arjun. No person of un-cleansed soul could withdraw it once it was let off. It could be withdrawn only by that who had led the life of a Brahmchaaree, if has not done so then it will put the user himself in danger. Arjun had observed all the rules after he got that weapon, that is why he could withdraw it.

But Ashwatthaamaa could not withdraw his weapon. He said to Vyaas - "With the fear for my life from Bheem I let this weapon off. This Bheem has acted sinfully while killing Duryodhan. That is why I let this weapon off for this un-cleansed soul. This weapon will take out the souls of all Paandav. In anger, I have done this sinful deed." Vyaas said - "Arjun knew this weapon's use. He did not use it in anger or for your destruction, but just to neutralize your weapon. And now he has withdrawn it. He is a man of such a patience, why do you want to kill him and his brothers? Besides, wherever this Brahm Astra is neutralized by another high weapon there will be a drought for 12 years - not a drop of water for 12 years. For the same reason he has withdrawn his weapon. Everybody, you, Paandav, the kingdom all should be protected from this weapon's effects so don't be angry and call off your weapon. Yudhishthir never desires victory by any sinful act. Give him this gem and they will grant you your life." [Sauptikaa, 15]  (see Ashwatthaamaa was Immortal)

Ashwatthaamaa said - This gem is dearer to me more than my life, because the wearer of this gem has no fear from anybody and from any Astra. I cannot part with it. However, I will have to obey you, so here is the gem, and here I am. This Astra will however will fall in the wombs of Paandav's women. I am unable to call it off once it is released. I shall certainly obey your command." Vyaas said - "Do this." and Ashwatthaamaa sent that weapon to the wombs of Paandav's women."

Vaishampaayan Jee further said - "When Krishn came to know about this, He said to him - "A pious Braahman said to Uttaraa, who is now Arjun's daughter-in-law, when she was in Upaplavya that "when Kuru line will extinct, a son will born to you. That is why he will be called Pareekshit." When Krishn was saying this, Ashwatthaamaa said to Krishn - "This will never happen. My words cannot go untrue. It will certainly fall on that fetus which you want to protect."

Krishn said - "Your weapon will not be fruitless. It will kill the fetus but it will live again and live long. But whatever sins you have done you must suffer for them. You will wander on Earth for 3,000 years without a companion and without talking to anyone. You will have no place in men's minds. Pus and blood will ooze from you, and you will live in inaccessible forests. While Pareekshit will attain all knowledge of Ved and weapons from Kripaa. He will rule the earth for 60 years before your eyes. Although burned by your energy, I shall revive him. See the power of my Tap and Truth."

Vyaas Jee said - "Because you have disregarded us, whatever Krishn has said will be true in your case." Ashwatthaamaa also said - "Yes, I will live as you have said." Then he gave the gem to Paandav and went to forest. Paandav took the gem from Ashwatthaamaa and came back quickly where Draupadee was sitting in Praya. Then as Yudhishthir desired, Bheem gave that gem to Draupadee - "We have defeated the killer of your sons. Do not be so sad now and observe a Kshatriya woman's duties. When Krishn was going to Hastinaapur from Upaplavya for Peace, you said this to Him - "I have no husband, no sons, no brothers, nor are you alive for me, because the king still desires for peace." Now you recollect those words that were told like a Kshatriya woman.

Duryodhan has been killed, I have drank the blood of Dushaasan's heart. We have paid all the debts we owed to our enemy. By defeating Ashwatthaamaa, we have set him free because of being a Braahman and our Guru's son. His fame has been destroyed, only his body lives. He is now without his gem and weapons." Draupadee said - "Guru's son is respectable to me too, but I just wanted to pay my debts to injuries we have suffered. Let the King have this gem on his head." And Yudhishthir placed that gem on his head.

Everything is Over and Rudra's Story

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "After that Yudhishthir asked Krishn - "How could Ashwatthaamaa kill our sons and Paanchaal who were well equipped with weapons? What Karm was done by him so that he was able to do all this?" Krishn said - "Ashwatthaamaa sought the help of the highest Devtaa Mahaadev. Because of that he could succeed in killing such a large number of people single-handed. I know him, if Mahaadev is pleased he can bestow even immortality. He is the beginning, the middle and the end. The whole Universe moves with his energy. In the beginning Brahmaa asked Rudra - "Create living creatures without delay." Saying "So be it" Rudra plunged into water and did Tap for long time. Brahmaa thought the he would not create living creatures, so he created another being to create creatures. But seeing Mahaadev plunged into water, that another being said - "If there is no other being before me then only I will create living creatures." Brahmaa said - "There is no other one before you. This Sthaanu has plunged into water, so go and create the living creatures."

That being created many living creatures, Daksh as first who created four kinds of creatures. As soon as he created them they ran to Brahmaa because they were hungry so they wanted to devour him. Now that second being Brahmaa had created also ran for his own protection and said to Brahmaa - "Please save me from them and give them their food." Then Brahmaa gave them, herbs, plants, vegetables as their food; and among them who were stronger, he gave them the weaker creatures to eat. They all went away happily and started multiplying by physical union.

When all this had happened, the first-born rose from water and saw many types of creatures multiplied by their own energy. At this Rudra became angry and his anger caused his procreative limb to disappear in the bowels of the Earth." Pacifying him Brahmaa asked him - "What took you so long in the water? And for what reason you are causing your limb to disappear in the bowels of the earth?" Rudra answered - "Somebody else has created these creatures, then what is the purpose of this limb of mine? I have by my own Tap, created food for all these creatures. These herbs and plants will also multiply like those who live on them." And after saying this Rudra went away in anger to Menjaavat Parvat for doing severer Tap."

Vaishampaayan Jee further said - "After that Sat Yug had elapsed, Devtaa decided to perform a sacrifice according to Ved. They decided not only what the requisites for the sacrifice should be, but also decided as who should have a share in the sacrificial offerings. Since they did not know Rudra's real powers, they did not include his name in that list. At this Rudra again got angry and decided to destroy the sacrifice and for that reason he constructed a bow. Now there are four kinds of sacrifices - Lok sacrifice, the sacrifice of special rites, the Eternal domestic sacrifice, and the sacrifice to show gratitude towards derived pleasure from the five elements. It is from these four sacrifices that this Universe has sprung. Rudra constructed that bow using the materials from the first and fourth kinds of sacrifices. The length of the bow was five cubits, The sacred Mantra "Vashat" was made its string, The four parts of which a sacrifice consists of became the ornaments of that bow.

Equipped with this bow he, attired as a Brahmchaaree, came to the spot where this sacrifice was going on. The Earth shrank and the mountain started to tremble, wind seized to blow, and fire stopped to blaze. All Devtaa did not know what to do. Rudra pierced the heart of the embodiment of Sacrifice with his shaft. The embodiment of the Sacrifice took the form of a deer and ran away with Agni Dev. Rudra followed them in the skies. Rudra broke the arm of Soorya, plucked out the eyes of Bhag, and broke the teeth of Pooshaa. All Devtaa fled away in fear. Some of them fell down senseless. Devtaa gave a loud cry, and this broke the string of the bow. The bow then became a line. Now Devtaa came to Rudra along with the embodied form of Sacrifice, sought his protection and gave the share in sacrifice.

Pleased with this, Rudra threw his anger in the water. Assuming the form of fire, it is used to consume all liquid elements. He then gave Sun his arms, Bhag his eyes, and Pooshaa his teeth. Devtaa assigned all the libations of Ghee (clarified butter) to Rudra. When Mahaadev is angry the whole world is agitated; when he becomes gratified, everything is fine. Thus possessed with great energy, Rudra was pleased with Ashwatthaamaa, that is why all this has happened. So don't be angry with Ashwatthaamaa, it was the act of Mahaadev. Now you should do what you should do."

10-Sauptikaa Parv Ends Here - 11-Stree Parv G-7-Post-War


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