Ashwatthama: An immortal/Chiranviji

From the composer of the Mahabharata, we come to the characters of the Mahabharata.

Drona or Dronacharya was the teacher of the Kauravas and the Pandavas.

Drona had performed severe penance for many years to please Lord Shiva. He did this to obtain a son who has the same courage as Lord Shiva.

Ashwatthama, the son of Drona was born.

Ashwatthama is the incarnation of one of the eleven Rudras.

Kripacharya and Ashwatthama are believed to be the only people who survived the famous Kurukshetra war.

He was a good friend of Duryodhana, the eldest of the hundred Kauravas. So, he fought against the Pandavas princes.

Being the son of Dronacharya, he was a genius at using all the weapons. His father, out of love, gave him the “Bramhastra”. But he wasn’t the right person to possess it.

Since his birth, his forehead was adorned with a gem. This gem was gifted by Lord Shiva. The gem had/has the power to save Ashwatthama from illness or wounds.

During the Kurukshetra war, Ashwatthama had cunningly killed 5 children of the Pandavas, who were asleep. He thought that they were the 5 Pandavas. He did this to please his friend Duryodhana, who wanted to see the end of the Pandavas and their lineage.

Ashwatthama had used his Brahmastra to kill the innocent children, to fulfil his vow made to Duryodhana.

Later he came to know that the Pandavas were still alive and that he had killed their sons instead of the 5 Pandavas.

Ashwatthama knew that he had sinned by killing the children, and so he headed straight to sage Vyasa for penance.

Shri Krishna advised Arjuna to counter Ashwatthama’s Brahmastra by releasing the same Astra from his arrow.

But sage Ved Vyasa stopped the two lethal weapons from colliding because he knew what a disaster it could have been to the universe.

Ved Vyasa asked Arjun to retrieve his lethal weapon, which he did. But Ashwatthama failed to retrieve his Bhramastra.

As punishment to overcome his sins, Shri Krishna asked Ashwatthama to cut the jewel from his forehead and roam around the world in search of love, mercy, sympathy and peace of mind.

And this punishment proved to be more lethal than death for Ashwatthama as he became immortal and shall have to carry the burden of his sins until the end of Kaliyuga.

He received immortality as a curse because he would live forever with his body covered with painful sores and ulcers that would never be healed.

As per research, Ashwatthama was last seen in Gujarat and Burhanpur (M.P).