Ashwathama: Cursed Warrior of Mahabharata

Mythology Jun 25, 2024

The Mahabharata, a famous Hindu epic, tells us about many heroes and villains. One of the most interesting characters is Aswatthama, a warrior with a tragic fate.

Born Special:

Aswatthama's life began strangely. His father, Dronacharya, was a brilliant archery teacher, and his mother, Kripi, was a skilled fighter herself. Aswatthama came into the world crying like a horse, which is how he got his name. Lord Shiva blessed him with a gem on his forehead that granted him power over all living beings lower than humans and protection against hunger, thirst, and fatigue. This meant Aswatthama was destined for greatness.

Loyal Friend, Fierce Fighter:

Aswatthama grew up to be a fantastic archer, trained alongside the Pandavas and Kauravas by his father. He became best friends with Duryodhana, the eldest Kaurava prince. Aswatthama was very loyal and a super strong warrior who fought bravely in the Kurukshetra war, a huge battle between the Pandavas and Kauravas. He caused a lot of trouble for the Pandava army with his amazing skills.

A Terrible Mistake:

Things went downhill for Aswatthama after the war. Desperate to win, he used a super powerful weapon that hurt everyone, even innocent people. This was a big mistake! Even worse, after the war was over, Aswatthama snuck into the Pandava camp at night and killed their remaining sons, who were just young boys. He even tried to kill Abhimanyu’s & Uttara's unborn child Parikshit, the sole heir of the Pandava lineage.

Cursed Forever:

Krishna, a powerful god who helped the Pandavas, was furious with Aswatthama's cruelty. He punished Aswatthama with a terrible curse: Aswatthama would never die! However, this wasn't a blessing. The gem on his forehead was removed, and he was left to bear the pain of his sins and the burden of his immortality. Krishna condemned Ashwatthama to roam the earth for 3,000 years, suffering from incurable wounds and loneliness. 

A Symbol of Duality:

Aswatthama embodies the duality of human nature. He is a skilled warrior, fiercely loyal to his friend, but also capable of immense violence and cruelty. His curse reflects the consequences of unchecked anger, the burden of a life lived without purpose, and the devastating cost of war.

A Reminder:

Aswatthama's story teaches us a valuable lesson. He was a great warrior, but his anger and bad choices led to his downfall. His curse reminds us that violence and revenge only bring more suffering.