Some Lesser Known Facts About Ashwatthama

1. Ashwatthama was the son of Drona and Kripa’s sister Kripi.

2. As soon as Ashwatthama was born, he neighed like Indra’s horse Ucchaihshrava.

3. Ashwatthama is considered to be the unified incarnation of four deities, namely Rudra, Yama, Kama and Krodha.

4. Ashwatthama received Narayanastra as boon from his father Drona.

5. Ashwatthama was a possessor of Brahmashira missile apart from Arjuna. However, unlike Arjuna he didn’t know the incantation of it’s withdrawal.

6. The flag of Ashwatthama’s chariot was marked by the symbol of a lion’s tail.

7. Ashwatthama was the first warrior ever to cut the string of Gandiva bow. He achieved the feat in Virat war and also fought Arjuna to stalemate in the same war.

8. Ashwatthama was regarded as a Maharatha by Bhishma prior to the advent of Kurukshetra war.

9. According to Bhishma, Ashwatthama had only one flaw in his character that he loved his life too much and wished to live for a very long period of time.

10. On being asked by Duryodhana as to the number of days he would take to kill all the Pandava soilders, Ashwatthama replied he had the capacity to kill all the Pandava soilders within ten days.

11. Ashwatthama killed Ghatotkacha’s son Anjanaparva on the 14th night.

12. Ashwatthama killed demons like Poulastyas and Yatudhanas who were Ghatotkacha’s followers.

13. Ashwatthama used weapons like Vajrastra and Vayavyastra to destroy Ghatotkacha’s illusion and protect the entire Kourava army.

14. Ashwatthama killed one Akshauhini of Ghatotkacha’s demons on the 14th night.

15. Ashwatthama fired Narayanastra on the 15th day and forced the entire Pandava army including Arjuna and Lord Krishna to surrender in front of him.

16. Ashwatthama killed one Akshauhini of Pandava soilders by firing Agneyastra on the 15th day.

17. Ashwatthama killed prominent Pandava warriors like king Nila of Mahishmati, king Vriddhakshatra of Pourava, king Sudarshana of Malwa and king Malayadwaja of Pandya.

18. Ashwatthama rescued Karna thrice from Arjuna in Kurukshetra war.

19. Ashwatthama was the final commander of the Kourava side. However, he became the commander after the conclusion of the war. With Duryodhana’s permission, Kripa consecrated him with proper rituals.

20. Ashwatthama pledged to destroy the remaining warriors of the Pandava side and proceeded towards the Pandava camp. On reaching the gate of the camp, he was stopped by Lord Shiva. However he was unable to recognize the deity in the midst of the night and started to hurl weapons. But Lord Shiva consumed all his weapons and stood indomitable in front of him. On finding himself helpless, he prayed to Lord Shiva for divine help who actually stood in front of him. Suddenly the place shone with radiance and he recognised the being as Lord Shiva. He started to repeatedly ask for forgiveness. Lord shiva pardoned his transgression and blessed him. With Lord Shiva’s permission, he proceeded ahead and annihilated the remaining warriors of the Pandava camp.

21. Ashwatthama fired Brahmastra and killed the foetus inside Uttara’s womb. However, Lord Krishna invoked his power of austerities and gave new life to the foetus. Uttara’s son came to be famously known as Parikshit.

22. Ashwatthama was cursed by Lord Krishna to live a solitary life for three thousand years. Agreeing with Lord Krishna, he proceeded for the direction of the forest accompanied by Vyasa and his maternal uncle Kripa. This brought an end to the saga of Lord Shiva’s partial incarnation in Dwapar Yuga.

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