Updated April 22nd, 2024 at 14:45 IST

Is Ashwatthama Alive? Know The Legends And Lores Related To The Mysterious Figure

Ashwatthama is a figure shrouded in legend and mystery, known for his immortality and enigmatic presence in Mahabharat.

The legend of Ashwatthama | Image:Vedic Feed

The makers of Kalki 2898 AD have revealed the character teaser of megastar Amitabh Bachchan as Ashwatthama, the immortal archer from Mahabharat, from the highly anticipated film. Directed by Nag Ashwin, the multilingual big-budget sci-fi movie also stars Prabhas, Deepika Padukone and Kamal Haasan. This has has made people curious about the legend of Ashwatthama. 

Who is Ashwatthama?

Ashwatthama is a figure shrouded in legend and mystery, known for his immortality and enigmatic presence in Mahabharat. As the son of Dronacharya, the revered warrior and guru of the Kauravas in the epic Mahabharata, Ashwatthama's story is intertwined with themes of loyalty, betrayal, and the consequences of war.

Legend of Ashwatthama

Ashwatthama's legend begins with his birth, which was marked by extraordinary circumstances. He was born with a gem in his forehead that granted him immortality, making him invincible in battle. His name "Ashwatthama" is derived from the word "ashva," meaning horse. It is said that he was born neighing like a horse rather than crying like other infants.


Role in the Mahabharata

Ashwatthama played a lesser significant role in the Mahabharata war, fighting on the side of the Kauravas alongside his father, Dronacharya. However, his story has a great lesson for everybody. He was a formidable warrior known for his skill in combat and his unwavering loyalty to his allies. However, his actions during the Mahabharat war would ultimately lead to his downfall and eternal infamy.


The tragic incident

One of the most infamous incidents involving Ashwatthama occurred on the final day of the Mahabharata war. Unknown to others, Drona had given Ashwatthama the knowledge to use Brahmastra, just like Arjun. However, he was egotistical and with unbridled power, that only increased.

Fuelled by rage and grief over the death of his father, Ashwatthama unleashed a devastating attack on the Pandava camp during the night, killing many warriors in their sleep, including the sons of Pandavas and Draupadi, mistaking them to be the Pandav brothers. To attack sleeping enemies after sunset was against moral codes of the war and the next day, Ashwatthama was confronted. This is when he tried to kill pregnant Uttara, the daughter-in-law of Arjuna.


Curse of immortality

In retaliation for his heinous actions, Lord Krishna cursed Ashwatthama with immortality, condemning him to wander the earth for eternity, burdened by the weight of his sins and the memory of his crimes. The wound in place of his gem in his forehead, which granted him immortality, became a symbol of his eternal punishment and a source of both power and suffering for him. It is said that Ashwatthama is still alive, suffering for his evil deeds, lurking in the forests without an escape.


Published April 22nd, 2024 at 14:45 IST