Chapter 94 Aswatthama Made Heinous and Unpardonable Sins
Aswatthama’s righteous rage became like the sea when he learned how Duryodhana lay severely wounded and the specifics of the battle. He had been troubled by the Pandavas’ use of deceit to bring about the death of his father. He then proceeded to the location where Duryodhana was laying and swore an oath there that he would send the Pandavas to Yama’s abode that night after learning how Duryodhana had been killed against all codes of chivalry.
When Duryodhana heard Aswatthama swear this pledge, he was instantly lifted out of his bodily suffering as he approached death. All my hopes are in you, he declared as soon as he gave the command to those who were standing around to formally install Aswatthama as Supreme Commander of the Army.
When Kripacharya, Kritavarma, and Aswatthama stopped for a rest under a large banyan tree, it was dusk and the jungle was completely dark. As soon as Kripacharya and Kritavarma sat down, they immediately fell asleep due to their extreme exhaustion.
Aswatthama, however, was unable to sleep because he was consumed by grief, outrage, and anger. As night fell, he was listening to the sounds that nocturnal animals and birds were starting to make. He was mulling about how to carry out his pledge to Duryodhana in his head.
Numerous crows were nesting on the banyan tree’s branches, which was where the three soldiers were taking a nap. They were all peaceful and sleepy until a large owl arrived and started to murder the birds one by one. Aswatthama had an idea when he witnessed the midnight bird of prey tearing the defenceless crows. The crows who couldn’t see at night fluttered around aimlessly and died at the hands of the owl’s vicious attacks.
“We can easily murder these evil Pandavas and the Panchala who killed my father and all of their supporters if we ambush them when they are in their tents at night while this owl is attacking these blind crows. I may exact revenge on them for their malicious acts against us in this way. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the raptor who taught me this lesson. Adopting strategies to accommodate one’s changed circumstances is not wrong. Why shouldn’t we, who have lost our troops, assault our opponents when they are asleep if we can legitimately attack them when their army is worn out or dispersed? Nothing could be wrong with it. In fact, this is the only way we can punish and overthrow the Pandavas who have gotten ahead by cheating. No alternative course is available for us.”
Once Aswatthama had made up his mind, he roused Kripacharya from his sleep and explained his strategy. When Kripacharya heard that, he was shocked.
He said, “This can never be. Absolutely incorrect. It has never been done before to target men who have retired to bed. It would be a first-time offence against the kshatriya behaviour laws. The man for whose cause we entered this battle has been mortally wounded, and his end has come, Aswatthama, for whom are we fighting? We have faithfully fulfilled our duties. For the avaricious and foolish Duryodhana, we did our utmost to fight, but we ultimately failed. We have no reason to continue the war right now, and doing so would be foolish. Let’s travel to Dhritarashtra and the flawless Gandhari and offer our services to them. Let’s consult the sage Vidura as well. They will explain what we need to accomplish.”
When Kripacharya said this, Aswatthama’s sorrow and outrage grew, and he spoke these harsh words: “Everyone is confident that what they believe to be the sole right and correct action. One’s vision is always constrained by one’s comprehension. The worst behaviour has been committed by these Pandavas. They used deceit to murder my honourable and reliable father. In contravention of the codes of chivalry, they murdered Duryodhana. I am certain that the retaliation I propose will be just and appropriate for all of these wrongdoings. I can only hope to pay back my obligation to my father and my king if I carry out my plan. I’ve made up my mind, and I don’t intend to change it. After stripping off their armour, I’m heading to the tents where they’re resting tonight, where I’ll slaughter the Pandavas and Dhrishtadyumna when they’re fast asleep.”
When Kripacharya heard Aswatthama say this, he was very saddened, He begged, “Your pure character will by this be blemished, even as a milk-white linen bespattered with blood. You have earned a great repute among mankind. Killing men when they are asleep could never be moral. Stop doing this.”
“What are you saying, acharya? When my father had laid down in prayer and given up all of his weapons, these Pandavas killed him. There is now barely a trace of dharma remaining after these men broke the barrier and let loose the river. These lawless rascals killed Karna when he was on the ground adjusting the wheel of his chariot. Bhima struck Duryodhana below the navel, killing him. What dharma is still available for us to practise? The wall of righteousness has been permanently demolished by the Pandavas. When faced with these scoundrels who have achieved success by undermining both law and chivalry, why should we do study on either? I don’t care if slaying the sleeping Panchalas—who killed my grand father—condemns me to reincarnation in the form of a repulsive bird or a crawling worm. That delivery is what I want!”
Without waiting for a response, Aswatthama continued to harness his horses and prepare his chariot for motion. Kripacharya and Kritavarma sobbed as he turned to leave: “Stop. What do you intend to accomplish, Aswatthama? We cannot support it, but we also cannot abandon you in your desperate endeavour. We’ll continue to travel the same route you do. Let’s discuss the sin you’ve determined to address together.”
They therefore agreed to follow him. Evil grows in this way! One sin leads to the next, and justice is submerged by wickedness, which causes evil to expand. Retaliation helps evil grow. They got to the camp of the Pandavas. In his tent, Dhrishtadyumna was sound asleep after taking off his armour. Before the warrior could position himself for defence, Aswatthama sprang on him and ruthlessly booted him to death. The same procedure was repeatedly carried out until each and every one of the Panchalas and Draupadi’s sons was brutally murdered while dozing off in their tents.
After carrying out this act, which the kshatriyas had never before thought to be conceivable, Kripacharya, Kritavarma, and Aswatthama emerged from their tents and lit the camp on fire. As the fire spread, the sleeping troops were roused from their slumber and scattered in all directions, even like the crows on the banyan tree behind which they had taken shelter in the jungle. Aswatthama then massacred them with avengeance.
The son of Dronacharya remarked, “We have performed our task.” Let’s try to contact Duryodhana and tell him the good news before he passes away. Let him go with joy.”
Then, the three of them sped off to meet dying Duryodhana.
Keep Mahabharat Book at Home and Read Daily – DO NOT FALL TO FAKE PROPAGANDA and Allow Enemies to Weaken our Dharma and Bharat
This historical epic Mahabharat is known as fifth Veda. It is a common misconception spread by mlecchas; muslims and christian missionaries, and secular Hindus that reading Mahabharat or keeping it at home will likely lead to arguments and fighting. All of this misinformation was spread by illiterate mlecchas and anti-Hindus, and it is completely incorrect. It is done to mentally weaken Hindus so that they avoid reading Mahabharat. Because Mahabharat invokes bravery, pride and sense of confidence in Hindus.
Keep a copy of Mahabharat at home and read it online at the HariBhakt website. Mahabharat is rightly called the fifth Veda for Kaliyuga people because it is a tool and guidance to invoke confidence and bravery in Sanatan Dharmi Hindus.
You can read complete Mahabharat by following Chapter links given below. You can check Glossary of Mahabharat here.