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A character of the Indian epic Mahābhārata, Ashwatthama (Sanskrit: अश्वत्थामा, Aśvatthāmā) or Ashwatthaman (Sanskrit: अश्वत्थामन्, Aśvatthāman) or Drauni was the son of guru Drona. Drona did many years of severe penance to please Lord Shiva in order to obtain a son who possesses the same valiance as Lord Siva. Aswatthama is the avatar of one of the eleven Rudras and he is one of the seven Chiranjivi or the immortal ones. Aswatthama along with his maternal uncle Kripa are believed to be the lone survivors still living who actually fought in the kurukshetra war. Aswatthama was born with a gem in his forehead which gives him power over all living beings lower than humans. This gem is supposed to protect him from attacks by ghosts, demons, poisonous insects, snakes, animals etc. Dronacharya loved him very dearly. The rumours about his death in the Kurukshetra war led to the death of Drona at the hands of Prince Dhrishtadyumna. He is the grandson of the Brahmin sage Bharadwaja. Ashwatthama is a mighty Maharathi who fought on the Kaurava side against the Pandavas.

Along with sage Parashurama, sage Vyasa and sage Kripa, Aswatthama is considered to be foremost among the rishis in Kaliyuga. Aswatthama will become the next sage Vyasa, who in turn divide the Veda in 29th Mahayuga of 7th Manvantara. Aswatthama will also become one of the Saptarishi in the 8th Manvantara along with sage Vyasa, sage Kripa and sage Parashurama. His physical description in the Mahabharata is that he is incredibly tall, with dark skin, dark eyes, and a gem in his forehead. Like Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Karna, and Arjuna, he is a master of the science of weapons and is regarded as the foremost among warriors. Aswatthama studied Dhanurveda or martial arts and Brahmavidya or the science of the self or atma from Lord Parasurama, Maharishi Durvasa, Maharishi Ved Vyasa, Bhishma,Kripa and Drona. Aswatthama is the master of all forms of knowledge and possesses complete mastery over 64 forms of arts or Kalas and 18 Vidyas or branches of knowledge.


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