Avatars of Lord Shiva – Ashwatthama
Lord Shiva is one of the most revered and worshipped deities in Hinduism. He is the supreme god of destruction, transformation, and regeneration. He is also the lord of yoga, meditation, and arts. He has many names, forms, and attributes that reflect his various aspects and qualities.
One of the ways to understand Lord Shiva is through his avatars or incarnations. An avatar is a deliberate descent of a deity in human or animal form on earth for a specific purpose. Lord Shiva has taken many avatars in different ages and situations to fulfill his divine will and to help his devotees.
In this blog series, we will explore five of the most well-known avatars of Lord Shiva and their stories.
Ashwatthama is one of the most powerful and mysterious characters in the Mahabharata. He is the son of Dronacharya, the royal guru of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. He is also one of the seven Chiranjeevis or immortals in Hindu mythology.
Ashwatthama was born as an avatar of Lord Shiva to destroy the evil Kshatriyas who had corrupted the earth. He was gifted with a gem on his forehead that gave him extraordinary powers and protection. He was also an expert in archery, warfare, and martial arts.
Ashwatthama was loyal to his father and fought on the side of the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war. He was one of the few survivors of the war and witnessed the death of his father at the hands of Dhrishtadyumna, the brother of Draupadi.
Ashwatthama was enraged by his father’s death and vowed to take revenge on the Pandavas. He sneaked into their camp at night and killed Dhrishtadyumna and many other warriors who were sleeping. He also tried to kill the five sons of Draupadi but mistook them for the Pandavas.
When he realized his mistake, he felt guilty and remorseful. He was also cursed by Lord Krishna for his heinous act. Krishna removed his gem from his forehead and made him suffer from leprosy and wander on earth for eternity.
Ashwatthama is still alive today and roams around in forests and mountains. He is said to be waiting for the end of Kali Yuga when he will meet Lord Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu, who will end his curse and grant him liberation.