Aswatthama, The Curse Of Immortality Narayanastra

Narada told him,

Krishna tells you, do it’

Astra has to have a Target,

Either it is your life or the Emerald in Your Head. (This emerald is precious and ensures success)

Aswathama assigns the Emerald as the target.


I often tell my friends and children that living for  long time is painful.


Ashwatthama use Narayanastrajpg
Ashwatthama use Narayanastra.


For , beyond a certain age, say after 50 years , everything that happens is Life to an individual, is ‘Action Replay’


One would have seen and gone through nearly all aspects of Life.


And there are no surprises .


To live through the same thing in Life, is monotonous.


One more factor is that even if one wants to take leave of this world, it is not in one’ hands.


I have observed that it is those who have a zest for Life and want to live more, die suddenly .


On the other hand those who feel that they have served their time seem to live and linger on.


It is painful if one falls ill and depends on others for discharging daily functions.


Imagine remaining Immortal!


Nothing can be more painful than this.


And if you were to be cursed to be alone and wander alone..!


This has happened to Aswathama, son of Dronacharya.


Aswathama was agreat warrior.


During the Mahabharat War, Drona was killed by  Dhristathyumna against whom Drona vowed not to bear arms.


Aswathama could not come to terms with it.


As the war drew a to a close, Duryodhana was also killed by Bhima by dubious means, of hitting Duryodhana below the waist in a mace fight.


Duryodhana lay dying a mountain stream.


Aswatahama, angered at this, used an Astra and had all the children of Pandavas killed, save Parikshit who was saved by Krishna.


Duryodhana abused Aswatahama informing him that Children had nothing to do with war and anyway the children of the Panadavas were as much his own,that Aswathama wiped out his own clan by killing these children.


And he died.


Aswathama became more agitated.


He came to the war field and sent in Narayanstra.


There are three powerful Astras.


Brahmastra, Pasupatastra and Narayanstra.


Naranaystra is the most powerful and to my knowledge this is the only instance where it was used.


This astra would wipe out every thing in the universe nd there is no stopping it.


At the time of Aswataham sending down this Astra Narada and Vyasa, who were present in the battle field warned not to use Narayanastra.


Despite this warning Aswathama sent the Astra.


It started destroying everything in its wake , starting from the Heavens.


Arjuna was speechless.


Krishna advised every one that the only way to stop the astra is to lay down Arms and prostate before it.


Everyone did so.


The Astra did not hurt any one and came back to Aswathama asking him to assign a Target, failing which it would kill him.


Aswathama could not retract the Astra as he did not know how to retract it, knew only to send it.


Krishna asked Arjuna to take the Astra and aim it.


Arjuna told Krishna that he knew nothing about Narayanastra.


Narada told him,


Krishna tells you, do it’


Astra has to have a Target,


Either it is your life or the Emerald in Your Head. (This emerald is precious and ensures success)


Aswathama assigns the Emerald as the target.


Arjuna takes it.


Then Vyasa and Narada cursed Aswathama,


You shall remain a Chiranjeevi, Immortal through out the Time Cycle.


You shall remain till the end of Prakrutha Pralaya.


And you shall wander the forests, friendless.


A lesson in both how killing children is the greatest t sin and how half baked  knowledge is dangerous.


Hoe Rajapakshe heard this story before killing children in Lanka.




Author: ramanan50

Retired Senior Management Professional. Lectures on Indian Philosophy,Hinduism, Comparative Religions. Researching Philosophy, Religion. Free lance Writer.Blogger

4 thoughts on “Aswatthama, The Curse Of Immortality Narayanastra”

  1. There are some mistakes in the article. The Weapon used by Ashwattama at this instance was not Narayanastra but Brahmashirastra which was taught by Drona to Arjuna and Ashwattama. Arjuna knows how to launch and call back the weapon where as Ashwattama knows only to launch and don’t to call back.

    Narayanastra was used by Ashwattama after the death of Drona in the battlefield.

    After the end of the war the pandavas army were drunken and enjoying. Ashwattama, Kripacharya and Kritavarma killed many pandava soldiers in the night. Ashwattama later killed Shikandi and Drishtadhymna and Upapandavas sons of pandavas from draupadi who were sleeping. Bheema went to revenge Ashwattama and ashwattama launched the Brahmashirastra against Bheema. Arjuna also launched Brahmashirastra in order to protect Bhima. Vyasa and Narada stood between the two weapons to prevent them from colliding as the collision of these two weapons will result in the destruction of the world. Vyasa and Narada instructed the two to take back the weapons. Arjuna took back the weapon but Ashwattama did not have the knowledge to take back the weapon and so redirected towards Uttara who was bearing the son of Abhimanyu. Seeing this horrible action Krishna told him he will protect the child. He cursed Ashwattama that he will be wandering without any contact with the outer world forever.


  2. Dear sir,
    I have been reading lot of small things that you have been podting in facebok. Thanks for your service.
    A small correction in the above. Drona was not killed by Sikandi but by Dirstyadumnan son of Drupat and brother of Draupathi.

    Satish Narasimhan


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