Ashwatthwama

Drona was the archery teacher for both the Kauravas and the Pandavas. He was a matchless archer. Drona had a son named Ashwatthwama. He was named Ashwatthwama because as soon as he was born he started neighing like a horse, and ‘Ashwa’ means horse. Drona was extremely fond of his son. Ashwatthwama learned archery from his father and became a great hero. Drona taught him many secret ways to use the bow.

Now Ashwatthwama had a very powerful weapon, the Brahmashira. But he had heard of Krishna’s great weapon, the disc, Sudarshan Chakra, and one day he went to Krishna to ask him a favour. He said, ‘I will give you my most powerful weapon, the Brahmashira. It can kill anyone when it is used against them. Will you not give me your Sudarshan Chakra in return?’

Krishna said, ‘Wonderful! I am ready to exchange. Please take it.’

Ashwatthwama tried to lift the disc, but it was impossible for him to lift it.
Krishna said, ‘Young man, you cannot even lift my weapon! How are you going to use it?’

Ashwatthwama was embarrassed and ashamed. Krishna smiled at him, saying, ‘Be satisfied with what you have and fight with the help of your own weapon. My weapon is too heavy for you.’


from Tales of the Mahabharata
by Sri Chinmoy

Published by Citadel Books