Ashwatthama, the son of Drona and Kripi (sister of Kripacharya and daughter of Shardwan Rishi) and Grandson of Bhardwaja.
What was the Ashwatthama prowess in Bhishma’s opinion?
Bhishma said “Drona’s son is a great archer and is superior to all archers. He is colourful in the field of battle and is a maharatha who is firm in wielding weapons.
When released from his bow, his arrows are like those of the wielder of the Gandiva himself (Arjuna) and are linked together in one continuous line (Unstoppable arrows). But I cannot count this brave one in the list of supreme rathas, though this greatly famous one is capable of burning up the three worlds. He has accumulated anger and energy through austerities, while he dwelled in a hermitage. And since he was generous, Drona bestowed celestial weapons on him.
There is no one who is equal to him in either army. On a single chariot, he is capable of slaying even the army of the gods. Through the slapping of his arms, this handsome one can cause mountains to be shattered. The brave one has an infinite number of qualities. He is a striker and his radiance is terrible. He roams around and cannot be tolerated. He is like the god of death (Yama), with a staff in his hand (Yamadnada). He is greatly intelligent and has the neck of a lion. He is like the angry fire that rages at the end of an era. He is capable of pacifying what is left of this war.”
Ashwatthama’s other names (synonyms) used in Mahabharata;
- Acharya Nandana
- Acharya Putra
- Acharya Suta
- Acharya Tanya
- Acharya Sattam
- Drona Putra (son)
- Drona sunu
- Guru Suta
Here is an INDEX of Victory, Achievement and Defeat in Great War (Mahabharata aka Bharata) by Ashwatthama.
Sources: Gita Press Mahabharata and KMG Mahabharata.
Defeated to Sikhandini – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 82)
Defeated to king Nila – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 94)
Defeated to Ghatotakcha – Drona Parva (Chapter 156 – Slokas 184-186)
Defeated to Dhrishtdyumna – Drona Parva (Chapter 160)
Defeated to Ghatotakcha – Drona Parva (Chapter 166)
Defeated Dhrishtadyumna and Satyaki – Drona Parva (Chapter 200 – Slokas 43-44)
Tribble battle with Bhima and defeated to Bhima – Drona Parva (Chapter 200 – Shlokas 87-128)
Duel with Bhima and both swoon each other – Karna Parva (Chapter 15)
Defeated Pandava Maharathas and fled (avoid) to Yudhishthira – Karna Parva (Chapter 55)
Defeated to Dhrishtadyumna – Karna Parva (Chapter 59 – Slokas 39-53)
Killed to King Nila – Drona Parva (Chapter 31)
Slain to Anjanparva (Bhima Grandson) – Drona Parva (Chapter 156 – Shlokas 89-90)
Slain to Surath, Shatrunjaya, Balanika, Jayanika, Jayashav – Drona Parva (Chapter 156 – Shlokas 180-181)
Hemmali, Prishadh and Chandrashena were slain – Drona Parva (Chapter -156 – Shlokas 183)
Slain 10 sons of Kunti Bhoja – Drona Parva (Chapter 156 – Shlokas 183)
Slain to Malava King Sudarshna – Drona Parva (Chapter 200 – Shlokas 83)
Slain to Paurava Bridhkshatra – Drona Parva (Chapter 200 – Shlokas 84)
Slain to Chedi Prince – Drona Parva (Chapter 200 – Slokas – 85)
Terrible fight with Pandya King Malaydhvja and slain him too – Karna Parva (Chapter 20)
Slain to Panchala Maharataha Surtha – Shalya Parva (Chapter 14)
1st Day, Duel with Shikhandi – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 45)
2nd Day Duel with Dhrishtadyumna and Abhimanyu – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 55)
Duel with Arjuna – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 73)
Duel with Satyaki and deprived of his senses – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 101)
Duel with Virata and Drupada – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 110)
Duel with Virata and Drupada – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 111)
Duel with Satyaki – Bhishma Parva (Chapter 116)
Duel with Prativindhaya – Drona Parva (Chapter 25)
Injured to Abhimanyu – Drona Parva (Chapter 37)
Battle with Arjuna – Drona Parva (Chapter 139)
Used Narayana Weapon – Drona Parva (Chapter 199)
Used Agneya Weapon – Drona Parva (Chapter 201)
Battle with Arjuna supported by Samsaptakas – Shalya Parva ( Chapter 14)
Defeated by Satyaki Including all the Maharatahas – Drona Parva
Duel with Arjuna and Defeated and Fled Away – Drona Parva (Chapter 145)
Great fight with Arjuna and Defeated by Arjuna – Karna Parva (Chapter 16-17)
Defeated by Arjuna – Karna Parva (Chapter 56 – Shlokas 121-142)
Defeated by Arjuna – Karna Parva (Chapter 59)
Defeated by Arjuna and ran away – Karna Parva (Chapter 64)
Final words for Ashwatthama by Arjuna;
“The mighty-armed one is modest. He is like a crazy elephant in his gait. His face is glossy and he is the performer of fierce deeds.
When he was born, Drona gave the wealth of one thousand cows to brahmanas. As soon as he was born, the brave one neighed like Uchchaihshrava and the earth and the three worlds trembled because of this. On hearing this, an invisible voice named him Ashvatthama then.
Arjuna further said to Yudhisthira “If you can, protect Parshata(DhristaDyumana) with all your advisers. With his relative slain, he will now be devoured by the preceptor’s angry son. Even if all of us try, we will not be able to protect Parshata today. He is extremely affectionate towards all beings.”