ராதே கிருஷ்ணா 31-05-2016
அஸ்வத்தாமா - குந்தி ஸ்துதி
அஸ்வத்தாமா - குந்தி ஸ்துதி
Ashwatthama uses Narayanastra
A character of the Indian epic Mahābhārata, Ashwatthama (Sanskrit: अश्वत्थामा, Aśvatthāmā) or Ashwatthaman (Sanskrit: अश्वत्थामन्,Aśvatthāman) or Drauni was the son of guru Drona and he is the grandson of the Brahmin saga Bharadwaja. Ashwatthama is a mighty Maharathi who fought on the Kaurava side against the Pandavas. Ashwatthama is the avatar of one of the eleven Rudrasand he is one of the seven Chiranjivi. Along with his maternal uncle Kripa, Ashwatthama is believed to be a living survivor of theKurukshetra War. The rumours about his death led to the death of Drona by Prince Dhrishtadyumna. After Arjuna and Karna, Ashwatthama killed most number of warriors in the Kurukshetra war.
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. 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.The Mahabharatha describes him as being incredibly tall, with dark skin, dark eyes, and with a gem in his forehead.
According to The Mahabharata, Aswatthaman means "the horse-voiced". It is so called because when he was born he cried like a horse
Ashwatthama was the son of Dronacharya and Kripi. Drona did many years of severe penance to please Lord Shiva in order to obtain a son who possesses the same valiance as Lord Shiva. Ashwatthama was born to become a Chiranjivi and cannot be killed by any kind of weapons. Ashwatthama was born with a gem in his forehead which gives him power over all living beings lower than humans; it protected him from hunger, thirst and fatigue.This gem is supposed to protect him from attacks by ghosts, demons, poisonous insects, snakes, animals etc.
Drona loved his son very dearly. Dronacharya was very poor. Once when Ashwatthama was a child, he desired to drink milk, like he had seen friends drink. Not even owning acow, Ashwatthama painted his lips with a mixture of wheat flour with water, making it seem as if he had drank milk. This scene saddened Dronacharya. He remembered his childhood friend Drupada, who in a spurt of youthful exuberance, had promised to give Drona half of whatever he had. Dronacharya went to the court of Drupada to ask for a cow. King Drupada humiliated Drona, saying friendship existed only between equals. He told Drona to ask as a Brahmin asks for alms, but not as a friend, and Drupada would do his kingly duty and provide whatever he asked. Refusing, Dronacharya returned empty-handed and humiliated.
After this incident, on seeing the plight of Dronacharya, Kripacharya, who was teaching the Kuru princes, invited Drona to Hastinapur. There, he came upon the attention of his co-disciple Bhishma. Thus, Dronacharya became the guru of the Pandavas and of the Kauravas in Hastinapur. Ashwatthama was trained in the art of warfare along with them.
Ashwattham, the powerful son of Drona, though known as the part incarnate of Rudra, was really born of the four parts of Yama, Rudra,Kama(Cupidity) and Krodha(Anger). Just before Mahabaratha war, Bhishma himself declared that it will be virtually impossible for anyone to kill or defeat Ashwatthama in war as he is the part incarnate of Lord Shiva and he because was born to become a Chiranjivi. Bhishma said when Ashwatthama becomes angry then it will be impossible to fight him as he becomes a second Shiva. No one can handle his wrath and fury. Bhishma told Duryodhana
Lord Krishna and sage Vyasa also knew about this and they advised Arjuna to seek the blessing of Lord Siva himself to defeat Kaurava army in war otherwise it will be impossible to defeat the army containing Ashwatthama,the part incarnate of Lord Siva. While Arjun was doing penance, Lord Indra went to Arjuna in the guise of a celibate and asked about the purpose for which he was doing penance. Arjuna told him that he wanted to defeat the Kauravas. Indra then told Arjuna that it was not in his capacity to help him achieve victory over the Kauravas, because of Ashwatthama who was a partial incarnation of Shiva. Indra advised Arjuna to please lord Shiva by his penance so that his wishes could be fulfilled. Lord Siva blessed victory to Arjuna but warned that it is impossible for anyone to kill Ashwatthama or agitate his anger. Later the false story of Ashwatthama's death led to the assassination of his father Guru Drona.The tragic death of Drona made Aswathama extremely angry and these events led to the complete annihilation of Pandava lineage by the hands of Ashwatthama himself.
Since Hastinapura, ruled by King Dhritarashtra, offered Dronacharya the privilege of teaching the Kuru princes, both Dronacharya and Ashwatthama were loyal to Hastinapur and fought for the Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war. Before Dronacharya's death, Ashwatthama visited his father, desiring a blessing of victory, but Dronacharya refused. He advised Ashwatthama to win the war using his own strength and not through a blessing from him. Earlier, Dronacharya's favorite disciple and Pandava prince Arjuna had already obtained such a blessing from Drona.
Despite his friendship with the Pandavas, Ashwatthama had great familiarity with Duryodhana. He was attracted to Duryodhana's gregarious nature, and to Duryodhana's largesse bestowed upon him. Moreover, just as Duryodhana believed that the Pandavas were taking his birthright to the crown, Ashwatthama felt that Arjuna was usurping his place in Drona's heart.
Death of Drona
On the 10th day of the war, Bhishma falls, and Drona is named the supreme commander of the armies. He promises Duryodhana that he will capture Yudhishthira, but then he repeatedly fails to do so. Duryodhana taunts and insults him, which greatly angers Ashwatthama, causing friction between Ashwatthama and Duryodhana. Lord Krishna knew that it was not possible to defeat an armed Drona. Krishna also knew that Drona loved his son Ashwatthama very dearly. So, Krishna suggested to Yudhishthira and other Pāṇḍava brothers that, if he were convinced that his son was killed on the battlefield, then Droṇācārya would be so sad that he would lay down all his arms on the ground and it would be easier to kill him.
In order to find a way out,Lord Kṛiṣhna suggested Bhīma to kill an elephant by name Ashwatthama and claim to Droṇācārya that he has killed Droṇacharya's son Aśvatthāma. After killing the elephant as suggested; he loudly proclaimed that he had killed Aśvatthāma. Droṇācārya however, did not believe Bhīma's words as he knew that it was impossible for anyone to kill Aśvatthāma and he approached Yudhishthira. Droṇa knew of Yudhiṣṭhira's firm adherence to Dharma and that he would never ever utter a lie. When Droṇācārya approached Yudhiṣṭhira and questioned him as to whether his son was dead, Yudhiṣṭhira responded with the cryptic 'Aśvatthāma is dead. But it is an elephant and not your son'( Sanskrit: Aśvatthāmā hatho hataḥ, अश्वत्थामा हतोहतः)( Sanskrit: naro vā kuñjaro vā, नरो वा, कुञ्जरो वा).Kṛiṣhṇa also knew that it was not possible for Yudhiṣṭhira to lie outright. On his instructions, the other warriors blew trumpets and conches, raising a tumultuous noise in such a way that Droṇācārya only heard that "Aśvatthāma was dead"( Sanskrit: Aśvatthāmā hatho hataḥ, अश्वत्थामा हतोहतः), but could not hear the latter part of Yudhiṣṭhira's reply( Sanskrit: naro vā kuñjaro vā, नरो वा, कुञ्जरो वा)..
Drona descended from his chariot, laid down his arms and sat in meditation. Closing his eyes, his soul went to heaven in search of Ashwatthama's soul. Dhrishtadyumna took this opportunity and beheaded the unarmed Drona. Though it was highly prohibited according to the rules of the war as agreed by the 2 parties before the fight to kill an unarmed warrior or attacking from the back Pandavas and Lord Krishna bend these rules to kill Dronacharya. Thus, on the 15th day of battle,Guru Drona was cheated to death by Lord Krishna and Pandava brothers,especially Yudhishthira. Yudhishthira's chariot which was floating on the air from the beginning of the war due to his high virtue fell down to earth after this act and later Yudhishthira is supposed to have gone to hell for a while after his death due to this particular action. It was the sole unethical act of Yudhishthira during his entire period of life.
Ashwatthama rages and the furious Ashwatthama unleashed Narayanastra on the Pandava army. The Narayanastra was the personal weapon of lord Vishnu in his Narayana form. Earlier Lord Narayana gifted this weapon to Drona and Drona himself passed this terrible astra to his son Ashwatthama. Only Drona, Ashwatthama, and Lord Krishna possessed the knowledge of this weapon. This astra fires a powerful tirade of millions of deadly missiles simultaneously. The intensity of the shower increases with resistance. The only way of defense towards this missile, is to show total submission before the missiles hit. This in turn will cause this weapon to stop and spare the target.When it was used, Ekadasha (Eleven) Rudras appeared in the sky to destroy Pandavas. Millions of types of weapons like Chakra, Gadha, ultra sharp arrows appeared in rage to destroy them. Whoever tried to offend were destroyed and large number of Pandava troops died. Lord Krishna, who is an Avatar of Vishnu tells the Pandavas and their warriors to drop their weapons and lie down on the ground, so that they all surrender completely to the power of this weapon. When targeted, Bhima refuses to surrender thinking that it as a cowardice act, and attacks the downpour of fiery arrows. The Narayana weapon concentrates its shower on him, and he gets steadily exhausted and severely injured. However, he was not killed as Krishna and his brothers restrained him and asked him to surrender.This act of surrender saved the lives of Bhima and Pandava brothers.
The Narayana astra destroyed one Akshauhini of Pandava army completely.After the use of Narayana astra, terrible war between both armies took place. Ashwatthama defeated Dhrishtadyumna in direct combat, but failed to kill because many Pandava mahartha's came for the aid of Dhrishtadyumna and fought together against Ashwatthama. Though it was prohibited,Pandava maharatha's broke the code of engagement by fighting together against a single maharatha to protect Dhrishtadyumna. Then kaurava warriors came to the aid of but Ashwatthama but Dhrishtadyumna was saved by Satyaki and Bhima. Terrible war took place between the maharatha's of both sides and Ashwatthama defeated Satyaki and Bhima in direct combat and both fled away from the battle field. Yudhishthira blamed himself for the heavy loss he suffered at the hands of Ashwatthama.
During the war he killed many prominent warriors like Suratha, Satrunjaya, Valanika, Jayanika, Jaya, Prishdhra, Chandrasena, ten sons of Kuntibhoja, Srutayus, Satrunjaya, Anjanaparvan, Nila and Malaydhawaja.
Remainder of the War
Despite his animosity, after the death of Dushasana, Ashwatthama still suggested Duryodhana that he make peace with the Pandavas, keeping in mind the welfare of Hastinapur. Duryodhana strongly rejected his suggestion.Later after being struck down by Bhima below the waist during mace fight and facing death,King Duryodhana send messenger for the remaining 3 survivors of the war from Kaurava side. Kripa, Kritavarma and Ashwatthama rushed to the spot of Duryodhana after hearing the message. Duryodhana told them
Hearing these Ashwatthama flamed up in anger and told Duryodhana
Hearing these words Duryodhana made Ashwatthama as the commander of his army and said to Kripa and Kritavarma
Attack on Pandava Camp
On the night a very disturbed and restless Ashwatthama was sitting sleepless under a large tree planning about future actions to be taken. An owl ambushing a group of crows caught his attention. This gave him an idea of attacking the Pandava camp at night. He gathered the only other surviving Kaurava warriors—Kritavarma and Kripacharya and attacked the Pandava camp on the 18th night of the Kurukshetra war.
Ashvatthama said to Kripacharya and Kritavarma.
The 3 warriors proceeded to the Pandava camp. Kripa and Kritavarma waited outside for slaying those who come out of the camp and Ashvatthama proceeded into the camp. When reached there,Ashvatthama found a Bhairava guarding the Pandava camp assigned by Lord Krishna for the protection of Pandavas and resisted his every attempt to enter into Pandava camp. So Ashvatthama worshiped Lord Shiva for the fulfillment of his desires.Ashvatthama offered himself as an oblation to Lord Shiva into the fire. He prayed to Lord Shiva.
Having said these words, Ashvatthama offered himself up as the victim into sacrificial fire and entered that blazing fire. Seeing this,the pleased Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati in her most ferocious Kali form appeared before Ashvatthama with their gana's. There appeared millions of Siva ganas who where extremely frightening and fierce for the aid of Ashvatthama. Also there appeared millions of Kali Sakthis, Kalika Nityas and Kalika Yoginis. They eagerly awaited for the impending massacre. Lord Siva smilingly told Ashvatthama.
Having said these words to Ashvatthama, Lord Shiva entered into Ashvatthama's body after giving him an excellent and polished sword. Filled by that divine being, Ashvatthama blazed up with energy. In consequence of that energy derived from the godhead, Ashvatthama became all-powerful in battle.Kali appeared in her most terrible form with 64 hands with different kinds of weapons for the aid of Ashwathama and for the destruction of Pandava army. The appearance of Kali was earlier prophasised and Lord Krishna knew about this in advance,so he purposely kept 5 Pandava princes and Satyaki away from Panava camp and stayed at the camp of Duryodhana. Since the beginning of the war many Pandava soldiers saw horrific dreams about a ferocious form and considered this as a very bad omen. This ferocious being was inturn Mahakali and their dream came true. Siva and Kali gana's, many invisible beings, pisachas, rakshasas and all kinds of evil spirits proceeded along with Ashvatthama's right and his left side as he set out, like the lord Shiva himself, for entering the camp of his foes.With the sword of Lord Shiva, Ashvatthama and Siva Ganas burned the entire Pandava camp to ashes leaving nothing behind. Hearing the loud and frightening roars of the Gana's the entire Pandava camp wakes up. Ashvatthama first kicked and woke up Dhrishtadyumna, the commander of the Pandava army and the killer of his father Drona.They both fought with bare hands and Dhrishtadyumna was no match for Ashvatthama empowered with Lord Shiva.
Dhrishtadyumna begged for mercy at the foot of Ashvatthama. He strangled Dhrishtadyumna to death and fought with entire remaining Pandava army alone.He moved on and fought with Shikhandi, Uttamaujas and many other prominent warriors of the Pandava army and killed all of them in direct fight.None of them was able to resist Ashvatthama empowered by Lord Shiva.Those who tried to flee from Ashwatthama's wrath, were hacked down by Kripacharyya and Kritavarma at the camp's entrance.Siva ganas assisted Ashwatthama, attacked and killed the Pandavas and Panchalas and feasted upon them. Siva ganas, Kalika Nityas,Sakthis and Yoginins drank the blood of the soldiers and danced in joy. Hearing the loud noise inside the camp Upapandavas came with weapons and Ashvatthama fought with them and killed all of them. After destroying the entire Pandava camp, Ashwatthama proceeds towards Duryodana with the cut off heads of 5 Pandava sons.He told Duryodhana that he only managed to kill the Pandava's children as the Pandavas were not there, and this makes Duryodhana happy, as that means the Pandava lineage would die out.Ashwatthama told Duryodhana.
Duryodhana then, having heard those words that were so agreeable to his heart, regained his senses and replied to Ashwatthama.
Duryodhana died happily after hearing this and the 3 remaining warriors of Kaurava army done the cremation of Duryodhana. After these events Lord Shiva exited out of the body of Ashwatthama and left along with his ganas to his abode Kailas.
The Pandavas and Krishna who were away during night, now returned to their camp the next day morning.Hearing the news of these events in the morning Yudhishthira fainted and the Pandavas become inconsolable.Later Yudhishthira lamented in great affliction and said
Pandavas went searching for Ashwatthama to sage Vyasa's ashram. On seeing the approaching angered Pandavas, Ashwatthama as a last resort, he used his sacred knowledge of the Vedas to devise a Brahmashirsha astra from a blade of grass and invoked it against the Pandavas and Krishna. On seeing the Brahmashirsha astra approaching the Pandavas, Krishna asked Arjuna to invoke the same. Arjuna invokes Brahmashirsha astra, which he received by Drona charya itself, towards Ashwatthama.
On seeing the two powerful astra's heading for a head on cataclysmic (catastrophic) collision that would result in the total annihilation of the entire Earth, sage Vyasa stopped these divine weapons from colliding with each other by using his yogic power. He asked both these warriors to withdraw their respective weapons. Arjuna was able to withdraw his Brahmashirsha astra, while Ashwatthama could not do so as Dronacharya did not teach his son how to withdraw it.An archer who is able to invoke and withdraw any Divyastra (Divine Weapon) can invoke it as many times as he wishes. Dronacharya taught Arjuna to withdraw Brahmashirsha astra but he did not do so to Aswatthama, thus limiting the power of Aswatthama to invoke Brahmashirsha astra for only one instance. However, Aswatthama was given the option of deviating his weapon towards one single isolated object in a place that was not inhabited by any form of life, so that the Brahmashirsha astra does not harm anyone on Earth. But Ashwatthama, out of rage, directed the weapon towards the womb of Uttara (wife of Abhimanyu) who was carrying Abhimanyu's son (Parikshit) in an attempt to end the lineage of the Pandavas. The angered Pandavas want to capture Aswatthama, but Sage Vyasa prohibited Pandavas from doing so because Pandavas themselves employed deceit to kill their own Guru Drona. Sage Vyasa explained that it was due to the severe sin of killing their Guru Drona by unethical means, the Pandavas suffered severe tragedy and their entire lineage came to extinction. Further Sage Vyasa warned Pandavas that he will curse Pandavas if they ever tried to hurt Aswatthama, the lone survivor of their Gurus lineage.
Ashwatthama was asked to surrender the gem on his forehead. Enraged Krishna then cursed Ashwatthama that for 3000 years he will roam in the forests with blood and puss oozing out of his injuries and cry for death. Since he had no fear of death during war, death would not meet him. He will have neither any hospitality nor any accommodation; He will be in total isolation without any contact of physical communication from mankind and society; The wound caused by the removal of this gem on his forehead will not heal and his body will suffer from a host of incurable diseases forming sores and ulcers that would never heal for 3000 years" .
In a Kannada version of Mahabaratha written by Kumara Vyasa, the author claimed that he wrote Mahabaratha by listening to Sage Aswatthama. It was said in different sources and alternate theories that, in order to escape from the curse of Lord Krishna, Aswatthama approached his Parama Guru (guru's guru) Lord Parasurama, who was also an avatar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Parasurama felt pity at Aswatthama and agreed to help him. It was said that Aswatthama was only an instrument in Lord Shiva's plan to exterminate all the evil people from earth. Since it was Lord Shiva who entered into Aswatthama's body and exterminated Pandava forces, Aswatthama was absolved of all sins. It was said that Pandavas met Aswathama once again 36 years later when they were travelling to the Himalayas to seek pardon from Lord Siva for their heinous crimes in war. The description says Pandavas found Aswatthama happy in the company of Lord Parasurama and Sage Durvasa in an ashram on the banks of river Ganga and Aswatthama was found free from all curses. It was believed that Lord Parasurama and Maharishi Durvasa initiated Aswatthama into Sakthi worship, which is considered to be the supreme of all modes of worship. By worshipping Adi ParaSakthi, the mother of Lord Brahma,Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, Aswatthama bypassed the curse of Lord Krishna.
It is said in ancient scriptures that "If God is angry at you, Guru can save you. But if Guru is angry at you, even God cannot save you". Alternate theories suggest that as per the words in scriptures Aswatthama sought the help of his gurus and escaped the wrath of God. Maharashi Ashwathama lives alongs with his mother Kripi and his maternal uncle sage Kripa, both being great yogis somewhere in the Himalayas.
Ashwatthama sought the knowledge of Brahmashirsha astra from his father Drona. Dronacharya taught Ashwatthama only to invoke Brahmashirsha astra, but does not teach him how to withdraw it. This was because Drona earlier gave his word to Arjuna that he will make Arjuna the greatest archer. So in order to fulfill his promise Drona gave only partial knowledge of Brahmashirsha astra to Ashwatthama but he gave full knowledge to Arjuna. Drona was bound by his word to Arjuna, so later he was also forced by circumstances to cut off the thumb of Karat prince Ekalavya because he seemed superior in skill to Arjuna. Ashwatthama had a partial knowledge in the context of Bramhashirastra. He only knew how to invoke it, but did not know how to withdraw it.If an archer is aware of both the invocation and withdrawal of any celestial weapon, then he can invoke it as many times as he wants. Hence, to avoid Ashwatthama from invoking Bramhashirastra multiple times, Dronacharya only gives a partial knowledge about it. If an archer invokes Bramhashirastra once, it not only destroys the target, but also leads to a famine in the region for 12 years. If a Bramhashirastra is invoked twice, then it can even lead to draining of the entire ocean on Earth.
When Duryodhana was lying in the battle field, awaiting death, badly bruised by the wounds inflicted by Bhima. He kept his three fingers in a raised position and was unable to speak. All the efforts made by his men to understand the meaning proved to be futile. Seeing his plight Krishna approached him and said "I know what issues occupied your mind. I will address them".Krishna identified the issues as - not building a fort around Hastinapur, not persuading Vidura to fight the battle, not making Ashwatthama the commander-in-chief after the death of Dronacharya. On hearing this Duryodhana closed all the fingers and rested. Duryodhana concluded that these 3 factors should have surely brought him victory. If he had built a fort around Hastinapur, he could have totally avoided the war in the first place and he don't have to worry about the power of Pandavas. If Vidura fought on his side,he would have the best strategist, even better than Lord Krishna. At last only Duryodhana came to the conclusion that Lord Krishna is in fact the avatar of Lord Vishnu. If Duryodhana had made Ashwatthama as the commander of the army after the death of Drona,victory would have surely be his as Ashwatthama was the avatar of Lord Shiva.No one can handle a 'furious' Ashwatthama, the part incarnate of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is pleasing most of the time but no one in the entire universe can handle a furious Lord Shiva. Similarly all Duryodhana need to do to win the war was to make Ashwatthama furious. Just like Pandavas had Lord Krishna, the avatar of Lord Vishnu, Duryodhana had the avatar of Lord Shiva, but he never utilized Ashwatthama. The remorse about under utilizing Ashwatthama prompted Duryodhana to rethink and made Ashwatthama the commander of his army after the war,after his defeat. These events led to the complete destruction of Pandava army and lineage and at the end the victorious Pandavas felt like the loser. After the night raid of Ashwatthama on Pandava camp Duryodhana felt like he had won the war, as the Pandavas lost everything and everyone they care about.
In Udyoga Parva of Mahabarath, Bhishma declared Ashwatthama as a mighty Maharathi, or a warrior capable of fighting 720,000 warriors simultaneously; circumspect in his mastery of all forms of weapons and combat skills.
In Drona Parva of Mahabarath, it gives a detailed explanation of the skill of Drona's son Aswatthaman.
Themes and Analysis
Aswatthama was a great warrior and was one of the greatest archers of his times. Like Bhishma, Drona, Arjuna and Karna he had all divine weapons in his armory. But Duryodhana did not think highly of him because of his immense love for Karna and made no secret of his opinion either. For Duryodhana, one who sought immortality was afraid of death and one who was afraid of death was a disgrace to the community of warriors. Aswatthama always considered the war as unnecessary but he fought in the war just to do his duty towards his king. Aswatthama was a very good friend of both Pandavas and Kauravas and always argued Duryodhana to desist from war considering the welfare of Hastinapura. Aswatthama was never part of any crooked methods of Duryodhana and is always considered fair to both Pandavas and Kauvaras.He was always strongly against the plots of Duryodhana. The Pandavas even requested Aswatthama to fight for them before the beginning of the war but just like Bhishma, Drona and Kripa, Aswatthama was also tied to Hastinapura owing to his duty towards Kauvarava king. But towards the end of the war Aswatthama lost his cool after witnessing all the cheatings done by Lord Krishna and Pandavas in the name of Dharma by blowing away all the rules of engagements of the war. So Aswatthama become furious and decided to exterminate the Pandavas by any means necessary.
( At the end of the Maha Bharatha War between Kauravas and Pandavas , When the entire Kaurava army has perished, Aswathama the son of Guru Drona sent the Brahmastra to kill all the Pandavas. In return Arjuna also sent another Brahmasthra. Lord Krishana made Arjuna to take The shiro rathna(Gem on the head) of Aswathama and asked Aswathama to aim his asthra at the unborn child of Abhimanyu. Lord Krishna then entered the womb of the wife of Abhimanyu and saves her child. Thus the clan of Pandavas is saved. At this juncture Kunthi the mother of the Pandavas addresses this prayer to Lord Krishna. This occurs in the 8th chapter of the first Skanda of Bhagwatha Purana.
It is interesting to note that Kunthi is the sister of Vasudeva the father of Krishna and was earlier given in adoption to king Kunthi Bhoja by Surasena, the father of Vasudeva. Thus she was the maternal aunt of Lord Krishna. The text in Sanskrit as well as a translation in to English of this stotra is given in http://shivu360.blogspot.com/2010/04/kunti-stuti.html )
1.Namasthe purusham thwadhyameeswaram prakruthe param,
Alakshyam sarva bhoothanaam anthar baihiravasthitham.
I salute the Lord Vishnu , the primeval God and the divine Nature,
Who is invisible to all beings , though he is inside and outside all of them.
2.Mayaa ja vanikacchanna majnadhoksham avyayam,
Na lakshyase mooda drusaa nato natyadharo Yadhaa.
He is covered by the curtain of illusion and is invisible and imperishable,
And not felt by the foolish humans and is like an actor dressed for playing the part.
3,.Thadha parama hamsaanaam muni nama malathmanaam,
Bhakthi yoga vidharatha , kadham pasyema hi sthriya.
How can you be perceived by ladies, as you appear only for great sages,
And philosophers who can recognize the soul and also to experts in the path of devotion.
4.Krishnaya Vasudevaya , Devaki nandhanaya cha,
Nanda gopa kumaraya , govindaaya namo nama
Salutations and salutations to Krishna , son of Vasudeva and Devaki,
Who is the son of Nandagopa and Lord of all beings.
5.Nama Pankhaja nabhaya, nama Panjkaja maline,
Nama Pankaja nethraya, namathe pankajangraye.
Salutations to him who has a lotus on his navel
Who wears a lotus wreath, who has eyes like a lotus,
And who has soft feet like that of a lotus flower.
6.Yadha hrishikesa, khalena Devaki kamsena rudhathichiram sucharpitha,
Viomochithaham cha sahathmaja Vibho thwayaiva nadhena muhurvipadganath.
You are the Lord of the senses ,
Who freed Devaki from sorrow ,
As she was imprisoned by the envious Kamsa,
And Oh Lord you have also repeatedly helped my children,
From various constant and serious groups of threats.
7.Vishan mahagnai purushaa dadarsanadha sad sabhaaya, vana vasa kruchratha,
Mrudhe, mrudhe aneka maha radhasthratho drounyasthrathaschasma hare abhisakshitha.
You saved us from poison, great fire ,
Look of evil people, from assembly of the wicked,
From perils of dangerous forest life,
From very many great arrows from great warriors ,
In the war and now from the arrow of Aswathama, the son of Drona.
8.Vipadha santhu nasashwathathra thathra jagat guro,
Bhavatho darsanam yathsyadha punarbhava darsanam.
Oh teacher of the universe , let these calamities occur frequently,
For we are blessed with meeting with you which eliminates the sorrows,
Of this life with its ever occurring cycles of births and deaths.
9.Janmai aiswarya srutha sri bhiredhamana madha pumaan,
Naivaar hathyabhidhaathum vai thwama kinchana gocharam.
Those gentleman intoxicated by wealth , fame , education and beauty,
Will not be ever in a position to even utter your name,
For you being approachable only by those who have nothing of their own.
10.Namo akinchana vithaya , nivrutha guna vruthaye,
Aathmaramaya santhaya kaivalya pathaye nama.
Salutations to the god who is the wealth of those who do not have anything,
Who is beyond the three characters of Saintly, regal and base,
Who delights with himself, who is peace and the path to salvation.
11.Manye thwaam kaala meesana manadhi nidhanam vibhum,
Samam charantham sarvathra bhoothanaam yanmidha kali.
I believe that you are the” time”, the great God who does not have any end or beginning,
Who travels equally in all the beings who appear to differ among themselves.
12.Na vdhe kaschidbhagawasi keershitham thweha manasya nrunaam vidambanam,
Na yasya kaschid dayitho asthi karhichid dweshyascha yasmin vishamaamathirnrunaam.
No one ever understands what is in your mind,
When you are acting like a human being,
You are not close or far off from any one,
And it is people who think that you are biased.
13.Janma karma cha viswathman , na kasya karthur aathmana,
Thiryang nrushishu yaadhaa sa thadathyantha vidambanam.
Oh soul of the universe, you are completely devoid of birth and soul,
And your birth among small creatures, men , sages and aquatic creatures is your pastime.
14.Gopyaa dhadhe thwayi kruthadai dhama thavaadhya they dasasru kalilanjanaa sambhramaksham,
Vakram neeneeya bhaya bhavanaaya sdhithasya saa maam vimohayathi bheerapi yaddbhethi.
When you broke the pot of curd and offended your foster mother,
And when she took the rope to tie you , since you were naughty,
You stood full of fear , bent face , collyrium flowing due to your tears
And with your eyes rolling in confusion and this filled me with wonder,
Because when even fear was afraid of you, how can you be afraid of some one.
15.Kechid dahurajam jaatham punya slokasya keerthaye,
Yadho priuasyanvavaye malayasyeva chandanam.
Some say that though you do not have birth ,
You were born in the clan of the famous and great Yadhu,
In order to add to his fame like the sandalwood tree,
Which is born in the Malaya mountains to enhance the glory of the mountain.
16.Apare vasudevasya devakyaam yachitho abhyagaath,
Ajasthwamasya kshemaya vadhaya cha suradwishaam.
Others say that though you are birth less,
You were born to Vasudeva and Devaki ,
As an answer to their prayer and for,
Killing of all the enemies of Devas.
17.Bharava thaaranayanye bhuvo naava ivodhadhou,
Seedhanthyaa bhoori bharena jatho hyatha bhuvathithaa.
Other say that you appeared like a boat in a great sea,
To take away the burden of earth , which appeared sinking,
As an answer to the prayers of Lord Brahma.
18.Bhave asmin kilasya maana nama vidhyaa kama karmabhi,
Sravana smanaarhani karishyannathi kechane.
Some people tell that you have descended on earth,
To do acts fit to be heard or dealt with,
Even by those who are being tormented in this world,
Of ignorance , desire and selfish acts.
19.Sruvanthi, gayanthi grunanthyabhhekshnasa smaranthi nandanthi thavehitham janaa,
Tha yeva pasyanth yachirena thavakam bhava pravahoparam padaambhujam.
The people who are partial to you listen ,
Sing, repeat to others and meditate,
And would alone soon see your lotus like feet
That would end waves of life of birth and death.
20.Apyadhya nasthwam swakruthehitha prabho jihaasasi swith suhrudho anujeevina,
Yeshaam na chanyathbhavatha padambujath paraayanam rajasu yojithaamhasaam.
Oh Lord , you always had our interest in mind,
And today you are going away from us ,
And we your friends do not have any other protection ,
Other than, Your lotus like feet
And we have made enemies of other kings,
By inflicting lot of suffering on them by this war.
21.Ke vayam namaroopabhyaam yadhubhi saha pandava,
Bhavatho adarashanam yarhi hrishi kaanas mivesithu.
When your name and form are not with Yadhus and Pandavas,
They all would become like the body without the soul .
22. Neyam shobhishyathe thathra yadhe dhanam gadha dhara,
Thwad padai rangitha bhathi swa lakshana vilakshithai.
Oh Lord with the mace , this earth will not shine the as it does now,
As it would not be adorned by your feet and would not have great symbols.
23. Ime jana padhaa svruddhaa supa koushaadhi virudha,
Vanadhri nadhy dhan vantho hyedhanthe thava veekshithai.
This territory with its forests, hills , ripe crops and vegetation,
Will flourish only when they receive your benign glances.
24. Adha Vishwesa vishwathman Viswamoorthe swakeshu may,
Sneha pasam imam chindhi drudam pandushu Vrushneshu.
So Lord of the universe, soul of the universe, personification of the universe,
Please cut off the strong bondage that I have to the clan of Pandu and Vrushni.
25.Twayi may ananya vishayaa mathir madhupathe asakruth,
Rathi mudhwahatha dhaddhaa gadgai vouga mudhanwathi.
Oh Lord of honey, let my mind not go to any other aspects other than you,
And let it be flowing towards you like the Ganges flows towards the sea.
26. Sri Krishna , Krisha sakha vrushnyrusha bhava nidhrug rajaanvyam sadha hanaa napa varga veerya,
Govnda godwija surarthi haravathara yogeswarakhila guro Bhagavan namasthe.
Oh Lord Krishna, friend of Arjuna, greatest in the clan of Vrushni,
You are the fire that which burns the princes who harm this earth,
Oh Govinda, who has taken birth to relieve the distress of all cows,
Al Brahmins and all gods, I salute you Oh teacher, Oh God.