Sauptika Parva - 2
The night of terror continued until everyone in the camp was slain brutally. Covered with blood all over his body, Ashwatthama left the camp. Everyone was dead except the five Pandavas along with Satyaki who had been taken away by Krishna earlier.
Ashwatthama then went to Duryodhana and conveyed the news of the massacre of the Pandavas. He told the son of Dhritarashtra of the terrible way he had killed the enemies of the Kauravas. Duryodhana applauded Ashwatthama for doing what he could not do. He then died, after which the three of them left the place.
Dhristadyumna’s charioteer was the only survivor, and he went to Yudhishtira. Informed of the terrible tragedy, the king lost his senses. He lamented that their victory had turned to defeat. On hearing these words, Draupadi was inconsolable and mourned the death of her sons and her brothers. She demanded that they destroy Ashwatthama and bring the jewel he had on his head. She threatened to kill herself if they did not oblige.
A furious Bheema mounted his chariot and went in search of Ashwatthama. Yudhishtira asked Arjuna and Krishna to go behind Bheema. He was worried that Ashwatthama may use the deadly Brahmashira weapon. Krishna then revealed that Ashwatthama had visited him in Dwaraka and offered to exchange the Brahmashira for his Sudarshana chakra. Krishna feared that Ashwatthama was capable of using the weapon.
Arjuna, Krishna, and Yudhishtira pursued Bheema and caught up with him. They found Ashwatthama near Vyasa’s ashrama. Seeing them come, a fearful Ashwatthama clutched a reed in his hand and invoked the Brahmashira weapon. Seeing this, Krishna advised Arjuna to counter it with another Brahmashira.
As the two weapons raced towards each other, Narada and Vyasa appeared and, using their powers, stopped the two missiles. They criticized the two for releasing weapons that could destroy the world and cause a drought for twelve years.
Arjuna then withdrew the Brahmashira, but Ashwatthama did not know how to do so. Vyasa demanded that Ashwatthama remove the jewel on his forehead. Ashwatthama handed it over and then directed the Brahmashira towards the womb of the Pandava women.
Krishna then told that Uttara had Abhimanyu’s son in her womb and that even though she was struck by the deadly weapon, he would revive the child. Angry with Ashwatthama’s act, Krishna cursed him to roam for three thousand years alone and suffer disease. A chastened Ashwatthama left from there.
They then took the gem to Draupadi and consoled her. She asked that the gem be fixed on Yudhishtira’s head. Krishna then informed the Pandavas that the death of their children and relatives occurred due to the wrath of Mahadeva.
End of Sauptika Parva