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 sage Bharadwaja. Ashwatthama is a mighty Maharathi who fought on the Kaurava side against the Pandavas. Ashwatthama is the avatar of one of the eleven Rudras and he is one of the seven Chiranjivi. Along with his maternal uncle Kripa, Ashwatthama is believed to be a living survivor of the Kurukshetra 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.