The pain of Aswathama.
Ashwathama was the son of Drona. He was blessed with immortality by Lord Shiva. He fought for the Kauravas during the Mahabharatha war. At the end of the war he killed many warriors of the Pandava side including the sons of the Pandavas by attacking their camp at night while they were unarmed and asleep.
The great warrior lost his sanctity by his choice of sides and the heinous act he committed. As Arjuna and Krishna confronted him, he let loose a very potent weapon that sought to annihilate the child in the womb of Uttara, Arjun's daughter in law.
Krishna managed to save the child. He then cursed Ashwatthama to a lifetime of pain and extracted the gem that was embedded in his forehead, creating a deep wound in the process. He would afterwards roam the land pleading for death but death would not come.
Ashwatthama ignites the imagination of Indians and many search for him in the areas where he is reported to be sighted. He is a devotee of Lord Shiva and is said to be frequenting some Shiva temples at night, placing flowers and pouring water on the Linga. He is described to be a giant figure, smelling of a rotten wound, extremely irritable and in great pain. There are accounts of him approaching villagers for herbs to apply on the wound. There are also stories that people who see him lose their sanity and die prematurely.
His endless pain and misery is remembered by those who live tortuous lives. They take solace from his experience and patience. He is a bad character but the people of India regard all mythical figures with respect.
Ashwatthama is important for this age. He nurtures a desire to fight on the side of Krishna. This age provides him the opportunity. The mighty warrior is slated to fight alongside Kalki Avatar in the final war of Kaliyuga and this act will redeem him and free him from the curse.