tata asadya tarasa
pasum rasanaya yatha
tatah—thereupon; asadya—arrested; tarasa—dexterously; darunam—dangerous; gautami-sutam—the son of Gautami; babandha—bound up; amarsa—angry; tamra-aksah—with copper-red eyes; pasum—animal; rasanaya—by ropes; yatha—as it were.
Arjuna, his eyes blazing in anger like two red balls of copper, dexterously arrested the son of Gautami and bound him with ropes like an animal.
Asvatthama's mother, Krpi, was born in the family of Gautama. The significant point in this sloka is that Asvatthama was caught and bound up with ropes like an animal. According to Sridhara Svami, Arjuna was obliged to catch this son of a brahmana like an animal as a part of his duty (dharma). This suggestion by Sridhara Svami is also confirmed in the later statement of Sri Krsna. Asvatthama was a bona fide son of Dronacarya and Krpi, but because he had degraded himself to a lower status of life, it was proper to treat him as an animal and not as a brahmana.
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