uvaca casahanty asya
mucyatam mucyatam esa
brahmano nitaram guruh
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
She could not tolerate Asvatthama’s being bound by ropes, and being a devoted lady, she said: Release him, release him, for he is a brahmana, our spiritual master.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
As soon as Asvatthama was brought before Draupadi, she thought it intolerable that a brahmana should be arrested like a culprit and brought before her in that condition, especially when the brahmana happened to be a teacher’s son.
Arjuna arrested Asvatthama knowing perfectly well that he was the son of Dronacarya. Krsna also knew him to be so, but both of them condemned the murderer without consideration of his being the son of a brahmana. According to revealed scriptures, a teacher or spiritual master is liable to be rejected if he proves himself unworthy of the position of a guru or spiritual master. A guru is called also an acarya, or a person who has personally assimilated all the essence of sastras and has helped his disciples to adopt the ways. Asvatthama failed to discharge the duties of a brahmana or teacher, and therefore he was liable to be rejected from the exalted position of a brahmana. On this consideration, both Lord Sri Krsna and Arjuna were right in condemning Asvatthama. But to a good lady like Draupadi, the matter was considered not from the angle of sastric vision, but as a matter of custom. By custom, Asvatthama was offered the same respect as offered to his father. It was so because generally the people accept the son of a brahmana as a real brahmana, by sentiment only. Factually the matter is different. A brahmana is accepted on the merit of qualification and not on the merit of simply being the son of a brahmana.
But in spite of all this, Draupadi desired that Asvatthama be at once released, and it was all the same a good sentiment for her. This means that a devotee of the Lord can tolerate all sorts of tribulation personally, but still such devotees are never unkind to others, even to the enemy. These are the characteristics of one who is a pure devotee of the Lord.