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Sunday, July 24, 2011


Parasurama was the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu Parasurama was the fourth son of sage Jamadhagni and Vasugi. The sage was a highly learned person and used to teach vedas and sasthras to a number of desciples. Those days young princes and children of humble parents used to stay together without any distinction with the master. Parasurama was one of the disciples and was extremely obedient to his father besides being a very diligent student. He learnt all the sasthras taught by his father in earnestness. Vasugi sage jamadhagni's wife was very devoted to her husband and her children and looked after all the students with kindness and great care. Everyday she used to go to the river closed by very early in the morning to bathe. After taking bath she would make an earthern pot and fetch water for the family.

One day as she was making the pot, a 'gandharva' ( celestial beings) passed over-head in the sky. She saw the reflection of the gandharva in the river water and was struck by the handsome features just for a moment. That wavering of the mind was considered being untrue to her husband. As a result that day however much she tried she could not make the pot. It broke every time she shaped it. Vasugi was unnerved by this and was afraid to go home.

Sage Jamadhagni sensed this through his mental powers and became incensed that his wife admired the beauty of some one other than her husband. Wanting to punish her he ordered Parasurama to behead his mother. Being an obedient son he immediately carried out his father's order. Being pleased with his son’s obedience the saint told him to ask for a boon and Parasurama asked his father to make his mother alive once again.Thus he recovered his mother’s life.

Once, when Parashurama returned home, he found his mother crying hysterically. When asked why she was crying, she said his father had been killed mercilessly by Kartavirya Arjuna. She beat her chest 21 times in sorrow and anguish at her husband's death. In a rage, Parashurama vowed to exterminate the world's Haihaya-Kshatriyas 21 times. He killed the entire clan of Kartavirya Arjuna (or Sahasrarjuna) and then conquered the entire earth. He then conducted the Ashvamedha sacrifice, done only by sovereign kings, and gave the entire land he owned to the head-priest who performed at the yagya, viz. Kashyapa

Parashurama then became responsible for killing the world's corrupted Haihaya kings and warriors who came to attack him in revenge for the killing of Kartavirya Arjuna, to prevent a Brahmin from being emperor and threatening their position. The Ashvamedha demanded that the kings either submit to Parashurama's imperial position or thwart the sacrifice by defeating him in battle. They did neither and were killed. Parashurama exterminated the world's Haihaya-Kshatriyas 21 times, thus fulfilling his vow.

The purpose of the sixth incarnation of Vishnu is considered by religious scholars to be to relieve the Earth's burden by exterminating the sinful, destructive and irreligious monarchs that pillaged its resources, and neglected their duties as kings.

In the later life of Parashurama, he gave up violence, became an ascetic and practiced penances, mainly on the Mahendra Mountains. The territories he received from the Kshatriyas he slew, were distributed among a clan of Brahmins. Parashurama also beat back the advancing sea to retrieve a stretch of coastal-area between the foothills of the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, giving rise to the myth of Parashurama, saving a part of the land of Kerala from the sea.Parashurama is of a martial Shraman ascetic. However unlike all other avatars Parashurama still lives on earth, even today according to Hindu belief. Therefore unlike Rama and Krishna Parashurama is not worshipped commonly..The people of the Konkan call their land 'Parshurama Bhoomi' or the land of Parashurama in accordance with the legend that the sage reclaimed the land from the sea.

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