Lord Parashuram: The perfect fusion of fierceness and restraint

14 May is marked as the birth anniversary of Lord Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. According to Hindu Panchang, Parashuram Jayanti is celebrated every year on the Tritiya Tithi of Shukla Paksha in the month of Vaishakh. Lord Parashurama was extremely powerful, learned, just, obstinate and sober. Even after being born in the house of sages Jamadagni and Mata Renuka of the Brahmin clan, he was a Kshatriya with his works. Rama is called the interpreter of the naming ceremony performed by Pitamah Bhrigu. He was called “Parashurama” because of his wearing the weapon named “Parshu” provided by Lord Shiva. Lord Parshuram was born to bring unrighteousness, injustice, and destruction of sins.

Lord Parshuram received his primary education in the ashram of Maharishi Vishwamitra and Richik. He was a great master of Shastra Vidya(the science of weapons). He gave Shastra Vidya to Bhishma, Drona and Karna. Lord Parashurama was a great devotee of Shiva. Lord Parashuram pleased Lord Shiva by performing rigorous Tapasya and hence received many weapons. He also received the Trilokya Vijay Kavach, Stavraj Stotra and mantra Kalpataru of Shri Krishna from the Shiva. Moreover, Lord Parshuram has received “the quality of destructor” from Lord Shiva and the “quality of the guardian” from Lord Vishnu.

Poet Ramdhari Singh Dinkar ji wrote in Rashmirathi that –

परशु और तप, ये दोनों वीरों के ही होते श्रृंगार,
क्लीव तो तप ही करता है, तो उठा सकता तलवार।
तप से मनुज दिव्य बनता है, षड् विकार से लड़ता है,
तन की समरभूमि में लेकिन, काम खड्ग ही करता है।

Lord Parshuram was obedient and moderate as well as fierce. Once, Gandharvaraj Chitraratha was boating on the banks of the river with the apsaras. At the same time Renuka, mother of Parashurama, came to the banks of the river to take water for the havan. She was so enamoured with seeing the Leela of Gandharvaraj and Apsaras that she could not reach for the havan with water on time. The sage Jamadagni became extremely angry with Mata Renuka as the time of Havan passed. He saw everything with his divine vision. He then ordered his sons to kill the mother. But no one could do this work due to the attachment with Mata Renuka. Finally, sage Jamadagni ordered Lord Parashurama to slay his mother along with his three brothers. Lord Parashuram literally obeyed the father’s command.

Pleased with the devotion of Parashurama, the sage Jamadagni asked him to ask for the boon he wanted. At this Parashurama asked for three boons from his father. First of all, he asked for a boon to revive the mother. Secondly, they do not have the memory of dying and thirdly – the consciousness of the brothers should come back. Seeing the sharp intellect of Lord Parashurama, Rishipita blessed him to earn fame till the end of this universe and to be a master of all scriptures and weapons. After this act, he felt the sin of maternal murder from which he got freedom by doing Tapa.

Lord Parashurama was a justice-loving Brahmin. He was always ready for the establishment of religion and the destruction of sinners and unrighteous people. King Sahastrajun of the Haihaya dynasty of the Kshatriya clan was persistently persecuting the Brahmins and rishis. Lord Parashurama did the complete destruction of the Haihaya dynasty. In fact, once Sahastrajun reached the ashram of Lord Parashurama’s father Jamadagri Muni with his army. Jamadagri Muni welcomed Sahastrajun and his army and made arrangements for food and drink in his ashram itself. Jamadagri Muni calmed the hunger of all the soldiers with the miraculous Kamadhenu cow’s milk. According to scriptures, Kamadhenu was impressed by the miracle of the cow, and greed arose in his mind. After this, the egoistic king forcefully snatched the Kamadhenu cow from Jamadagri Muni. When Lord Parashurama came to know about this, he became very angry. They killed the arrogant and sinful king Sahastrajun.

After which Sahastrajun’s sons killed Parashurama’s father, Rishi Jamadagni, to avenge his father. Seeing the sinful acts of the sons of the unrighteous king, Parshuram took an oath at the same time that he would do complete destruction of this dynasty from this earth. After which he did complete destruction of the Haihaya dynasty of the Kshatriya clan 21 times from the earth. Every time during the war, he left pregnant women.

Rashtrakavi Dinkar ji says in Rashmirathi that –

रोकटोक से नहीं सुनेगा, नृप समाज अविचारी है,
ग्रीवाहर, निष्ठुर कुठार का यह मदान्ध अधिकारी है।
इसीलिए तो मैं कहता हूँ, अरे ज्ञानियों! खड्ग धरो,
हर सका जिसको कोई भी, भू का वह तुम त्रास हरो।

Lord Parashurama was a great knower of both weapons and scriptures. At the present time, when character deterioration is becoming a major problem of society and religious social norms are facing the threat of modernization, then we have to show the path of change by an inclusive character with balanced co-ordination of qualities like Parashurama.

Lord Parashurama is a character whose personality gives us immense inspiration to fulfil all our responsibilities as human being in accordance with the demands of time. If a person does one thing at a time, it seems fine, but if according to the difference of circumstances, he is not ready to use both weapons and scripture (here in terms of total ability and competence) then it makes us feel imperfect.

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