Parshuram – Ram with an Axe

There are not many personalities we know who were named after their possessions. In fact, I don’t think I know even one in the present times. Have we ever addressed Little Master as Bat-Sachin Tendulkar? Or have we ever addressed Himesh as Crap Cap-Himesh Reshammiya?

But ages ago, there lived a sage who had achieved this nearly impossible feat. His original name was Ram, but for all PR activities, he was addressed as Parshuram. ‘Parasu’ means axe and so Parshuram meant ‘Ram with an Axe’.

This Ram, who was the sixth avatar of Vishnu and should not be confused with the seventh avatar (who too was Ram but without a prefix), was the son of a Brahmin man Jamadagini and a Kshatriya woman Renuka. The axe that made him popular was given to him by his mentor Shiva, and it was said that this axe had no close rival among weapons in the entire universe.

Thor’s hammer did not exist at that time.

The axe was given to Parshuram to get the Earth rid of unrighteous souls. It did not matter what relation that unrighteous soul had with Parshuram or anybody else. Parshuram in many ways is the avatar that always acted without thinking (maybe, because all the thinking was done by Vishnu before taking that avatar.)

Parshuram’s life had a few incidents of much significance to humanity, at large. The two most important ones are listed below:

1. 

Jamadagini had a nearly perfect family a loving wife and five sons, Parshuram being the youngest. Once while Renuka was collecting woods in the forests, she came across a handsome Gandharva who was indulged with Apsaras doing what Emran Hashmi does best on screen. This sudden encounter induced a momentary feeling of passion for the Gandharva in Renuka’s heart, which, according to the culture of that era was almost equal to infidelity. An ashamed Renuka went back to her home trying to forget what she had seen. However, the tense expressions on her otherwise serene face were a clear indication that something was wrong. Jamadagini, who through his austerities had mastered the art of reading minds, figured out in an instance what had happened.

Parshuram beheads his mother.

A furious Jamadagini ordered his sons to behead their mother without telling them the reason. The sons, naturally, were horrified at the very thought and shirked. Except for our man – Ram with the Axe. He moved ahead and beheaded his mother without a slightest flinch in his heart.

Jamadagini was angry at his first four sons for disobeying him and thus discarded them. He was, however, deeply moved by his youngest son’s unquestionable dedication towards his father. He offered Parshuram a boon.

Parshuram: Bring my mother back to life. I know you possess the same power of resurrection that Ekta Kapoor possesses.

Jamadagini could not take his word back. He resurrected her to life and forgave her too, for she had been punished for her mistake. So much happened for this much. It was once again a ‘Hum Sath Sath Hain’ family, but with four sons gone.

2.

Years later, when the ‘Hum Sath Sath Hain’ family was living life as it always did, a life-changing event happened.

The king Kartavirya of that province discovered that Jamadagini had a cow called Kamadhenu. This extra-ordinary cow fulfilled every wish of man and Kartavirya had an extreme desire to possess it at any cost. One day, while Parshuram was out in the forest, Kartavirya accompanied by his soldiers came to Jamadagini’s abode and insisted on taking away Kamadhenu. When Jamadagini and Renuka resisted, he brutally murdered them and left with Kamadhenu.

Parshuram kills Kartavirya

On returning, Parshuram discovered what had happened and was filled with potent range equal to that of Thakur when he figured out that Gabbar had slaughtered his family. He took his axe and reached Kartavirya’s palace and warned him to return Kamadhenu without delay, or the consequences would be fatal. Naturally, Kartavirya resisted and sent his force to stop Parshuram, whose talent with the axe was unmatched in the three worlds. Parshuram rushed as a havoc in the kingdom killing each and every soldier who tried to stop him, without the aid of Jai or Veeru. Then he slaughtered the demonic king as well.

After this, Parshuram went on a killing spree whirling his axe around and killing unrighteous Kshatriyas in great numbers. He was outraged by the fact that Kshatriyas who were supposed to be guardians of the society had resorted to overpower the weak out of their lust for power and property. He killed them in such great numbers that Earth was almost replete of them. He did it not once, twice but twenty-one times.

Parshuram kills Kshatriyas

All this while, the axe was his constant companion. This axe given by Shiva had soaked the blood of millions of Kshatriyas and still yearned for more. After 21 innings when Parshuram finally decided to retire he went to the river Samanata-panchaka and dipped his axe in it. The river was filled with blood and nothing else but blood. After this grand task of getting Earth rid of unrighteousness he finally retired to indulge himself into meditation and increase his prospects of future-mentoring.

It was near this land of Samanta-panchaka where the Kurukshetra war was fought and three almost invincible students of Parshuram: Bheeshma, Drona and Karna participated in it. The land bathed in blood again, though centuries later.

A few centuries later, even Thakur finally avenged his family, though with the help of Jai and Veeru.

3 thoughts on “Parshuram – Ram with an Axe

  1. Pingback: 2. Vyas and Ganesha | The Great Indian Epic

  2. Pingback: Vishnu and Bhudevi – The Preserver and the Earth Goddess | The Great Indian Epic

  3. Pingback: 6. Devavrata – The Son of Ganga | The Great Indian Epic

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