The story of Bhagavan Parashurama, the Brahmin who was determined to slaughter all the warriors in the world in defense of the Dharma

Bhagavan Parashurama, his name is certainly familiar to us especially since he is one of the ten Avatara or reincarnations of Lord Vishnu where Parashurama is described as a brahmin with a strong warrior character with a determination to travel around this world to eradicate all the warriors in the world 21 times! Why did he as the embodiment of Lord Vishnu come down to earth as Parashurama to eradicate all the warriors? To answer this question, let us look at the story of Bhagavan Parashurama below.

Feb 14, 2024 - 00:40
Dec 20, 2023 - 20:37
The story of Bhagavan Parashurama, the Brahmin who was determined to slaughter all the warriors in the world in defense of the Dharma
Bhagavan Parashurama (Source Photo : Pujangga Nagari Nusantara)

The story begins with Renuka who is the wife of Rsi Jamadagni, a famous Rsi of the Bhrigu Dynasty. Renuka had four sons but all her sons were not warriors. Yet Satyawati, her mother-in-law told her that one day Renuka would have a son and her son would become a brahmin who had the character of a true warrior. At that time Renuka was pregnant with her fifth son, the rishis then came to deliver the news that her son would become a brahmin of a warrior nature and would cleanse the world of the knights who had committed many cruel acts at that time. Some time now passed and Renuka's fifth son was born and he was named Rama, which means He Who Is Everywhere. After growing up he was known as Parashurama, because he was armed with "Parashu" which means axe. From childhood it was foretold by the rishis that he was awatara, the Preserver of Nature who manifested to uphold dharma.

Bhagavan Parashurama (Source Photo : Pujangga Nagari Nusantara)

The story continues with a powerful and famous king of the Hayhaya dynasty whose capital was Mahismati named Kartawiryarjuna. Kartawiryarjuna was a strong and powerful king, having been directly blessed by his asceticism to Dattatreya who was the "Amsa" of Lord Vishnu. Known as Sahasrarjuna, he was considered to have "sahasrara", the power to have a thousand arms on his person. One day King Kartawirya was entertained with many sumptuous dishes by Rsi Jamadagni thanks to the miracle of Kamadhenu's cow when he and his army came to Jamadagni's residence. Seeing the miracle of the Kamadhenu cow owned by Rsi Jamadagni, once at the palace he sent his troops to forcibly take the Kamadhenu cow from the hands of Rsi Jamadagni. Parasurama who heard this immediately brought his axe and killed the king and the soldiers who protected him.

Rsi Jamadagni then said to Parashurama, "My son, your actions will be misunderstood as violent, easy to kill. But I know your reasoning. A king who often commits great crimes, if allowed to live too long, his deeds will become worse.  In the next life he will have to account for his actions, so his life will be very miserable.  The killing you did was a mercy killing.  So that the criminal's debt is paid by his death in this world. In addition, by killing evil kings, the people are assured of justice, that any evil will be defeated. Your worldview will often be misunderstood. You may even have your own reasons that I do not know. For you are the Preserver of Nature who manifests to uphold dharma." Rsi Jamadagni then requested that Parashurama perform tirtayatra to all the holy rivers for one year.

After completing the tirtayatra activities in accordance with his father's orders he returned home. Renuka, one day took water in the river and she saw the very handsome Gandharwa Citrasena playing with his wife. Renuka was mesmerized for a long time in the river. All the way in her mind only imagined the handsomeness of the gandharwa.  The cause of Renuka's delay in returning home was discovered by Rsi Jamadagni. Rsi Jamadagni wanted everything to be completed in this life. Obsessions that are not completed in this world will cause someone to be born again to pursue the obsession. Rsi Jamadagni immediately ordered his sons to kill Renuka but all his sons hesitated to carry it out. Then Rsi Jamadagni turned to Parashurama, "Parashurama kill your mother and all your brothers". Parashurama then carried out his father's orders by killing his own mother and all his brothers and Rsi Jamadagni then said, "I am glad you obeyed the orders I gave you and believed in the wisdom of your father. Now you ask for any boon you will be given." Parashurama replied, "Father I ask for the boon to bring them all to life and once they wake up they forget about what happened to them before." Rsi Jamadagni then agreed to Parashurama's request and now Renuka and Parashurama's siblings came back to life and they forgot all about what had just happened.

At one time a bad incident that could not be expected befell the Rsi Jamadagni, Where when Parashurama and his brothers went to the forest, the sons of Kartawiryarjuna came to the residence of Rsi Jamadagni to kill Rsi Jamadagni to avenge the death of their father, after finishing killing Jamadagni by cutting off his head they then fled on horseback.  Knowing this Parashurama then took his weapon and killed all the sons of Kartawiryarjuna and after that Parashurama determined that he would begin to destroy all the knights on this earth because they had done many things that deviated from the concept of Dharma teachings. All the kings and knights in the world were killed by him and it is said that he traveled around the world 21 times. The blood of the kings and knights was collected in five lakes called Samantapancaka located near the Kurukshetra field which would later become the battlefield of Bharatayuda.

Parashurama's journey to finish off all the knights (Photo Source: Pujangga Nagari Nusantara)

There is a legend and a story that states that once Parashurama intended to meet Shiva, but his way was blocked by Ganesha who is the son of Shiva. Parashurama threw his axe at Ganesha and Ganesha after knowing that the axe was a gift from Shiva, his father so he let one of his fangs get broken by the axe. Then Parwati, Ganesh's mother was angry and cursed that Parashurama would never be satisfied killing the knights, always thirsting for the blood of the knights. Then Shiva came out and calmed Parwati. Parashurama then apologized to all of them and gifted his axe to Ganesha, so that we today see a statue of Ganesha with one of his fangs broken and holding the axe of divinity.

Although the number of warriors killed by Parasurama was countless, there were still some who remained alive, among them were the warriors of the Surya Dynasty who ruled in the Kingdom of Ayodhya where one of the descendants of the dynasty was Sri Rama. Parashurama came to the Mithila palace to challenge Sri Rama who had successfully broken Shiva's bow and had the right to marry Sita. Sri Rama with his gentleness managed to appease Parasurama's anger who then returned to his hermitage. This was the meeting of the Awatara of Lord Vishnu. Parashurama's role as the Awatara of Vishnu had come to an end and he as the living Chiranjiwin, who was blessed with a long life and would appear later in the Mahabharata. Parashurama leads change in the world, he stands in front and is often misunderstood. In human beings there is also the potential of Parashurama, his assertiveness against adharma needs to be awakened. Assertiveness to conquer the ego, the tyrant king within, who wants to win alone.