|PARASHURAMA SLAYING KARTAVEERYARJUNA
Kartaveeryarjuna's soldiers pounced upon Parashurama who
how ever confronted them boldly and began to chop them off mercilessly. Finally
Kartaveeryarjuna himself appeared before Parashurama and
the two were engaged in a fierce battle. Parashurama axed down the king's thousand
arms and killed him. His sons and remaining soldiers ran for their lives leaving Kamadhenu behind.
Parashurama brought her back and respectfully handed her over to his father.
|PARASHURAMA RETURNING WITH KAMADHENU
There is a story prevalent about the incarnation of Parashurama.
Sage Narada was once visiting Vaikunta, the abode of Lord Vishnu. He extolled
the Lord in very colorful terms. Vishnu's major weapon was the 'Chakra' (sharp-edged
swinging wheel) known as 'SUDARSHANA CHAKRA'. So far none could face it and come
out of the attack victorious. The Chakra had a deity associated with it and he
used to boast that all the powers the Lord had were due to him and He couldn't
kill the demons without his help. Narada's praising of Vishnu angered him; he
was sore that Narada had ignored his prowess. Learning of this, Vishnu called
him and said, "Dear Sudarshana, it is true I defeated the Asuras with your
help. Go to earth and be born a thousand-armed hero; I will come and appear as
the son of a sage. Let us match our strength there."
The Sudarshana Chakra could no longer remain in Vaikunta and came down to earth.
Kritaveerya, belonging to the Lunar Race, was childless for a long time and later
a son without arms was born to him. However, he acquired one thousand arms and
invincibility by the grace of Lord Dattatreya. This man was Kartaveeryarjuna
and he faced Parashurama in battle and died. The Sudarshana Chakra was thus subdued.
Jamadagni was naturally happy over his son's heroism. He was very happy at the
return of Kamadhenu. But he wondered whether a Brahmin could afford to get so
terribly angry. He advised his son: "Dear Parashurama, no doubt you are
a great hero. Such valor should be the pride of anybody. But you should have
kept your wrath under check. See now, you have killed so many people and the
responsibility for that cruelty lies upon you. You should rid yourself of this
sin. Go on a pilgrimage and visit holy places. Return to the ashram purified." "As
you order, father", said Parashurama and bowing to him left upon pilgrimage.
He traveled for a year and returned to help his father in his chores.
One pleasant day in spring when the colorful nature had made the surroundings
shine with charm and fragrance. Renuka, the devoted wife
of Jamadagni, had to get the Ganga water, for her husband's fire worship, and accordingly, proceeded
to the river with a pot. The Ganga was flowing majestically. At that time a 'Gandharva'
(celestial being) named Chitraratha was enjoying a festive bath and was engaged
in frolic with his wives. Renuka was watching these activities for some time.
She had been somewhat mesmerized and after a while awakened herself realizing
her duty to carry the pot of water to her husband. She rushed back to the hermitage.
Jamadagni was a sage possessing supreme vision. He visualized
the reason for his wife's delayed arrival. He was angered at her and took umbrage
at her becoming 'impure' by witnessing Chitraratha with unbecoming interest. He called out his
sons and ordered them to kill her. The children were shocked; they could not
believe their own ears. How can they kill their own mother? They stood transfixed.
Jamadagni was now furious, seeing that his sons were not obeying him. Parashurama
returned after a while, and Jamadagni asked his son to kill his mother and also
the disobedient brothers.
|RENUKA BRINGING WATER
TO THE HERMITAGE