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Parashurama Avatar Home -› Hindu Trinity -› The Preserver -› Vishnu -› Parashurama Avatar
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parashuram slaying the king
Parashurama returning with kamadhenu
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.

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.

The hermitage of jamadagni
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.

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