Discussion in 'Hindu Stories' started by garry420, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    Sage Parashurama who beholds the name of his weapon in his reference is a great devotee of Lord Shiva who blessed him with the “Parashu”. He is one among the seven Chiranjeevis (eternal entities) and the others being Ashwattama, Bali Chakravarthy, Lord Hanuman, Kripacharya, Ravana’s brother Vibhishana, and Bhagwan Vyasa. It is interesting to note that this is only avatar of Lord Vishnu which lives forever.
    Birth of Parashurama is a very awesome episode just like his stalwart character and capability. Sage Rucheeka (Son of Sage Brigu and father of Sage Jamadagni) was once on a tour of ancient Aryavat in search of a suitable bride for himself. He had two prominent dynasties in consideration, i.e., Solar Dynasty (Surya Vamsham) and Lunar Dynasty (Chandra Vamsham). At that time, Surya Vamsham was ruled by King Gadhi who had very beautiful daughter by name Satyavati. She was not only extremely beautiful but also very righteous and pious by attitude which had been a common finding among the royal lineage of Solar Dynasty. King Gadhi was not blessed with any other child other than Satyavati because of which she was a star of the eyes of her parents. Sage Rucheeka happened to visit King Gadhi who received him with due respect and honor. Sage Rucheeka was happy with King’s treatment and remained his guest for that day. Meanwhile, the Sage happened to see Satyavati and by dusk he requested the King to give his (King Gadhi) daughter to him in marriage.
    King Gadhi was taken aback by the Sage’s request and doubtful what kind of life would his lovely daughter lead with this poor sage. At that same time he was in an ethical dilemma that how could he say no to his guest’s request. Being a wise king, he has chosen a mid-path where he asked the Sage to donate him a dowry of 1000 horses whose right ear would be dark-complexioned and the rest of the body to be milky white. Sage Rucheeka agreed to his condition and went on for performing penance in the honor of Lord Varuna. Lord Varuna being happy with his penance appeared and asked what he can do for him. Sage Rucheeka revealed the words of Gadhi Maharaja to him. Lord Varuna blessed him with the specific kind of Horses. When the sage came back and handed over the respective dowry to the King, he was happy with the capability of his would-be son-in-law and happily married his daughter to him. Being a princess of Solar Dynasty, Satyavati adjusted with her husband very easily and got accustomed to ascetic life very soon. After some time, Satyavati being desirous to become mother requested her husband for a good progeny. She also requested him to bless her parents also with male progeny as they did not beget any sons to carry forward their family honor and lineage. Sage Rucheeka understood the immense love behind her plea and gave her two potions, one for her and the other for her mother. He specifically mentioned to Satyavati to be careful because if the potions got exchanged, she would begot a child with warrior qualities and her mother would begot a son with Brahaminic qualities.
    Even though she was warned, some how both the potions were exchanged. Sage Rucheeka was able to know what mistake has happened and informed the same to his wife. At this, Satyavati pleaded him that let her son’s fate to be as a sage and the effect of consuming the wrong potion should be shown in the next generation. Sage Rucheeka blessed her wish to come true. Hence, Satyavati’s mother begot a son who in the course of time became a great Sage Vishwamitra and for herself, she was blessed with a saintly son with absolute Sattvik energies, Sage Jamadagni but her grand-son begot the qualities of Kshatriya even though a Brahmin by birth i.e., Sage Parashurama. Sage Jamadagni and his wife Renuka performed penance in respect of Lord Shiva for a pious son which was fulfilled by Lord Vishnu and hence the reason that Lord Parushurama was a sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
    Sage Parushurama possessed ardent devotion towards his father Sage Jamadagni and we have known this in the article on Sage Jamadagni published on Samskruthi. Along with being devoted to his father, Sage Parashurama has many extra-ordinary qualities and capabilities. He is an excellent warrior and well-versed in all kinds of warfare. Lord Shiva has special affection on Sage Parashurama because of his wonderful warfare capabilities. As an evidence for this, Lord Shiva once invited Parashurama to have fight game with him. The Holy Sage respected his word and the war began which lasted for 23 days. Lord Shiva and Sage Parashurama had a fierce war which shook the three worlds. Lord Shiva as a part of the war, shot his Trishul (Trident) towards Rama. In the process of escaping from Lord Shiva’s attack he hit him(Lord Shiva) with his powerful axe which made a deep wound on the forehead of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was amazed and pleased at the skills of Rama and embraced him fondly. To protect his dear disciple from the bad fame of hurting the Lord of Three Worlds, Lord Shiva made that wound to take a form of an ornament and hence forth Lord Shiva was known as Khandaparasu (wounded by axe) which is one of his one thousand names (Sahasranama).
    Sage Rama had a privilege to learn the skills of martial arts from Lord Shiva from which he developed one kind of defense mechanism known as Kalayari Pattu (oldest form of martial arts) which included usage of weapons and is also known as Northern Kalayari Pattu or Vadakkan Kalayari Pattu. Sage Agatsya is known to have developed the Southern Kalayari Pattu which does not include the usage of weapons.
    Bodhidharma, monk of Zen sect of Buddhism is also known to have practiced Kalayari Pattu which he transferred to China in the process of spreading Buddhism. Hence the art propagated by Bodhidharma is known as Shaolin Kung Fu in today’s date.
    Sage Rama was gifted by a bow named Vijaya from Lord Indra an appreciation for making Mother Earth free from the atrocities of Kshatriya race. One fact has to be observed here that Sage Rama even though in enrage killed most of the Kshatriyas, he did not go against the righteous conduct. He killed only those kings who were harassing the humanity but certainly he spared all the kings who were on righteous path like King Dasharatha and King Janaka. He did not even harm women who belonged to Kshatriya race.
    According to Brahmanda Purana, Sage Parashurama performed Aswamedha Yagna to make rest of the kings surrender to him and actually nobody surrendered to him and hence they were killed. Later he donated the whole land won by him to Sage Kashyapa. He then made his away to Mahendragiri where Lord Dattatreya resided. He requested Lord Dattatreya to bless him with peacefulness of mind. The Lord then educated with the superior most knowledge of creation which brought back peace into his mind and he threw his axe into the Ocean. The land was towards the Western Ghats and the sea water retreated from that place. Sage Rama was then notified by Lord Varuna that the land would remain barren as it was previously occupied by seawater. As a solution for this, Sage Rama prayed Nagaraja (King of Snakes) and made his genre to spread all over the place which can nullify/neutralize the salt content of the land. As a boon, Nagaraja fulfilled the request of Sage Rama. To avoid the future advance of seawaters, Sage Rama installed 108 shivalingas allover the place. As gratitude towards the Snake race, all the Lingas were installed with Lord Shiva wearing the snake around his neck. The same piece of land which includes today’s Kerala, Goa and Maharashtra was actually used to be known as Parashurama Kshetra (Land belonged to Parashurama) in ancient times. He made this place as his home and created his hermitage over there.
    Sage Rama has many wonderful references in great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Sage Rama continued to practice penance, during the time Treta Yuga. In Sita Svayamvar when the bow of Shiva was broken by Lord Ramachandra, Sage Parashurama appeared there and questioned the superiority of Lord Rama of breaking the Shiva Dhanush. After conversing with him, he was able to realize that Lord Rama is the next incarnation of Lord Vishnu and his job to protect the humanity has been handed over to the next generation of his own Avatar. Hence Sage Rama silently left the place to continue penance.
    In Mahabharata, it is a well-known fact that he was Guru for Pitamaha Bhisma, Drona and Karna. Bhisma learnt warfare techniques from Sage Rama. In the course of time when Amba approached Sage Rama to save her honor as a woman, he fought with his own dear and beloved disciple to support the righteous conduct. Bhisma defeated Sage Rama by the usage of Pashupata astra which was blessed to Bhisma by Lord Shiva. It is known to be the superior most weapon possessed by Lord Shiva. As Sage Rama was not aware of the knowledge of using Pashupata astra has to bow down but on the request of all Demi Gods Bhisma took back his astra to retain the honor of his Guru. Parashurama appreciated Bhisma and blessed him that his fame will remain forever on this Earth.
    Drona who was son of Sage Bharadwaja was a poor Brahmin approaches Sage Parashurama for alms. Sage Rama blesses him with all kinds of wonderful weapons he possessed and enlightens him with the knowledge of Brahmastra. Drona became well-versed in the warfare skills, even though his father was his primary Guru for learning war craft.
  2. garry420

    garry420 Well-Known Member

    The legend of Karna is also interesting. As Karna requested Sage Rama to accept him as his disciple disguising himself as a Brahmin by birth. Later one day when Sage Rama was going around in the forest was tired and wanted to take rest for some time. Karna offered his lap to act as a support for his Guru to make a headrest. Sage Rama was sleeping; meanwhile an insect has bitten Karna which oozed out lot of blood. Karna did not want to disturb his Guru and hence tolerated the pain but the bleeding was severe which made Sage Parashurama realize the bleeding as it touched his body while spreading all over. Sage Parashurama at once got enraged and cursed Karna for deceiving him not to be Kshatriya. Karna revealed his identity as a son of Suta. Sage Rama felt sorry for Karna and blessed with Bow Vijaya and a mighty chariot which would make the rivals of Karna to be defeated in Warfare. It is believed that based on the instruction Sage Parashurama surrendered himself to Lord Krishna and allowed Arjuna to defeat him because even though Karna was pious in nature, he has been associating with Duryodhana who was evil by nature and hence Karna was destined to be defeated by Arjuna for his impious association. It is a strange coincidence that all the three disciples of Sage Rama (Bhisma, Drona & Karna) took the side of Duryodhana in the great war of Mahabharata which might signify the fact that the Almighty provides fair chances for evil-doers also to protect or guard themselves. If we observe in Mahabharata, we find many instances where all these three pious souls direct Duryodhana to the path of fairness and wisdom many times but he always paid deaf ear to their profound wise words.
    As we have denoted at the beginning of this article that Sage Rama is one among the seven chiranjeevis who is still alive and performing penance near Mahendra giri which falls in today’s Bihar. He is believed to be praying for the good and peacefulness of humanity. According to Kalki Purana, Sage Parashurama would re-emerge at the end of Kaliyuga and will be the Guru/Master for Kalki Bhagwan (10th incarnation of Lord Vishnu). He would guide Kalki in every material and spiritual science including the training in martial arts/Kalayaripattu to be the savior (Kalki) of humanity at the end of Kali Yuga.
    It really wonderful to note a contrast between the other Yugas and Kali Yuga. In every Yuga, only at the end of the age an incarnation of Lord would descend to protect Mother Earth from the atrocities of evil-doers but when it comes to Kaliyuga incarnations of Lord are dedicated at the beginning of the Kali age itself to serve the humanity. If one instance for this is Sage Parashurama and other instance would be Lord Venkateshwara who descended onto this earth at the beginning of Kali Yuga and would sanctify Mother Earth by his presence till the end of Kali Yuga when the responsibility of protecting the humanity would be handed over to the next incarnation of Lord i.e., Kalki Bhagawan. In my opinion, we are blessed beings to have taken birth in the age of Kali that God is present since the beginning of this age and also the methods to reach God were simplified in this age (for example, in Kaliyuga, chanting the name of Lord would purify the minds but in the other ages human beings are subjected many tough methods to realize God).
    Coming to an end to this article, Sage Rama was not only great and wonderful but legendary who behaved as a Karma Yogi to sanctify Mother Earth in contrast to other great sages like his father Jamadagni who practiced Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga to make Mother Earth blessed by their presence. Even today, Sage Parashurama is worshipped by many sects of Hinduism and there are quite a good number holy places and lakes devoted to Sage Parashurama. (this article is credited to Rama chinta kunta)

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