#Tattva_Bhagavatam, a special discourse based on the principles of Bhagavatam: 

Parashurama Avatara

कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन। 
You have control over only your deeds, not in the results. The control over the results is only Mine, these are the words of the Lord. So, bow to Shrikrishna who gives results according the deeds done by everyone. Let us now move forward to the description of the sixth Avatara , Parashurama Avatara.

According to Shankaracharya: The blood of the Kshatriyas who were defeated flowed like a stream on the earth. The one who defeated these Kshatriyas was the Lord who was even worshipped by the devils. The ones who were killed were not noble. They were evil. They are like impure blood in the body. Impure blood has to go out of the body. Who will be upset if it goes away? If that blood remains in the body, it would ruin the whole system. If the doctor removes this impurity will anyone be furious? That blood had to go away. A doctor puts a knife into the stomach, so does a dacoit. But nobody scolds a doctor because the intention behind the act is good. Thus, Parashurama not only shed blood, he also filled five lakes called Shyamantapanchaka with that blood. Hence the devils worshipped Him. They danced and rejoiced His greatness. What kind was he? Was he so cruel? No, not at all. He was a noble one who converted the entire earth into Tapasvi’s Agrahara. If he wasn’t there, the earth would have been filled with such devils. There is no peace without killing the evil. If Ramarajya has to rise Ravana should be defeated. If we see the description in the Yudhakaanda of Ramayana, there is same illustration, that streams of blood flowed, dead bodies floated. This has to happen. Peace is the state after the war, it could also be the state in between two wars. There is no peace without war, if it is so then it is only in death. If inner peace has to be achieved, the same thing holds true, it should come from defeating the inner rivals. No one has fought a mutiny in the history of the earth like this great power did. He fought all alone. Today, our situation has become such that we need to become like him, otherwise there is no survival. If we don’t protest we could be destroyed easily, hence we should alert the warrior in us. When time comes even a Brahmana who wears janiwara(a sacred thread) should fight in a war. Even a Tapasvi should fight a war. The world doesn’t allow them to stay in peace. Parashurama taught us this back then. Madhusudhananda Saraswati has to be mentioned here. He was dwelling in Kashi during the reign of the Mughals. A scripture called Advaita Sidhi was written by him which describes the whole process of philosophy. It is an excellent scripture related to philosophy. He gathered hermits and trained them in wrestling, because hermits were killed on the spot if they were spotted at that time. The story of any time is the same, the world doesn’t give a chance to the people who do good deeds. But the condition was quite critical then. It was assumed that a sage, a hermit would gather thousands of people and teach Dharma. In order to destroy Dharma, the pagans tortured the hermits ruthlessly. This great soul was a revolutionary to these hermits and others including Acharya Chanakya. Rama was a little soft, not just a little, He was completely mild, he was soft spoken, no hysterical laughter even, only the usual smile that peeks through his lips, his nature itself was very soft.


But this Rama(Parashurama) wasn’t like this. Here everything was fury and rage. Usually the idols that are worshipped have a mild smile on the face, even the Jain idols, but have you ever seen a smiling idol of Parashurama?

Look at his whole history, is there anything of that sort? It is true, if he comes it’s like earthquake, if he roars it’s thunder, if he lifts his axe it’s a thunderbolt. What if the one who has to look after his kingdom becomes the destructor? A king should protect the properties, Dharma and honour of the subjects. It was the time for evil Kshatriyas. Everywhere noble and honest people were tormented. Parashurama was born during this time when it crossed all the limits. Hence, first we should listen to that Kshatriya story.

There was a Kshatriya family called Haihaya and Arjuna was born in it. There is a legend on him. He didn’t have arms when he was born. Such a person got a thousand arms later. Who needs a thousand arms? The ten headed Ravana has such a glory! There is no use of increased number of heads. There is another meaning to it. They are the ten mad faces of ten senses. Here ,he could attack with 500 arrows with his thousand arms. Hence he became extraordinary. How did he become like that? It was because of the kindness of the Guru, kindness of Dattatreya. It is true, for all the authoritative people. If they need authority, gurus are important,their blessings are important. Once they are in authority they don’t need it. He is no exception to this. Expertise, wealth, valour and strength were more than enough. He was wealthy, with the courtesy of Datta he became the lord of the world. He earned all the eight siddhis. He could travel from wherever to wherever he wanted. Hence, with the grace of his Guru he travelled across the globe. Authority is intoxicating. It messes with the wit. It brings oblivion. Blinds the eye. I am and only I am right. It makes us believe that whatever we do is the ultimate. He entered Jamadagni’s ashram while hunting once. Hunting is only reasonable when the wild animals are troubling the Tapasvi. Otherwise it is a big mistake.

Tired after hunting, he went to the hermitage. He had no expectations of felicitation there. He went with the hope of getting just the water or atleast a pond or river to get refreshed. But for their surprise the whole troop was treated hospitality. Like it is said आश्रमो श्रमनाशन: |, hermitage (ashrama) means the place of relief. Those who go there would fill both their heart and stomach. If that doesn’t happen, then that cannot be the hermitage. It is not right if somebody who comes to our house is not happy. It the Dharma of every living. Guests must be sent after they are happy and satisfied because their satisfaction is a blessing. That converts the home environment to good. Jamadagni had such a capacity to arrange the feast for even lakhs of people. King had neglected his capacity. But after the hospitality he got, his ego was broken. He was curious and greedy to know how Jamadagni could do the hospitality which he cannot provide in the palace. Nothing is impossible from Hermits. Surabhi was the reason for it. She was the one who treated the army troop. King wanted Surabhi. What happens if instead of being happy by seeing the beautiful flower next door, you want the flower or the plant itself? That greediness is not good. Even Kaartaveerya was greedy on Surabhi but did not say it or ask for it. With the help of his army, he took it forcefully to his palace. From this we can see that cow theft has this old history. We read it everyday on newspaper especially in Dakshina Kannada. There was the movement done by us about this recently. Kartaveerya is the founder for today’s thieves. If king himself is a problem, then whom to ask. What is the protection if the fence itself grazes the land. It is like this if both strength beyond normal and evil mind are together. If the strength and the good mind are together, then it is Raama. The bad mind makes it Raavana.

So to continue with the story, Raama returned home. He is called as Bhargavaraama. Since he is from Brigu vamsha and had an axe, he is also called as Parashuraama. The axe which he had was given by Lord Shiva himself. Parashuraama is the fifth son of Jamadagni. When he returned home, situation was was not as usual. He got to know the matter and was angry. Kartaveerya did not know that what he stepped on was the serpent.

There is a story of Bodhisatva. He was once born as a wild buffalo. It was not troubling anyone. Knowing this, a monkey was troubling it a lot. One day a similar buffalo came from other forest. Monkey not knowing this, pulled its tail and it was the last day the monkey lived. This is the case of Kaartaveerya too.

Parashuraama went fierce. That was reasonable anger. It is not that nobody should get angry but that should be reasonable and we should not loose our mind when angry. Parashuraama angrily marched towards capital and faced the king before he reached there. King never knew the failure. He was such a kind who had defeated Raavan and jailed him once. King first sent his army to fight with Parashuraama. The army of 17 akshohibi(the chariots) was demolished all alone by him. War was such that only Parashuraama’s axe was moving but he was not seen. Army was demolished by his axe.

At the end of Raamayana, Raavan sent his primary forces for war and asked them to hurt Raama and then he would go to kill him. But the forces were destroyed completely by Raama. Here too, only Raama’s bow was visible; the soldiers were dying one by one. When Raavan lost and fell from the chariot, Raama told “Now go back. Get some rest. Come tomorrow with new chariot and new weapons. Let us fight”. This is Raama.

Similarly, at the final stage, Kaartaveerya came with his 500 arms loaded with weapons resembling the arrival of an army. But the weapons were all destroyed by Parashuraama. Then Kaartaveerya started throwing whatever was there around. Then all his arms were cut one by one by Parashuraama like cutting the trees in forest. The hands which stole were being cut. What should not happen will happen if what should not be done is done. While trying to acquire someone else’s property, one will lose his own.

Then finally Parashuraama cut Kaartaveerya’s head and placed it in front of his father. His father told that he has done a wrong deed of killing a king. He then was advised to go for pilgrimage by his father to wash away the sins. It is difficult in war when one opponent is good and the other is bad. One opponent will be fighting in a just way while the other will follow an unjust way. Kaartaveerya’s sons were waiting for Parashuraama to go out and they attacked Jamadagni when he was meditating in the Agnigriha (house of fire God Agni). Though Jamadagni had complete knowledge about weapons, he remained quiet adhering to the restrictions of time. They chopped his head without even listening to the cry of his wife Renuka. But Renuka’s cry reached her son who was far away. He ran there.

Kshatriya means to save someone who is in danger. Those who protect the Dharma and the lives which are under danger are Kshatriyas. Parashuraama decided that these are not Kshatriyas and they need not live. One who takes away lives has no right to preserve his life. Parashuraama vowed to annihilate the Kshatriya clan if killing one could save lakhs of lives. He went to the capital and killed them; their heads formed a mountain! Their blood flowed as river! That river created fear in the evil ones. Then he joined his father’s head to the body and performed the final rites. He then circumambulated the earth and destroyed the Kshatriyas. He took the power into his hands and performed a sacrifice where he distributed all the lands to sages. He became calm and went to Mahendra mountain for penance. He sacrificed his bow there and still he is sitting there in meditation as a Chiranjeevi. Siddhas and Gandharvas sing his glory. This way, his anger became a cause for world peace. It is beneficial if such people get anger. You have heard of Nalanda University. It was destroyed because of the silence of the people there. No one opposed that. They were all killed one by one by their enemies. At the time of defending if one thinks of peace, it is beneficial neither to the nation nor to Dharma. Such acts should be rightly defended. The Lord says in the Gita: हतो वा प्राप्स्यसे स्वर्गं जित्वा वा भोक्ष्यसे महीं | meaning, winning in the war would fetch the land and losing would fetch the heaven. We should think in this direction. Raama is not only SriRaama, but also Parashuraama. Today is his day. If you want to have a ‘aaraam’ (peaceful) mind, then you will need this Raama. Let us attain that peak peace which Parashuraama enjoys sitting on the Mahendra mountain. Let good happen to the world and also to us who are elements of the world.

The king should be like God. He is the place where all Gods reside. All the lokapalakas will be present in him in small forms. So the benefits of all Gods should happen through the king. It is said about Raama that He was like a father to everyone, so there were no orphans in His kingdom. He was like a child also, so there were no difficulties to anyone. The king should follow this. If the king who is supposed to be like God acts like a demon, then God himself would take charge to correct him. He assumes uncommon forms to punish them. God says “You are supposed to teach the world how to be but you yourselves are following evil ways. Pride leads to punishment. You can’t see the future, you can see only the present. If you are in a good path, you will enjoy good results. Instead if you trouble sages, cows then your devastation is for sure. No need to see horoscopes for that. See your way and the destination will be according to it”. This story warns the kings about it. If the kings become corrupted, then a common man or a sage may rise up. Also, it teaches the people not to wait for the arrival of Parashuraama but to imbibe his sparks and become like him. Have the spirit to fight against the wrong. The witness of a wrong act shall also become its participant. We should not be so. We shouldn’t be in a mute mode when there is a sin happening. Let us be with Dharma. Let us be with truth and other good qualities. Let the divine radiance of Parashuraama’s axle light our eyes. May the darkness from our heart dissolve in the light. May Kritayuga descend again.

Picture courtesy: Internet

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