Ten unknown interesting stories about Lord Parshuram

Lord Parshuram

Parshuram, Rama with an axe is believed to be sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He was born to Renuka and Jamadagni one of a saptrishi. He is believed to be one of the immortals of Hindu mythology. According to some legend it is believed that he still lives at Mahendragiri Mountain Peak in Orissa. Here are some interesting stories about Parshuram.

Lord Parshuram
Lord Parshuram

 1. Parshuram received his famous axe after pleasing Lord Shiva by strict penance.

Lord Shiva giving axe to Parshuram

Lord Shiva giving axe to Parshuram

2. Parshuram conducted thousands of Ashwamedha and gave the entire land conquered as an alm to sage Kashyap.

3. Once kshatriya king Kartavirya went to his father’s ashram and stole the holy calf that was gifted to him by Lord Indra. Enraged by this act, Parshuram killed Kartavirya and rescued the calf. To avenge Kartavirya’s death, his son killed Jamdagni (Parshuram’s father). In return Parshuram killed all kshatriya 21 times to restore peace to the earth.

Kartavirya Arjuna and Parshuram fight

Kartavirya Arjuna and Parshuram fight

4. He played an important role in Ramayan, he gave the bow of Shiva to Janaka for Sita’s swayamvar.

Parshuram in Ramayan

Parshuram in Ramayan

5. He played important role in Mahabharat by serving as mentor to Bhishma, Drona and Karna.

6. He killed his mother – His mother Renuka was known for her chastity and devotion for her husband. Her strength of her devotion was so strong that she was able to fetch water in unbaked clay pot. One day she was at the river she saw some gandharva, for a moment  she was filled with desire and the unbaked pot dissolved. Her husband Jamadagni came to know every thing with his yogic power he was enraged. He called his son gave him an axe and ask him to kill his mother but one by one they all refuse in return they were turned into stone. But Parshuram was very obedient and he beheaded his mother. He was granted two boon in which he asked for her mother and his brothers back to life.

Parshuram killing his mother

Parshuram killing his mother

 

7. Fight with Lord Shiva – Once Lord Shiva challenged him for a battle to test his skills in warfare. Fierce battle lasted for 21 days one day he countered and attacked Shiva with his parshu which stuck on his forehead. Lord Shiva was impressed by his amazing skill and embraced him. Thus Shiv is also known as Khanda- Parshu.

8. Parshuram cursed Karna that he will forget his skills at the time when he needs most. This happened when Parshuram discovered that Karna was a Kshatriya and not a Brahmin.

Parshuram and Karna

                                                                             Parshuram and Karna

9. Once Parshuram was annoyed with Surya (Sun God). He shot several arrows in the sky when he ran out of arrows he send his wife to bring more.  Sun God focused his rays on her causing her to collapse. Surya then appeared before Parshuram and gave him slippers and umbrella.

10. Once he went to mount kailash to meet Lord Shiva but he was stopped by Ganesha. Parshuram threw his axe on him , Ganesha knew that the axe was given to him by his father so he allowed it to sever his left tusk thus got his name Ekdante. Later he gave him his divine axe and bless him.

Parshuram and Lord Ganesha
                 Parshuram and Lord Ganesha

The complete story of Parshurama avatar – Vishnu dashavatara

 Parshurama Avatar ( Dashavatara of Lord Vishnu)

Parshurama is the sixth incarnation (one of the dashavatara) of Lord Vsihnu. He is said to be one of the chiranjeevis. Chiranjeevi means one who doesn’t die.

Birth

Parshurama is born to Sage Jamdagni and Renuka. Parshurama was very obedient to his father, and once when asked by his father, he did not hesitate and beheaded his own mother. Jamdagni and Renuka meditated before the birth of Parshurama and with the blessing of Shiva, Vishnu agreed to take incarnation as their son which became sixth of the ten dashavataras. He was the fifth son of his parents.

Childhood

In his childhood, he did severe penance and pleased Lord Shiva. Lord presented him with the weapon parshu, thus the boy was called as Parshurama.

Killing of king Kartavirya

At that point of time, a king named Kartavirya Arjuna became very strong. He also defeated Ravana. One day, he came to the hermitage of sage Jamdagni and was welcomed by the sage. Jamdagni had a cow, Kamdhenu, presented by Indra, which allowed him to serve his guests. Impressed, kartavirya wanted the cow, which Jamdagni denied. The king stole the calf.

Kamdhenu , Jamdagni
Kamdhenu , Jamdagni

Parshurama was not at home at this point of time. When he returned back, he went to the palace of King Kartavirya and killed him. Then he retrieved Kamdhenu and came back to his home.

Killing of Sage Jamdagni

Soon, sons of Kartavirya discovered their father at the palace and knew that only Parashurama could have killed him. In revenge, they traveled to the hermitage and murdered Jamadagni, surrounding the rishi and shooting him to death with arrows like a stag. Afterwards, they decapitated his body and took his head with them.

Parshurama’s vow

When Parshurama discovered his mother weeping over the body of his father, he vowed to avenge the death of his father. He hunted down the sons of Kartavirya at the palace. He killed them all and returned with the head of his father to conduct the cremation. Parashurama then vowed to enact a genocide on the war-mongering Kshatriyas twenty-one times over.

Parshurama
Parshurama

Parshurama is also the guru or teacher of Bhishma, Drona and Karna. Parshurama’s famous curse is on Karna which rendered the Brahmastra useless for Karna.

Parshurama and Rama ( dashavatara’s of Lord Vishnu)

During Sita swayamvar, Rama broke the bow of Lord Shiva. Hearing the sound of breaking of the bow, Parshurama came there and challenged Rama to string the bow with an arrow. Rama, being an avatar of Lord Vishnu, easily mounted the arrow and asked Parshurama, where should I fire this arrow now? Parshurama realized that Rama was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and his own role has completed now.

Sita Swyamvar
Sita Swyamvar

The complete story of Vamana avatar ( Vishnu Dashavatara)

Vamana Avatar (Fifth incarnation of Lord Vishnu – Dashavatara)

Vamana avatar is a story of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation as Dasahavatara.

Vishnu decided to be born as Aditi and Kashyap’s son. The son was a dwarf. This was the Vamana avatara (dwarf incarnation) of Vishnu dashavatara which was taken to save Indra’s kingdom.

There was a king of the daityas named Bali. He was powerful and invincible. He was also righteous and truthful. The gods cold not bear to see Bali’s prosperity and began to plot how Bali might be foiled. So well did Bali rule that disease, drought and evil disappeared throughout the three worlds.  Bali was the grandson of Prahlada, the son of Hiranyakshyap.

Vamana Avatara - Dashavatara
Vamana Avatara – Dashavatara

Bali had organised a horse sacrifice. Many sages came to the sacrifice and Shukracharya was the chief priest. The dwarf (Vamana) also arrived at yajna.

Shukracharya, the guru of Daityas, realised that the dwarf was none other than Vishnu. He warned Bali not to promise anything to the Vamana (The Dwarf), who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu ( a dashavatara).

Bali replied that it would be his honour to serve Lord Vishnu. Bali went to the dwarf and asked what he had wanted. Vishnu expressed the wish that he might be given as much of land as might be covered in three of the dwarf’s steps. This boon Bali readily granted. But no sooner than the boon had been granted, the dwarf adopted a gigantic form.

In two steps, the Dwarf covered the whole kingdom of Bali, from heaven to earth to netherworld and demanded where he should place his third step. Bali offered himself.

Vishnu was charmed at Bali’s generosity.He then appointed Bali king of the underworld and Indra’s kingdom was returned back to him.

Vamana avatar is instantly recognizable with the short frame having a wooden umbrella.

Story of Narsingh avatar – Vishnu dashavatara

Narsingh avatar

 Narsingh Avatar – fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu

The fourth of incarnation of Vishnu dashavatara is Narsingh avatar (half man-half lion)

The story of Hiranyakashyap and Brahma’s boon

. There was a demon king Hiranyakashyap who did severe penance of Brahma. Brahma became pleased with him and asked for a boon. Hiranyakashyap demanded immortality. Brahma replied that this is not possible as everyone who takes birth has to die, so ask something else.

Narsingh Avatar of Lord Vishnu - Dashavatar of Vishnu
Narsingh Avatar of Lord Vishnu – Dashavatar of Vishnu

 Hiranyakashyap then asks “no one created by you can kill me; I cannot die inside the house or outside, during the day or the night. I cannot be killed by any weapon by any human or beast, living or non living, any demi-god or demon. ” Brahma granted him this boon.

Dashavatara
Dashavatara

His son Prahlad

Thus Hiranyakashyap became very strong and he started asking people to treat him as god. But his own son, Prahlad was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. He was initiated by Sage Narada and he belived in none other than Narayan.

Knowing this, Hiranyakashyap became very angry and tried to dissuade Prahlad from worshipping Vishnu.

He wants to kill Prahlad

He tried to kill him by burning him in fire, by giving him poison, by crushing him under elephants’ feet, by rolling down from high hills, by snake bites, by many kinds of weapons, but because of his devotion, Prahalad could not be killed by any means.

Hirankashyap’s sister Holika, offered a solution. She sat with Prahalad on a pyre, thinking that the flames would burn Prahalad and she would be saved by a  cloth which was immune from fire.  But by god’s grace, Holika was burnt and Prahalad was saved. This is still celebrated as Holika dahan which is followed by Holi, a prominent Indian festival.

One day, Hiranyakashyap challenged Prahalad that where is his god. Prahalad replied – he is everywhere. Out of rage, Hiranyakashyap asked, is he in the pillar and broke the pillar with his mace.

Emergence of Narsingh avatar

Duly, Narsingh avatar or fourth dashavatara of lord Vishnu appeared in form of half lion and half man. It was twilight (neither day nor night) and it was the entrance of the palace (neither inside nor outside). At that moment the Narsingh Avatar ( neither man nor beast), killed Hiranyakashyap with his nails. (Not with a weapon).

Note: Hiranyaksha, brother of Hiranyakashyap, was killed by Varaha avatar of Dashavatara and Prahlad grandson Bali was neutralized by another dashavatara (Vamana) of Lord Vishnu.

Hiranyakashyap and Hiranyaksha were actually devotees of Lord Vishnu who were on earth because of a curse.

Read about Vamana Avatar

Read about Kurma Avatar

The complete story of Varaha avatar – Vishnu Dashavatar

Varaha Avatar – the third of Vishnu Dashavatar

This avatar of Vishnu dashavatar is in a form of boar. He saved the earth from Hiranyaksha, who incidentally is also the brother of Hiranyakashyap. He has grown because boons from Brahma. Hiranyaksha took the earth to the bottom of the ocean. He did this because wanted to make Devas weak. The devas need Havis, the sacrificial oblations of the mortals to maintain their strength.

Since they started losing their strength, they requested Vishnu to help them. Vishnu took the form of a boar, the third dashavatar. Herescued the earth from the depths of ocean with his tusks. Hiranyaksha, who was searching for Vishnu, finally finds him in the form of boar – a dashavatar.

Lord Vishnu saving earth in form of Varaha avatar (Dashavatar)

Hiranyaksha intercepted the boar, and then commenced one of the greatest battles of all time. Vishnu balanced the earth on his thigh, and gored Hiranyaksha to his death. Since he had balanced Bhooma Devi (the goddess of earth) on his thighs, a son was born to her. As he was created when Vishnu had been involved in a ferocious battle, he was an Asura. This is the famous Narakusara, who was later slain by Vishnu in his avatar as Krishna.

The avatar of Varaha signifies the restoration of the Earth from a pralaya (deluge) and the formation of a new kalpa (cosmic cycle). Varaha Purana, one of the major eighteen Mahapuranas, describes about the Varaha incarnation of LordVishnu, and also about the rescue of the Prithvi.

Hiranyakashyap and Hirankyaksha were two gandharvas Jaya and Vijaya. Due to a curse from Sanat kumaras, they had to take birth as asuras. Vishnu. They wanted to be free of the curse in little time, that is why Vishnu decided to take from of dashavatars to kill them.

The complete story of Kurma avatar – Vishnu dashavatara

Kurma Avatar – second Vishnu dashavatara

The second avatar of Dashavatara is Kurma avatar. Kurma means tortoise. Vishnu took the form of turtle to help devas and asuras ( gods and demons). They were churning ocean to receive the gifts from the ocean. Lord VIshnu helped the devas in two counts. First, he acted as base to support the Mount Mandar, which was used as an axis for churning of ocean. Second, as Mohini to take hold of nectar (or amrit). Due to this gods got an upper hand in “Dev Asur sangharsh”.

Kurma avatar belongs to the Satya Yuga and in this avatara Mahavishnu incarnated as a giant turtle to save the earth from destruction. Kurma Avatar of dashavatar is explained mainly in the Bhagavad Purana, Agni Purana and Ramayana. Kurma Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, is said to have been directly stated by Lord Vishnu to the sage Narada, and it contains the details about the Kurma avatar.
Kurma avatar - Dashavatar
Kurma avatar – Dashavatar

Durvasa curse to Indra

Devas grew weaker due to a curse from Durvasa. The demons or asuras, a group of malicious deities in the Hindu mythology, tried to overcome them. A war followed, which continued for long. Despite fighting bravely, devas could not win over the asuras. They asked Lord Vishnu for help.

Advice of Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu asked the devas to use Mount Mandara as a churning stick. But, they could not pull up the mountain. On advice of Lord Vishnu, the gods and asuras made a deal to churn the ocean jointly. They pulled the Mount Mandara and used it as a churning stick. Serpent Vasuki was used as a rope. it was pulled first one way and then the other. During churning, Mandara began to sink into the mud at the bottom of the milk ocean. Vishnu took the form of Kurma (second dashavatara), and held the mountain on his broad back.
Vishnu as Mohini
Vishnu as Mohini
As a result of the churning, amrita was obtained which asuras took control of it. Here Vishnu, took the form of a beautiful lady, Mohini. He managed to take the nectar bowl with him and gave it to devas. Thus devas eventually got powerful. Thus, Vishnu helped them once again and took the form of one of the dashavatara.