Parasu means axe, hence his name literally means Rama-with-the-axe. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible sacrament to please Lord Shiva, from whom he learned the proficiency of warfare and other skills. He is said to be Chiranjivin, who fought the advancing ocean back thus saving the lands of Konkan and Malabar. Thus Parashurama Kshetra or area is said to the coastal area of Kerala state along with the Konkan region, i.e., coastal Maharashtra and Karnataka. This extends all the way to Mumbai in Maharashtra. Parasurama is said to be a 'Brahma-Kshatriya' as of the duty between a Brahmana and a Kshatriya, the first soldier saint and a descendant of the Brahmarshi Vishvamitra.
In many manuscripts like the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and Bhagavata and Kalki Puranas, Parasurama has been mentioned. He was famous for killing the Haihaya-Kshatriyas on the earth twenty-one times for their Ahankara or arrogance.
Parasurama wanted to extend and preserve the Vedic culture on Earth. Major parts of India and Indian villages have been said to be built by him. He was the most respectful descendant of the Bhargava gotra, who always followed the teachings and instructions of his Gurus and parents. Parasurama respected the elders or the jeshtas and never offended them. His Bhaava or feeling was to keep this jeev shrishti or earth alive with its beauty of nature. He requested the Ocean to move away so that he can build a place to live for the growing population situated in modern day Konkan. He wanted this earth to stay alive for Jeev shrishti like Birds, animals, Trees, Fruits and whole of Nature. Parasurama explicates that Dharma of Raja was to spread Vedic life and not empowering its praja through kingdom. He was born a Brahmin but is Kshatriya by Karma, or deeds. He is also known as Bhargava.
Parasurama had learned most of the vidyas or gained knowledge in his balyaavastha, this is the education given to children under eight years or age with his mother's teachings. He understood and spoke to the animals. Even the wildest of all animals became his friends after he touched them.
On one hand Parasurama always taught the military arts only to Brahmins. On the other hand, there were exceptions. His well-known students were Bhishma; Drona, the teacher of the Pandus and Kurus, father of Ashwatthama and Karna because Karna lied to Parashurama about being a Brahmin to earn tutelage under Parashurama, once Parashuram found out the truth of Karna's Kshatriya birth, he cursed Karna that he will forget all that he learned at a critical point when he needs it the most. Thus, when Karna and Arjuna square off on Kurukushetra, Karna loses to Arjuna simply because he could not remember the vital mantra to invoke a weapon.
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(Last Updated on : 23-09-2009)
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