Hindu Deities Parashurama

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Parshuram is also known as Parashurama or Parasurama and is the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu. This incarnation was born in human form as the fifth and youngest son of Jamadagni and Renuka. The word Parashu means axe and rama/ram refers to Rama/Ram. Therefore, this incarnation is named as Rama with axe. Indeed, he is often shown in images to be holding an axe.

Many Hindu religious texts refer to Parshuram, namely the Mahabharata, Bhagavata and Kalki Puranas, and the well-known Ramayana. It is said that he knew most of the vidyas by the age of eight and was able to converse with animals. Although there are numerous references and stories pertaining to Parshuram, his main purpose was reportedly to rid the planet of wrongness, especially formed by powerful kings who mistreated their status.

Parshuram is known as an avesha avatar, in other words he was born into the soul of a man rather than by direct descent. It is for this reason that he is not widely worshiped in this format, although there are several temples dedicated to Parshuram. The majority of such temples are situated on the Indian coast.

There is a major festival known as Parshuram Jayanti that celebrates this deity. The festival takes place during May of the Western calendar, or on the third day of the bright half of the Hindu month Vaishakh. There is a giant parade and the festivities are hosted by the Brahmins resident in Jammu city.

One story that relates to this avatar involves the anger of his father Jamadagni. Based on his rage, he asked Parshuram to slay his wife Renuka, Parshuram's mother. In obedience and devotion to his father, this deed was done. However, when offered a reward for his obedience, he requested his mother be given back her life. From this story comes the recognition of this avatar with parental devotion.

Another tale tells of Kartavirya Sahashrarjun, who was a kshatrya (warrior king), murdering Parshuram's father. Due to this deed, Parshuram made a vow to obliterate all warrior kings. However, in fear the kshatrya fled the district until being urged back on the grounds that Parshuram must depart. He was then exiled to the mountain Mahendra because of his misconduct.

A third story tells of Parshuram's intention to visit Shiva. Apparently he was stopped by Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu deity en route. Parshuram responded by hurling his axe at Ganesha, who allowed it to sever a tusk as the axe had been gifted by Shiva.

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