Parashurama is the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu which throws light on the life of the great Chiranjeevi (immortal). He is also known as Rama Jamadagnya, Rama Bhargava and Veerama. He is destined to be the guide and teacher of the tenth incarnation of Lord Vishnu – Kalki who appears at the end of the Kali Yuga.
In a village lived a happy family of brahmins. Jamadagni was the head of the family. Parashurama was his eldest son. They had a magical cow. She could fulfil any desires that they had. One day, King Arjuna who was travelling came across their small home and decided to stop for food. Jamadagni served the king and his army with the help of this magical creature. He put together a big feast for the king and his army. The greedy king stole the cow and took her back to his palace.
When Parashurama arrived and came to know of this theft, he became angry and decided to punish the wrongdoers. He picked up his axe, his shield and made his way to king arjuna’s city to get his revenge. A great battle followed his actions and there was gruesome bloodshed. When he killed men, horses, elephants, the ground became muddy with blood. He challenged the king and finished the king by cutting off his arms and chopping his head with one blow.
He returned home with Kamdhenu and told his family about all the happenings. Jamadagni was unhappy with his son’s behaviour and explained to him how it is important for a brahmin to understand the virtues of forgiveness. Lord Vishnu gives abode to those who understand this virtue and act according to that. Parashurama felt ashamed of his behaviour and set out for a yatra (pilgrimage). He visited all the sacred places in hopes of correcting his sins and came back after a year.
One fine day after Parshuram’s arrival, King Arjuna’s sons decided to get revenge for their father’s death. They went near the hermitage and chopped off Jamadagni’s head by creeping up behind him. The brahmin was meditating when this unpleasant incident took place. Hearing their mother’s scream, Parashurama and his brothers came running to their cottage.
Parashurama lost control of his anger and decided to teach them a lesson. He went on killing all the Kshatriyas for 21 centuries. Since evil prevailed in Kshatriyas for twenty-one centuries, Parashurama took the oath of killing and finishing each one of them. He severed their heads on a mountain which led to nine lakes being filled with blood. The blood was then replaced by water.
The Hindus in today’s world have an understanding of cleaning their souls, bodies and minds of their sins by taking a bath in these lakes. Parashurama is the teacher of Bhishma Pitamaha, Guru Dronacharya and Angaraj Karna. He was the one who bestowed the blessing to Amba when she was insulted by Hastinapur in her Swayamvar (an event to choose a husband suitable to the girl).
Parashurama had also fought against Bhishma when he came to know of the situation with Amba.
He is said to be a Chiranjeevi (an immortal) and is doing penance on mount Mandarachal. His axe, his greatest weapon is called “Vidhyudabhi” or Parashu.
His life is as interesting as it gets and gives us some valuable lessons on anger and rage.