Why Parashurama killed all the Kshatriyas?
Parashurama was the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Also known as Avesha Avatar was born at Renuka Tirth. Parasurama was a great devotee of Lord Shiva, who impressed by his devotion offered him a boon of celestial weapon yet in order to attain this weapon he ordered him to slay Daityas and Danavas that were posing a threat to gods. Parasurama slew all the Daityas and Danavas and gained the promised celestial weapon.
Parasuram also slew King Kartavirya who oppressed his subjects, the Brahmans, and also dared to insult Lord Indra. He also stole the holy cow Kamadhenu from Rishi Jamadagni (father of Parashurama). The conflict between Jamadagni and King Kartavirya resulted in the death of Jamadagni. Angry Parasurama killed King Kartavirya and his entire clan. Parasurama also slew all the Kshatriyas who were plaguing the earth in Treta yuga. He is also the Guru of Bhishma, Dronacharya and Karna.
The Axe of Parashurama
In the Vedic period, devotees used to perform yagnas to harness the power of the cosmos and receive divine boons for the benefit of the king and his subjects. The kings in return would provide cows to the Rishis. This was the custom that every ruler and Rishi relationship had in common. However, along with cows, the kings would often offer their daughters too as a part of the custom. Satyavati, Parashurama’s grandmother was a princess and married a Rishi according to the custom.
Parashurama was born to Jamadagni and Renuka and is often remembered as the angriest Brahman ever born. He is also called Bhargava Ram or ‘Ram of the priestly Bhrigu clan’, distinguishing him from Raghava Ram or ‘Ram of the royal Raghu clan’.
Once, king Sahastrajun traveled all the miles to Rishi Jamadagani’s ashram for penance. The Rishi in exchange provide great hospitality and managed food for the whole army. The sage had a beautiful white cow known as Kamdhenu who had divine power. The king witnessing such majestic power with Rishi that he felt short of his might. He asked Jamadagani for the cow, however, he denied it. Despite Rishi’s denial, the king forcefully took the cow. He also created havoc on Jamadagani’s ashram and destroyed everything. While taking Kamdhenu, the king lost his grip and the cow ran towards heaven.
When Parashurama returned to the Ashram, his mother Renuka told him everything about the incident. The angry Parashurama went to seek revenge against his parent’s insult. He along with his divine Parshu weapon killed the crusader along with his whole army. After the execution of Sahastrajun, on the orders of the father, he went on a pilgrimage to Parashurama to perform the atonement of this slaughter. Seeking the opportunity, Sahastrajun’s sons beheaded Jamadagani along with other sages in his ashram.
When Parashurama saw his father’s body beheaded with 21 other wounds, he has sworn to destroy all 21 generations of the Kshatriya clan. As mentioned in the Puranas, Lord Parashurama fulfilled his resolve. He filled the five lakes of the Samvatpanchak region with his blood which is later described to be filled and solid on which the mighty battle of Kurukshetra was fought. Parashurama cleared the earth of all Kshatriyas in the Treta yuga and only stopped when he met Lord Rama. Rama was the son of Dashrath, who was so perfect a king that he managed to restore Parashurama’s faith in the kings.
In another version of the tale, Rishi Jamagadi once suspected Renuka of an unchaste thought and thus ordered Lord Parashurama to cut off her head, which the obedient son did. While according to other versions- after killing Renuka, Parashurama was offered a benediction by his impressed father and he asked him to return his mother to life. It is believed that Parashurama was fully aware of his father’s power of austerity and had therefore decided to kill his Mother.
Parashurama In The Kali Yuga
Parashurama plays important roles in the Mahabharata and Ramayana. He served as a mentor to Karna, Bhishma, and drone. Parashurama is believed to come back as the mentor of Kalki – the last manifestation of Lord Vishnu.
Kali-yuga is the last Yuga of the Yuga cycle. It started at the twilight of 18 February 3102 BCE according to Surya Siddhanta, the exact time when Lord Krishna returned to its celestial abode. Hinduism believes that this Yuga is the evilest in all yugas. Only one leg of the four pillars of Dharma remained that is truth. The truth itself is heavily eroded in this era. It is believed that Lord Vishnu will be incarnated as Kalki in the Kali Yuga and destroy all the evils of the world to restore a new Yuga free from all the turpitude. Lord Parashurama will also come back to mentor the last avatar.