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Friday, October 2, 2015

Degradation of 'Parshu'Ram

On this significant day, that is marked by birth anniversary of two great sons Bharat Mata would always be proud of; Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri ji, I take this opportunity to share my blog with you underlining the principles that install righteousness; truth, tolerance and humbleness:

The peerless Pinaak was broken and Janak finally had a sigh of relief. Grand arrangements were made and the Ram-Janaki 'vivah'(marriage) was solemnized. The moment was auspicious and with Vishwamitra's suggestion, Dashrath and Janak decided to marry Lakshmarn with Urmilla, another daughter of Janak and Bharat and Shatrughan were married to Mandvi and Shrutkirti, daughters of Kushdhwaj(Janak's younger brother).
The ceremonials were complete and Dashrath returned with his sons and daughter-in-laws towards Ayodhya.
While they were on their way, the king witnessed some bad omens along with a few good ones. He was perplexed as what and how to react, he consulted sage Vashishth. As they both were discussing this sudden dilemma, suddenly a dark dust storm occurred which seemed to have blown away whole Earth.
King Dashrath saw from a good distance. Son of great sage Jamdagni, Parshuram; incontrovertible like Mount Kailash was coming towards them. His aura was irradiant, the commons were unable to even look at him. A giant axe was on his one shoulder and in another hand had an unmatched bow that in appearance was similar to the bow of Bhagwan Shiv.

He straightaway went to Ram, ‘O son of Dashrath; I have heard your valour is exceptional, the Shiv-dhanush was broken by you, I have also got news of that. That divine bow was extraordinary and inaccessible but as now it’s got broken, I have another divine bow for you.
This belongs to the son of Jamdagni, Parshuram, i.e. me; it is as mighty and exceptional as the Shiv-Dhanush, here, take it and try to flex its string with an arrow and prove your potency, then I will decide to challenge you for combat.’
[Valmiki Ramayan; Baal Kaand; chapter-75; verse-1-4]

Dashrath's face sulked as he listened to Parshuram, he begged Parshuram to retain his generosity as he had sworn earlier in front of Indra to quit arms.
‘You donated this earth to sage Kashyap and went to the Mahendra Mountain and if your rage is towards Ram, then if he’s gone everybody else here will die without him.’
[Valmiki Ramayan; Baal Kaand; chapter-75; verse-8-9]

But Parshuram ignored him in his arrogance, instead, he narrated a tale to Shri Ram, tale of Shraang -

The two bows were created by Vishwakarma and were the mightiest and divine among all the bows, among these two one was given to Bhagwan Shiv to fight Tripurasur and the other was given to Bhagwan Vishnu as only they were the ones who could sustain these bows. The divine bow with Parshuram was the same Vaishnav bow.
Once the devas asked Brahmm dev to see who’s more authoritative, Vishnu or Shiv. Therefore, Brahmm dev dramatically created differences between both and the world witnessed a fierce fight between the two. While the combat was on and going fierce, Bhagwan Vishnu made a ‘humm’ roaring sound that froze the Shiv-Dhanush and even Bhagwan Shiv was stunned. The Saptrishis and the devas prayed both to end the war, and so the war was called off. The devas now knew who is the paramount among the two.
Parshuram ended the narration and dared Shri Ram to lift the Vaishnav bow as he now qualified to try it as it was superior over the Shiv-Dhanush.  

Until now, Shri Ram was quiet due to his father’s presence, but he disliked the arrogance in Parshuram, they both were Vishnu's incarnation, the only difference being; Parshuram was anshavtar and Shri Ram was poornavatar(a subject we will draw towards in forthcoming posts). Also, though there weren't any disturbances hitherto, but with the rise of Shri Ram there was a fear of imbalance in the creation, there being two incarnations at one time. Shri Ram knew what was needed to be done, he being more authoritative.

The arrogance was an opportunity, Shri Ram furiously took the divine bow and arrow from Parshuram and with that he took his Vaishnav element from him. He put the arrow in the string and lifted it to his ears, ‘Hey Parshuram, being a brahmmarn you are venerable to me, then you are also related to sage Vishwamitra. Hence, I can’t aim this life-taking arrow on you, so either I should destroy your power to roam anywhere instantly or should I destroy the heavenly realms that you earned through rigorous ascesis, as this divine Vaishnav-arrow cannot be withdrawn now.’
[Valmiki Ramayan; Baal Kaand; chapter-75; verse-6-7]

As the Vaishnav-element was taken by Shri Ram, Parshuram’s aura faded, he looked vulnerable, he requested Shri Ram to destroy the heavenly realms and spare his ability to roam anywhere. He had also actualized that Shri Ram was the one, Shri Hari, eliminator of the asur Madhu. Shri Ram struck the arrow which destroyed all the realms earned by Parshuram and henceforth he left for Mahendra-Mountain.
The story ends and delivers us towards following explorations:-
  • Parshuram never arrived at Janak's court as per to common beliefs, they all met in the way towards Ayodhya.
  • When Shri Ram lifted the Shiv-Dhanush, there wasn't any swayamvar going on.
  • Lakshmarn never spoke in between or quarreled with Parshuram. As it is considered inappropriate to speak between the elders; even Ram broke his silence and intervened when Dashrath was helpless and Parshuram ignored him.
  • Though Parshuram’s Vaishnav period was over, yet he remained as strong and divine, it was just that the avtaar part was gone.
It is hard for a lot of people to digest the Vishnu-Shiv duel. But this is what happened as told by Parshuram who is known as an ardent devotee of Bhagwan Shiv, hence it shouldn't be taken otherwise. Both, Vishnu ji and Shiv ji are actually one; to me as Narayarn’s abode is in other dimension, i.e. Vaikunth lok, therefore, he is present in Earth in Shiv’s form, that’s what I believe in. Therefore, no grudges to keep.

The story is over, yet I would like to draw your attention towards the character of Parshuram:

  • He was born to a renowned sage Jamdagni and devi Renuka,a kshatriya; that means Parshuram was both, a brahmmarn and a kshatriya.
  • His actual name was Ram. The 'Parshu'(name of the axe) that was presented to him by Bhagwan Shiv was affixed with his name and the world renowned him as Parshuram.
  • It is said he was a blind devotee to his father as he killed his mother at his father's instructions without asking any question; wrong, he was a wise son who was aware of Jamdagni's powers and hence after beheading his mother he asked the latter to resurrect Renuka, which was granted by Jamdagni.
  • According to a popular belief, Parshuram wiped off the kshatriyas 21 times of this land; half baked fact, he only killed those kings who were unruly, unethical and brutal. This might have included the kings of other races too i.e. asurs, gandharws and others. He was believed to be extremely angry person, but now we can infer that he was never blindfolded by his anger, he used his senses well.
  • Though he killed the kings who were the sinners, the exploiters, yet he had to remorse his actions and so he donated whole Earth to sage Kashyap, father of all races.
I ended my last blog mentioning of a bow that was considered mightier than the Pinaak, here we have learned about that incredible bow, the Shraang dhanush. According to Dhanurvaid, it was created by Vishwakarma and presented to Bhagwan Vishnu. A legend comes to my mind that is quite synonymus to Pinaak's Tripurasur(the trinity of three asur brothers) incident. Bhagwan Vishnu employed the Shraang to fight the three rakshas brothers; Mali, Sumali and Malyavan and their enormous army. Bhagwan Vishnu wrecked havoc in the rakshas army with his marvelous bow and defeated the rakshasas again and again till they accepted their defeat and left Lanka for underworld. These rakshas brothers were maternal grandparents of Raavarn and a lot mightier than him.

Illustration:The Great Shraang

Contrary to Pinaak, the Shraang was three and a half hands long; this may be due to the purpose for close and accurate aiming. The other Vaishnav-bow that was presented by sage Agastya to Bhagwan Ram was believed to be similar heighted as Pinaak(for details refer to my last blog-post).
What Shri Ram did with the Shraang, well he gave the divine Vaishnav-bow to Varurn dev.

Parshuram's degradation is an important lesson to us - a being tends to become the person he dislikes most. Parshuram was a serene person, until his father and whole family was ruthlessly killed by a king. Enraged and poised to avenge his dear ones, he slayed the king and his army. He didn't stopped there. He saw the unethical practices of the kings and their barbarity, hence, decided to clean the mess and in order to do that, he himself became merciless. The ethos stayed in him nurturing the arrogance. 
Finally, the rondeau with Shri Ram made him realize of his negativity and he regained humbleness. Anger and arrogance never pays, no matter who you are, how influential you are, but there is always a chance for remorse.
"Arrogance; beware of it, as even the Gods get decoyed Humility; have it, as it will win a billion heart for you "

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