Parashurama Avatar - the Sixth Incarnation of Vishnu



Parashurama is the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In this Avatar, Parashuram restored justice by wiping out the ruling class which had become corrupt. Parashurama was present on earth when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Lord Ram and Lord Krishna. The origin of many of the popular temples in India, especially in South India, is traced to Parashuram.

Parashu means axe and this incarnation of Vishnu is named after his favorite weapon. He was born as the son of Rishi Jamadagni.

Kamadhenu, the divine cow that could confer all desires, was stolen by from Sage Jamadagni’s ashram by Sahastrabahu Arjuna (a king named thousand armed Arjuna). This finally resulted in the death of Rishi Jamadagni.

To avenge this Parasurama wiped out generations of corrupt warriors from the planet to restore justice. He distributed the wealth amassed by the rulers to the people. Thus we get the earliest information of social equality achieved through armed revolution.

Symbolically, this shows that when the ruling or political class starts to steal from its subjects adharma breeds – corruption and nepotism grows. To restore Dharma, Lord Vishnu incarnates.

In Ramayana, Parashuram appears when Lord Ram breaks Lord Shiva’s bow to win the hands of Mata Sita.

In the Mahabharat, Bhishma, Drona and Karna learn warfare from Parashurama. Thus he is Guru to the great warriors in Mahabharat.

Parashuram is believed to have consecrated numerous temples in India. This includes temples of Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti.