Parashu the Divine Weapon of Parashuram and Shiva

Parashu, axe, is the divine weapon associated with Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Vishnu. The divine weapon was given to Parashuram by Shiva. Legend has it that Shiva got this axe after the infamous Daksha Yaga in which Mother Sati self immolated.

After Sati’s death, Shiva in a fit of rage had unleashed the trident (Trishul) which was finally stopped by Nara Narayana. Narayana, who was meditating in Badrayashrama, deviated the trident towards Shiva.

Shiva whose anger remained uncontrollable approached Narayana with the trident. Nara who was meditating nearby took an arrow and released it towards Shiva. The arrow soon changed into an axe. Shiva then made this Axe as his weapon.

Years later Sri Parashuram left home to do austerities to please Shiva. Shiva was pleased with Parashuram’s extreme devotion, intense piety and unmoved and perpetual meditation. Shiva presented Sri Parashuram with divine weapons. The most important was the unconquerable and indestructible axe shaped weapon, Parashu.

Another legend has it that once Shiva challenged Sri Parashuram to a battle to test his skills in warfare. The spiritual master Shiva and the disciple Sri Parashuram were locked in a fierce battle.

This dreadful duel lasted for twenty one days. While ducking to avoid being hit by the Trident of Shiva, Sri Parashuram vigorously attacked Him with his Parashu. It struck Shiva on the forehead creating a wound. 

Shiva was very pleased to see the amazing warfare skills of His disciple. He passionately embraced Sri Parashuram. Shiva preserved this wound as an ornament so that the reputation of His disciple remained imperishable and insurmountable. Khandaparashu (wounded by Parashu) is one of the thousand names Shiva.