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Parashurami – Dialogue Between Parashurama And Lakshman

In Valmiki Ramayana, Rama encounters Parashurama after his wedding and subdues him. However in some versions of Ramayana, Parashurama and Lakshmana have an extensive, often highly charged and sarcastic, conversation. This dialogue, also called Parashurami, is sometimes performed independently of the Ramlila in parts of north India.

Parashurami From Ramcharitamanas Of Tulsidas

Seeing the anger of Parashuram, Lord Rama said, "O Lord! Surely, there must be one of your devotees capable of breaking Lord Shiva's bow. Upon hearing this, the angered sage replied, "A true servant is one who serves, and facing the enemy in battle is also a form of service. Rama! Listen, whoever breaks Shiva's bow is my enemy, equal to a thousand-armed foe. Such a person should leave this society; otherwise, all the kings will be defeated."

Hearing Parashuram's words, Lakshmana smiled and, mocking him, said, "In childhood, we broke many bows, but you never showed such anger. Why this attachment to this bow?" Upon hearing this, Parashuram, representing the Bhargava lineage, angrily responded, "O Prince! Even though you are under the influence of time, you seem to have no sense in speaking. In the entire world, is this bow of Shiva comparable to any other bow?"

Lakshmanji laughed and said, "Listen, O god! As far as we know, all bows are the same for us. What harm or benefit is there in breaking an old bow? The bow broke as soon as it was touched; it's not a fault of Lord Raghunath. Sage, why do you get angry without any reason? Parashuramji, looking towards his axe, said, "O wicked one! You did not understand my nature. I do not kill a child knowingly. Fool! Do you only know me as a naked ascetic? I am a celibate and extremely wrathful. I am famous as the enemy of the Kshatriya clan throughout the world. With the strength of my arms, I have removed the Earth from the kings and given it to Brahmins many times. O prince! Look at this axe that cuts the arms of Sahasrabahu. O king's boy! My axe is very terrifying; it can destroy the children in the wombs as well."

Lakshman spoke with a gentle voice and a smile, "Oh, revered sage, do you consider yourself a mighty warrior? You repeatedly show me your axe and express a desire to fly mountains with a mere puff. But there are no small berries here that die at the sight of a thumb; I scoffed with a hint of pride at the sight of an axe and a bow and arrow. I accept what you say about being from the Bhrigu lineage and wearing the sacred thread, restraining my anger. However, in our lineage, there is no display of valor against gods, Brahmins, devotees of the Divine, or cows. Killing them is considered a sin, and losing to them brings disgrace. So, even if I were to strike you, it should be at your feet. Every word of yours is like millions of thunderbolts. The bow and arrow and the axe that you carry seem to be in vain. If I have spoken anything inappropriate upon seeing them, please forgive me, O wise sage!" Upon hearing this, Parashurama of the Bhrigu lineage spoke with stern words filled with anger.

"Hey Vishwamitra! Listen, this boy is very cunning and deceitful, under the influence of time, he is becoming a threat to his own lineage. He is a stain on the complete moon-like dynasty of the Solar race. He is utterly arrogant, foolish, and fearless. In a moment, he will become the prey of time. I warn you, do not blame me later. If you want to save him, reject him by showing our valor, strength, and anger. Lakshman said, 'O sage! Who else can describe your glory better than yourself? You have described your deeds in various ways with your own mouth. If even then you are not satisfied, please say something more. Do not endure unbearable sorrow by suppressing your anger. You observe the vow of bravery, possess patience, and are free from anger. You do not gain any glory by using harsh words. True heroes display their valor in battle without boasting about themselves. Cowards, upon encountering an enemy in battle, only boast about their past achievements.'"

You repeatedly summon time, as if forcefully pulling it just for my sake. Upon hearing Lakshmanji's harsh words, Parashuramji tightened his grip on his formidable axe and remarked, "Let no blame fall upon me. This youth, spewing bitter words, merits nothing but death. I have spared him on numerous occasions, but now he truly deserves the embrace of death." Vishwamitraji intervened, saying, 'Forgive the transgression. The wise do not scrutinize the faults and virtues of the young.' Unyielding, Parashuramji retorted, "Brandishing this sharp-edged axe, devoid of compassion and brimming with anger, I confront this Guru-defiant sinner, seeking an explanation. Yet, I refrain from slaying him. O Vishwamitra, through your affection, he could have easily been redeemed from his Guru's ire. Otherwise, with this keen-edged axe, his liberation would have been a simple endeavor." Smiling inwardly, Vishwamitraji remarked, "Parashuram may seem triumphant in all quarters, treating even Shri Ram-Lakshman as ordinary warriors, but this is akin to a forged iron sword, not a succulent sugarcane that dissolves effortlessly. Alas, these sages persist in folly, oblivious to their true impact."

Lakshman addressed the sage, saying, "O Sage! Your love is known far and wide, echoing across the world. You have dutifully fulfilled your role as a son to your parents, and now the weight of a guru's debt occupies your thoughts deeply. It feels as though you've taken a loan against our very foreheads. Many days have passed, and the interest on this debt must have surged. Summon the one responsible for calculations, and I will promptly open the treasury to settle this obligation."

Upon hearing Lakshman's firm words, Parashuram gripped his axe, causing the entire assembly to gasp in amazement. Lakshman continued, "O Bhrigushreshth! Are you brandishing the axe at me? Yet, O foes of kings! I identify myself as a Brahmin. You've never encountered a formidable and courageous warrior like me in battle. O Brahmin deity! Your greatness lies within your own realm."

In response to this, a chorus of protests erupted, declaring, "This is unjust, unjust!" Sri Raghunathji gestured to halt Lakshman, recognizing Parashuram's wrath, akin to the escalating flames of a sacrificial fire. The sun of the Raghu dynasty, Sri Ramachandraji, spoke words as soothing as water to calm the situation.