Srimad bhagavata by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyāsa

Chapter Fifteen Parasurama, the Lord's Warrior Incarnation

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Chapter Fifteen Parasurama, the Lord's Warrior Incarnation

1. Sukadeva Gosvami continued: O King Pariksit, from the womb of Urvasi, six sons were generated by Pururava. Their names were Ayu, Srutayu, Satyayu, Raya, Vijaya and Jaya.

2-3. The son of Srutayu was Vasuman; the son of Satyayu, Srutanjaya; the son of Raya, Eka; the son of Jaya, Amita; and the son of Vijaya, Bhima. The son of Bhima was Kancana; the son of Kancana was Hotraka; and the son of Hotraka was Jahnu, who drank all the water of the Ganges in one sip.

4. The son of Jahnu was Puru, the son of Puru was Balaka, the son of Balaka was Ajaka, and the son of Ajaka was Kusa. Kusa had four sons, named Kusambu, Tanaya, Vasu and Kusanabha. The son of Kusambu was Gadhi.

5-6. King Gadhi had a daughter named Satyavati, whom a brahmana sage named Rcika requested from the King to be his wife. King Gadhi, however, regarded Rcika as an unfit husband for his daughter, and therefore he told the brahmana, "My dear sir, I belong to the dynasty of Kusa. Because we are aristocratic ksatriyas, you have to give some dowry for my daughter. Therefore, bring at least one thousand horses, each as brilliant as moonshine and each having one black ear, whether right or left."

7. When King Gadhi made this demand, the great sage Rcika could understand the King's mind. Therefore he went to the demigod Varuna and brought from him the one thousand horses that Gadhi had demanded. After delivering these horses, the sage married the King's beautiful daughter.

8. Thereafter, Rcika Muni's wife and mother-in-law, each desiring a son, requested the Muni to prepare an oblation. Thus Rcika Muni prepared one oblation for his wife with a brahmana mantra and another for his mother-in-law with a ksatriya mantra. Then he went out to bathe.

9. Meanwhile, because Satyavati's mother thought that the oblation prepared for her daughter, Rcika's wife, must be better, she asked her daughter for that oblation. Satyavati therefore gave her own oblation to her mother and ate her mother's oblation herself.

10. When the great sage Rcika returned home after bathing and understood what had happened in his absence, he said to his wife, Satyavati, "You have done a great wrong. Your son will be a fierce ksatriya, able to punish everyone, and your brother will be a learned scholar in spiritual science."

11. Satyavati, however, pacified Rcika Muni with peaceful words and requested that her son not be like a fierce ksatriya. Rcika Muni replied, "Then your grandson will be of a ksatriya spirit." Thus Jamadagni was born as the son of Satyavati.

12-13. Satyavati later became the sacred river Kausiki to purify the entire world, and her son, Jamadagni, married Renuka, the daughter of Renu. By the semen of Jamadagni, many sons, headed by Vasuman, were born from the womb of Renuka. The youngest of them was named Rama, or Parasurama.

14. Learned scholars accept this Parasurama as the celebrated incarnation of Vasudeva who annihilated the dynasty of Kartavirya. Parasurama killed all the ksatriyas on earth twenty-one times.

15. When the royal dynasty, being excessively proud because of the material modes of passion and ignorance, became irreligious and ceased to care for the laws enacted by the brahmanas, Parasurama killed them. Although their offense was not very severe, he killed them to lessen the burden of the world.

16. King Pariksit inquired from Sukadeva Gosvami: What was the offense that the ksatriyas who could not control their senses committed before Lord Parasurama, the incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for which the Lord annihilated the ksatriya dynasty again and again?

17-19. Sukadeva Gosvami said: The best of the ksatriyas, Kartaviryarjuna, the King of the Haihayas, received one thousand arms by worshiping Dattatreya, the plenary expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana. He also became undefeatable by enemies and received unobstructed sensory power, beauty, influence, strength, fame and the mystic power by which to achieve all the perfections of yoga, such as anima and laghima. Thus having become fully opulent, he roamed all over the universe without opposition, just like the wind.

20. Once while enjoying in the water of the River Narmada, the puffed-up Kartaviryarjuna, surrounded by beautiful women and garlanded with a garland of victory, stopped the flow of the water with his arms.

21. Because Kartaviryarjuna made the water flow in the opposite direction, the camp of Ravana, which was set up on the bank of the Narmada near the city of Mahismati, was inundated. This was unbearable to the ten-headed Ravana, who considered himself a great hero and could not tolerate Kartaviryarjuna's power.

22. When Ravana attempted to insult Kartaviryarjuna in the presence of the women and thus offended him, Kartaviryarjuna easily arrested Ravana and put him in custody in the city of Mahismati, just as one captures a monkey, and then released him neglectfully.

23. Once while Kartaviryarjuna was wandering unengaged in a solitary forest and hunting, he approached the residence of Jamadagni.

24. The sage Jamadagni, who was engaged in great austerities in the forest, received the King very well, along with the King's soldiers, ministers and carriers. He supplied all the necessities to worship these guests, for he possessed a kamadhenu cow that was able to supply everything.

25. Kartaviryarjuna thought that Jamadagni was more powerful and wealthy than himself because of possessing a jewel in the form of the kamadhenu. Therefore he and his own men, the Haihayas, were not very much appreciative of Jamadagni's reception. On the contrary, they wanted to possess that kamadhenu, which was useful for the execution of the agnihotra sacrifice.

26. Being puffed up by material power, Kartaviryarjuna encouraged his men to steal Jamadagni's kamadhenu. Thus the men forcibly took away the crying kamadhenu, along with her calf, to Mahismati, Kartaviryarjuna's capital.

27. Thereafter, Kartaviryarjuna having left with the kamadhenu, Parasurama returned to the asrama. When Parasurama, the youngest son of Jamadagni, heard about Kartaviryarjuna's nefarious deed, he became as angry as a trampled snake.

28. Taking up his fierce chopper, his shield, his bow and a quiver of arrows, Lord Parasurama, exceedingly angry, chased Kartaviryarjuna just as a lion chases an elephant.

29. As King Kartaviryarjuna entered his capital, Mahismati Puri, he saw Lord Parasurama, the best of the Bhrgu dynasty, coming after him, holding a chopper, shield, bow and arrows. Lord Parasurama was covered with a black deerskin, and his matted locks of hair appeared like the sunshine.

30. Upon seeing Parasurama, Kartaviryarjuna immediately feared him and sent many elephants, chariots, horses and infantry soldiers equipped with clubs, swords, arrows, rstis, sataghnis, saktis, and many similar weapons to fight against him. Kartaviryarjuna sent seventeen full aksauhinis of soldiers to check Parasurama. But Lord Parasurama alone killed all of them.

31. Lord Parasurama, being expert in killing the military strength of the enemy, worked with the speed of the mind and the wind, slicing his enemies with his chopper [parasu]. Wherever he went, the enemies fell, their legs, arms and shoulders being severed, their chariot drivers killed, and their carriers, the elephants and horses all annihilated.

32. By manipulating his axe and arrows, Lord Parasurama cut to pieces the shields, flags, bows and bodies of Kartaviryarjuna's soldiers, who fell on the battlefield, muddying the ground with their blood. Seeing these reverses, Kartaviryarjuna, infuriated, rushed to the battlefield.

33. Then Kartaviryarjuna, with his one thousand arms, simultaneously fixed arrows on five hundred bows to kill Lord Parasurama. But Lord Parasurama, the best of fighters, released enough arrows with only one bow to cut to pieces immediately all the arrows and bows in the hands of Kartaviryarjuna.

34. When his arrows were cut to pieces, Kartaviryarjuna uprooted many trees and hills with his own hands and again rushed strongly toward Lord Parasurama to kill him. But Parasurama then used his axe with great force to cut off Kartaviryarjuna's arms, just as one might lop off the hoods of a serpent.

35-36. Thereafter, Parasurama cut off like a mountain peak the head of Kartaviryarjuna, who had already lost his arms. When Kartaviryarjuna's ten thousand sons saw their father killed, they all fled in fear. Then Parasurama, having killed the enemy, released the kamadhenu, which had undergone great suffering, and brought it back with its calf to his residence, where he gave it to his father, Jamadagni.

37. Parasurama described to his father and brothers his activities in killing Kartaviryarjuna. Upon hearing of these deeds, Jamadagni spoke to his son as follows.

38. O great hero, my dear son Parasurama, you have unnecessarily killed the king, who is supposed to be the embodiment of all the demigods. Thus you have committed a sin.

39. My dear son, we are all brahmanas and have become worshipable for the people in general because of our quality of forgiveness. It is because of this quality that Lord Brahma, the supreme spiritual master of this universe, has achieved his post.

40. The duty of a brahmana is to culture the quality of forgiveness, which is illuminating like the sun. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hari, is pleased with those who are forgiving.

41. My dear son, killing a king who is an emperor is more severely sinful than killing a brahmana. But now, if you become Krsna conscious and worship the holy places, you can atone for this great sin.

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