Parashurama Jayanti is the birth anniversary of Parashurama, the sixth avatar or incarnation of Lord Vishnu to be born.
This immortal warrior was born on the third day or Tritiya of shukla Paksha or the brighter phase of the moon in the month of Vaisakha, according to traditional Hindu calendar, and as per Gregorian calendar he was born in the month of May.
In 2017, Parashurama Jayanti is on 28th of April, Friday. Parashurama was born during the pradosh ka, or evening and thus it is considered to be auspicious to celebrate and worship him at that period. Akshay Tritiya of Akha Teej is the birthday of this great soul.
Lord Vishnu took this 6th avatar of Parashurama to rid the world of certain sins. He wanted the world to be rid of autocratic, sinful and irreligious monarchs. Surprisingly enough, according to Hindu beliefs, Parashurama still exists amongst us, and thus barring a couple of temples dedicated to Parashurama, there are not many temples having him being worshipped as a deity.
Legend behind Parashurama
The sixth incarnation or avatar of Lord Vishnu was born to one of the 7 sages, Jamadagni and his mother was Renuka. He walked on this planet during the Treta and Dwapara periods. He was a Brahmin, who after rigorous penance received his axe from Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva also taught him the art of Kalaripayattu, which is said to be the source of all martial arts. Lord Shiva is believed to have personally trained Parashurama on the art of warfare for a long time. Vargavastra and Vijaya were the celestial weapons which were gifted to him by Lord Shiva and Lord Indra respectively. It is also believed that he fought back the advancing sea so that the lands of Konkan and Kerala could be saved. He then built a temple and also placed 108 statues of various deities in different places and imparted training on martial arts to protect the holy temples from all kinds of evils.
Parashurama is mostly noted for having got rid of the Kshatriyas. The kshatriyas were the people according to the Vedic caste system on whom the protection of people and kingdoms were given. But over the years, these kshatriyas with absolute power became absolutely corrupted. They started oppressing common people and tormenting them. They even started killing the Brahmins, who were the guide to religious discourses. Parashurama then was born to demolish the Kshatriyas and to teach them a lesson.
Once he had done away with cleaning the system, he donated all the lands and the wealth to the Kashyapa Clan of Brahmins and the Namboodri Brahmins belonging to Kerala. It is also believed that he installed the blue stone idol in the Kanyakumari temple and also installed the Ayappa idol on the peak of the Sabarimala Hills.
Parashurama’s father Jamadagni was killed by the Kshatriya King Kartavirya Arjuna. Enraged Parashurama killed the Kshatriya clans 21 times and terrorized the Kshatriyas so much that Dasaratha when he arrived literally hid himself. At this turn of event, Kashyap Muni asked Parashurama to leave, so he went and settled down in Mount Mahendra.
It is also believed that Parashurama and Ravana’s son Indrajit are the only human beings who possessed the ultimate celestial weapons called the Brahmanda Astra, the Vaishnava Astra and the Pashupata Astra. Parashurama plays extremely important roles in the both the epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. He was the instructor and tutor to luminaries like Bhishma, Drona and Karna during the Mahabharata saga.
Parashurama is also woeshipped as the original male ancestor or the Mulapurusha of the Dravida, Niyogi,Bhumihar, Chitpavan, Tyagi and Nambudiri Brahmin communities among many others.
Celebrations of the occasion
The birthday of the great Parashurama is celebrated on the 3rd day of Vaisakha, also known as Akshaya Tritiya. Devotees fast on this day to have sons like Parashurama, as he is the epitome of all goodness. Once when his father Jamadagni, to test Parashurama’s devotion had asked him to kill his mother, he had done so; only to claim her life back as a reward. Thus he is the epitome of an ideal son. According to Varaha Purana, people who fast on this day will be born in a blessed manner in their next birth. Since it is Parashurama’s birthday, it is believed that good deeds performed on this day will yield great results. The day being that of Akshaya Tritiya, it is also considered auspicious for all kinds of new beginnings.