Parashurama, aka: Paraśurāma, Parashu-rama; 17 Definition(s)


Parashurama means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Paraśurāma can be transliterated into English as Parasurama or Parashurama, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Hinduism

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Parashurama in Purana glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Paraśurāma (परशुराम):—The youngest of the many sons of Jamadagni (son of Satyavatī) and Reṇukā. (see Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.15.12-13)

Source: Wisdom Library: Bhagavata Purana

Paraśurāma (परशुराम).—An incarnation of Mahāviṣṇu, as man. Genealogy. Descending in order from Māhāviṣṇu—Brahmā-Bhṛgu-Cyavana-Ūrva-Ṛcīka-Jamadagni-Paraśurāma. (See full article at Story of Paraśurāma from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

Source: Puranic Encyclopaedia

Paraśurāma (परशुराम) according to the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The verses 1167-1226 give the story of Paraśurāma who eliminated twenty one times all the Kṣatriyas on the earth, to avenge the murder of his father. In the twenty first attack, he followed the Kṣatriyas to Kaśmīra and after killing them near the river Madhumatī, he erected there an image of Keśava which, as the Nīlamata informs us, was worshipped by the people, with animal sacrifices.

Source: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

1a) Paraśurāma (परशुराम).—A Siddha: the 16th avatār of Viṣṇu; a foe of the Haihayas; rid the world of the Kṣatriyas twenty one times; and made three pools of blood at Syamantapañcaka;1 defeated by Rama2 spoke highly of the valour of Bhīṣma,3 while in tapas was met by Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma on their way to Gomanta; he asked them to kill the king of Karavīrapura at its foot and thus clear the way uphill;4 was met by Balarāma;5 son of Jamadagni with an aṃsa of Nārāyana; a Bhargava;6 killed Kārtavīrya Arjuna.7

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 20; II. 7. 22; VI. 15. 13; X. 40. 20; 82. 3; XI. 4. 21.
  • 2) Ib. IX. 10. 7; chh. 15 and 16 (whole).
  • 3) Ib. IX. 22. 20.
  • 4) Ib. X. [52 (V) 18-30].
  • 5) Ib. X. 79-12; Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 4. 94.
  • 6) Vāyu-purāṇa 94. 38; Vāyu-purāṇa IV. 7. 36.
  • 7) Viṣṇu-purāṇa IV. 11. 20.

1b) A Purohita of Kṛṣṇa in his yajñas at Kurukṣetra.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa X. 90. 46[2].
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

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One of the Daśāvatāra (Hands of the Ten Avatars of Vishnu).—Paraśurāma: the left hand on the hip and Ardha-patāka with the right.

Source: The mirror of gesture (abhinaya-darpana)
Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)

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Learned scholars accept this Paraśurāma as the celebrated incarnation of Vāsudeva who annihilated the dynasty of Kārtavīrya. Paraśurāma killed all the kṣatriyas on earth twenty-one times. 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 brāhmaṇas, Paraśurāma killed them. Although their offense was not very severe, he killed them to lessen the burden of the world.

Paraśurāma is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and his eternal mission is paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṃ vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām [Bg. 4.8] — “to protect the devotees and annihilate the miscreants”. To kill all the sinful men is one among the tasks of the incarnation of Godhead. Lord Paraśurāma killed all the kṣatriyas twenty-one times consecutively because they were disobedient to the brahminical culture.

Source: VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam

Lord Paraśurāma still lives as an intelligent brāhmaṇa in the mountainous country known as Mahendra. Completely satisfied, having given up all the weapons of a kṣatriya, he is always worshiped, adored and offered prayers for his exalted character and activities by such celestial beings as the Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Gandharvas.

Source: VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 9.16.26
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Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).

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Katha (narrative stories)

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Paraśurama (परशुरम).—One of the incarnations of Viṣṇu.—As Paraśurama, the sen of Jamadagni, he after having killed the Kṣatriyas filled the ponds in Kurukṣetra with their hlood and with it gave funeral offering to his dead father.

Source: Shodhganga: A critical appreciation of soddhalas udayasundarikatha
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Pancaratra (worship of Nārāyaṇa)

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Paraśurāma (परशुराम) refers to one of the various Vibhava manifestations according to the Īśvarasaṃhitā 24.341-342.—Accordingly, “He (Paraśurāma) is to be meditated upon. He cuts the trees of karman of those who are devoted to karma, which are the roots of bondage with the power of non-attachment called axe. He has two arms which bear the lustre of the rising sun wearing the bride of black antelope and whose hand is marked by a good (efficient) axe.”.

These Vibhavas (eg., Paraśurāma) represent the third of the five-fold manifestation of the Supreme Consciousness the Pāñcarātrins believe in. Note: Kṛṣṇa is represented here more as a guide and instructor of people than as a child in Gokula.

Source: Isvara Samhita Vol 5
Pancaratra book cover
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Pancaratra (पाञ्चरात्र, pāñcarātra) represents a tradition of Hinduism where Narayana is revered and worshipped. Closeley related to Vaishnavism, the Pancaratra literature includes various Agamas and tantras incorporating many Vaishnava philosophies.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

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Paraśurāma (परशुराम) or Paraśurāmāvatāra refers to one the “ten incarnations of Lord Viṣṇu”, as defined according to texts dealing with śilpa (arts and crafs), known as śilpaśāstras.—The hand gestures for the daśāvatāra in dancing and iconography are similar in some cases and dissimilar in most of the cases. When the left hand is placed on the left side of the waist in ardhacandra-hasta and the right hand assumes ardhapatāka-hasta, it is paraśurāma-avatāra-hasta in dance. In images, Paraśurāma has two hands holding the paraśu (axe) in his right hand and the visiri (fan of palm leaves) in his left hand. The posture of the right hand is the same in dance and in images; but the position of the left hand is not the same.

Source: Shodhganga: The significance of the mūla-beras (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

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Paraśurāma (परशुराम, “warrior with the axe”) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the ten incarnations of Viṣṇu. This incarnation appeared in the tretāyuga. Viṣṇu is the name of a major Hindu deity and forms part of the trinity of supreme divinity (trimūrti) together with Brahmā and Śiva. They are seen as the cosmic personifications of creation (brahmā), maintenance (viṣṇu), and destruction (śiva).

He was the son of a Brahmin father Jamadagni and a Kshatriya mother Renuka. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Shiva, from whom he learned the methods of warfare and other skills. He fought back the advancing seas thus saving the lands of Konkan and Malabar. He is said to be a Brahmakshatriya ("warrior Brahman"), the first warrior saint.

Source: Wisdom Library: Hinduism

Parashurama is one of the avatars (incarnations) of Lord Vishnu. He was born as the son of the sage Jamadagni and Renuka and was named Bhargava. He was known as Parashurama because the axe was his favorite weapon. He executed his mother at the bidding of his father and later had her brought back to life. According to legend, Parashurama learnt the art of war from Lord Shiva himself. There is also a story that explains why Parashurama was so proficient in arms.

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

1. Avatar of Viṣnu. Parashurama, Warrior with the axe, appeared in the Treta Yuga. He is son of Jamadagni and Renuka. He received an axe after a penance to Shiva. Parashurama is the first Brahmin-Kshatriya in Hinduism, or warrior-saint, with duties between a Brahmana and a Kshatriya).

2. Parshuram (Sanskrit: परशुराम, Parashurama), is the sixth avatar of Lord Vishnu, He is son of Renuka and the saptarishi Jamadagni. He lived during the last Treta Yuga, and is one of the seven immortals or Chiranjivi, of Hinduism, He received an axe after undertaking terrible penance to please Shiva, who in turn taught him the martial arts.

Parashurama is most known for ridding the world of kshatriyas twenty-one times over after the mighty king Kartavirya killed his father. He played important roles in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, serving as mentor to Bhishma, Karna and Drona. Parashurama also fought back the advancing seas to save the lands of Konkan, Malabar and Kerala.

Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism

Paraśurāma (परशुराम).—The sixth incarnation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who appeared in ancient times to overthrow the warrior class when they had become degraded, who destroyed twenty-one consecutive generations of lawless members of the ruling class. He taught the science of weapons to Droṇa and Karṇa.

Source: ISKCON Press: Glossary

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

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paraśurāma (परशुराम).—m (S paraśu Ax, rāma Who delights in.) A hero and demigod; the first of the three Ramas; and the sixth Avatar of viṣṇu. He appeared for the purpose of punishing the violence of the Kshatriya or military tribe.

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

paraśurāma (परशुराम).—m A hero and demigod; and the sixth Avatar of viṣṇu.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

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Paraśurāma (परशुराम).—'Rāma with the axe', Name of a celebrated Brāhmaṇa warrior, son of Jamadagni and the sixth incarnation of Viṣṇu. [While young he cut off with his axe the head of his mother Reṇukā at the command of his father when none of his other brothers was willing to do so; (see jamadagni). Some time after this, king Kārtavīrya went to the hermitage of his father, and carried off his cow. But Paraśurāma, when he returned home, fought with the king and killed him. When his sons heard this they became very angry, and repaired to the hermitage, and on finding Jamadagni alone, they shot him dead. When Paraśurāma, who was not then also at home, returned, he became very much exasperated, and made the dreadful vow of exterminating the whole Kṣatriya race. He succeeded in fulfilling this vow, and is said to have 'rid the earth thrice seven times of the royal race'. He was afterwards, destroyer of the Kśatriyas as he was, defeated by Rāma, son of Daśaratha, though quite a boy of sixteen (see R.11.68- 91). He is said to have at one time pierced through the Krauñcha mountain, being jealous of the might of Kārtikeya; cf. Me.57. He is one of the seven chirajivins and is believed to be still practising penance on the Mahendra mountain; cf. Gīt 1. :-क्षत्रियरुधिरमये जगदपगतपापं स्नपयसि पयसि शामतभवतापम् । केशव धृतभृगुपतिरूप जय जगदीश हरे (kṣatriyarudhiramaye jagadapagatapāpaṃ snapayasi payasi śāmatabhavatāpam | keśava dhṛtabhṛgupatirūpa jaya jagadīśa hare) |].

Derivable forms: paraśurāmaḥ (परशुरामः).

Paraśurāma is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms paraśu and rāma (राम).

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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