Hanuman Nataka (critical study)

by Nurima Yeasmin | 2015 | 41,386 words

This page relates ‘The character of Parashurama’ of the English study on the Hanuman-nataka written by Shri Damodara Mishra in the 11th century. The Hanumannataka is a Mahanataka—a fourteen-act Sanskrit drama dealing with the story of Rama and Hanumat (Hanuman) and presents the events in the lifes of Rama, Sita, Ravana and Hanuman (the son of Anjana and Vayu—the God of the Winds) based on the Ramayana story.

9.6. The character of Paraśurāma

Paraśurāma is the son of sage Jāmadagni and the disciple of Lord Śiva. He is otherwise known as Jāmadagnyarāma. He is known as Paraśurāma, as because he bears the weaponParaśu’ or axe. Enriched with abundant knowledge of Veda and all śastras he is adorned with enormous knowledge and power. He exercises enough power to destroy the ‘Kṣatriyas’ as a hero named ‘Kārtavīryakilled the father of Jāmadagnyarāma and has beaten him twenty one times. In the 1st Act named ‘Jānakīsvayaṃvara’, the character of Paraśurāma is presented. In the svayaṃvara of Sītā, when Rāma lifts and strings and even breaks the Haradhanu (the bow of Śiva), then having heard the echoing sound of breaking of the bow, Paraśurāma, the disciple of Śiva with a thundering roar appears in the svayaṃvara hall and enquires about the breaking of the bow[1] and promises to kill the broker.[2] When Paraśurāma becomes angry, Rāma says that he is neither aware of his power nor of the weakness of the bow, but while lifting and stringing, it has broken. He requests Paraśurāma to excuse him for this work. But while Paraśurāma is not pacified at the request, Rāma becomes ready to fight, ultimately Paraśurāma comes to be overpowered.[3] Paraśurāma is also known as Bhārgava. Arrogance and rude behavior are the special traits of his character. His intolerance to others is clearly visualized in the episode of Sītā-svayaṃvara.[4]

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

paraśurāma -kenedaṃ kupitakāladantapatrāntarālamicchatā dhanurbhagnam! ibid., I,p.13

[2]:

āścaryaṃ kārtavīryārjunabhujavipinacchedalīlāvidagdhaḥ keyuragranthiratnotkarakaṣaṇaraṇatkāraghoraḥ kuṭhāraḥ/
tejobhiḥ kṣatragotrapralayasamuditadvādaśārkānukāraḥ kiṃ na prāptaḥ smṛtiṃ te smaradahanadhanurbhaṅgaparyutsukasya// ibid., I.38

[3]:

rāmanātyavarṇanam—
rāmastadādāya dhanuḥ sahelaṃ bānaṃ guṇe yojya yadā cakarṣa/
bhāti sma sākṣātmakaradhvajaḥ sva rgatiṃ praciccheda ca bhārgavasya// ibid., I.50

[4]:

paraśurāma—(sābhyasūyam)—
yena svāṃ vinihatya mātaramapi kṣattrāstramadhvāsavaṃ svādābhijñaparaśvadhena vidadhe niḥkṣatriyā medinī/
yadbāṇavraṇavartmanā śikhariṇaḥ krauñcasya haṃsacchalā dadyāpyasthikaṇāḥ patanti sa punaḥ kruddho munirbhārgavaḥ // ibid., I.43

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