Episode # 478 – Birth of Parasurama and Sage Vishwamitra – An interesting narrative!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced an important discussion on the birth background of Sage Vishwamitra and Parasurama. We’ve witnessed that King Gaadhi had a daughter by name Satyavati, who had been given in marriage to Sage Richeeka. As days and months progressed, King Gaadhi and his wife visited Satyavati and enquired about her life. As Satyavati and her mother were conversing with each other, both of them had a wish to have their own sons. That is, Satyavati wanted to have a son with Sage Richeeka and at the same time, Satyavati’s mother wanted to have a son with King Gaadhi. Thus, Satyavati’s mother wanted her daughter to approach Sage Richeeka who was a great sage, for a solution to this wish. Accordingly, as Satyavati expresses her wish along with her mother’s, Sage Richeeka prepares two cups of “Paayasam” out of his power of penance – One for Satyavati and the other for her mother. The cup of “Paayasam” designated for Satyavati was to give birth to a Brahmana Rishi and the other cup designated for her mother was to give birth to a Kshatrya prince. Sage Richeeka gave both these cups to Satyavati and asked her to give one of them to her mother. 

Now, as Satyavati gave the designated cup of “Paayasam” to her mother, she did not drink it immediately. She waited until Satyavati drank her cup. However, Satyavati did not drink her cup as well. This led to her mother thinking thus, “Oh! Since Sage Richeeka is Satyavati’s husband, probably he might have prepared her cup of “Paayasam” with a lot more dedication than mine. Perhaps, the son who would be born to Satyavati might be more intelligent and brilliant than mine! Hence, maybe if I drink that cup of “Paayasam” which Satyavati should have, I might obtain that more intelligent son!” This thought of jealousy came into Satyavati’s mother’s mind and with this, she drank the cup of “Paayasam” that was designated for Satyavati! Thus, as Satyavati was sleeping during the night, her mother secretly drank Satyavati’s cup of “Paayasam” before she woke up! Next morning when Satyavati woke up, she initially did not realize that her mother had drank the wrong cup of “Paayasam”. Assuming that the remaining cup of “Paayasam” is her’s, Satyavati drank it! 

As days passed by, both of them became pregnant and started carrying. However, the babies that were growing inside both of them had contrasting characteristics! Satyavati was the first one to understand this because the baby that was growing within her womb started exhibiting aggressive characteristics! With this, Satyavati understood that there was some problem and she immediately reported this to her mother. As Satyavati explains the problem, her mother accepts the truth that she had allegedly consumed the cup of “Paayasam” that wasn’t designated for her! Upon hearing this, Satyavati was shell-shocked! She was in tears of anger and frustration and with this, she immediately ran to Sage Rickeeha for a solution! Satyavati cries to her husband that a blunder has happened and this should somehow be reversed! As Satyavati cries thus, Sage Richeeka replies back, “Oh Satyavati! Now it is too late. Nothing can be done! When I trusted my power of penance and prepared the two cups of “Paayasam”, I had clearly mentioned which cup was for whom. If you had mistakenly consumed the wrong cup, it is not my fault and the situation cannot be reversed! Thus, the son who would be born to you would be an embodiment of “Kshaastrava Tejas”, which means that the baby would be full of anger and aggression! You’ll have to bear with it and I cannot reverse this situation!” 

As Satyavati listened to this, she was again shell-shocked! She could not digest this fact! However, she fell on her husband’s feet and prayed once again to him! With this, Sage Richeeka thought for a while and replied thus, “Oh Satyavati! Maybe I can do one thing – Of course I cannot change the outcome completely, but maybe I can “delay” it a bit further. This means, the subsequent generation child who would be born, would be extremely aggressive with the “Kshaastrava Tejas”!” As Satyavati heard this, she heaved a huge sigh of relief! Atleast, her baby will not be this aggressive, isn’t it? It is only going to be this baby’s baby, which would take another thirty to forty years time! Thus, she accepted Sage Richeeka’s proposal and with this, Satyavati delivers a son by name “Jamadagni”. This baby was a great sage and had all the characteristics of a Brahmana Rishi. Eventually, Jamadagni becomes a great sage similar to his father and when Jamadagni marries and obtains a child, this child was extremely aggressive with a lot of “Kshaastrava Tejas”! This child was none other than Parasurama! Thus, we can see here that Parasurama, even though he was a Brahmana Rishi’s son, had extreme anger and “Kshaastrava Tejas” in him. This is why we see that Parasurama went around the world killing all those people who practised “Adharma” and drank all of their blood to quench his thirst! Parasurama’s aggression and anger knew no bounds and this is the history behind it! 

Now let us witness the other side where the “Paayasam” got interchanged – King Gaadhi’s wife (Satyavati’s mother) delivered a son and this baby was none other than Sage Vishwamitra. Thus, even though Sage Vishwamitra was a “Kshatrya” prince by birth, he wanted to become a “Brahma-Rishi” during his later period of life and he somehow achieved it as well! The reason behind a “Kshatrya” obtaining the highest title of “Brahma-Rishi” is this interchange of the “Paayasam”! Thus, we can see here that Parasurama was a “Brahmana Rishi” by birth, but went on to become a “Kshatrya” and Vishwamitra on the other hand, was a “Kshatrya” by birth, but went on to become a great “Brahmana Rishi”! This is the important understanding that all of us should have! 

So for today, let us understand this story clearly and we shall wait till the next episode to witness the next accord of Sage Naarada and Sage Dhoumya! Stay tuned! 🙂  


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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