In the previous episode, we had witnessed the birth stories of both Parasurama and Sage Vishwamitra. Because of the “Paayasam change” that took place between Satyavati and her mother, Parasurama incarnated in the family lineage of Satyavati and Sage Richeeka, but after one generation. This is because, Satyavati requested Sage Richeeka to “postpone” the birth of a baby with extreme anger and “Kshaastrava Tejas”, and hence, she delivered a baby named “Jamadagni”, who later on became a great Brahmana Rishi. The child that was born to Jamadagni was none other than Parasurama, according to Sage Richeeka’s words. On the other hand, Satyavati’s mother delivered a baby who was none other than Sage Vishwamitra. Thus, Sage Vishwamitra was a “Kshatrya” by birth, since Gaadhi was a king. However, since the “Paayasam” that Satyavati’s mother consumed was meant to produce a Brahmana Rishi, Sage Vishwamitra obtained that interest to become a “Brahma-Rishi” at a later stage in his life. 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!
Moving on thus, we shall now discuss the “Charitra” of Jamadagni, as narrated by Sage Naarada and the others to Yudishtra, as they continue with their “Teertha Yatra” further. As we’ve seen earlier, Jamadagni was a great sage born to Satyavati and Sage Richeeka, and he later married a girl by name Renuka. After the marriage, they started having children. One amongst these children of Jamadagni was Parasurama. Once upon a time, after the children were born, Renuka Devi was once busy plucking some flowers for the “Nitya-Aaraadhana” of her husband Jamadagni. This used to be a daily routine for Renuka Devi and on one particular day, one of the “Apsaras” (Celestial being) by name “Chitra-Rasa” happened to pass by that place. Upon seeing the beauty of Renuka Devi standing there as she was plucking the flowers, Chitra-Rasa fell in love with Renuka Devi for a moment! He simply stood there and admired her beauty, and after a few minutes he went away.
As Renuka Devi came back home with the flowers and the “Teertham” for Jamadagni’s “Aaraadhana”, Jamadagni sensed something unusual. He got angry with it as well. Jamadagni called his wife and asked her straightaway thus, “Oh Renuka! Why are the flowers that you brought today so pale? What happened to you? Indeed, even the holy water that you’ve brought also seems to have some bad vibrations! Did you see someone in the garden? Did you give yourself to that person who saw you? The vibrations that are emitting out of the water and these flowers point to an illicit affair that you’ve had with someone else! Tell me the truth! What happened in the garden today?” As Sage Jamadagni asked thus with great anger, Renuka Devi did not know what to reply! She was shell-shocked! In fact, she hasn’t even seen Chitra-Rasa standing and admiring her, even though he had seen her! She replied to her husband thus, “Oh Sage Jamadagni! I’m a “Pathi-Vratha” woman and till this moment I’ve never thought of anyone else other than you in my life! How are you saying all such words to me? I’m not understanding what you’re saying! Please forgive me if I’ve done something wrong!”
As Renuka Devi says thus, she falls on Sage Jamadagni’s feet and seeks unconditional apology! However, Sage Jamadagni’s anger towards Renuka Devi did not subside. With extreme anger, he called out all his sons to come forward and chop off Renuka Devi’s head for the mistake she had committed! He calls the first son and instructs this, however, the first son was moved by the bonding he had with his mother. He refused to chop of his own mother’s head! Subsequently, Jamadagni called out for his other sons, and everyone refused to do this. Finally, Parasurama came forward. Parasurama was Jamadagni’s last son. As the instruction comes from his father, Parasurama immediately took his weapon in hand and rushed towards his mother. Even though his mother pleaded with Parasurama to leave her, Parasurama stood by his “Dharma” of obeying his father’s words! With this, Parasurama chopped off his own mother’s head and Renuka Devi fell on the ground dead!
As this treacherous incident happened, everyone started crying, but Jamadagni was extremely happy. He was contented that atleast one of his sons had the guts to come forward to execute his words. Parasurama was also happy because he stood by his “Dharma” of obeying his father’s words, even though it was for a disastrous cause of sacrificing his mother! Impressed by Parasurama’s dedication, Sage Jamadagni requests Parasurama to ask for two boons! As Sage Jamadagni asks thus, Parasurama spells out his two boons – “Oh father! My first boon to you is to bring back my mother to life! She should once again get up and be along with us! My second boon to you is that, the “Paapa-Karma” of killing my own mother should not touch me at any point in life! I had to do it, just because it is my “Dharma” to obey my father’s words. However, this should not cause any harmful effect to my mother! Also, this “Karma” shouldn’t haunt me in my life! Please grant these two boons to me!”
As Parasurama spells out his two requests thus, Sage Jamadagni became very happy and appreciated his son for his dedication to both his parents. He immediately brought Renuka Devi back to life and assured that the sin of killing his own mother would never haunt him at any point in his life. With this, all of them lived happily henceforth, along with Renuka Devi. They had all the possible wealth with them, along with the cows, and other forms of resources too. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall witness what happened further in Parasurama’s life! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂