Parashurama - 5

Vashishta and other sages thought that Parashurama was there for doing something terrible. they began to chant vedichymns to ward off evil. Some otherd began to perform some homa for establishing peace. Some others began to talkabout why the sage was there. This man had wiped out Kshtraiyas race from the face of the earth because one Kshtriyahad killed his father.And later he had cooled down. But the way he was approaching them, gave them the impressionthat he was on the rampage again. The sages welcomed him with arghya and padya on behalf of the king, but Parashuramawas not interested in the welcome, though he accepted it cooly. What he desired to do was to acquaint with Rama andif situation demanded, to fight with him. Therefore he did not notice either the king or the sages and made straightfor the place where Sri Rama was standing.
He addressed the following words to him."Rama, are you not the son of King Dashratha? I have heard about your superhuman valour and skills. I have a detailed acoount of your breaking the divine bow of Lord Shiva at Mithila.Afterhearing the news I have come to the inevitable conclusion that you are not an ordinary man and I have brought thedivine bow of Lord Vishnu. Now lift it, string it and shoot an arroe from it. Then I will have an idea of your realstrength and valour, and I will have a duel with you." When Dashratha heard the words of Bhargavarama he was verymuch upset. His courage evaporated. He folded his hands and said the following words to Parashurama.
"You are a great sage born in the Brigu clan. You have mastered all the vedas and shastras and your anger against theKshatriyas has subsided. You are a true brahmin and you have given up arms and have given word Devendra never to touchthem. You have gifted away all that you have won to sage Kashayapa and now you are doing penance on the slopes ofMt. Mahendra.As my bad luck would have it, you have come here in an angry mood. It appears to me that it is the endof all my fortune. If anything were to happen to Sri Rama, none of us can remain alive."
Even though Dasharatha was addressing the words refered to above to Parashurama, with great humility, the latter didnot seem to be listening to him. He spoke to Sri Rama saying "Come take this divine bow, life it, string it and shootan arrow from it. Then if you think you are equal to me in strength, you can fight a duel with me. Get ready for it, will you?"
Sri Rama listened to the arrogant words of Parashurama cooly and then spoke to him.
"Bhargava Rama, we know about your killing the kshtraiyas going round the world twenty one times because one of them killed your father. It is natural for brave men to wreak vengeance on the wrong doers and therefore we approve of whatyou have done. But you have been talking to me thinking that I am weak and your words are far from being respectful.I am a kshtraiya and therefore I am very polite to you. If you take my humility to be my weakness, you are sadlymistaken to you. I have been keeping quiet because I thought I should not do anything without my father's permission."So saying, he snatched the divine bow from Parashurama's hand in an angry mood, stringed it and fixed an arrow to it.Parashurama could not believe his eyes. He did not respect Sri Rama even lift the bow, let alone stringing it. He hadnot seen any one so strong and brave as Sri Rama.
Sri Rama said,"Bhargava Rama, I have done what you desired me to do. Who should I let the arrow fly at? I cannot shootat an innocent person. The only person I can shoot is you, but you are a brahmin. I am not ready to commit the sinof killing a brahmin. Further I know that you are a near relation of our beloved teacher Vishvamitra. I have already fixed this arrow to the bow. I have to let it fly. I can let it fly on any power you have attained or the punyaloka you have acquired as a result of your tapasand then destroy it. I cannot wait. Tell me immediately what is going to be thetarget. This divine bow must be used and we cannot waste it.
It was a rare sight. No one had ever witnessed such a divine happening. All the devas and danavas, brahmarishis,devarishis and even Lord Brahma ranged themselves in the sky to watch the spectacle. It was a rare sight to see SriRama raise the divine Vaishnava bow ready to shoot. When they saw Sri Rama their hair stood at end. They were thrilledat the sight.
Now Parashurama had to speak out. He grew pale. He had not experienced such a thing in his life. He began to speakin a soft voice.
"Long ago when I made a gift of the land I had won to sage Kshayapa he ordered me not to stay on that land even fora moment. Everyone knew it. Therefore I had to be moving about all the time. Therefore do not shoot the arrow in thedirection of my path. You let the arrow fly to the Punyaloka I gained as a result of my tapas. I do not mind losing it.I am going to Mount Mahendra with the speed of the mind.
You are not an ordinary mortal. You are Madusudhana Vishnu Himself. You could not have achieved this feat if you had beensomeone else. May you succeed in all that you do. In order to watch you perform the great task all the devas, danavas,rishis and even Lord Brahma are waiting in the sky.They expect to see you perform the task which should prove thatyou are matchless. They know that there is no one who can fight with you and they are expecting you to prove it.I wouldlike to make a point. You have stringed and fixed an arrow to the bow of Mahavishnu. Note but Vishnu can do it. Youare Maha Vishnu himself. I have not been defeated by anyone so far. Now you have defeated me and I accept it. I havebeen defeated by Srimannarayana and no one else . I do not feel ashamed of this defeat. As you suggested you destroythe Punyaloka I have earned with my tapas. Then I wil commence my journey. As Parashurama was saying thus Sri Ramalet fly the arrow in the direction of the Punyaloka Parashurama gained by his tapas until then. In an instant all he hadgained until then got destroyed. Parashurama watched the incident dispassionately and wished Sri Rama well, wentround Sri Rama and left the place in the direction Mount Mahendra.

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