Whenever righteousness is on the wane, and wickedness gets the upper hand in the world, I take birth in this worldto protect and re-establish dharma, said Sri Krishna in the Bhagvat Gita. Accordingly Bhagwan Vishnu took a number of incarnations on his own accord and we read about these incarnations in our epics and books on history. The following incarnations are well known Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Sri Rama, Krishna,Bhuddha and Kalki. These are called the ten incarnations of the lord.

Among the them Parashurama was the 6th and Rama was the seventh incarnations.

Among the ten incarnations, Parashurama's story is special and an attempt is made here to narrate the same. Parashuramawas born in the Brigu's clan. His father Jamadagni was famous for his devotion to tapas and good conduct. His motherwas the daughter of Prasenajith, a famous Rajarshi. They named their son Rama.

Later, he destroyed the clan of Kshatriyas by using his divine axe, therefore( Parashu means axe) he came to be calledJamadagni and Bhargava Rama because he was born in the Bhrigu clan, but we know him by the very commonly used nameParashurama. He was the fifth son of his parents.

Jamadagni was the son of sage Richika, a very great sage, He was acclaimed as one of the greatest among the sages ofhis time in respect of his scholarship. He had mastered Brahmavidya and along with it he was an expert in archery.Renuka, his wife would follow him like one's shadow in all his righteous activities and serve him with great devotion.The couple loved each other and they were considered a model couple.

Parashurama was loved by his parents very dearly. His parents were highly righteous. He was quick to learn everythingtaught to him. At a very young age he mastered all that a devout brahmin should learn. Besides these he masteredarchery with the help of his father. He reached the peak in whatever he did. He performed tapas to please Shankaraand received from him a number of divine weapons and mastered the use and retrieval of the same. His greatest weaponwas an axe. His father Jamadagni gifted to him the Vaishnava Dhanu(bow) which he had received as one of the ancestralpocessions. As a result of the benefaction of his teacher and parents, he acquired extraordinary power and skillsand became invincible.

He was born in the clan of Brahmarishis consequently the question, whether it was proper for him to master arts to bemastered by Kshatiyas. But dharma does not bar one from acquiring such skills when a person does not use them for acheiving ones personal ends, but for protecting dharma under unavoidable circumstanses. Dharma permits the use of both brahma and kshatra powers to put down and control wicked powers in the world.The lord was born in the form ofParashurama only to acheive this end.
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