Indian Mythology (by ApamNapat)

Jamadagni - Father of ParashuRama


Jamadagni was one of the great sages, a descendant of the sage Bhrigu. His wife was named Renuka. They had many children, the youngest of whom was Parashurama (Rama of the axe). Renuka was such very devoted wife and the power of her chastity was manifest. Such was this power, that she used to fetch water from the river in a pot made of unbaked clay every day. The pot would hold together because of her devotion to her husband.

One day, when she was at the river, a Gandharva happened to be passing by in the sky, in his chariot. He was a handsom man, as most Gandharvas are. Renuka was for an instant smitten with desire for this handsome youth, but recovered herself quickly. However the damage to her powers was done. The unbaked pot that she was carrying, dissolved into the river. Try as she might, she could not make a pot that could hold the water, for the spell had been broken. She was no longer chaste of mind. Afraid to go back to her husband, she waited at the river bank.

Meanwhile Jamadagni was waiting for fresh water to begin his morning sacrifices. When he saw that his wife had not yet returned from the river, he used his yogic powers and at once divined all that had taken place. He was exceedingly angry with his wife. He called his eldest son, told him what had happened and asked him to execute his mother. Horror-stricken, his son refused to perform this deed. He then asked all of his sons, in order of their age, to execute their mother and their undutiful elder brothers. None would do his bidding. None that is, except for Parashurama. He at once beheaded his mother and elder brothers with his axe.

Jamadagni was pleased. He offered to grant a boon to Parashurama, who at once asked that his mother and brothers be restored to life and accepted into the family again. Impressed by his son's devotion and affection for his family, Jamadagni granted this boon and many others.

Jamadagni was later killed by a king named Kaarthaveerya-arjuna, over a dispute over a divine-calf. Parashurama avenged his father's death by wiping out the entire class of Kshatriyas. He repeated this feat twenty one times.

Last Modified At: Thu Oct 21 22:17:46 2004