Sage Parshurama surrenders unto Sri Rama

Story of Lord Parashuram

Parshuram comes to JanakPuri

The third skilled personality of that time was Parshuramji. His case was the most complicated. The world’s best warrior Parshurama barged into Janaka’s palace where he was received by Vishwamitraji. बिस्वामित्रु मिले पुनि आई |

Vishwamtira then instructed Sri Ram and Lakshman to bow before Parshuramji. The situation now took a U turn. The effect imprinted in the heart of Parshurama was not different from Sage Vishwamitra and Janaka.

Goswamiji has said-

रामहि चितइ रहे थकि लोचन | रूप अपार मार मद मोचन ||

He couldn’t take his eyes off from the beauteous form of Shri Rama. He was so blissful to see the two princes, Rama and Lakshman.

Goswamiji writes-

राम लखनु दसरथ के ढोटा | दीन्हि असीस देखि भलि जोटा ||

He heartily beheld the 2 sons of Dasharatha Rama and Lakshman and blessed them. Now again, like Vishwamitra and Janakji, he was clouded by illusion. While looking at Shri Rama, he suddenly remembered the purpose of his visit. Hence Tulsidasji in his logical-satirical manner puts it forth-

देखे चापखंड महि डारे | The broken parts of the bow were lying. Tulsidasji has beautifully chosen the words- देखे चापखंड महि डारे |

Aree! The intelligent man goes from Khanda to Akhanda. From the impermanent to the permanent. But here Parshuramji while beholding Akhanda Brahman is drawn to the Khandit Shiva Dhanush. From permanent he is stepping down to Khanda. Now who is Akhanda?

ग्यान अखण्ड एक सीताबर | माया बस्य जीव सचराचर ||

Tulsidaji very aptly uses the word Sitabar for Shri Rama since Sitaji had already garlanded Shri Rama with the Jaymala, hence the word Sitabar.

Parshurama angry

The first thought that struck his mind on looking at the broken Shiva Dhanush was that Lord Shiva was his Guru. By attacking the prized possession of his Guru this person has directly challenged his ego. Just like Sahasrajuna tried to attack him by torturing his father Jamadagni, this second man by harming his guru’s bow is throwing an open challenge at him.

So he approached Shri Rama and openly cleared his stance. सुनहु राम जेहिं सिवधनु तोरा| सहसबाहु सम सो रिपु मोरा||

Whoever has harmed my guru’s bow, he is my enemy as Sahasrabahu. Since he took the entire situation as an inimical gesture towards Lord Shiva and his own self, the feeling of revenge clouded his heart.

Lakshman and Parshuram Samvad

So Lakshmana entered the scene and to dispel his ignorance, spoke words soaked in humor. He said- Maharaj, this is not the first time a bow has been broken. बहु धनुहीं तोरीं लरिकाई |

Just like a child casually breaks a toy, we as children have broken innumerable bows, and all of a sudden he questioned Parshuramji- एहि धनु पर ममता केहि हेतू ||

Maharaj, Why are you so attached to this one? The most concerned should be Lord Shiva, who owns this bow. But he didn’t show his anger like this. And why should he? He has already gifted the bow to Janaka Maharaj, and after gifting an object to a second person, he loses all ownership of it. Though the bow is still known by its former name Shiva dhanush, it now belongs to Janaka maharaj. Since Lord Shiva has detached his mind from it, Janaka maharaja had taken this vow. An owner is most worried about the safety of his possession. Now if the owner Janak Maharaj himself claims that the breaking of the bow is essential to win the swayamvar. It shows that he too has discarded all attachment for it.

Hence Lakshmana made a taunting remark- “Maharaj, in this entire transaction between Lord Shiva and Janak maharaj, where has your name come in between? You have nothing to do with the bow.”

रावरी पिनाक में सरीकता कहाँ रही | But Parshuramaji felt that detached Shankara may ignore it, but he won’t.

After an argument, Parshurama finally surrendered unto Rama. Vishwamitra and Janaka Maharaj, realized the potency of Bhagavan and had surrendered unto Him. Now it was Parshurama’s turn. With the episode of Tadaka Vadha and breaking of the Shiva dhanush, Shri rama uprooted the doubts of Vishwamitra and Janaka respectively. But Parashurama wasn’t satisfied with this. Parshurama put forth the most difficult test. Here, Both Parshurama and Janak used the bow to test the efficacy of Bhagavan, but the bows were different. The Shiva Dhanush was used for Janaka while Vishnu Dhanush for Parshurama. For Janak the bow must break while for Parshurama the bow must be lifted. One through the act of breaking while the other through lifting realized the godliness of Shri Rama.

Hence Parshurama said- राम रमापति कर धनु लेहू| खैंचहु मिटै मोर संदेहु || Oh Rama, string this Vishnu Dhanush and dispel my doubts. Rama obeyed his instructions- देखि राम बल निज धनु दीन्हा| Parshurama happily handed the bow to Shri Rama and by completing the journey of surrender left for the forest to meditate.

The significance of Tadka Vadh, Shiva Dhanush and Vishnu Dhanush

How to look upon the events of Tadka Vadh, Shiva Dhanush and Vishnu Dhanush? Are they mere historical facts or carry a deep significance concerning our day to day lives. These three events carry the fundamental premise for surrender. Until Tadaka Vadha, Shiva Dhanush Khandan and the stringing of Vishnu Dhanush, this journey of Sage Vishwamitra is incomplete.

Importance of Surrender

The three personalities were exceptional in their skillset. King Janaka actively spread Jnana. Vishwamitra was a great Tapasvi. Parshurama was righteous loving and dispassionate, His character reflects the epitome of dispassion. He was a celibate, displayed no attraction for lust, and after conquering the entire planet, didn’t nurture the desire of kingship. The question is- Can one solve personal and social issues on the strength of one’s virtues and accomplishments? The Ramcharitmanas maintains that problems cannot be solved unless one surrenders unto Bhagavan, be it personal or social. Goswamiji in the Vinay Patrika says that this problem of Treta Yuga is the story of every yuga. The same Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Meghnad problem. Being accomplished in their respective fields the three elevated persons were incapable to kill these three roadblocks until they accepted the refuge of Sri Rama. Rama alone can establish Rama Rajya by killing Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Meghnad. When their incompleteness turns complete through surrender, Rama Rajya comes into existence. Until the individual surrenders unto Shri Rama he cannot solve personal as well as social issues by his personal endeavor.