Parashuram Dwadashi is the Vrat ascribed to Sri Parashu Ram, the sixth incarnation of Sri Maha Vishnu.
Parashuram Dwadashi occurs on the Shukla Paksha Dwadashi of Vaisaka month. Invariably, it falls either on the same day or next day of Mohini Ekadashi. For the Year 2022, it occurs on Friday, 13th May 2022.
Parashuram Dwadashi is also called as Jamadagni Parashuram Vrat.
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Parashuram Dwadashi – Legend
There is a belief that Parashuram Dwadashi is the birth day of Sri Parashuram.
The incarnation of Sri Parashu Ram was taken by Sri Maha Vishnu for the destruction of evil forces and for the protection of good and pious people. There are few legends pertaining to Sri Parashu Ram. The emergence of Sri Parashu Ram is mentioned in Agni Puran and Vinayak Puran.
Sage Jamadhagni, one of the Saptha Rishis was married to Sri Renuka Devi. Lord Maha Vishnu Himself was born to them as their Son. They named Him as Ram. Since Sage Jamadhagni was from the lineage of Sage Brihu, Ram was also called as Bhargava Ram.
Ram has learnt the Vedas and scriptures from His father. Though being a brahmin, Ram also had learnt the use of war weapons.
One day, King Karthaveerya who had thousand hands and was ruling the three worlds was passing by the Ashram of Sage Jamadhagni. He was back from a hunting trip.
Seeing the Ashram, he visited it. He saluted the Sage and said that he would be leaving soon.
The Sage asked the King to have lunch there. The King said that he did not come alone and that he could not leave his troupe behind and have lunch alone. He also told the Sage that he did not want to unnecessarily burden the Sage with more guests.
The Sage assured him not to worry. He asked him to bring his people along to have lunch.
The Sage had the holy cow named Kamadhenu. It was originally from the cosmic ocean. It was blessed to produce food for any number of persons.
The Sage prayed to Kamadhenu to produce food for all the visitors. Kamadhenu had made the sumptuous meals ready for all.
Kaarthaveerya and his team members had all taken the delicious and sumptuous lunch. They were all very pleased.
Kaarthaveerya asked the Sage as to how he had managed to arrange for the food. The Sage told him about Kamadhenu.
Kaarthaveerya became greedy. He asked the Sage to give the Kamadhenu to him. The Sage told him that he had the rights to only maintain and utilize the cow and not for donating it.
Kaarthaveerya did not pay heed to the Sage’s explanations. He simply tried to usurp the cow.
From each of the hairs of Kamadhenu, lots of warriors had emerged and fought with Kaarthaveerya. He had to make a hasty retreat.
While all these were happening, Ram was not in the Ashram.
On returning to the Ashram, Ram had learnt of the treachery of Kaarthaveerya. He took the blessings of His parents and did severe penance on Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva was pleased with the penance and gave him the boon to destroy Kaarthaveerya. He also had presented him with an axe. In Sanskrit, axe is called as “Parashu”. From then onwards, Ram was called as “Sri Parashu Ram”.
Meanwhile, Kaarthaveerya was biding his time to attack the ashram again. He knew that he could not have the Kamadhenu. He atleast wanted to penalize the Sage Jamadhagni.
He went there when Sri Parashu Ram was absent. He killed the Sage Jamadhagni. When Sri Renuka Devi protested, he hit her also.
Sri Parashu Ram
Sri Parashu Ram had returned to the Ashram to find His father dead and His mother struggling with the last breadth. She told Him the events and passed away.
Sri Parashu Ram then reached Kaarthaveerya’s place, fought with him with the axe given by Lord Shiva. In the end, Kaarthaveerya died.
From then onwards, Sri Parashu Ram had destroyed the evil forces.
Once Sri Parashu Ram visited Kailash to have the darshan of Lord Shiva. At that time, Lord Shiva was going into meditation. He had asked His Sons Ganesh and Karthik to stop anyone from disturbing Him during the meditation.
On seeing Sri Parashu Ram at the entrance, the Divine Kids stopped Him. Sri Parashu Ram got angry. With His axe, He had attacked Sri Vinayak. Sri Vinayak did not respond because He knew that the weapon was given by His father. Due to the effect of the axe, a portion of Sri Ganesh’s protruding tooth got broken.
On seeing this, Sri Parvathi Devi got furious and was preparing to attack Sri Parashu Ram. Lord Shiva who had done His meditation by this time stopped Sri Parvathi Devi from attacking Sri Parashu Ram. He told Her that Sri Parashu Ram was also like a Son to Him.
Sri Parashu Ram then apologized to Sri Shakthi and Sri Ganapathi.
As per another legend, Sage Jamadhagni had a quarrel with his wife Renuka. When Sri Parashu Ram intervened, he had ordered Him to kill His mother. Sri Parashu Ram did that without hesitation to respect His father’s orders. However, with His spiritual powers, He had revived His mother immediately. Sage Jamadhagni also had understood the spiritual powers of his Son.
Sri Parashu Ram avathar is the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It is also the first incarnation where Sri Vishnu appeared in full human form. It is believed that the death and re-birth of Renuka Devi denote the begetting of children by the mothers.
As per another belief, Sri Parashuram Jayanthi is celebrated on Shukla Paksha Thrithiya of Chaitra month which also happens to be the Akshaya Thrithiya day.
Parashuram Dwadashi – Rituals
The Vrat begins at the sunrise of the Dwadashi and ends at the sunrise of the next day. The idol / picture of Sri Parashuram is kept in the Puja place and archana and arti are done as is done for Sri Narayana.
There is also the custom of keeping the idol of Sri Parashuram in the pot containing water.
The devotees observe complete fasting and they are awake at the night of the Vrat day.
It is believed that the observation of Parashuram Dwadashi Vrat shall alleviate all sins and will result in attainment of moksha.