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08 Chiranjeevi 3 - Parashu rama

3. Parashurama (Axe-wielding Rama) – Parashurama (Bhargavarama – also called Rama – not to be confused with Rama of Ayodhya and the hero of Epic Ramayana) is considered to be the Sixth Maha-avatar of Vishnu. The ten Avatars being (given Garuda Purana):

Matysa, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki.

Parashurama is the only Chiranjeevi Avatar of the above. He still lives on earth, even today unlike the other Avatars who, once done with their work on Earth, go back to Vaikunth (Vishnu’s Heaven). He is also the first Sovereign Emperor known to man. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Shiva, from whom he learned the methods of warfare and other skills.

Parashurama appears many times in Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas. He is famous for killing Haihaya-Kshatriyas on the earth 21 times for their arrogance. The most famous Kshatriya he slew was Kartavirya Arjuna – also called Sahasrarjuna (possessor of a thousand arms) – the king of Mahishmati. He moved the sea back so that he can build a place to live for the growing population -- which is how Konkan / Deccan came into existence. He was also the guru of Bhishma, Drona and later Karna.

By birth, Parashurama is the son of Rishi Jamadagni and Renuka. By one legend, His birthplace was in Mahur, which is at the border of Marathwada and Vidharbha of Maharastra. At the left side of Renuka Mata temple there is a temple, which is believed to be Parashurama's birthplace. On the other hand, some claim that the place near Renuka temple and lake in Himachal Pradesh is where his origins lie.

Parshurama, the creator of the Konkan coast, is also worshipped in a temple at Lote Parashurama near Chiplun in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district. The people of the Konkan call their land 'Parshurama Bhoomi' or the land of Parshurama in accordance with the legend that the sage reclaimed the land from the sea.

As far as his current status goes, the Kalki Purana states Parashurama will be the martial guru of Kalki, the 10th and final avatar of Lord Vishnu. It is he who instructs Kalki to perform a long penance to Shiva to receive celestial weaponry.

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