The Sixth Incarnation of Vishnu in the Hindu mythology is one of the most fascinating characters you will ever come across. Parshuram’s story is of such charm and fascination that it is almost sad to not go through his life at least once in life. He is the protector who not just protects against evil, but also cultivates good by becoming a teacher. It is this fascinating personality that makes Lord Parshuram who he is and makes him stand out of all the other Nine Avatars. The others may be protectors, they may be your refuge but there is only one who do both; instill the good and vanquish the bad. Even Krishna, in all his glory and might could only teach Arjun something after showing his power and miracles.
In Mahabharata, there is an interesting quote by Dronacharya for brahmins and particularly Parshuram.
अग्रतः चतुरो वेदाः पृष्ठतः सशरं धनुः ।
इदं ब्राह्मं इदं क्षात्रं शापादपि शरादपि ।।
All the four Vedas to the front, bow and arrow on his back;Mahabharata
A Brahmin, a Warrior too; he can slay with weapons and curse both;
Parshuram is not just a warrior but also a Brahmin, a teacher. He know the difference between ignorance and sin. He knows how to punish and how to teach. It is this balance, that is essential building one’s character. All the avatar of Vishnu do indeed display this wisdom, but the perfection that Parshuram has in his character, the finesse of his methods is truly unparalleled. It is for this reason that Ram, the almighty and all conquering revers to him in a manner he revers no other.
बिप्रबंस कै असि प्रभुताई। अभय होइ जो तुम्हहि डेराई॥
सुनि मृदु गूढ़ बचन रघुपत के। उघरे पटल परसुधर मति के॥
Ram said, “So is the greatness of the accomplished brahmins that being fearful of them, one becomes fearless.” So hearing the wise words of Ram, Parshuram got cleared of the illusion that surrounded him.Ramchartimanas
In his magnificent creation, Rashmirathi, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar describes Parshuram in a very beautiful manner.
अजिन, दर्भ, पालाश, कमंडलु-एक ओर तप के साधन,
एक ओर हैं टँगे धनुष, तूणीर, तीर, बरझे भीषण।
चमक रहा तृण-कुटी-द्वार पर एक परशु आभाशाली,
लौह-दण्ड पर जड़ित पड़ा हो, मानो, अर्ध अंशुमाली।
श्रद्धा बढ़ती अजिन-दर्भ पर, परशु देख मन डरता है,
युद्ध-शिविर या तपोभूमि यह, समझ नहीं कुछ पड़ता है।
हवन-कुण्ड जिसका यह उसके ही क्या हैं ये धनुष-कुठार?
जिस मुनि की यह स्रुवा, उसी की कैसे हो सकती तलवार?
आयी है वीरता तपोवन में क्या पुण्य कमाने को?
या संन्यास साधना में है दैहिक शक्ति जगाने को?
मन ने तन का सिद्ध-यन्त्र अथवा शस्त्रों में पाया है?
या कि वीर कोई योगी से युक्ति सीखने आया है?
परशु और तप, ये दोनों वीरों के ही होते श्रृंगार,
क्लीव न तो तप ही करता है, न तो उठा सकता तलवार।
तप से मनुज दिव्य बनता है, षड् विकार से लड़ता है,
तन की समर-भूमि में लेकिन, काम खड्ग ही करता है।
किन्तु, कौन नर तपोनिष्ठ है यहाँ धनुष धरनेवाला?
एक साथ यज्ञाग्नि और असि की पूजा करनेवाला?
कहता है इतिहास, जगत् में हुआ एक ही नर ऐसा,
रण में कुटिल काल-सम क्रोधी तप में महासूर्य-जैसा!
मुख में वेद, पीठ पर तरकस, कर में कठिन कुठार विमल,
शाप और शर, दोनों ही थे, जिस महान् ऋषि के सम्बल।
यह कुटीर है उसी महामुनि परशुराम बलशाली का,
भृगु के परम पुनीत वंशधर, व्रती, वीर, प्रणपाली का।
With fur, sticks, twigs and water pots in one side; there are bows, arrows, swords and shields hanging on the other. A bright and vibrant axe, hanging by the door appears as if half a sun rides atop an iron staff. The sticks, twigs, prayer artifacts hint at the owner being a saint and cause you to feel a sense of devotion. The weapons on the other side hint at a warrior and cause you to be afraid. Does the hut belong to a saint meditating in silence? Or a warrior amidst a battle? Is the owner of this holy fire lit in one corner, also the owner of the bow and arrow? The hermit who appears to own such simple clothing, also owns the sword on the other side?
Is a warrior meditating here to get blessed by a deity? Or is a hermit trying to practice weaponry for physical fitness? Is it a sage who relies on weapons to conquer fear? Or a warrior who is visiting a sage for sermon? The axe, the penance; both are weapons of the brave. For the weak can neither meditate nor can he pick up a weapon to defend himself. Penance and meditation make one divine and help him battle all his flaws within. But only weapons can help fight the battles outside. But which great man here practices penance and warfare? Who reveres both the holy fire and the sword?
History says that there was only one man capable of this perfection. Like Death incarnate while in a battle, and like a thousand vibrant suns while in mediation. With the Vedas on his lips, bow on his back and a sword in his hands. With the power to destroy by weapons and the divinity to ruin by curse. This hut belongs to the great and almighty Parshuram. The brave descendant of Bhrigu, the one who never broke a vow, the one who never ran away from a battle.Rashmirathi, Chapter 2
A fact, often conveniently ignored is that the Nine Avatars of Vishnu are denoted by the nine planets of Astrology. As the story goes, Vishnu has taken the incarnations with the qualities of the nine-planet to symbolize the nine-distinct personalities that are different from each other but are still perfect in themselves and play a role in the world.
You would be surprised to know that of the nine planets, the Parshuram Avatar is ruled by Venus!
अवताराण्यनेकानि ह्यजस्य परमात्मन:
जीवानां कर्मफलदो ग्रहरूपी जनार्दन: ॥३॥
दैत्यानां बलनाशाय देवानां बलबृद्धये
धर्मसंस्थापनार्थाय ग्रहाज्जाता: शुभा: क्रमात् ॥४॥
The Unborn Lord has many incarnations. He has incarnated as the 9 grahas (Nava Grahas) to bestow on the living beings the results arising from their Karmas. He is Janardan. He assumed the auspicious form of grahas to destroy the demons (evil forces) and sustain the divine beings.
रामोऽवतार: सूर्यस्य चन्द्रस्य यदुनायक:
नृसिंहो भूमिपुत्रस्य बुद्ध: सोमसुतस्य च ॥५॥
वामनो विबुधेज्यस्य भार्गवो भार्गवस्य च
कूर्मो भास्करपुत्रस्य सैंहिकेयस्य सूकर: ॥६॥
केतोर्र्मीनावतारश्च ये चान्ये तेऽपि खेटजा:
परात्मांशोऽधिको येषु ते सर्वे खेचराभिधा: ॥७॥
From Sun occurred the incarnation of Rama, from Moon that of Krishna, from Mars that of Narasimha, from Mercury that of Buddha, from Jupiter that of Vamana, from Venus that of Parashurama, from Saturn that of Kurma, from Rahu that of Varah, and from Ketu that of Meena. All other incarnations other than these are also through the grahas. The beings with more Paramatmansha are called divine beings.Chapter 2: Incarnations, Brihat Parashara Hora Shastra
The Brahmin Avatar, who never married and was a hermit all through his life; never had any affairs or relationships or anything to do with romance in his life; who is regarded as the world’s greatest teacher and warrior and has lived all through as a hermit; is the Avatar that is ruled by Venus!
Now, this brings us to an important point of discussion.
Venus has been one of the most ill-treated planets in modern astrology. For some completely absurd and illogical reasons, people have classified Venus as the planet of lust, gambling, addiction, sex, immorality, characterless-ness, bad conduct and what not! This is something that is absolutely not supported in all the written texts of astrology! Venus is not even remotely related to these significations that are so popularly discussed these days.
Much of Venus’ qualities are reflected in Parshuram and what remains is reflected in Shukracharya (a discussion point for some other time). Now, we’re going to explore the qualities of Venus as reflected by the life and story of Parshuram.
In order to understand Venus as a planet, it is imperative to understand Parshuram as a character. Every aspect of Parshuram is the positive reflection of Venus. Venus is a planet capable of delivering both good and bad, just like any other planet. But if Venus becomes all powerful, all positive, without afflictions and in perfect placement, what it yields can be defined in one word: Parshuram.
Below are the least talked about, but most important positive traits of Venus from Parshuram:
Jupiter is the planet of Knowledge and learning, that much is pretty evident to all who know about astrology. But is Venus which is actually the planet of wisdom. Venus, as we know is the planet of creativity. In the more base terms, we define creativity as reproduction and in the higher terms we call it arts and poetry. At the core however, creativity simply means such a perfect command on something, that you’re able to give birth to something new out of it. The ability to create harmony from your knowledge is what creativity is. And the harmony that dwells in your personality as a result of your learning is what we call wisdom.
Parshuram is not just a warrior, a scholar but also a teacher. And not just a teacher, but a teacher who can excel when it comes to action. A brahmin (Jupiter) knows how to teach, but he cannot bring that knowledge to practical use. Even the greatest brahmins who used to teach warfare, had no idea how to actually lead a battle on the ground and when to act, when not to act. They knew the subject, but they did not have the harmony to bring it to action. For that, a Kshatriya, a King, a Commander was needed. Who would learn from the Brahmin, and then put to use based on his experience and duties.
On the other hand, Parshuram is the teacher who can also engage in war directly. Who can challenge Kings, overthrow Kingdoms, take reigns when things go wrong and take charge of his own. He is the perfection of learning such that there is nothing left which is impossible. He can teach, he can invent, he can conquer, he can develop, he can train and he can make anyone one of the greatest warriors in the world. For all that he did himself, he also produced students with legacies that paralleled his own.
This level of perfection, this level of finesse and such command is one of the most important traits of Venus. Venus, like Parshuram, excels beyond boundaries.
Pride and Arrogance
Now this may not look like a great trait in many ways, but this also is a key defining trait of Parshuram and Venus both. Knowledge always comes rigidity. As a rule, the more you know, the less you flex. It is because of this, the Vedas give so much importance on learning what is right. Knowledge by nature solidifies. It makes you firm and it makes you rigid. Ignorance, because it knows nothing, can accept everything. But the more you learn, the more that knowledge compels you. That whatever you know needs to be validated, needs to be correct, before you will budge from your stand.
It is for this reason, Parshuram, the wise and the power, was unable to recognize Ram when he was in front of him. Knowledge always needs to be convinced, it will not give in. Knowledge always knows that it is right, or at least has reasons to be right.
Venus is arrogant and proud by nature. It will take a lot to convince Venus about anything. It needs to be reasoned with, it needs to be defeated before it can accept something. Otherwise, Venus maintains its own firm ground. On the negative side, it can be as stubborn as you can imagine someone of being. On the positive side, this arrogance, this pride, makes it incorruptible. If Venus has been groomed like Parshuram, no matter what lust, what desire, what materialistic accomplishments are placed in front of it, Venus will not budge from its ideals and morale.
While Parshuram did not recognize Ram, challenged him to a war, wanted to behead him, wanted to burn down the earth; he still folded in humility and with deep devotion when he actually knew who Ram is. This is yet another trait associated with Parshuram, and with Venus. Knowledge and wisdom are arrogant, but they’re not foolish. Once they get to see their mistakes, once they know that there is something more to be learned, something more to become, something more to grow into, the humility is unparalleled. It is this humility in fact, which is the mark of a good student. Which essentially develops into knowledge and then into wisdom. For, a student cannot learn without humility, without devotion, without total surrender. And unless one can become a good student, one cannot attain knowledge.
Venus is always associated with materialism. With desire, with lust, with money, with sex. And yet, it rules the one Avatar who is a hermit. Not because there is a confusion or incorrect association, but because it reflects who Venus actually is.
Venus, denoted by Lakshmi among deities, is the planet of fulfilment. Not of materialistic desires, but of all fulfillment and nourishment. At its worst, Venus is deprived and chases the objects of fulfillment. It becomes materialistic because of being famished, not because that is what it is. At its best, Venus is the giver of fulfilment, the bringer of good luck. There is nothing that it wants, because it itself is the source of all fulfilment. And that is who Parshuram essentially represents. He is the perfect Yogi in utter bliss who does not need money or partner to be fulfilled. He is knowledge himself and does not need to chase after learning. He is power himself, he does not need a kingdom to establish himself.
Because he is the source of all fulfillment, there is nothing in the outside world that holds value to him. He is content just being who he is. Similarly, on its positive side, Venus is the least materialistic of the nine planets. It is so perfectly content and so perfectly fulfilled, that its presence can grace others with the same fulfillment as well. And for this reason, the presiding deity for Venus is said to be Lakshmi.
Parshuram is considered to be immortal. And it is something similar that reflects in Venus as well. Immortality simply means that something can never be gone or forgotten. And similar to this, Venus always make a mark. The very art of standing out among others, of being the memorable one, of remaining in someone’s heart, mind, thoughts, memories is a trait of Venus. Remembrance, becomes a major quality of Venus.
It is not that Venus is an all perfect planet. Somehow I always tend to make the impression that whenever I talk about something I end up making it reflect in an overly positive light. But it is not the case. All the nine planets, have their own positives and negatives. They together represent everything that is good and everything that is bad. So naturally, each planet has its perfections and flaws.
As anyone with an interest in astrology, it is crucial to understand this one basic fact. The nine planets are integral to life. They all have their good and they all have their bad. Every planet, irrespective of its good and bad placement, will contribute some positives to your life and some negative. And as such, it is important to understand them. Because, the most critical remedy for any planet is to imbibe their bright side and cast away the darkness that comes from their affliction. It is this one action, that helps improve the planets beyond all remedies. Figure out what positive traits the planet represents, and imbibe those. Figure out what negatives they indicate and stay away from those.
Thank you very much for the explanation. It was a question for me why Parshuram is called as connected to Venus.
Brilliant explanation on Parashurama and Venus – I am hearing it for the first time !
Goosebumps!! Felt almost as if reading through some stotra of Parshuram.
One small doubt. How can the 10th avatar(kalki) of Vishnu be explained astrologically? Is it also denoted by any graha?
World has already seen 9 avatar’s and 10th avatar is supposed to restart Satya Yuga. This must be ten’s of thousand’s of years later but whenever the next new cycle starts with Satya yuga, will the navagrahas again be there and similar 10 incarnations too? Question mainly is whether the astrological chart possibly depends on the yuga cycle or irrespective of the cycle the same 12 signs and 9 grahas (plus extra planets) would be present in chart? A speculative question but a doubt nevertheless.