Parashurama’s encounter with Ganesha

After avenging his father’s death and the massacre of the erring Kshatriyas, Parashurama desired to personally pay homage to Bhagavan Shiva and reached Kailasa; he witnessed Nandeeswara, Maha Kaala, Ruru Bhairava, Rudraganas and Bhuta-Preta-Piscachas but finally Ganesha stopped him. All kinds of requests, and prayers failed and Ganesha refused entry to Bhargava Rama as Devi Parvati and Shiva were engaged in privacy. Finally, the latter lifted his Parashu (axe) and tried to force his entry; Ganesha lifted his trunk , looped Parashurama with it and encircled him round and round where by Bhargava visioned Sapta Dwipas, Sapta Parvatas, Sapta Samudras and Sapta Lokas viz.Bhur-Bhuvar-Swara-Janar-Tapo-Dhruva-Gouri Lokas and Vaikuntha / and Golokas. In the process, the mighty Parashurama hit one of Ganesha’s tusks with the Parashu that Maha Deva once gifted to Bhragava and the tusk fell off and blood gushed out. The resting parents of Ganesha were shocked as Kartikeya rushed and informed them. Parvati’s first reaction was to kill Parashurama but being the Loka Mata or the Mother of the Universe restrained herself and addresed Parashurama as follows: ‘You are born in Brahma Vamsha to one of the illustrious sons Maharshi Jamadagni and to Devi Renuka of Lakshmi ‘Amsha’or alternate Form of Devi Lakshmi. How did you do this to my son! Shiva is your Guru since he taught Trailokya Vijaya Kavacha and countless Asrtras to you. Is this the Guru Dakshina that you thought fit to give your Guru! You could have perhaps given a better Dakshina by cutting Ganesha’s head instead of breaking his tusk only! My son Ganesha has the power of destroying crores of cunning animals like you but was only playful with you; yet,you have only wantonly hurt himby breaking his tusk-not as an accident but with vengeance; you may know that he recieves the foremost worship all over the Universe!’ As Parvati addressed on the above lines, Parashurama felt ashamed of himself, prostrated to his Guru Shiva and Devi Parvati and the Almighty Shri Krishna the Immortlal. Meanwhile a Brahmana boy was visioned who actually was Vishnu who analysed the situation; indeed there was no justification of what Parashurama did to Ganesha but Parashurama was momentarily taken aback by folly as otherwise he was also like Ganesha or Skanda! Vishnu therefore pleaded being the Universal Parents might not read much into the happening. Vishnu also assauged the hurt feelings of Parvati and requested her not to impose personal angles into the unhappy situation; He further said that her son had Eight names viz. Ganesha, Ekadanta, Heramba, Vighna nayaka,  Lambodara, Shurpakarna,  Gajavaktra and Guhaagraja!  Parashurama pleaded mercy of Parvati since she was Jagan Mata or the Mother of Creation and begged of Ganesha for pardon of his indiscretion; Ganesha was graceful enough to agree of partial responsibility and the episode was closed happily.

Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]