Seeing The Spirit In Matter Is Real Spirituality

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.16.10-24 - Lord Parasurama Destroys the Ruling Class (download mp3)
by Radhapati Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 9.16.10
ekadasramato rame
sabhratari vanam gate
vairam sisadhayisavo

Once when Parasurama left the asrama for the forest with Vasuman and his other brothers, the sons of Kartaviryarjuna took the opportunity to approach Jamadagni's residence to seek vengeance for their grudge.

SB 9.16.11
drstvagny-agara asinam
avesita-dhiyam munim
bhagavaty uttamasloke
jaghnus te papa-niscayah

The sons of Kartaviryarjuna were determined to commit sinful deeds. Therefore when they saw Jamadagni sitting by the side of the fire to perform yajña and meditating upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is praised by the best of selected prayers, they took the opportunity to kill him.

SB 9.16.12
yacyamanah krpanaya
prasahya sira utkrtya
ninyus te ksatra-bandhavah

With pitiable prayers, Renuka, the mother of Parasurama and wife of Jamadagni, begged for the life of her husband. But the sons of Kartaviryarjuna, being devoid of the qualities of ksatriyas, were so cruel that despite her prayers they forcibly cut off his head and took it away.

SB 9.16.13
renuka duhkha-sokarta
nighnanty atmanam atmana
rama rameti tateti
vicukrosoccakaih sati

Lamenting in grief for the death of her husband, the most chaste Renuka struck her own body with her hands and cried very loudly, "O Rama, my dear son Rama!"

SB 9.16.14
tad upasrutya durastha
ha ramety artavat svanam
tvarayasramam asadya
dadrsuh pitaram hatam

Although the sons of Jamadagni, including Lord Parasurama, were a long distance from home, as soon as they heard Renuka loudly calling "O Rama, O my son," they hastily returned to the asrama, where they saw their father already killed.

SB 9.16.15
te duhkha-rosamarsarti-
ha tata sadho dharmistha
tyaktvasman svar-gato bhavan

Virtually bewildered by grief, anger, indignation, affliction and lamentation, the sons of Jamadagni cried, "O father, most religious, saintly person, you have left us and gone to the heavenly planets !"

SB 9.16.16
vilapyaivam pitur deham
nidhaya bhratrsu svayam
pragrhya parasum ramah
ksatrantaya mano dadhe

Thus lamenting, Lord Parasurama entrusted his father's dead body to his brothers and personally took up his axe, having decided to put an end to all the ksatriyas on the surface of the world.

SB 9.16.17
gatva mahismatim ramo
tesam sa sirsabhi rajan
madhye cakre maha-girim

O King, Lord Parasurama then went to Mahismati, which was already doomed by the sinful killing of a brahmana. In the midst of that city he made a mountain of heads, severed from the bodies of the sons of Kartaviryarjuna.

SB 9.16.18-19
tad-raktena nadim ghoram
hetum krtva pitr-vadham
ksatre 'mangala-karini
trih-sapta-krtvah prthivim
krtva nihksatriyam prabhuh
samanta-pañcake cakre
sonitodan hradan nava

With the blood of the bodies of these sons, Lord Parasurama created a ghastly river, which brought great fear to the kings who had no respect for brahminical culture. Because the ksatriyas, the men of power in government, were performing sinful activities, Lord Parasurama, on the plea of retaliating for the murder of his father, rid all the ksatriyas from the face of the earth twenty-one times. Indeed, in the place known as Samanta-pañcaka he created nine lakes filled with their blood.

Parasurama is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and his eternal mission is paritranaya sadhunam vinasaya ca duskrtam [Bg. 4.8]—to protect the devotees and annihilate the miscreants. To kill all the sinful men is one among the tasks of the incarnation of Godhead. Lord Parasurama killed all the ksatriyas twenty-one times consecutively because they were disobedient to the brahminical culture. That the ksatriyas had killed his father was only a plea; the real fact is that because the ksatriyas, the ruling class, had become polluted, their position was inauspicious. Brahminical culture is enjoined in the sastra, especially in Bhagavad-gita (catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah [Bg. 4.13]). According to the laws of nature, whether at the time of Parasurama or at the present, if the government becomes irresponsible and sinful, not caring for brahminical culture, there will certainly be an incarnation of God like Parasurama to create a devastation by fire, famine, pestilence or some other calamity. Whenever the government disrespects the supremacy of the Personality of Godhead and fails to protect the institution of varnasrama-dharma, it will certainly have to face such catastrophes as formerly brought about by Lord Parasurama.

SB 9.16.20
pituh kayena sandhaya
sira adaya barhisi
sarva-deva-mayam devam
atmanam ayajan makhaih

Thereafter, Parasurama joined his father's head to the dead body and placed the whole body and head upon kusa grass. By offering sacrifices, he began to worship Lord Vasudeva, who is the all-pervading Supersoul of all the demigods and of every living entity.

SB 9.16.21-22
dadau pracim disam hotre
brahmane daksinam disam
adhvaryave praticim vai
udgatre uttaram disam
anyebhyo 'vantara-disah
kasyapaya ca madhyatah
aryavartam upadrastre
sadasyebhyas tatah param

After completing the sacrifice, Lord Parasurama gave the eastern direction to the hota as a gift, the south to the brahma, the west to the adhvaryu, the north to the udgata, and the four cornersnortheast, southeast, northwest and southwest to the other priests. He gave the middle to Kasyapa and the place known as Aryavarta to the upadrasta. Whatever remained he distributed among the sadasyas, the associate priests.

The tract of land in India between the Himalaya Mountains and the Vindhya Hills is called Aryavarta.

SB 9.16.23
tatas cavabhrtha-snana-
sarasvatyam maha-nadyam
reje vyabbhra ivamsuman

Thereafter, having completed the ritualistic sacrificial ceremonies, Lord Parasurama took the bath known as the avabhrtha-snana. Standing on the bank of the great river Sarasvati, cleared of all sins, Lord Parasurama appeared like the sun in a clear, cloudless sky.
As stated in Bhagavad-gita (3.9), yajñarthat karmano 'nyatra loko 'yam karma-bandhanah: "Work done as a sacrifice for Visnu has to be performed, otherwise work binds one to this material world." Karma-bandhanah refers to the repeated acceptance of one material body after another. The whole problem of life is this repetition of birth and death. Therefore one is advised to work to perform yajña meant for satisfying Lord Visnu. Although Lord Parasurama was an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he had to account for sinful activities. Anyone in this material world, however careful he may be, must commit some sinful activities, even though he does not want to. For example, one may trample many small ants and other insects while walking on the street and kill many living beings unknowingly. Therefore the Vedic principle of pañca-yajña, five kinds of recommended sacrifice, is compulsory. In this age of Kali, however, there is a great concession given to people in general. Yajñaih sankirtana-prayair yajanti hi sumedhasah: [SB 11.5.32] we may worship Lord Caitanya, the hidden incarnation of Krsna. Krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam: although He is Krsna Himself, He always chants Hare Krsna and preaches Krsna consciousness. One is recommended to worship this incarnation by chanting, the sankirtana-yajña. The performance of sankirtana-yajña is a special concession for human society to save people from being affected by known or unknown sinful activities. We are surrounded by unlimited sins, and therefore it is compulsory that one take to Krsna consciousness and chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra.

SB 9.16.24
sva-deham jamadagnis tu
labdhva samjñana-laksanam
rsinam mandale so 'bhut
saptamo rama-pujitah

Thus Jamadagni, being worshiped by Lord Parasurama, was brought back to life with full remembrance, and he became one of the seven sages in the group of seven stars.

The seven stars revolving around the polestar at the zenith are called saptarsi-mandala. On these seven stars, which form the topmost part of our planetary system, reside seven sages: Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Visvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni and Bharadvaja. These seven stars are seen every night, and they each make a complete orbit around the polestar within twenty-four hours. Along with these seven stars, all the others stars also orbit from east to west. The upper portion of the universe is called the north, and the lower portion is called the south. Even in our ordinary dealings, while studying a map, we regard the upper portion of the map as north.