Though it may appear that transgressions of the moral code are a common occurrence among all beings human and celestial alike, it is seen in the Puranas and the Itihasas that they do not go unpunished. The Supreme Lord establishes world order and dharma repeatedly when people fail in their duty and turn traitor to their nature, pointed out Sri B. Damodhara Dikshitar in a discourse. As Parikshit listens to Sage Suka’s narrative, he raises this issue in the context of Parasurama’s repeated campaigns to efface the Kshatriya race. Parasurama is born to Jamadagni and Renuka and grows up as an obedient son to his father in the peaceful surroundings of the sage’s hermitage. Once, the powerful king of the Hehayas, Kartaviryarjuna, visits Jamadagni’s ashram. Jamadagni welcomes the king and bestows hospitality with the help of the delicacies and luxuries obtained from the divine cow Kamadenu that he had by prayer brought to his ashram.

Kartaviryarjuna is highly impressed by the cow and wishes to have it in his possession. When Jamadagni refuses to part with the cow, the king forcibly takes her away along with the calf. At this time, Parasurama is away in the Himalayas and engaged in worship of Siva. Pleased with his penance, Siva bestows on him several divine missiles as well as the famed battle axe. When Parasurama returns and finds the cow missing, he takes it upon himself to mete out justice to king Kartaviryarjuna for the act. Parasurama confronts Kartaviryarjuna and kills him. The king’s sons vow vengeance and kill Jamadagni. His father’s murder becomes the cause of his campaign against Kshatriyas.

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