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Lord Parashuram was the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Parashuram Dwadashi is the day when he had acquired the divine axe, Bhargavastra from Lord Shiva. He was a warrior sage who belonged to a Brahmin family.
It is believed that he had the knowledge of both Shastra and Shaastra Vidya. Shastra Vidya means, the knowledge of the arms, and Shaastra Vidya refers to the knowledge of books and religion. Through tapasya, he had pleased Lord Shiva and asked for the divine axe from him. Impressed by him, Lord Shiva taught him martial arts as well.
Lord Parashuram was born on the first day of the Treta Yuga. When the atrocities of the demonic Kshatriya kings had increased beyond measure, Goddess Earth approached before Lord Vishnu, and asked for help. Lord Vishnu promised her that he will come soon to help her. So, Lord Vishnu took birth as the son of Rishi Jamdagni and Renuka on the day of Akshay Tritiya.
His birth anniversary is celebrated as Parashuram Jayanti all across India. He destroyed all the Kshatriya kings and put an end to their tyrannies. It is also believed that he had saved mother Earth twenty one times from those kings and their successors.
When his rage went uncontrolled, Maharishi Richik had to appear in the scene, to pacify Lord Parashuram. He asked Parashuram to give him the earth. Lord Parashuram, after giving the earth to this sage, himself went to stay at the Mahendra Parvat.
Vrat Vidhi And Puja Vidhi
Falling on the day next to Mohini Ekadashi, it is observed as a fasting day. The fast begins with the sunrise of the Dwadashi and ends with the sunrise of the next day. One must abstain from anger, greed and other such evil acts, which are not dear to God.
The devotees wake up early in the morning, take a bath during the Brahma Muhurat and perform the puja before the idol of Lord Parashuram. He is offered flowers, sandalwood paste, dhoop, deep and akshat along with panchamrit, and dry fruits. Once these are offered, the Vrat Katha is narrated and the Aarti is recited. Do not forget to distribute the prasad among the family members after the puja.
For the whole night, the devotees keep a vigil and sing prayers to Lord Vishnu and Lord Parashuram.
The fast is broken with fruits only when the evening puja is done at the time of the sunset. Grain is abstained from and food containing grain or grain flour is taken only after performing the puja, the next day after sunrise.
Once, there was a king named Veersen. He had no son, so he took to tapasya through meditation of Lord Vishnu. He went into a deep, remote forest to begin the penance. He did not know that Rishi Yagyavalkya's Ashram was nearby. One day, he saw Rishi Yagyavalkya himself coming to meet this famous king. He immediately stood up and bowed before the sage and welcomed him.
After some time, the sage asked him the reason for his taking up of such a difficult way for worshipping the God. The king told him that he wanted a son, and to seek this wish from the God, he was doing the penance. Rishi Yagyavalkya then advised him to observe Parashuram Dwadashi fasts instead of the tough penance.
When the king followed his advise, Lord Vishnu, blessed him with a religious and brave son. This son later became famous as the Punyatama King Nal.
Not only this, the one who observes this fast is blessed with good education and prosperity too. He is blessed with a peaceful life in the heaven after death as well.