Author's Note: This story will rather be working slowly as it requires a lot of research. Any resemblance to real life characters, places, events are deeply regretted and are fictional to their entirety. This story is based on the life story of Lord Parashurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu of Hindu mythology. Any inconvenience or misinterpretation, if present, is regretted.
Synopsis: A man is born and his parents are killed by a powerful underworld don, he takes a terrible oath that he will annihilate the Mafia 21 times. The killings go until he meets one whom he cannot defeat, his own pupil, and it is also so that the pupil cannot defeat his own master; until his parents come in his dreams telling him to stop the manslaughter. The story goes on until it depicts the old man teaching a young pupil his ways of life. (Same as Parashurama purged the earth of kshatrityas 21 times until he met his match in Bhishma.)
The below dialogue between Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi is entirely fictional and has not happened. The characters which might be incarnations have never come down on earth and will never come down and so any misconvenience caused is deeply regretted. The story goes as per life of Lord Parashurama set in the modern context. The whole story is fiction to its entirety.
Since superscripts are not acceptable in FP, I have explained meanings after the chapter completes.
For the disbelief in righteousness, mortals have to suffer.
A temple of the Goddess of Wealth stood amidst the serene surroundings of a small village. The temple was a very old temple, probably built by the kings of old. The village was named after this temple – Lakshmigaon. The temple was built on a raised platform and entirely built of grey stone. The pillars supported a huge block of stone which acted as the roof. The floors were clean and carpeted with a red fiber cloth.
The deity was placed inside a small dark room with only a small shaft of light coming through a small window. Two lamps were placed in front of the deity who resembled the Goddess of Wealth. The fire in the lamps burnt continuously despite the winds that scudded about it.
A bald priest, clothed in saffron, chanted mantras as the devotees who sat on the clothed floor shook their heads sideward, clapping their hands slowly at the same time.
The temple was raised on a small hillock and was accessed through stony stairs. A small gate stood amidst a thorny fence that encircled the hillock. The gate was the only entrance to the temple.
A sleek 4x4 halted just in front of the gate. Four men, dressed in black, with revolvers in their hands, got out of the van and sprinted up the stairs.
They soon reached the temple floors. One of them raised his hands and shot a bullet into the sky. The priest, who was facing the deity, looked behind and fear dashed across his round face. The men strode towards the temple door, pushing any of the devotees that stood on their path.
The one who had shot the bullet leveled his gun, straight at the priest's forehead.
"Pray to your God, priest, pray to the God, ask Her to save you. Come on. You should be quick. We have not got much time."
"Please, do not kill me. What have I done to you? Please, do not kill me." said the priest as he stammered.
"What have you done? Do not act innocent. You have accepted to be a witness in the court of law in the Srapthashrungi murder case and you tell me that you have not done anything. You made a wrong decision despite our repeated warnings. Now prepare to die, old man."
"Please, I will withdraw. Please, I beg you. Do not kill me. I have two small kids. Please-"
Before he could complete his sentence, a bullet pierced his forehead and he fell on his back.
"We do not offer you any second chance when you have refused us the first."
The man laughed and beckoned to the others.
One of the devotees obstructed his path, "Fool, you have committed a grave sin in a holy place. The Gods shall not forgive you. One shall be born who will destroy you all and send you to the fire. You shall regret this day, you fool."
The men laughed. "God shall punish me, eh? For that, He will have to descend. And that He will not do.", saying which, the gang leader pushed him away.
They then sprinted down the stairs again full of mirth, even as onlookers stood at their places in terror.
A golden palace stood amidst a sea of white clouds - the palace no mortal could reach. It was the abode of a lord so mesmerizing, so blue, known as the Protector.
The huge grey door that led into the celestial abode was guarded by two dwarpals. Bright sparks held the pinnacles of spears they clutched in their arms. Behind the closed steel door was a well graved path enclosed on either side by golden walls; and the path led on until it ended in another sea of white clouds.
A mortal would be really amazed and awestruck if he entered this celestial palace. But the rules of nature – framed by the Gods themselves – never allowed a mortal to reach into these inner reaches of heaven. Only those souls who have attained salvation at the hands of the Lord; only those selected few who have been ordained to serve the Lord by their own hands were allowed in this blissful abode; protected and blessed.
A few nartakis danced on the cloudy floors with their graceful bodies swerving to the harmonious and spiritual music being played by several harpers.
A few feet away, the clouds gave way to a huge ocean of milk, amidst which a huge serpent with a thousand heads sprawled along the entire length of the infinite ocean. Upon the serpent, a tall man-like figure lay sleeping, with His one leg folded and the other laid straight. He was clad in a yellow cloth below his abdomen and very blue he was too. A golden helmet He wore, a half helmet to be exact, adorned with various gems that kept his hair hidden. Four hands He had, in one He held a cutting wheel, in the second He held a sea-conch, in the third He held a huge golden mace and in the fourth He held a beautiful lotus.
At the feet of Him, whom many mortals revered and prayed for protection, sat a beautiful lady with a grace that would have enchanted many. She was the Goddess of Wealth and the wife of He who was the Protector. She was clad in a red sari and looked with reverence towards her husband.
The Lord shifted a little and looked towards his wife. He smiled a little – a smile that entranced many.
"Dear, are you not enjoying the music which is being played by our devotees? I can see some disturbing thoughts welling inside your mind. Share with me, dear. Maybe, I could find a solution."
She remained silent for a while, after which she spoke in a voice so musical, that it shadowed even the harmonical tones to which the nartakis danced.
"Lord, do you not think that in this Kaliyug, the burden of unrighteousness and sin is too heavy on the earth, your sister?"
"Indeed, dear. My sister has to bear so much sin; mortals have forgotten their Dharma and are becoming selfish. But I see what you are getting at, O dear Lady."
"Then, if you know, is it not then time, time for you to incarnate upon the earth, to save your sister from the uncouth works of men? Was it you who said once upon a battlefield, that you will incarnate again and again when Dharma is at risk? Was it not you, Lord, who said to Arjuna that you shall come to earth and annihilate those who tipped the balance of righteousness? Is it not time?"
The Lord smiled. His thoughts took him back to that huge battlefield of Kurukshetra. Two huge armies - one headed by the Kauravas and the other smaller one headed by the Pandavas – were assembled on either side of a four horsed chariot of which He himself was the charioteer and a maharathi named Arjuna stood with his weapons down and his eyes piercing his enemies who were his close relatives. When he had refused to fight, He himself had stood and grown tall, as if by magic, and shown his Vishwarupa. And then He had recited the Gita to his favorite friend and who had now become His disciple.
The Lord took thought as he smiled again, as he heard himself reciting the words which are being remembered for ages even to the world of today.
He heard Himself,
Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya, Jnanirbhavati Bharata,
Abhyutanama ADharmasya, Tadatmanam Srujamyaham,
Paritranaya Sadhunam, Vinashayacha Dushkrutam,
Swayambhavami yuge yuge
"True, O dear Lady, I said these words and they were rightly spoken. I have taken nine incarnations on earth till now and the tenth is yet to come. But his time has not come, O Lady, not now even if the scales of Dharma have become faulty. No, my Lady, the time has not yet come."
"Then, Lord, will you leave your sister to suffer for the sins of men? As a brother, you should protect your sister. You are known across the Triloka12 as the Protector, O Lord. Do you then intend to fail of your duties? Will you not go to the succor of your sister? The mortals are wreaking havoc across the world and we as Gods are failing of our duties."
"Nay, dear. We shall not fail our duties. Everything happens according to a specific time. The time has not come for my tenth incarnation. And even, if I was supposed to take it now, then do you know, O Lady, what the consequences will be? The world is supposed to end after my last incarnation. Do you then wish for the end?"
"No, Lord." she answered.
"Then, Lady, have faith in me. I shall take care of everything. Do not make yourself unhappy…"
"But, Lord,…." she cut him off.
"I see that you are still not convinced. For your sake, I shall take an incarnation and he will not be the final name. He shall come by the name, Bhargava, and he shall be like my Parashurama. Are you happy, dear?"
"Yes, Lord. I hope the mortals learn the ways of righteousness."
He smiled and his eyes closed, drowning once again into the harmonious euphoria of the violins.
June 16, 1986
A small village in Central India
The grandfather's clock chimed as the dawn shred the first ray of sunlight into the rooms of an old house.
He woke up. He heard someone crying.
He rubbed his head slowly with his hands. And slowly, he stood up. His eyes were still drowsy. He made his way into the wash rooms where there was a small sink with a tap which he turned on. He then washed his face with cold water and turned the tap off.
He suddenly slammed his forehead. His weariness and drowsiness had clouded his mind. He had stayed late in the night and had awoken early.
His face suddenly erupted with joy. And he ran out of his room, his feet almost on toes. He made his way across a small corridor and soon entered into another room which was a little crowded. People shed tears out of their joy and some were really clapping their hands with glee. But all their faces were turned towards a small bed that stretched in the middle of the huge room, unheeding the newcomer.
He soon excused himself to the bed and saw his wife sitting comfortably on the bed with a small baby beside her. The lady was clad in a green night gown and beside the bed was seated a young woman doctor who looked happily at the beautiful baby as she cleaned the napkins that was stained with blood.
Another woman stood behind the stool upon which the doctor sat. She was smiling at the woman and the baby too and her face was filled with a light that had never been seen for a long time. As soon as she saw him come up to the bed, she screamed, "Well, brother, you wanted a son for a long time. Here he is. Look at him, he is so cute, so lolly polly, so handsome, so beautiful. Such a graceful boy has never been born in our family, brother. Look at him, how beautiful he looks when he is sleeping. You should be happy, brother and are lucky."
"Well, Shaitalya Didi, you are happy and so am I. You have always wanted someone who can take your time off and he has arrived just in the nick of time."
All of them laughed.
He then steered his eyes towards his beautiful wife, for whom he would give his life for.
"Well, Renuka, atlast you have borne me a son, a fruit that we will cherish till the end. And you have given me one, who is beautiful and strong. Look at the starlight twinkling on his brows. He shall do great deeds in his time. So, I name him,", as he lifted the sleeping baby in his arms, "Bhargava."
"Though the official ceremony has yet to be performed, son of Dhananjay, I shall vow to groom you to your bright future. That's my promise," he whispered.
Author's Note and Glossary
Parashurama – sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu
The Protector is Lord Vishnu and The Goddess of Wealth is Mata Lakshmi.
1 – dwarpals – guardians of the door, watchmen. The palatial abode is called the Vaikuntha. This is where no mortals can reach. Only those good souls who have been righteous in all their lives and after lives, or those who have been killed by the hands of Lord Vishnu or any of his incarnations seek entry to this celestial abode. Those souls who have sought protection within these strong walls are said to have attained Moksha(salvation).
2 – nartakis – female dancers.
3 – Kaliyug – the fourth age of the world. In Hindu mythology, there is said to be four ages, Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga and Dwapara Yuga. The fourth age is the last and the final one after which the world is said to end… the Kaliyug is characterized by lust for power and materialistic requirements, the sexual intercourse being one of the central requisites. Avariceand wrath will be common. Humans will openly display animosity towards each other. Ignorance ofdharmawill occur. People will have thoughts of murder for no justification and they will see nothing wrong with that mind-set.Lustwill be viewed as socially acceptable, and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central requirement of life. Sin will increase exponentially, whilst virtue will fade and cease to flourish. People will take vows only to break them soon after. People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs. Men will find their jobs stressful and will go to retreats to escape their work.Guruswill no longer be respected and their students will attempt to injure them. Their teachings will be insulted and followers ofKamawill wrest control of the mind from all human beings. Brahmins will not be learned and honoured, Kshatriyas will not be brave, Vaishyas will not be just in dealings and shudras will not be honest and humble to their duties and to the other castes. Rulers will become unreasonable: they will levy taxes unfairly. Rulers will no longer see it as their duty to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects: they will become a danger to the world. People will start migrating, seeking countries wherewheatandbarleyform the staple food source. But then, they will also love their subjects so much that they will sacrifice their lives for them. This is what kaliyuga says. As seen in the world of today, all this is common.
Kshatriyas means warriors, Brahmins mean ascetics and teachers, vaishyas means traders and shudras means workers. These are the four castes in the Hindu system, but they have been now violated and discriminated to suit mortal needs.
4 – Dharma – righteousness, sense of duty
5 – Arjuna – one of the five brothers of the Kuru dynasty in the period of the Mahabharata, the Indian epic. During this stage, it was that Lord Vishnu took his eighth incarnation, Lord Krishna. Arjuna was friend of Lord Krishna and he was also a formidable archer warrior who could single handedly destroy huge armies. He possessed several divine weapons.
6 – Kurukshetra – a place in the present day state of Haryana in northern India. It was a huge battlefield where the epic war of Mahabharata took place. The ruins of that war still exist today. Temples have been built at the appropriate places where different maharathi's fell.
7 – Kauravas – the hundred sons of King Dhritarashtra, the blind king, who in his love for son forgot his duties as a king and was responsible for the great war of Mahabharata. His eldest son, Duryodhana, the crown prince, wanted the throne to himself, and was partial to his cousins who were the rightful heirs to the throne of Hastinapura (present day Delhi, the national capital of India). During his whole life he was unrighteous and took to the ways of sin. His other brother, Dushyasana, was responsible for attempting to rape the wife of his cousins in front of the royal assembly. Thanks to Lord Krishna, the disaster was saved. But then the cousins vowed to take down the Kauravas, and the different vows taken during this year resulted in the great war. In the camp of the Kauravas, were Bhishma (he was the son of the river Ganga and King Shantanu(grandson of King Bharat after whom India is named. Bharat in hindi). He was the rightful heir to the throne and he was blessed with the power to die when he wished to die, but he did not claim the throne as he had taken a terrible vow to not to marry and claim the throne to protect the interests of his father, although his wishes were with the enemies, he fought with the Kauravas as he had vowed to fight for the throne and the throne was currently in the hands of Kauravas), Dronacharya(a warrior Brahmin, the Guru of both the Kauravas and Pandavas, same reason as Bhishma), Kripacharya(another warrior Brahmin, he was the clan-teacher. KulGuru), Duryodhana and his hundred brothers, Karna(the eldest brother of Pandavas, but he did not know it till the end, even after he knew he fought for the Kauravas due to his close friendship), all of whom were killed except Aswatthama(the son of Dronacharya who is believed to be immortal and is rumored to exist even in India till the present date.. The Kauravas lost the battle of Kurukshetra.
8 – Pandavas – the sons of King Pandu. There were five and hence the name Pandavas. The eldest was Yudhishtira(Dharmaraj, he was always known to be truthful), the second was Bhima(powerful as wind), Arjuna(a formidable archer warrior whose charioteer in battle was Lord Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu), Nakul and Sahadeva(both known for their beauty, patience and bravery). They were righteous in dealings with all people and with the Lord by their side; they won the famous epic battle of Kurukshetra.
Sorry, I cannot recount the whole tale of Mahabharata here since it is an epic and if I were to write it here, it would take me ages to write that alone. So pardon me.
9 - Maharathi – a maharathi is a great warrior possessing all skills in battle and divine weapons alike.
10 – Vishwarupa – Lord Krishna's original form, the God with a thousand heads. He showed it to Arjuna when Arjuna refused to fight his kin. There he recited the knowledge of Bhagavad Gita which is the holy book of the Hindus just like the bible is for Christians, Kuran for the Islam.
11 – The recital means
yadā yadā — whenever and wherever; hi — certainly; dharmasya — of religion; glāniḥ — discrepancies; bhavati — become manifested; bhārata — O descendant of Bharata; abhyutthānam — predominance; adharmasya — of irreligion; tadā — at that time; ātmānam — self; sṛjāmi — manifest; aham — I.TRANSLATIONWhenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion — at that time I descend Myself.
Anyways, thank you for reading and I am extremely sorry for any spelling mistakes in the glossary(read Kuran, I don't know whether it is Kuran or Quran)..
Any mistakes in mythology, if any, is also deeply regretted. As I cannot put down the whole epics, I had to shorten it to vague descriptions but right.