Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Parashurama Mean?

Parashurama is a Hindu deity and avatar of Vishnu, known as "the angry man." Vishnu, a prominent god in most Hindu sects, is the supreme deity of Vaishnavism and forms the Hindu trinity along with Brahma and Shiva. Parashurama is the sixth of the 10 main avatars of Vishnu that together make up the Dashavatara.

The name, Parashurama, comes from the Sanskrit, parashu, meaning “dying,” “dead” or "axe"; and rama, which has many meanings, including “beloved.” He is believed to be co-founder of the martial arts form know as kalaripayatt.


Yogapedia Explains Parashurama

Vishnu appeared as Parashurama, a priest of the brahmin class, to destroy the corrupt warriors of the kshatriya class and restore social order. He is often depicted with an axe. Later, Parashurama gives up fighting and his possessions and becomes a sanyasin (ascetic).

Differing somewhat by region and by tradition, the other incarnations that comprise the Dashavatara usually include:

  • Matsya — the fish
  • Koorma — the tortoise
  • Varaaha — the boar
  • Narasimha — the man-lion
  • Vamana — the dwarf
  • Rama — the perfect man
  • Balarama — the elder brother of Krishna
  • Krishna — the divine diplomat and statesman
  • Kalki — the mighty warrior (who hasn't appeared yet)

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