Parasuram Dwadashi Vrata, or Jamdagnya Parshuram Vrata, is a Hindu austerity dedicated Lord Parashuram, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. In 2016, the date of Parashuram Dwadasi Vrata is May 18. Parashuram Dwadasi Vrata is observed on the twelfth day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of moon) of Vaisakh month (April – May). Devotees observe a complete fast (fasting) on the day.
Parasuram Dwadasi Vrat begins at sunrise and ends on the next day morning after sunrise. The fasting commences after purifying the body (by taking a bath). An idol of Lord Parshuram is worshipped by offering flowers and other usual puja articles associated with Lord Vishnu. In some regions, the idol or Parshuram is placed inside a pot of water.
Devotees who observe the fast remain awake during the night.
It is believed that those observing Parashuram Dwadasi Vrata will have their wishes fulfilled and will attain moksha.
Parashuram is also known as Jamdagnya and the Vrata is popular in some regions as Jamdagnya Parshuram Vrata.
This Vrata is observed the day after the Mohini Ekadasi and therefore those observing the Ekadasi fasting avoid observing Parasuram Dwadashi Vrata. Sometimes both the days fall on the same day.
Parashurama is the sixth avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. He is the son of Renuka and one of the saptarishis, Jamadagni. He lived during the last Treta and Dvapara Yugas and is one of the Chiranjivi (immortals) of Hinduism. Parashurama, a Brahmin, received his famous axe after undertaking terrible penance to please Shiva, who in turn taught him Kalaripayattu (the mother of all martial arts).
Parashurama is most known for ridding the world of kshatriyas twenty-one times over after the mighty king Kartavirya Arjuna killed his father. He plays important roles in the Mahabharata and Ramayana, serving as mentor to Bhishma, Drona and Karna.
Parashurama and Indrajit(Ravana’s son) are believed to be the only humans who ever possessed the three ultimate weapons: the Brahmanda astra, Vaishnava astra and Pashupatastra. Parashurama was a disciple of Shiva and learned the scriptures and the arts of warfare from Shiva. He then acquired celestial weapons from Shiva and the other gods on Shiva’s instructions. Shiva personally trained Parashurama for decades in the art of warfare.The Bhargavastra was his personal celestial weapon and vijaya was his personal bow which was gifted by Shiva. Parashurama also fought back the advancing seas to save the lands of Konkan and Kerala.
Parashurama is worshipped as mūlapuruṣa, or male ancestral founder, of the Dravida, Niyogi, Bhumihar, Chitpavan, Devrukhe, Daivadnya, Mohyal, Tyagi, Anavil and Nambudiri Brahmin communities. Along with the sages Vyasa, Kripa and Drona’s son Ashwatthama, Parashurama is considered to be foremost among the rishis in the Kaliyuga. Parashurama will also become one of the saptarishi in the 8th Manvantara. Parashurama is a mighty Maharathi and he will reappear as the martial instructor of Vishnu’s 10th avatar Kalki.
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