Sage Parshuram was the 6th incarnation of Shri Vishnu. The related stories of Sage Parshuram can be read in the great epic of Ramayan and Mahabharata. There is no separate Puran (ancient Holy scripture) like that of other previous incarnations of Shri Vishnu.
Sage Parshuram was born in the 19th Century of the Tretayuga to Devi Renuka (mother) and Bhrugukolatpan Rishi Jamadagni (father).
Purpose of birth
Destruction of the evil-minded Kshatriya kings was the purpose of Parshuram’s birth. The incarnations of great Sages, Rishis , Munis on our Motherland had always been preplanned to save humanity from the evil forces. So was the birth of Parshuram. Rishi Valmiki called it ‘Rajavimardhan’, instead of ’Kshatriyavimardhan’; which means that, Sage Parshuram’s birth was destined to destroy not all Kshatriyas, but only the evil-minded Kshatriyas.
The story goes like this. Once Karthavirya, a Kshatriya king, stole the holy cow Kamadhenu and its calf from the Ashram (hermitage) of Rishi Jamadagni. At that time, Parshuram was not in the Ashrama. When Parshuram returned and learnt about the incident, he vowed to kill Karthavirya. On the banks of river Narmada there was a clash between the two. Parshuram killed Karthavirya and brought the Holy cow back to the Ashram. Later, as per the instructions of His father Rishi Jamadagni, He left for penance. As soon as Parshuram left, Haihyani, brother of Karthavirya, killed Rishi Jamadagni to avenge his brother’s death. On hearing about His father’s death Parshuram immediately returned back to the Ashram. The body of his father had twenty-one injuries caused by Haihyani. In a fit of anger, Parshurama vowed for revenge. He vowed that He would destroy the evil Kshatriya caste as a revenge of Brahmahatya(killing of a Brahman), 21 times. According to this vow, every time there is unjust destruction done by any Kshatriya on the earth, Parshuram would destroy him and leave for penance on the Mahendra parvata. This was repeated 21 times. After the last war, all the evil Kshatriyas were destroyed and Parshuram washed his weapon, the great Parashu (axe), and kept it on the ground.
Establishment of Holy pilgrim places
Parshuram circumambulated around the earth 21 times (21 pradakshinas) and while doing so, he established 108 shaktipithas and holy pilgrim places where people could worship their Deity.
अग्रत: चतुरो वेदा: पृष्ठत: सशरं धनु: ।
Meaning : Parshuram who is well-versed with the four Vedas and sports the bow and arrow upon His back (that is the one who has the radiance of both the Brahman and the Kshatriya) will destroy evildoers either with a curse or with an arrow.
Generous : As a result of his victory over the evil, Parshuram received “Swamitva”(right to rule the earth). He had the right for performing Ashwamedh Yadnya (Ritual of sacrificial fires). After the yadnya, He gifted away all the land to Priest Kashyap, the Priest who performed the yadnya.
Transfering His spiritual power to Shriram : On hearing about the glory of Shriram, the son of King Dasharatha, Sage Parshuram once came in the way of Shriram. He handed over his bow and arrow to Shrirama and asked him to bend it . Shriram respectfully obeyed his orders , held the bow and arrow in his hand and asked the Sage as to where to direct it. At that instance, the Sage replied “Now you control the speed of this earth”, and handed over his weapon to Shriram. In this way he transferred his spiritual power to Shriram.
Master of Archery : After the war against the Kshatriyas, on keeping his weapon the Parshu on the ground, Parshuram ended all enemity against the Kshatriyas. He imparted knowledge of archery to the Brahmanas as well the Kshatriyas and others. In Mahabharata, the great warriors Bhishmacharya and Dronacharya were his students.
Creation of new land : It was known to all that till Sage Parshuram existed on the earth, the Kshatriyas would not prosper. Sage Parshuram had donated the land to Priest Kashyap. So later Kashayap told Sage Parshuram to leave the land, as he had no right to stay there. So, Parshuram divided the ocean and created a place for Himself. Hence, part of land area covered between Vairana to Kanyakumari, is known to belong to Sage Parshuram (Parshuramkshetra) .
Temples situated at the north of Sahyadri, Kangda district area of Punjab, Chiplun, and Canacona in Goa.
The Idol form of Shri Parshuram has a well built physique with matted hair on the head, carrying a bow on His shoulder and an axe in His hand.
Method of worship
Sage Parshuram being an incarnation of Shri Vishnu, He is worshiped with great faith. Parshuram Jayanti is celebrated on the 3rd day of the Hindu lunar month of Vaishakh.