Vishnu-posting? On a Wednesday? ON MY WALL?? It’s more likely than you think!
“You can run on for a long time […] Sooner or later God’ll cut you down” – Johnny Cash, ‘God’s Gonna Cut You Down’
“The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men;
Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will
shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness –
For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children;
And I will strike down upon thee with Great Vengeance and Fuuurious Anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers
And you will know My Name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee”
– Ezekiel 25:17; The Gospel According to Taranis of Tino.
‘VidyuDabhi’, the name of Parashurama’s Mighty Axe, is another one of those excellent Sanskrit Divine Weapon names that is … difficult to succinctly render into English. Dabhi connotes the sense of ‘giving’ or ‘bestowing’, but ‘Vidyu’ occupies a curious interposition between ‘Vidya’ (as in ‘Wisdom’, ‘Revelation’, ‘Insight’ – you can see the “Vid” particle, related to ‘Seeing’, quite clearly there); and ‘Vidyut’ … which means *Lightning* [As well as, more literally, the quality of emitting light; and, for that matter, ‘electrifying’, or bearing a charge]. I have tried to emanate this dual sense of the term, which helps to convey the force of revelation that hits one as a thunderbolt, in my rendering of “Shocking Enlightenment”. There is also, for good measure, a ‘Yudh’ in there as well. In all cases, a veer-y excellent and apt weapon for the Lord of the Howling of the Storm!
The Tale of the bearer of this severely excellent axe, Parashurama, is a fascinating one – and not least because it speaks of an Avatar of Vishnu [hence my posting on a Wednesday], Who is amongst the foremost Devotees of Lord Shiva [hence why He was given one of Shiva’s Axes; and also my posting on a Wednesday], and Who is a Brahmin by Birth … Who wages a genocidal campaign of extirpation against the Kshatriyas of this world after an unvirtuous member of the latter caste wrongs His mortal father.
To me, Parashurama has represented a singular truth: that the mind and soul and might of a Brahmin, especially when angered, is truly one of the mightiest and most terrific forces in the triuniverse. Capable of the most incredible feats and otherwise, erstwile impossible deeds, should he or she be sufficiently motivated to put their mind, body, and being to it.
To quote the warning words of Markandeya to Yudhisthra in the Mahabharat:
“Being immortal I have many a time beheld and otherwise ascertained the courses of the world. […] NEVER do thou humiliate a Brahmana, for a Brahmana, if angry, may by his vow destroy the three worlds.”
Now, it is also necessary at this point to address the fact that the weapon in question is an Axe. Which, in addition to being one of the favoured weapons of Rudra [and thusly, wielded also by Shiva’s Emanations of VeeraBhadra, KaalBhairav; as well as Shiva’s ‘other half’, the awe-inspiringly martially proficient Goddess Durga] … is also what we have taken to referring to as a ‘Roudran Theological Argument’.
You see, at several places within the relevant corpuses and canon of Hindu mythoreligion, an axe-wound rather decisively settles the vexed matter of just who is superior to whom, and puts to an end such egregious instances of impious or otherwise iniquitable conduct that might yet be occurring.
In the case of KaalBhairav, it is the Decapitation of Brahma with just such an Axe which brings to an end the latter’s pretense of being an equal to, or greater than, in either case, an usurper of Lord Shiva’s cosmic throne and portfolio of responsibilities. In an older account, it is Rudra’s employment of the eloquence of the Axe that excoriates Brahma for another sin. And in the course of the Vayu Purana [as also related via the Vishnu Purana, interestingly enough], we see the Axe wielded by VeeraBhadra, against the Horse-Sacrifice of Daksha, and also thence against Brahma’s descendant, who had been engaged not only in the conduct that, per other Puranic accounts, lead to the Death of Lady Sati, but in these instances *also* entailed the exaltation of Vishnu as being of supremacy over Shiva whilst almost totally excluding the latter from the pious veneration that was His Noble & Lordly Due.
Asal Uttar, also the name of one of the most famous battles between India and Pakistan, means something akin to ‘Decisive Answer’, or ‘Proper Response’. To these situations of escalated impiety and moral degradation, the “Enlightenment” promised and thence delivered via the Axe, was just such an Enunciation.
A ‘Doom’, in the older Germanic sense – a Judgement, a Sentence upon Them.
The utilization of the Axe in just such a manner is also implicitly #NAS – although in a display of perhaps unexpected restraint, there is Ancient Viking Wisdom suggesting that it is not *always* the Argument of First Resort, whether in law-courts or in the relevant Icelandic equivalent to Parliament.
From the Vatnsdaela Saga, Powers Translation:
‘Jokul: “It seems to me that never before has any man ever spoken at the Assembly who has been hit in the face with an Axe”
Thorstein: “While that may be true Jokul, I think we should continue to search for other solutions to this problem.”‘
To quote, in closing, my favourite lines from the aforementioned Puranic account [H.H. Wilson translated rendering]:
“Vírabhadra said, ‘I am not a god, nor an Áditya; nor am I come hither for enjoyment, nor curious to behold the chiefs of the divinities: know that I am come to destroy the sacrifice of Daksha, and that I am called Vírabhadra, the issue of the wrath of Rudra. Bhadrakálí also, who has sprung from the anger of Deví, is sent here by the god of gods to destroy this rite. Take refuge, king of kings, with him who is the lord of Umá; for better is the anger of Rudra than the blessings of other gods.'”
Also, Johnny Cash again:
“Well, you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black [काल] and white [गौर]
What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light
Sooner or later God’ll cut you down”
Jai Sri Rudra !!!