Last Updated : Jul 16, 2018 02:41 PM IST | Source:

Moneyshastra with Devdutt Pattanaik: How do we earn money? - Chapter 2

Lord Vishnu plays a very important role in Indian mythology and religion. Parshuram is believed to be his sixth incarnation. In the story of Parshuram, we learn about how wealth plays a very important role in day to day life.

Anusua Banerjee @moneycontrolcom

This story is associated with Parshuram who belongs to the Treta Yug. This story reveals how King Kartavirya Sahasrarjuna and his army forcibly tried to take away Parshuram’s father’s cow named Kamdhenu.

Parshuram’s father Jamadagni was a Rishi who needed a cow to run his family. So the king gave him a cow, which became the main source of livelihood for the family. The cow gave milk, which was a source of food as well as dung which was necessary for fuel.

But then one day the king comes and says I want the cow back because the cow seems to be giving a lot of milk and has a lot of powers. And the Rishi says, if you take the cow back you are effectively taking away my patronage and my source of income. How will I survive? How will my family survive? How will I do my job as a Rishi?

But the king does not care; he drags the cow away and that is when Parshuram gets angry and he stops the king which results in war. Rishis are supposed to be non-violent. But at this time Parshuram gets very angry. He picks up an axe and attacks the king, hacks off the king’s hand. It is a very violent battle. It leads to a great confrontation between Kshatriyas and the Rishis.

And that’s the story of Parshuram. The great conflict between the scholars of the period, saying a king’s job is to distribute wealth and not to snatch wealth from other people. And that is the story that you see, the cow being taken away from Jamadagni is essentially a king snatching wealth back. Wealth which is supposed to be distributed. So it’s a violent story but it makes you realise that wealth is closely associated with violence.
First Published on Jul 16, 2018 02:41 pm
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