Parshurama, is generally listed as the 6th of the famous ten incarnations (descensions/avatara) of god Vishnu.

Parshurama is an ardent devotee of god Shiva and his student too. So it logically makes sense, he would generally wear a Tripuṇḍra Tilaka on his forehead.

However, as is generally the case with most iconographic depictions of Vishnu's different avataras, they are depicted as wearing the Vaishnava Urdhvapuṇḍraka Tilaka.

In a standard Google image-search one may find, Parshurama wearing both, sometimes Tripuṇḍra, other times Urdhvapuṇḍraka, and sometimes some other kinds of Tilakas too.

In any case, I'd like direct textual references as to what Tilaka do Parshurama wears? Is it Tripuṇḍra, or Urdhvapuṇḍra?

How should he be portrayed in the murtis (idols), or images/paintings, as per the relevant texts?

Consider providing either direct verses from Purāṇas or Aagamas, or any text that depict the iconography or depiction of god Parshurama.

1 Answer 1


As per the Śrī Rāmacaritamānasa by Goswami Tulsidas, Paraśurāma is described wearing the Śaivaite Tripuṇḍra tilaka.

After Śrī Rāma breaks the Śiva's bow (RCM 1.262.4), in the svayamvara of goddess Sītā, Paraśurāma arrives, and Tulsidas-ji describes his demeanour as follows -

Balakanda - 1.268, Rāmacaritamānasa


खरभरु देखि बिकल पुर नारीं। सब मिलि देहिं महीपन्ह गारीं।। तेहिं अवसर सुनि सिव धनु भंगा। आयसु भृगुकुल कमल पतंगा।। देखि महीप सकल सकुचाने। बाज झपट जनु लवा लुकाने।। गौरि सरीर भूति भल भ्राजा। भाल बिसाल त्रिपुंड बिराजा।। सीस जटा ससिबदनु सुहावा। रिसबस कछुक अरुन होइ आवा।। भृकुटी कुटिल नयन रिस राते। सहजहुँ चितवत मनहुँ रिसाते।। बृषभ कंध उर बाहु बिसाला। चारु जनेउ माल मृगछाला।। कटि मुनि बसन तून दुइ बाँधें। धनु सर कर कुठारु कल काँधें।।

Seeing the uproar the women of the city were all distressed and joined in cursing the princes. The very moment arrived the sage Paraśurāma, a very sun to the lotus-like race of Bhṛgu, led by the news of the breaking of the bow. At his very sight the kings all cowered down even as a quail would shrink beneath the swoop of a hawk. A coat of ashes looked most charming on his fair body: his broad forehead was adorned with a Tripuṇḍra (as peculiar mark consisting of three horizontal lines, sacred to Śiva). Having matted locks on the head, his handsome moonlike face was a bit reddened with anger; with knitted brows and eyes inflamed with passion, his natural look gave one the impression that he was enraged. He had well-built shoulders like those of a bull and a broad chest and long arms; he was adorned with a beautiful sacred thread, rosary and deerskin. With an anchorte's covering about his loins and a pair of quivers fastened by his side, he held a bow and arrows in his hands and an axe upon his fair shoulder.

English Translation by Gita Press Gorakhpur

So, as per Śrī Rāmacaritamānasa , Paraśurāma wears the Tripuṇḍra tilaka.

  • 1
    Rama did not break Siva's bow.
    – S K
    Apr 28, 2022 at 2:32
  • Please, @SK , kindly read the preceding chapters of Ramacharitamanasa, before making saying that -"Rama did not break Siva's bow"_. He did. Gods do it all time. Sri Virabhadra swallowed Vishnu's discus too. It's all divine play.
    – Vivikta
    Apr 28, 2022 at 3:46
  • मुदित कहहिं जहँ तहँ नर नारी। भंजेउ राम संभुधनु भारी।। == Everywhere men and women in their joy kept saying that Rama had broken the massive bow of Sambhu. Gita Press Translations
    – Vivikta
    Apr 28, 2022 at 3:57
  • "saying that -"Rama did not break Siva's bow"_. He did." that is an interpretation. other interpretations abound on the 'net.
    – S K
    Apr 28, 2022 at 18:39

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