In the 10th Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna said as follows:

पवनः पवतामस्मि रामः शस्त्रभृतामहम्।

झषाणां मकरश्चास्मि स्रोतसामस्मि जाह्नवी।।10.31।।

"Among the purifiers (or the speeders) I am the wind; Rama among the warriors am I; among the fishes I am the shark; among the streams I am the Ganga."

Now, a question arises as to which Rama was being referred to in this Sloka, was it Rama, the son of Dasaratha (or) Rama, the son of Jamadagni, as both of them preceded Sri Krishna.

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    why not balarama :). it could have been anyone, nobody knows. However here is a commentary of that verse by all the various teachers of Vedanta. Shankaracharya interprets it as Sri Sita Rama, the Son of Dasharatha, while Sri Sridhara Swami of Rudra Sampradaya interprets it to be Lord Parashurama. bhagavad-gita.us/bhagavad-gita-10-31
    – Sai
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 15:39
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    Yes. It can be anyone. However, while saying that He was the greatest among all sects, he said this. So, that warrior must be greatest and popular. Except in Srimad Bhagavatam, Balarama was not extolled as greatest warrior. In Mahabharata he was mentioned as the teacher of both Bhima and Duryodhana. Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 15:49
  • Where does he say that he is greatest among all the sects? Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 16:22
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    @Sai Well, almost all the other people he mentioned were past figures, like Prahlada, Vamana, etc.; I don't think he mentions anyone currently alive on the Earth in that chapter. So I think it's more likely that it's a past figure like Rama or Parashurama. By the way, what do you mean by "Lord Krishna hardly ever talks about Him being one out of many previous incarnations." He doesn't talk about it much in the Bhagavad Gita (he's focused on philosophy), but both elsewhere in the Mahabharata and other Hindu scriptures there are countless statements by Krishna talking about past incarnations. Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 1:42
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    While going through the Sundara Kanda I found the following Sloka: कुशली तव काकुत्स्थः सर्व शस्त्रभृताम् वरः | गुरोः आराधने युक्तो लक्ष्मणः च सुलक्षणः || ५-३५-७४ "Your Rama, the excellent man among all the wielders of bow, is safe......". Here, Sri Hanuma is referring Sri Rama as सर्व शस्त्रभृताम् वरः . So, in my view, it is Sri Rama, who was referrred to by Sri Krishna in the Sloka referred to in the question. Commented Oct 13, 2015 at 14:08

5 Answers 5


Adi Sankaracharya in his Bhagavad Gita Bhashyam says

रामः शस्त्रभृताम् अहं शस्त्राणां धारयितृृणां दाशरथी रामः अहम् ।

rāmaḥ śastrabhṛtām ahaṃ śastrāṇāṃ dhārayitṛṛṇāṃ dāśarathī rāmaḥ aham ।

I am Rama among the armed men. I am Dasaratha Rama (viz the son of the King Dasaratha) among the bearers of weapons.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati explains the Sankara's commentary to this sloka as

Among those who wield weapons, I am Rama who is an avatara of Visnu himself. The avatara in this human body of Rama had great prowess. Even with one arrow he could dry up the ocean and perform incredible feats because his arrows had extraordinary powers. Since there are other powerful avataras also named Rama, like Parasurama and Balarama, Sankara says, Dāśarathī Rāma, who was the son of Dasaratha.

So it is Lord Rama, son of Dasaratha who is referred here to.

Hope this helps you.


ParashurAma seems the right interpretation.

BG 10.31 - Of the purifiers I am air; among the wielders of weapons I am Rama. Among fishes, too, I am the shark; I am Ganga among rivers.

This has a solid back-up in MahAbhArata's Adi Parva:

Sauti said, 'Listen, O ye Brahmanas, to the sacred descriptions I utter O ye best of men, ye deserve to hear of the place known as Samanta-panchaka. In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas, Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas.

There is a difference between "warrior" (as in Qn) & "wielder of weapons" (correct translation). "Wielder" means "[much] conversant". A person very much conversant with weapons may not win all the wars, because war requires -- tactics, swiftness, strategy -- apart from weapons.


  1. It's believed that ParashurAma was living during Gita time, while lord RAma had already died long back. Now most of the people & entities referred in Gita's chapter 10 were existent during the discourse of Gita: i.e. Arjuna, VAsudeva, VyAsa, Indra, Kubera, Veda-s, etc.
  2. Like lord Rama, both ParashurAma & BalarAma were conversant with weapons. All 3 were referred as "RAma" at many placed.
  3. At least few commentators explicitly mention "ParashurAma" in their commentary of this verse: Sri Vishvanatha Thakur, Sri Sridhara Swami, Sri Keshava Kashmiri. Many others simply mention "RAma" without further clarification.
  4. Lord RAma was known for many other things like -- protector of Dharma, marriage with Sita, 14 years in forest, killing RAvana, later life related to Luv-Kusha, chemistry with VAli-Sugriva-Hanumana; The weapons part was a small part of his life;
  5. ParashurAma is primarily known for his hold on weapons, as he killed many of the Kshatriya-s; Moreover, he was also the Guru of other great warriors like -- Bhishma, Drona, Karna
  • You are forgetting one thing that a huge portion of Mahabharata adulting Bhargava Rama is considered later interpolation.You are also forgetting the fact that Bharghava Rama knowledge of weapon is way less than Arjuna or Indra. He didn't even know how to counter a weapon like Paraspana. The presiding deity of Paraspana was Vasu. Can you give a reference from a text that Parshurama had a knowledge of weapons like Vaisnava or Narayana? Commented May 1, 2018 at 1:35
  • Weapon part was a small part of his life. Are you really serious? Can you name a fighter other than Rama who used all the supreme missiles like Brahmastra, Vaisnavaastra, and Raudra in war. Parshurama doesn't even seem to know Vaisnavastra or Raudra. Commented May 1, 2018 at 1:39
  • I urge you to defend your argument (preferebly from Itihasa ). In Padma Puranas even Shatrughan had all the divine weapon . Did Parshurama have Raudra or Vaisnava weapon? Commented May 1, 2018 at 1:42
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    @NayonikaVats, if you have some good arguments then you may post an answer with those references. Lord Rama is not known for wielding weapons but he is known about values & truthfulness. Lord Parashurama was Guru of grea Bhishma & great Drona, those were known for several weapons. The answer doesn't intend to belittle Lord Rama or Lord Parashurama. It just interprets a Gita verse. No offense plz.
    – iammilind
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 2:59
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    @NayonikaVats, well I don't know why do you feel that I find your argument distasteful! Probably you have a very proper sources. My suggestion is that, by putting a comment here, your version is not visible to many. If you put an answer then, many users will learn and would come to know about different sources, than what I have referred. Regarding, PrahlAda, it's most likely that he was not alive, as discussed here. Ushana, if considered as "Shukracharya" which can be a person or a post, then most likely would have been alive during Gita.
    – iammilind
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 6:24

It refers to Lord Shri RAM (son of Raja Dashrath) .Why it is so because the sloka clearly state word रामः

"रामः शस्त्रभृतामहम्"

Means Just Ram but not Parshuram or any other Ram .Because Lord Ram with his शस्त्र is undefeatable .Even Lord Shri Parshuram has acknowledged it During Goddess Shri Sita swayamvar prasang .

Further In shrimad bhagvatam when lord Brahma worshipped Lord Krishna He urged sloka :

सत्यव्रतं सत्यपरं त्रिसत्यं

सत्यस्ययोनिं निहतं च सत्ये

सत्यस्य सत्यमृतं सत्यनेत्रं,

सत्यात्मकं त्वाँ शरणं प्रपन्नः

He called the Lord as सत्य and everything related to him as सत्य mean Lord himself is सत्य and whatever he says/speaks is सत्य ,So when the Lord says राम then it means just राम but certainly not परशुराम ,otherwise it will be a lie aka असत्य and God never lies .

I know you may argue that Lord Shri Krishna manipulated things as suggested in Mahabharata and all but that is nothing but a fallacy ,Don't get influenced by the narrative made by so called different Dharmic serials and their creators , In the name of creativity they disrespect the dignity and purity of the Lord . Lord never speaks a lie ,Infact whatever he says becomes the ultimate truth because this is what God is all about , the truth and only the Truth . If you want to know the truth then you should read the actual ancient sculptures rather reading it through its interpretations. Jai Shri Krishna !


According to "ram tattva prakash" by shri ramananda sampradaya rasik acharya Madhuracharya, Shri Krishna was actually referring to bhagwan parshuram in "ramah shastabhrutam aham" in bhagwat gita 10.31


Gita 10.31 पवन: पवतामस्मि राम: शस्त्रभृतामहम् | झषाणां मकरश्चास्मि स्रोतसामस्मि जाह्नवी ||

Here , mostly people say here ram is referred to as bhagwan shri Ramchandra.

But there is difference between shastradhari (who took upon weapon) and kshatriya. Shri Ram is born kshatriya. He never took upon weapon on purpose.

Also Anand ramayan clearly says

रामेण सदृशो देव न भुतो न भविष्यति।

There was no god nor there will be any god who is equal to bhagwan shri Ramchandra.

Moreover in Brihad Ramayan

न राघव समोदेवः क्कापि ब्रह्माण्ड गोलके।

There was no god nor there will be any god who is equal to bhagwan shri Ramchandra.

So it's quite clear that here "ram " is not said to shri Ramchandra.

Let's see Mahabharata adi parv 2.3

त्रेताद्वापरयोः संधौ रामः शस्त्रभृतां वरः। असकृत्पार्थिवं क्षेत्रं जघानामर्षचोदितः।।

Mahabharata adi parv 2.3

In the interval between the Treta and Dwapara Yugas, Rama (the son of Jamadagni) great among all who have borne arms, urged by impatience of wrongs, repeatedly smote the noble race of Kshatriyas.

Ram is actually said to parshuram ji.

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