Parasara and Parasurama
Brahmarshi Vasishtha lived from the time of Satyavrata Manu, to the time of Sri Rama. In “How long did Ancient Indians live?” we worked out that it was reasonable to suppose that the long lived people of ancient India lived for about 120 years. It is possible, that they lived longer, but it is not necessary to assume it, if you look at the brahman lineages instead of the kingly lineages.
We know that Vasishtha’s son Sakthi, had a son called Parasara and that Parasara had a son called Veda Vyasa. So we know that Vasishtha was the great grandfather of Vyasa. Veda Vyasa was the great grandson of Vasishtha and Sri Rama was Vasistha’s very young student.
Sri Krishna was the cousin of the Pandavas, younger than Yudhisthira and Bhima, but older than the Arjuna. So Sri Krishna was of the age of Vyasa’s grandsons. Sri Krishna was named by Garga, the son of Bharadwaja, who was quoted by Parasara in the 21st chapter of the Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra. So Garga was at least of Sri Krishna’s great grandfather’s generation if not older. Viswamitra was Sri Rama’s teacher and taught him all about the weapons of the Devas. Viswamitra’s sister, Satyavati, was the grandmother of Parasurama. So Viswamitra was the grand-uncle of Parasurama.
Viswamitra and Vasishtha were contemporaries, they lived at the same time and fought each other and became friends. Of the two, Viswamitra is younger. When Parasurama fought a lot of kings, he spared Dasaratha, the father of Sri Rama. So Parasurama was one generation earlier to Sri Rama. At Sri Rama’s wedding, Parasurama challenged him to hold the Vishnu Chapam – the bow of Sri Vishnu. Parasurama killed Karthavirya Arjuna, who had previously defeated the mighty Ravana.
Parasurama’s student was Agnivesha and Agnivesha’s student was Drona. Parasurama gave his axe to Drona. Drona was the teacher of Vyasa’s grandchildren, the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Drona’s father was the sage Bharadwaja, and Bharadawaja was the student of Valmiki. Drona’s son Ashwathhama was a friend of the Kauravas. Drona was like an uncle’s age to the Pandavas, Kauravas and Sri Krishna and Bharadwaja was of a grandfather’s age to them, like Vyasa. Though Bharadwaja was Valmiki’s disciple, he may have been older than Valmiki. Bharadwaja’s daughter was Visravas’s wife, the mother of Kubera, the elder half-brother ofRavana, so she must have been much older to Dronacharya. Drona was born late toBharadwaja.
Valmiki was a friend of Sri Rama. He not only wrote the Ramayanam, but he also looked after Rama’s wife Sita and raised Rama’s children. The Uttarakanda of the Valmiki ramayana also tells us that Valmiki was a friend of Dasaratha.
So far, we have worked out that Vyasa, Sri Rama and Valmiki were of the same generation, which makes Sri Rama of the grandfather generation of Sri Krishna. We also know that Vyasa was senior to Sri Rama.
Bhishma’s father Santanu, married Vyasa’s mother Satyavati after both of them were born. Vyasa’s parents were Parasara and Satyavati., and Bhishma’s parents were Santanu and Ganga Devi. So Bhishma was a brother to Vyasa and of the same generation as Sri Rama.
Ravana’s grandfather Pulastya, explained the story of creation toBhishma at Gangadwar. (Padma Puranam). Since Sri Rama and Ravana were of the same generation, and as Bhishma was of the same generation as Sri Rama, Pulastya was of a grandfather’s generation to Bhishma!
Bhishma fought the older Parasurama, over Amba’s marriage issue. Sahadeva, the youngest Pandava, went on a victorious campaign of the South after Yudhisthira’s campaign. When he came up to Rameswaram, he sent a respectful message to Vibhishana of Sri Lanka, asking about his welfare and paying his respects. Vibhishana, Ravana’s brother was Sri Rama’s generation and of a grandfather generation to Sahadeva and the Pandavas.
Dhaumya who was the priest of the Pandavas, visited Sri Rama at the time of his coronation. (Uttarakanda, Valmiki Ramayana)