Story of Hari Hara Putra

Introduction

Among the Gods and Goddesses of the Hindu pantheon, Hariharaputra is well regarded in the Southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

There are myths dealing with the origins of Kerala geographically and culturally. One such myth is the retrieval of Kerala from the sea, by Parasurama, a warrior sage. The Brahminical myth proclaims that Parasurama, an Avatar of Mahavishnu, threw his battle axe into the sea. As a result, the land of Kerala arose, and thus was reclaimed from the waters.

He was the sixth of the ten avatars (incarnation) of Vishnu. The word Parasu means 'axe' in Sanskrit and therefore the name Parasurama means 'Ram with Axe'. The aim of his birth was to deliver the world from the arrogant oppression of the ruling caste, the Kshatriyas. He killed all the male Kshatriyas on earth and filled five lakes with their blood. After destroying the Kshatriya kings, he approached assembly of learned men to find a way of penitence for his sins. He was advised that, to save his soul from damnation, he must hand over the lands he had conquered to the Brahmins. He did as they advised and sat in meditation at Gokarnam. There, Varuna -the God of the Oceans and Bhumidevi - Goddess of Earth blessed him. From Gokarnam he reached Kanyakumari and threw his axe northward across the ocean. The place where the axe landed was Kerala. It was 160 katam (an old measure) of land lying between Gokarnam and Kanyakumari. Puranas say that it was Parasuram who planted the 64 Brahmin families in Kerala, whom he brought down from the north in order to expiate his slaughter of the Kshatriyas. According to the puranas, Kerala is also known as Parasurama Kshetram, i.e., 'The Land of Parasurama', as the land was reclaimed from sea by him.

To protect the newly formed land of Kerala, Parasurama installed 108 Devi temples of on the west coast and many Hari Hara Putra / Saasta temples on the East, including the famous Sabari Mala temple.

The word Hari Hara Purta means the son of Shiva and Vishnu (Hari = Vishnu; Hara = Shiva; Putra = Son).

According to Maha Saasta Puranam, Hari Hara Putra was born to end the rule of the Rakshasa King Kalikeyan and establish the natural order of the heaven's being ruled by the Devas.

Hari Hara Putra has three consorts - Prabhavati, Poorna and Pushkala and one son Satyakan.  According to Maha Saasta Puranam, from time to time to assist the Gods in establishing righteousness on earth, Hari Hara Putra has descended on earth as a human being and his last sujourn on earth was as Lord Ayyappan or Sree Dharma Saasta of Sabari Mala.

We start our study of the mythology of Lord Ayyappan or Sree Dharma Saasta with Hari Hara Putra.