Gudimallam Unravelled?

Analysis and Conclusions: Gudimallam Parashurama Temple Myth Unravelled?

V. Krishnakumar

The main image of Gudimallam has the following features:

  • There is a Lingam, which is closer to an actual phallus, unlike most of the temples.
  • The lord is standing in front of it.
  • Lord has a dead goat in his right hand and an axe/sword along with a pitcher in his left hand.
  • At the base of the Lingam there is an image of a Brahma-Rakshasa who appears as though being trampled by the Linga.
  • The temple is called Parashuram temple.
  • The image was carved in 300 BC according to the Archaeological Survey of India.

The myth of the temple according to [144] is that Parushurama, out of guilt of killing his mother, worshipped Lord Shiva here with one flower a day, the garden being looked after by Lord Brahma in the guise of a Yaksha. However they got into dispute that was resolved by merging them into the Linga by Shiva.

However, we came across a story of Parashurama in [8]; and we have tried to correlate this story to Gudimallam. The story is as follows: Bhargava, son of Bhrugu, was the priest of the Asuras. Bhargava was angered by the defeat of the Asuras by the Devas. He performed a sacrifice in order to retaliate, and as part of the ritual he sacrificed a goat. The goat transformed into a huge Asura who filled the entire universe leaving no space for Devas. Shiva opened his third eye and burnt the goat Asura and protected the Devas. Bhargava fled but could not find any place to hide and entered Shiva’s body through his ear and exited through the semen passage, thus  becoming his son Shukra. Shukra wanted to mediate harmony between the Devas and the Asuras, therefore asked for a boon from Shiva on behalf of the goat headed Asura. The goat headed Asura asked Shiva a dwelling place on earth. Shiva granted the boon, also made him Vastupa, who should be worshipped by anyone who builds a house [8].

Our Analysis:

The image of Gudimallam may mean the following:

The human image of the main idol can be Parashurama (Bhargava) who is emanating from the Lingam as his son Shukra. Thus the name ‘Parasurama temple’ is apt. Bhargava has the sacrificial goat in his hand. The Brahma-rakshasa at the foot of the Lingam is the goat Rakshasa whom Shiva killed and later made him Vastupa.

Interstingly the above story has certain common features with the story of Osiris: It looks like it is the story from Seth’s perspective. The comparison is as follows:

The Brahma-Rakshasa (the goat Asura) slain by Shiva maps to Osiris slain by Seth. Here Rakshasa is mapped to Osiris and Shiva to Seth. We map Bhargava to Horus and Shukra to Thoth. The story of Bhargava entering Shiva’s body and exiting through the semen passage and hence becoming his son Shukra resembles, Horus’ semen being consumed by Seth and coming out of Seth as his son Thoth. Recall that we have mentioned in an earlier article that Thoth was the son of Seth.

Shukra mediating between the Devas and the Asuras for peaceful co-existence maps to Thoth mediating between Horus and Seth, and making them kings of the two parts of Egypt. The goat Asura was made Vastupa by Shiva, who will be worshipped by one and all; this is similar to Osiris becoming the lord of the Netherworld, who will be worshipped by everyone.

Finally, Shiva-Lingam trampling the goat Asura is similar to UAP trampling Mahabali. UAP maps to Seth while Mahabali to Osiris as shown in an earlier article; thus making our argument consistent.

The image of Bharagava-Parashurama in Gudimallam [147] resembles Horus holding a ram in his hand on p.129 of [4] and p.132 of [5].

The similarity of the two stories enhances with four additional supporting points, which are as follows:

1)   Isis, the wife of Osiris, is the Venus-Aphrodite in the Egyptian myths [1,5], who is equivalent to Shukra. She has one more quality of Shukra: Shukra breaths life into dead Kacha by using his knowledge of Sanjeevani; Isis breaths life into Osiris, having got this knowledge from Thoth [1].

2)   It may be noted that Seshat, another consort of Osiris [145], also has the quality of Vastupa, she is the goddess for ‘stretching the chord’ ceremonies performed during construction [146].

3)   Recall that while Mahabali was donating land to UAP (who was in the form of Vamana, and was actually Lord Vishnu), Shukra wants to stop him, knowing the trick of UAP, by blocking the spout of the pitcher, so that water will not flow. Then, UAP pokes the pore with a stick and blinds the left eye of Shukra. It may be noted that, the left eye of Horus was also blinded by Seth, the counterpart of UAP, as we discussed in an earlier article. Interestingly, the eye of Horus was found next to a waterway after injury [117].

4)   Parashurama kills his mother because he suspected her to be favorable to their enemy Karthiviryarjuna. Horus beheaded his mother Isis for a similar reason that she supported Seth, however, Thoth revives her by replacing with a cow’s head [6].


Gudimallam Shiva Linga is a unique sculpture possibly depicting the story of Parashurama. Thus we have found an explanation for the name of the temple after Parashurama. Also, we have shown the parallel of this story in Egypt.


[1] J.G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, A study in Magic and Religion, 3rd Edition, Macmillan and Co. London, 1914

[4] Muata Ashby, The African origins of Civilization, Religion, Yoga Mysticism, and Ethics Philosophy, 2nd Edition, ISBN 1-884564-50-X, 2005

[5] Richard H Wilkinson, The Complete gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt, Thames and Hudson, London, 2003

[6] E.A.Wallis Budge, Egyptian book of the dead, Dover publication, New York, 1895

[8] Stella Kramrisch, Presence of Shiva, MLBD, New Delhi, 1988








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2 Responses to Gudimallam Unravelled?

  1. Narasimha says:

    I like this

  2. Chaitanya says:

    Dear Sir, I am confused! As far as I know Parasurama had killed his mother on being ordered by his father, Jamadagni as her chastity was not complete. The same is mentioned in theHindu blog article in your bibliography. Kartviryaarjuna (KA) did not have a role to play here. KA was killed/defeated by Parasurama as he had insulted his father by carrying off a sacred wish-fulfilling cow from the hermitage. I may be wrong.

    Rakshasa – Osiris
    Siva – Seth
    Isis (Osiris’ wife) – Shukra (son of Parasurama?!)
    Seshat (again Osiris’ wife) – Rakshasa
    Horus – Shukra and Parasurama
    Seth – Vishnu (UAP, whatever that means)
    Thoth is son of Seth – Shukra is son of Vishnu?

    I am all for unity of Siva and Vishnu, however when you are conflating characters this unity aspect cannot be taken into consideration. Your references seem to be all foreigners. It is occasionally said that many of our misunderstandings are because of these western views where they interprete our sacred texts through their views. I do not think I have seem a more convoluted or tenuous interpretation!


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