Once Parashurama was returning to his Himalayan abode after slaining all the kings of the Earth.
As soon as he reached his cave, he saw a large bear who was sleeping outside it.
Parashurama tried to move the bear. He pushed it as hard as possible but was not even able to move it by an inch.
Out of anger, he raised his mighty axe and warned the bear to get up failing to which it would be slained but all his efforts went in vain.
Finally he struck the bear’s back with all his might but his axe got stuck over there.
The bear finally opened up his eyes and gazed Parashurama with anger. It pulled out the axe from its back and broke it into two pieces.
Parashurama could not believe that the axe which was feared by even the mightiest rulers in the world was broken into two by an ordianary bear.
Parashurama inferred that this was not a mere bear but a monster and began to run for his life. The bear also followed him.
At last after seeing no way out, he climbed a tall tree and waited until the bear would lose interest in him and walk away.
On the contrary, the bear increased its size until it reached the branch where Parashurama was holding on to his life. It stretched out it’s large hand and caught hold of him.
Parashurama cried and begged for his life but all in vain as the bear raised up its right hand to slain him through his sharp claws.
Seeing his imminent death, he called out his beloved Lord Shiva to help him out but he didn’t appear.
Suddenly the bear kept Parashurama on the ground and transformed himself into his original trancendental form.
The bear was none other than the preserver of the universe, the almighty-Lord Vishnu.
Parashurama bowed down and asked the Lord to forgive him. He accepted that he was driven by ego after subduing every king by his mighty axe that was bestowed upon him by Lord Shiva.
He begged for his life infront of Lord Vishnu. The lord being all-merciful asked him to stand up and gifted him a new axe.
He further told him that you are a messenger of God and must always use your powers to uphold right values and conduct among humans.
The Lord blessed him and returned to his heavenly abode.
Parashurama immediately gave up his ego and went into deep meditation while chanting the name of God.