It was told about one of the seven immortal (chiranjivi) human and the sixth avatar of Vishnu - the epic hero Parashurama. Mysterious and even strange mythological stories are connected with him. But it is superficial strangeness because sometimes we are incapable to understand the hidden meaning of all these stories. We know that Vedas and Puranas are coded so that only the worthy and those who have a thirst to learn the true knowledge can decode them. Hence the verses have a superficial literal meaning as well as a deeper meaning. Many times we think there has to be a universal meaning to every story or myth but myths are not designed outside the ambit of certain cultural backdrop. It is necessary to know and, besides, during the different period of our journey we can understand them differently but right now we can try to define some high lights points.
In his human life, Parashurama was the great grandson of Bhrigu Rishi, who was one of the many prajapatis created by Brahma and who has supported the yagna of Daksha without an offering for Shiva, what was asking for a catastrophe for everyone present there. Parashurama has rectified this family error because he was a very betrayed and avid devotee of Lord Shiva. His extreme devotion, intense desire and unmoved and perpetual meditation have been rewarded. As blessing, he was granted the parashu of Shiva, after which he was known as Parashurama, or "Rama with axe". Thus, Vishnu, as the Saguna Brahma, in his role of the preserver, obtains the axe of annihilation from Shiva, who has the role of the transformer. Act of preservation needs weeding out certain impure elements from every creation. That is, here we see the deep connection of Shiva's and Vishnu's functions which are indiscernible in the higher sense.
Probably, I interpret this story too optimistically but, after all, any event in the sacred text (even frightening) always leads us to the Highest.
In general, Parashurama's conquering of the entire earth is the reordering of the entire creation with the right distribution of the attributes which restores balance and stillness in the merging of the human and the divine.
There can be a lot of such stories and such explanations but all of them are to show what the great hero did not make any "illegal" actions actually. Parashurama, the perfect human, symbolises One Who is pure primal consciousness or the Paramatma. God's love is not diminished when He brings punishment on people. God is able to bring judgment on an evil group of people in order to spare those who are devoted to Him. Pain and suffering that produce a greater good sometimes can be brought about by no other means.
According to legend, he was the first to introduce powerful weapons on this planet in ancient days, when the planet needed protection from catastrophes caused by the greed and pride of the ruling powers. And in the future, he will be the spiritual guide of Kalki, the future destroyer of darkness.
So, let us all participate in this process through the wielding of the axe of Parashurama in restoring the right balance in our individual consciousness.
OM jAmadagnyAya vidmahe
tannaH parashurAmaH prachodayAt