Arjuna receiving Pashupata

Arjuna and Kirata

 Arjuna and Kirata

There is a humbling story about Arjuna, the world’s greatest archer, and how was he made to understand that being greatest archer did not mean he was invincible.

Mukasura and his death

Arjuna did great penance in quest of Divyastras. Just when he was completing his worship, a demon named Mukasura, came to kill him. Being an accomplished archer, took aim of the beast and killed the demon, which took the form of a boar. As he killed the demon, he noticed another arrow in the body of the boar.

Argument between Kirata and Arjuna

Surprised and thinking that who could have killed the boar, he went about to examine the kill. It happened that a kirata (hunter) has shot the arrow and claimed the boar. He became angry with him saying that he deserves the prey as the hunter has killed the boar from behind. Kirata countered that there is no rule saying that a prey cannot be killed from behind.

Kirata and Arjuna

Kirata and Arjuna

Arjuna worships Lord Shiva

After the argument, a fight broke between them and to his surprise, Kirata happened to be an equal warrior. More surprise was in store as Arjuna was losing the battle, first in archery, then as wrestlers. Hapless, he decided to worship Lord Shiva and made a shivlinga on the earth. Then he brought some flowers and worshipped Lord Shiva. When he decided to face the Kirata again, to his surprise, he found the flowers on Kirata.

Lord Shiva gives Pashupata to Arjuna

He understood that this hunter was Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva bestowed his blessings on him and he said that he wanted to test him whether he was worthy of Pashupata-astra. This weapon was the ultimate weapon to have in one’s armoury. Lord said that he was happy with Arjuna’s skills and he would bestow his blessings on him. In this way, Arjuna got his lesson and the Pashupata-astra, the great weapon.

Arjuna receiving Pashupata

Arjuna receiving Pashupata