During the 14
year stay of Pandavas in the forest, As advised by Veda Vyasa , Arjuna went to Himalays to practice austerities for the purpose of getting new weapons from the Devas. On his way he met his father Indra. Indra advised him to do penance unto Siva. Arjuna did penance to obtain grace of Siva.
Siva under the guise of a hunter (Kirathan) and accompanied by his divine Spouse Umadevi, entered the forest in pursuit of
game. The chase grew fast and furious, and presently a wild boar started charging Arjuna, who shoot an arrow
into it with his Gandiva at this same moment that the Hunter Siva transfixed it with a shaft from
Pinaka, his bow.
Arjuna shouted in loud voice " who are you?. Why are you ranging in this forest with your wife?. How dare you shoot at the
game I had aimed at?"
The Hunter replied as though in contempt. "This forest, full of game, belongs to
us, who live on it. You do not look tough enough to be a forester; your limbs and bearing
bespeak a soft luxurious life it is rather for me to ask what are you doing here". He also added that it was his shaft that had killed the boar and that, if Arjuna thought differently, he was welcome to fight about it.
Nothing could please Arjuna better. He jumped up and showered snake-like arrows at Siva. To his amazement, they seemed to have no effect on the hunter and fell back
hurt less like storm driven rain from a mountain peak. When he had no more
arrows, he started to strike Siva with his bow, but the hunter seemed not to heed it and wrenched with
ease the bow out of Arjuna's hand and burst into laugher. Arjuna, who had been
disarmed with humiliating ease by one who seemed an ordinary hunter of the forest, was struck with amazement, almost amounting to doubt, but nothing
daunted, he drew his s word and continued the combat. The sword was shivered to pieces on the hunter's
adamantine frame. There was now nothing to do but to grapple with the formidable un known; but here again he was out matched. The hunter caught
him in an iron clasp so close that Arjuna was quite helpless.
Worsted and over mastered, Arjuna humbly sought divine and meditated an Siva, and as he did so, a
light broke on his trouble mind, and at once he knew who the hunter really was.
He fell at the feet of the lord and in a broken voice of repentance and adoration, he prayed for forgiveness. "I forgive you" said Siva
smilingly and gave him back Gandiva, as well as the other weapons, of which he had been deprived.
He also bestowed on Arjuna the marvelous Pauspata weapon
Arjuna's body, battered in this unequal combat, was made whole and perfect by the divine touch if the three eyed god
and became a hundred fold stronger and more brilliant than before