This legend relates to the encounter between Arjuna the Pandava prince and Shiva, and is an important event in the epic Mahabharata.
Arjuna the valiant Pandava prince, during the princes' exile in the jungles, went out to the Himalayas to worship Shiva, to win from him the Paasupataastram, the infallible weapon. His penance bore fruit, when Shiva, in the guise of a hunter (Kiraata) donning a bow appeared before him, picked up a quarrel with him over a wild boar, and challenged him to a combat. This manifestation of Shiva is known as Kiraata Murthy. In the course of this (mock) fight, the hunter stripped Arjuna of all his weapons (and his ego), and the brave prince continued to fight with his bare hands. Shiva then revealed his true self, and blessed him with the Paasupataastram.
Arjuna's encounter with Shiva is celebrated at Tiruvetkalam near Chidambaram - Tamilnadu.
Kiraata Murthy is also revered at Kumbhakonam (Tamilnadu) , where it is believed that an arrow from Shiva's bow pierced the pot containing the celestial nectar amritam, and spilled it into the Mahamagam tank.
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For all karna's Fans:
(SOURCE-TRANSLATION OF ORIGINAL MAHABHARAT OF VYAS BY KESARI MOHAN GANGULY
& WHICH IS THE ONLY PRECISE TRANSLATION AVAILABLE ON PUBLIC DOMAIN):
Incident 1:Karna fled from battlefield from Arjuna(Virata Yudh):
Incident 2:Karna defeated by Gandharwa chitrasena:
Incident 3:Arjuna defeat Ghandarwas & rescued Duryodhan & kurus:
Incident 4:Karna defeated & freightened by Abhimanyu in chakruvyuhu:
Hearing these words, Karna, afflicted with the shafts of Arjuna's son, once more said unto Drona, 'Exceedingly afflicted with the shafts of Abhimanyu, I am staying in battle, only because (as a warrior) I should stay here. Indeed, the arrows of this south of great energy are exceedingly fierce. Terrible as they are and possessed of the energy of fire, these arrows are weakening my heart.'
Incident 5:Karna's defeat at Draupadi Swayamvar by Arjuna!
What Karna's own friend Ashwathama & kripacharya think of karna:
what Lord Krishna think of karna's bravery:
Krishna said(To Arjuna):.I swear by Truth to thee, O friend, that my limbs are burning at the thought that while the son of Subhadra was thus advancing, consuming the hostile army with his shafts, even on that occasion the wicked-souled Karna was engaged in acts of hostility to that hero,Unable, O Partha, to stay in that battle before Abhimanyu's face, mangled with the shafts of Subhadra's son, deprived of consciousness, and bathed in blood, Karna drew deep breaths, inflamed with rage. At last, afflicted with arrows, he was obliged to turn his back upon the field.
& Finally karna himself accepting Arjuna's supeority:
FINAL KARNA ARJUNA BATTLE(DAY 17 OF MAHABHARATA):
ACCORDING TO MY ANALYSIS OF THIS TRANSLATION IN THE FINAL BATTLE OF MAHABHARATA,ARJUNA & KARNA ASSAULTED EACH OTHER 35 TIMES WITH NUMEROUS, THOUSANDS & LAKHS OF ARROWS ………8 TIMES THEY NULLIFIED EACH OTHER ARROWS ,12 TIMES BOTH KARNA & ARJUNA PIERCED EACH OTHER BUT THE REMAINING 15 TIMES ARJUNA PIERCED KARNA IN EVERY PART OF HIS BODY & KARNA’S LIMBS,YOKE,STANDARD,STEEDS,CHARIOT WERE RIPPED APART & KARNA WAS LEFT MANGLED BATHED IN BLOOD & KARNA HAD NO ANSWER FOR ARJUNA’S ARROWS!!!
Authenciaty of vyas original mahabharat by km ganguly: