Arjuna, the son of the king Kṛtavīrya of Candravaṁśa (lunar dynasty) was better known as ‘Kārtavīryārjuna’. He was the king of Māhiṣmatī in the Vindhya mountain range. A devotee of Dattātreya (See DATTĀTREYA.) he had secured the boon of getting one thousand arms during any war he would fight.

He had once defeated the mighty Rāvaṇa in a battle and had taken him captive. Rāvaṇa’s father, the sage Pulastya, had to intervene to get him released.

During hunting, one day, he happened to enter the hermitage of the sage Jamadagni and was sumptuously fed by him. The cow Kapilā endowed with divine powers had helped him to entertain the guests. When Kārtavīryārjuna asked for it to be gifted to him, the sage refused. Offended by this refusal, the king killed the sage. On hearing this, however, Paraśurāma, Jamadagni’s son, went to Māhiṣmati, killed the king, decimated his army and destroyed his city.