He looks like a Bhil, a hill tribal. Evidently a ruthless hunter, not just a hillbilly,. He has shot an arrow at a fat boar and killed it. And just when he is about to redeem his quarry,, someone else, evidently of royal lineage, appears and claims it as his own, on the plea that he too shot an arrow at the boar and it was his arrow alone that killed it. A war ensues. Soon the hapless prince realises that the tribal hunter is none other than the Lord of the universe and of all the living beings, Lord Siva, Whom he had been worshipping rigorously in the hope of acquiring invincible divine weaponry.
The Lord has donned the disguise of the tribal hunter, just to check the prince’s grit, before bestowing His great weapons on him.
This is the story of the ancient Sanskrit epic, Kiraataarjuneeyam, authored by Bhaaravi, It is one of the five great epics of Sanskrit Literature.
The second poem of Allasani Peddana’s Telugu epic, Manu Charitram, recounts this story, and invokes the sham Tribal Hunter’s blessings for the Emperor, Krishna Deva Raya.
Here is my attempt at translation of the nice poem, which I learnt when I was in college,, into English.
‘The daughter of the King of the Himalayan mountains, Parvati, the spouse of Lord Siva is gently poking fun at the disguise of Her Lord as the ferocious tribal hunter, -‘ At long last we find one of your ruthless clan, being so kind hearted.’. The lord smiles tenderly and grants the prince Arjuna with the invincible Paasupata weapon. May this ShamTtribal, fullfil every wish that the emperor Krishna Raya holds.’
Here is the original Telugu poem of Peddana, in the Roman script.
‘Ullamun-andun-akkatikam-oonuta mee kulam-andu-gantim-an-
-ch-allana maelam-aadedun-achala-aatmaja maata-laku laeta navvu san-
-dhilla-gireeti-baasupata divya sara-aadhuyni-jaeyu saambaree
bhilludu-Grishna Rayala-k-abheesta subha pratipaadi-gaavutan.
Ps. Saambaree in Sanskrit means sham or disguised. Bhils rhymes with billies of hillbillies.,
Sanskrit, indeed is the mother of all languages.