This Arjuna was a king of Maheshmati from Haihayas (a branch of Yadavas). He was son of Kritavirya hence famously known as Kartavirya Arjuna. He is also known as Sahasrabahu Arjuna or SahasraArjuna. He is believed to be an incarnation of Sudarshana Chakra. He got boon from Lord Dattatreya which made him so powerful. Kartavirya Arjuna eventually met his death at the hands of Lord Parashurama.
Ravana challenged him for the war when he was enjoying Jala-Vihar in Naramda river. Later Arjuna defeated Ravana and captured him.
At no distance from where on the banks of tbe river Narmada, that
dreadful lord of Rakshasas collected the flowers, Arjuna, the King of
Mahishmati, and the foremost of the victorous, was sporting with his
wives in the water And being encircled by them the king Arjuna appearo
like a leading elephant surrounded by a thousands of she elephants. In
order to measure the strength of his thousand arms the King of
Haihayas obstructed the course Narmada.
Being obstructed by the arms of Kartavirjarjuna and having looded the
banks with her pure waters, Narmada lowed in an opposite direction.
And the currents, rising high as duringrainy seasonlowed with fishes,
and crocodiles. And that stream, as if driven against Ravana by
Kartavirjarjuna, carried away his collection of flowers.
And having given up his worship which was half finished Ravana looked
towards Narmada looking like an unwilling damsel and saw that she,
with rising currents, was flowing towards the east from the west and
the waters beyond that were in a natural state like a quiet lady and
the birds were seated there without any anxiety. Thereupon being
anxious to learn the cause of the rise of the river, the Dasagriva,
with his right finger, hinted Suka and Sarana. Being commanded by
Ravana, the two brothers, the heroic Suka and Sarana proceeded towards
the west by the aerial way.
And going half a league, the two night rangers espied a man sporting
in the waters with some females. He was huge as a Sala tree, his hairs
were floating on the water, he was inebriete and his eyes were
reddened in consequence thereof. Like unto Sumeru holding the earth
with his thousand feet he obstructed the current of the river with his
And he was surrounded by a thousands of beautiful damsels like an
elephant by a thousands of she elephants. Beholding that dreadful
spectacle, the Rakshasas Suka and Sarana came back and approaching
Ravana communicated (all) unto him. "O lord of Rakshasas, an unknown
person, huge as a Sala tree, is sporting with females obstructing the
course of Narmada like unto a dam.
And being withheld by the thousand arms of that man the waters of
Narmada were continually throwing up high waves." Hearing the words of
Suka and Sarana, Ravana exclaimed "This is Arjuna" and proceeded to
fight with him. Ravana, the lord of Rakshasas, having set out with a
hostile intention against Kartavirjarjuna, the wind mixed with dust
began to blow high with tumultuous sound.
And the clouds began to mutter with a downpour of rain. And the lord
of Rakshasas proceeded against Arjuna with Mahodara, Mahaparshva,
Dhrumakshya, Suka and Sarana. Within a short time the dreadful
Rakshasa, powerful as the elephant Arjuna, reached the banks of
Narmada and espied there Arjuna encircled by females as an elephant
surrounded by she elephants.
At the very sight the eyes of the lord pf Rakshasas, proud of his
prowess, grew red and addressing the councillors of the king Arjuna he
said "Do ye communicate unto the king of Haihayas that Ravana, the
lord of Rakshasas, hath come to fight with him." Heaing the words of
Ravana, the ministers of Arjuna stood up with arms and said "O good
Ravana, thou art well cognizant Of the proper time for fighting. Now
our king is drunk and is sporting with the females in the waters.
And now dost thou wish to fight with him. Therefore, O Dasagriva, do
thou spend the night here, if thou art bent upon fighting. Or even if
thou art anxious to enter speedily into conflict with Arjuna do thou
slay us all at first, and then fight with the king.
Thereupon the hungry councillors of Ravana, slew some of the ministers
of the king and devoured some. There arose a dreadful uproar on the
banks of Narmada, of the councillors of Ravana and Arjuna. The
warriors of Arjuna assailed Ravana and his ministers with hundreds of
arrows, Pracas, darts, Tomaras, thunder bolts and Karpanas.
The warriors of Arjuna became dreadfully furious and emitted cies like
the roaring of the deep infested with crocodiles, fishes and other
marine monsters. Thereupon being enraged and displaying their own
prowess Suka, Sarana and other ministers of Ravana began to destroy
Arjuna s soldiers. Thereupon the emissaries, stricken with fear, went
to the sporting king and communicated unto him the proceedings of
Ravana and his ministers.
Hearing those words and saying unto the females "Do not fear"he rose
up from the waters like an elephant. The eyes of that fire like Arjuna
were reddened with fire and he shone dreadfully like the fire of
dissolution. And taking up speedily his club, that one, always using
golden clubs, pursued the Rakshasas like unto darkness following the
Holding up the huge club and hurling it with his arms, Arjuna,
resorting to the velocity of Garuda. went on. Thereupon stood there
obstructing his course Rakshasa, worked up with anger and with a mace
in his hand, like unto the Vindhya range standing in the way of the
And throwing down of his hand the iron mace, he, in anger, began to
roar, like Yama. And the top of the mace was ablaze like the tips of
Asoka flowers. Not the least agitated on beholding that mace, the king
Arjuna, by his club, bafled its action.
Thereupon uplifting the huge club, ive hundred hands long, the king of
Haihayas pursued Prahasta. And within a shot time being struck down by
that club gifted with great velocity Prahasta fell down on earth like
unto the summit of a mountain clapped down by the thunder bolt of
Indra. Beholding Prahasta fallen, Maricha, Suka, Sarana, Mahodara and
Dhrumakshya led away from the battle field.
All the councillors having thus led away and Prahasta bemg slain
Ravana speedily proceeded towards Arjuna, the foremost of kings.
Thereupon there ensued a terrible encounter capable of making down
erect between the thousand armed Arjuna, the king of men, and the
twenty armed Ravana, the king of Rakshasas, And taking up their clubs
Arjuna and Ravana began to ight with one another emitting cries like
the mutterings of clouds, like unto two huge bulls fighting for a cow,
two agitated oceans, two moving mountains, two effulgent Adityas, two
burning flames, two proud elephants, two proud lions and like the very
Rudra and Kala. As the mountains sufer many clappings of thunder bolts
so did they bear many strokes.
And all the quarters were resounded with the sound proceeding from the
stroke of their clubs like unto the sound of thunder bolts. Being
placed against the breast of Ravana Arjuna s club rendered, for a
moment.the welkin look like the burning gold as does the lightning.
And striking again and again against Arjuna s breast Ravana s club
looked hke a huge fire brand. Arjuna was not worn out nor was Ravana.
And the conflict went on between them like the encounter between Bala
and Vasava in the days of yore.
The King of men and the King of Rakshasas battled and wounded one
another with their clubs like unto the bulls stiking one another with
their horns and like two elephants with their tusks. Thereuponworked
up with rage, Arjuna, with his full might, smote Ravana with his club.
But Ravana was well protected by the boon of the celestial, so the
club fell down to earth sundered into two pieces like one hurled by a
Still wounded by the the mace of Arjuna, Ravana, after hiding tears,
ran away at a distance of four feet and stood there. Beholding Ravana
thus overwhelmed, Arjuna sprung up and caught him like Garuda holding
a serpant and Vishnu binding Bali. Dasagriva being thus bonded the
Siddhas, Charanas and the Devas exclaimed, "Well done! Well done
!!"showered flowers upon Arjuna.
Then the king emitted leonine roars agnain and again like a tiger
joyous like a cloud, hodling a deer under its grasp. Regaining his
senses and beholding Ravana bound, Prahasta, in great anger, pursued,
king of Haihaya. And the Rakshasa orce grew tempestous like unto the
rising of the ocean during rains.
Thereupon exclaiming repeatedly "Leave him off! Leave him off!! Wait!
Wait!!" The Rakshasa host hurled hundreds of Musalas and darts in the
battle field. Not the least moved thereby the king Arjuna, the slayer
of enemies, bore those weapons of the enemies of the Devas. Thereupon
baffling the weapons of the Rakshasas by means of many a dreadful and
excellentweapons, Arjuna, the king of Haihayas, drove them away like
winds scatteing the clouds.
Having thus struck terror unto to night rangers, he, encircled by his
own kinsmen, repaired to his own city with Ravana. carrying him bound
like unto Indra carrying Bali bound. Thereupon flowers and fried paddy
were showerfd upon him by the Brahmanas and citizens.