As in the dramas about Arjuna's additional marriages, these episodes involving his asceticism hold a number of reminders of his affinities with Lord Shiva. The latter is also seduced by Mohini in various South Indian myths. Like Shiva when Parvati seeks his affections, Arjuna won't even open his "eye" to look at the beautiful Apsarasas.
As Arjuna climbs the tapas tree, at each step he pauses for songs and prayers to Shiva. Once he reaches the top, he sits cross-legged a true pillar saint on a small platform. There he holds his hands in prayer above his head. In this fashion, he completes his tapas, a feat that it is said he could not have accomplished on the ground.
Arjuna then slowly descends the tapasu maram, exchanging threats and insults with the lowly hunter, the two arguing over whose arrow struck first. Finally, he reaches the ground and they challenge each other as to who can hurl the other the farthest. At last Arjuna loses the fight, and Lord Shiva flings him as far as the sky. When Arjuna returns, however, the Hunter and Huntress have suddenly disappeared, and Arjuna is blessed with a vision of two new actors impersonating Shiva and Parvati in their "own form", supposedly riding the bull Nandi. Shiva then explains why he shot the boar, and he bids Arjuna to request a boon for completing his tapas. Arjuna asks for the Pasupata weapon, and Shiva bestows it upon him: a striking scene, for during the long moment of exchange Arjuna and Shiva handle the bow Gandiva and the Pasupata, Shiva's doomsday weapon is simultaneously represented by an arrow. With this weapon, says Shiva, Arjuna will win the Bharata war.