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kaNNappar - part 2
Continuation from early life of thiNNanAr
The culmination of the austerities he did in the previous births
came to thiNNanAr as surplus of interest on shiva. He proceded with the
exponential growth in the affection towards the Lord, unaffected ever.
His pure love and n^ANan lead him over the hill. Even before he could see
the Stealer of heart, He stole away his source of birth, the relation to
his profession and birth.
He saw Him; He drank through his eyes that wonderful sight; It
flowed over his heart; He lost all the controls over him; He fled to the Lord
over that flow of love, embraced Him, kissed Him. The happiness manifested
through every pinch of his body. It fell as falls from his eyes. Felt very
anxious, "Oh my Lord ! In this dense forest with a whole of wild animals
moving around there is nobody to guard you here !! Oh ! You are alone !
bad ! bad!!". Not able even to realise his bow falling down that man of
unmeasurable love asked n^ANan, "Who would have done this offering to the
Lord with the green leaves and flowers ?". n^ANan said, "Once when I came
with your father for hunting, we saw a priest bathing Him and ornating
with flowers. I think he should have done that today too ". thiNNanAr understood
the worship that that God of kALahasti likes, to be this. He worried, "Oh ! my
Lord is alone ! There is nobody to feed him with meat and flesh ! How can I
leave Him alone ? What can I do ? I must get him good flesh to eat !!".
He will start to get some meat, but will rush back to Him. Again
will go, but run back to Him again. Like the cow that doesn't leave the calf
away, he stood in front of Him unable to take his sight away. He would say,
"My Lord ! I will get you the best meat to eat", but immediately will worry,
"How can I go when you are alone here ? But I am not able to stand here too
when you are hungry." Finally consoled himself and went with determination
to bring the required things for the Lord who requires actually nothing.
With all the lust for other things burnt and only the love for the Lord who
burnt the lust remaining, he went into the blooming garden on the bank of the
river ponmukali. kAdan came to them then to tell that the pig is roasted and
ready, they all can have their food. n^ANan conveyed him that thiNNanAr
after seeing the Lord was no longer feeling as the leader of the hunters
but rather feels as the slave of that Lord. kAdan was shocked to hear this.
thiNNanAr without bothering about anything else, took the best portions of the
pig's body in an arrow, cooked it well, tasted them by having them in his mouth
to pick out the best ones and collected such tasted flesh in a bowl of leaf.
His companions decided, "He has gone crazy ! After tasting the best
flesh portions he took it out ! He is heavily hungry for sure, but doesn't
speak even. He doesn't give them to us also ! We will bring n^Agan (his father),
and others to find out what to do" and left the place. Unperturbed, he took
the flesh in his hands, water from the river in his mouth to anoint the Lord,
beautiful wild flowers inserted in his hair to offer to the Lord. He rushed to
the top thinking that the Lord will be too hungry by then. On the head of
that Lord who appeared on His own, he removed the flowers with his footwear,
bathed Him with the holy water he had in his mouth ! He ornated the Lord with
the flowers he had in his head, saluted Him, and offered the taste tested
food he had brought for the God. He was not satisfied. He wanted to bring
a lot more for the Lord to eat. Worshipping this great unimaginable devotion
with folded hands Sun went down that day. That fearless man feared that some
animals may come and hurt kALahsti Lord in the night. So he stood alert
right next to Him with his bow and arrow. Let his name be remembered always
who stood as the guard to the God who guards the whole universe all the times.
He left from there prostrating the Lord the next morning when the Sun
was just to rise to hunt the food for Him .
As he left for hunting, there came the sage by name
shivakOchariyAr , who worship that Healing Herb on the hill in the
way that is said in holy scriptures. He was shocked at the sight of strewn
bones and flesh in front of the Lord. He screamed, "it should be the act of
those dreadful hunters", he concluded. He cleaned the altar carefully, took
bath in the river and came back fast. As the unholy materials entered there
he consecrated His abode continued his pUja performing the
anointing, flower worship, light worship and chanting of His fame. After
prostrating many times that peerless param he returned back to his
Our adorable hunter till the Sun comes up in the sky kept hunting for
deers, wild pigs and other animals. After that he cooked the hunted flesh in
the fire he created with the wood from the forest. To provide the maximum
tasty food to the Lord he tasted the cooked meat to select the exotic pieces.
Like the ghee that is given to the tongues of flame in the sacrificial
rites that reaches the dEvAs, the food he tasted was enjoyed much by
the Lord. The hunter poured honey to the food he selected, to make it more
tasty. He took the materials for worship like the previous day, went with
the wealth of great love, worshipped the Wonder who never incarnates, as he
did the previous day removing the flowers offered in the sage's worship,
fed the Lord with the deer flesh. He forgot sleeping in the night, guarding
Him was his prime concern ! Goes for hunting during the day time to feed Him !!
When he goes for hunting the sage comes for worship, who is wounded by the
presence of unholy things in the altar, removes them, consecrates and performs
the prayer. This continued for many days. Meanwhile n^ANan and kAdan brought
his father and others, but none of their efforts were fruitful to get back
thiNNanAr. When one is in deep love for the luminous feet of the Lustless God,
what force in the world can seperate them ? Isn't it brave to go for bliss
instead of spiky happiness and miseries ?
While our n^AyanAr worshiped the Lord of gods in the way he knew,
the sage shivakOchariyAr was so desperate to find a solution to this
probelm. He prayed to the Lord to show and remove the person who had been
doing the misdeed. To explain the true love of n^AyanAr, the Nameless praised
by thousands of sacrad names appeared in the dream of the sage and told him,
"Don't think that he is a miscreant. His form is full of my love, his mind
minds me only and his deeds are the delightful for me. The water he spits on
me is more sacrad than ga.nga , the flowers he offers taking from
his head are holier than that are offered by dEvAs. It is all because of His
love. You can see the excellence of his devotion tomorrow, if you hide and see".
With the feelings of fear mixed wonder the sage was awake for the rest of the
night, as the Sun rose in the east he bathed in ponmukali worshipped the Lord
kAlahasti Ishwarar , and hid behind.
On that seventh day morning of his worship of the Lord, as usual
thiNNanAr brought the unusual materials of worship with unprecedented love.
The n^AyanAr who was rushing feeling that he had been already late, saw some
bad signs on the way. He ran even faster fearing what happened to his fruit
like God. To show shivakOchariyAr the affection of n^AyanAr, the Lord
was having one eye bleeding out of His three. With the bow and food falling
apart, stricken in gloom, petrified in the shock thiNNanAr saw that bleeding.
Tensed he ran to Him, tried to stop the bleeding, but it didn't. He
fiercefully started to find out which miscreant did this sin. He couldn't
trace anybody or any animals throughout that area. He
came with a broken heart, cried holding His feet. He set out to search and bring
the herbs to heal the wound of that Healer. He went as a wind to wrap the entire
forest and squeezed the saps of the medicines. No effect ! If it was a real
wound it should have got cured, but the Consealer conscieved something to be
When he was worrying about his inability to find any solution, he
remembered an old saying "flesh for flesh". He immediately pluck one of
his eye with the sharp arrow to paste it on His. He jumped from the ground
to the sky, appreciated himself for the brave deed when it stopped the
bleeding from His eyes. Is he trying to define an upper limit for devotion ?
While the rich and the R^ishis come to Him asking for something,
how is this person able to pluck his eye in a moment and give it to the Lord
and dance ? He might have come in the tradition of killing animals, but by
his deeds he is far far above the sacrad people in the heaven. But the Lovely
Lord desired to show the limitlessness of devotion. As the bleeding stopped
in His right eye, it started from His left. After being in the shock for a
moment n^AyanAr told to himself, "Now I know the medicine. I have one more
eye. That should cure this" (!!). But when he was about to pluck the eyes he
realised the difficulty of placing the eye in position once he took off the
other eye too. So he held his hard but hailable foot on His eye as a mark,
and raised the arrow to take his other eye off. No words are sufficient
to explain this. If it is said "He is sysnonymous with bhakti ",
who knows whether that is sufficient ? The Lord Himself was not able to bear
this great action, not just appeared, but came holding his hands to stop from
plucking the other eye, shouting, "Oh halt kaNNappa!, Halt kaNNappa!!,
halt kaNNappa!!!". The sage of great wisdom saw the great love of the devotee
and the grace he got for that. The Lord accepted the flesh as a fruit only
due to the presence of such a sacrificial love. Can there be anything more
covettable, after the Omniscient blessing him immediately, "Oh !
Uncomparable ! Stay to my right.". Let the devotion that is kaNNappa
n^AyanAr stay in the mind.
1. Mention of kaNNappanAyanAr in various thEvaram thirumuRais
gurupUjai : thai mrugasIrsham