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 hermit.

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 shown !

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.

See Also:
1. Mention of kaNNappanAyanAr in various thEvaram thirumuRais

pERini idhanmEl uNdO ? pirAnthiruk kaNNil van^dha 
     URukaN danychith thaN^kaN idan^dhappa udhavuN^ kaiyai
     ERuyarth thavarthaN^ kaiyAl pidiththukkoNdu enva laththil
     mARilAy ! n^iRka enRu mannupEr aruLpu rin^dhAr

gurupUjai : thai mrugasIrsham

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