The history of Kannappa Nayanar

The great scholars including thirunyAna champandhar, thirunAvukkarachar, sundharar, mANikka vAchakar, Adi shankarar, nakkIrar and a list which is too long to put, praise one hunter who never learnt any holy scriptures and whose discipline was just to kill - hunt, who became an excellent example of devotion. Simple but unparallaled was his love. It may be difficult even for great scholars to put in words that love which even when one tries to visualise takes them to the peaks of the mountains of devotion. But still one loves to tell his story, hence is this effort.

The land green with the forests and hills having the best that mother nature offers was the kingdom called pothappi nAdu . In that kingdom was the village called uduppUr , surrounded by beautiful rainfalls. The rocks of that hilltown were smelling with the rotton smell from the bodies of the dead animals put for drying along with the anchored nets used for hunting. Along with the noise of "Kill it ! stone it! stab them !" that the hunting folks generate, one can hear the pleasant sound of dancing deers and jumping waterfalls. Along with the cow-herds that those hunters robbed from others one can see the herds of elephant that challange the roaring of the thunder. For those hunters who never gave place for fear or mercy in their hearts, a courageous supremo by name nAgan was there. His discipline was crime ; hobby was to kill ; profession to hunt ; valorous in the archery ; well suited for the job he got from his ancestors, but should have done some excellant penance in his previous births for getting assocoiated with a man of marvellous love . His wife, who too came in the family of powerful archers, always seen with the nails of tigers and skin of snakes as ornaments, was called thaththai .

They didn't have a child for a long time. Everybody else washed off their hands saying there is no chance of getting an offspring for them. When everything else fails man thinks of God. His existance is reminded to him then only. Even an athist may believe in God when there is no other go. Out of the desire for a kid nAgan prayed the son of the God who dances in the cemetries - Lord muruga , the form of His grace. Out of the grace of that six faced Lord muruga, thaththai conceived the kid who is always referred with great respect by the devotees. When the child was born, with the tears of joy flooding away the rain that poured, nAgan took his son like a huge mountain holding up a dark cloud. He celebrated the occasion with thanks giving sacrifices of animals to Lord muruga, and the entire town was full of joy. That marvelous kid was so powerful that even his father felt him heavy to hold up. So he named the kid thiNNan ( meaning "strong"), amid the roar of the hunting folks.

He grew with the array of ornaments made out of animal bodies decorating his young and strong chest and waist, playing by catching the wildpigs, snakes and wilddogs, with the parents immersed in the sweet of his evolving speech. When he grew up to the age of learning archery, his father found an auspicious day for his first course in archery and made a big announcement through his hunters in all the directions. The hunters from many areas came along with the gems, leather, ivory, honey, favorite flesh varities, fruits and roots to offer to their young boss. With the festivities and sacrifices going on thiNNanAr took the bow that brought the meat food for the Almighty who feeds this entire universe. nAgan arranged for a heavy feast of, of course, meat. On the seventh day of the festival when the Sun was shining in the middle of the sky, the lion of that forest was given the bow and arrow. He learnt that art, which was his profession too, beyond doubts and inefficiency. Like the cresent that grows he reached his sixteenth age.

By then nAgan grew old and found it difficult to take up the tremendous task of leading the hunting. With the herds of elephants, deers and tigers increasing the hunters came to their king and told him that they were delaying the hunting that was due for the month. He told them that as he has become old he will send his son with them. They had the feeling of happiness mixed with sorrow and told him that they were missing a nice leader like him but were happy to be working under a mighty young man - his son. nAgan called the lady who tells the astrolgical important information (called dhEvarAtti ) to propitiate the forest deities as thiNNanAr was to go for his first hunt. Then he went to thiNNanAr to tell him that as he became too old to go for hunting he should take over that position to lead the hunters providing them with prosperity.

He started with the fellow hunters in the morning when even Sun hadn't come up to see the day, with the bow and arrows and valour like that of arjuna . With the sound of the chord in his bow tremouring the animals in all the directions they penetrated into the deep forest with different dreadful arms. With the spies saying the clue on the haunts of the wild animals the hunters rounded up that area to block their escape, and thiNNanAr along with some of his valourous men went deep into the forest. The hunters made heaps of wild animals killed. There came a wild pig, which broke the nets and pits of the hunters with the vengence and leaped away like an arrow escaping the piercing arrows of the hunters. Only threee people were able to chase it to the end, they were thiNNanAr and nANan and kAdan , who followed him like his shadow. That pig still escaped their missiles and went far far away from their hunting place to the bottom of the hill of the God, who was dipped there in the worship of three creatures - a spider, a snake and an elephant - that was the sri kALahasti hill. The pig stopped under a tree. The king of the forest thiNNanAr leaped forward, killed it with the dagger he had. They three realised that they had come too far away from their men. thiNNanAr asked kAdan to cook that pagger he had. They three realised that they had come too far away from their men. thiNNanAr asked kAdan to cook that pig to subdue their hunger while nANan told there is a river called ponmukali on the other side of the forest and hill. nANan and thiNNanAr set out to bring water. As they crossed through the forest thiNNanAr saw the hill of the Lord on the Bull. Kindled by an unexplainable emotion he went towards the hill. nANan told thiNNanAr that on the top of the hill will be the abode of kudumiththEvar (Lord shiva), they can go an' pray there. thiNNanAr put his first step towards the Lord who gives Himself for love.

Continuation here - The worship of thiNNanAr.

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

chArvarum thavaNkaL cheydhu munivarum amarar thAmum 
     kArvarai adavi chErndhum kANudhaR kariyAr thammai
     Arvamun peruka ArA anpiniR kaNdu koNdE
     nErpeRa nOkki ninRAr nILiruL nINga ninRAr

  • gurupUjai : thai - mrugasIrsham
  • Birth place of kaNNappa nAyanAr
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