Faith

Bond of bhakti

Sati Devi speaks of the greatness of Siva's hallowed feet that is sought by many who seek peace of mind and release from samsara. She is sad and angry that Daksha represents the evil-minded, whose habit is to insult the Lord wantonly. The truth of Siva’s fame that confers only auspiciousness and grace on His devotees is amply illustrated in the lives of Nayanmars and other saints steeped in Siva Bhakti, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.

In Kali Yuga, there is no greater solace for the disturbed and restless mind than placing total faith in God that engenders the bond with His devotees. Kannappan Nayanar represents devotion of an extraordinary type that is not in keeping with the general conventional practices. A hunter by birth, he gets attached to the Siva linga atop the hill in Kalahasti. Amid his busy hunting schedule, he would take water in his mouth for ablution of the deity, wild flowers and the meat he had cooked and tested for taste as special offering for the Lord. The priest who does daily puja every morning is shocked to find all these around the deity. To allay his fears and to reveal the essence of true bhakti, Siva makes the priest observe the way Kannappan worships Him. On that particular day, Kannappan sees blood trickling from the eyes of deity. Without any hesitation, he plucks his eye and places it on the deity. Seeing that the other eye too is sore, he places his foot at the appropriate place and gets ready to remove his other eye.

Who is there that cannot be moved by such spontaneous and selfless love? Is this not the essence of true devotion, is the message the Lord conveys through the unconventional form of worship Kannappan adopts. Adi Sankara pays high tribute to Kannappan and his bhakti bhava in the hymn Sivanandalahari.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:30:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/bond-of-bhakti/article33207431.ece

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