Unparalleled bhakti

February 03, 2019 10:29 pm | Updated 10:29 pm IST

Kannappa Nayanar’s bhakti was so intense that he could not bear to see his beloved Lord Siva suffer in any way. Of course, the Lord does not suffer, but Kannappa Nayanar’s bhakti put him in the position of one who cares for the welfare of the Lord. As such, he did not pause to think about anything but what he saw as the discomfort of the Lord, said R. Narayanan, in a discourse. That is why, when he saw the eyes of the Siva linga that he worshipped bleeding, he plucked out his eye and offered it to the Lord. He was prepared to offer the other eye too, but was stopped by the Lord, who had only intended to show the world the greatness of Kannappa Nayanar. And yet, who was Kannappa Nayanar, but a hunter who had not studied the scriptures? What the Lord looks for is true bhakti. Admiring Kannappa Nayanar’s devotion, saint Manickavachagar praised him in Tiruvachagam, and said his own devotion was not equal to Kannappa Nayanar’s. Kannappa Nayanar was originally known as Thinnan. Thinnan’s methods of worship were unique — he would hold some water in his mouth, using which he would anoint the Linga! He offered meat to the Lord and flowers he had worn in his hair, but the Lord accepted this gladly, because of Thinna’s love. During the day, Thinnnan went hunting, and during the night he stood guard to protect the Linga! When Thinnan was away, sage Sivakochariyar would come for worship, and finding meat offerings, he would clean up the place, only to find the same offerings the next day. He wanted Lord Siva to expose the one responsible for his act of pollution. That was when Siva decided to let him see the devotion of Thinnan, and He caused His eyes to bleed, leading to the supreme sacrifice of Thinnan. Thinnan came to be called Kannappa and his eye was restored.

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