8.20.2007

A hunter's way to salvation - Kannappa Nayanar


In todays world it is difficult to get the levels of intensity in devotion that our ancients had. Devotion is something that is freely available to anyone, it needs to churned and expressed in the right direction for better spiritual evolution. It independent of time, stature or materialism. Its a simple equation of emotion with the Lord.

One such example of a great devotee of Lord Shiva who didn't think much when it came to ritual or purity is Tinna a hunter. All he knew was to hunt, and get home the meat of his killing and protect his tribe. He was a great successor to his father who was the chief of the tribe.

One day after the hunt Tinna came to rest at an old Shiva temple. His Love for the Lord and the sanctity of the place made him decide he didn't want to go home but wanted to continue staying there and worshiping the Lord. He would take a bath and collect water in his mouth to bathe the Lord, he would chew at the meat and give the best pieces to the Lord and decorate the Linga with flowers that he tucked on his head and took back to the temple. After abhishekam he would stay at the door step and guard the shrine chamber.

In the morning a priest often came to the temple to perform the puja and found flowers and meat scattered all around the Linga every night. This upset him a lot and he would clean up the temple again and offer his worship. He would sorrowfully leave the temple and come back to see the same offerings the next day. He prayed deeply to the Lord to give him an answer. The Lord appeared in his dream and instructed him to watch overnight to see what happens at the temple.

Next night the priest arrived at the temple as instructed. When he saw the Shiva Linga he couldn't believe his eyes. The Lord had opened his eyes and was now looking at him. He fell on the ground in adoration. When he got up, one of the eyes were profusely bleeding. The priest got worried and decided to make a hasty exit.

Later Tinna came to the temple with the flowers tucked in his hair and water in his mouth and fresh meat in his hands as an offering. When he stepped into the temple, he was shocked with what he saw. He dashed to the Linga and tried to bathe it and clean the eye that was bleeding. It still refused to stop. Tinna finally decided to replace the eye with one of his eyes. He took out his arrow and dug into his own socket and offered his eye to the Lord. When he replaced the eye, the bleeding stopped for a while and then again started in the other eye. Tinna decided to give up his other eye. He placed his foot on the eye of the Shiva Linga to mark the spot and took out the arrow to dig out the second eye. When he was about to do it, Lord Shiva appeared out of the Linga and stopped him and blessed him telling him to come with him to Kailasa.


Tinna came to be known as Kannappa Nayanar in the years to come. His shrine now resides on a hill near the Swarnamukhi river at Kalahasti.

Also read: Kalahasti - the land where Vayu is felt

Photo courtesy: Shaivam.org

15 comments:

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, there is no shortage of devotion today, for it is the eternal truth. The difficulty is because of the apparent characteristic propety of 'time', by virtue of which the devotion is misplaced and misdirected, as part of a grand design by the mischievos Formless Creator, Nadbindu, that itself is related with zero time and space as the origin and the store-house of souls...(As per one of the mythological beliefs, souls are imprisoned in the darkness of the centre of earth, and from there they are watching the projection of the unending drama - each identifying itself with some one particular form at a particular given point of time)...

In the beginning churning was believably started from purely 'spiritual', that is, energy form to acquire more and more material (as the story also tells) to last eternity needed to reach balance between material and spiritual...And, now we aren't aware that we are on the return leg of the journey - back to the 'spiritual' and, therefore, lesser need for the material that we are apparently foolishly acquiring due to 'slavery of time' and lack of overall knowledge!

JC Joshi said...

The question however is; whether we humans have any control on the believable eternal ‘kalchakra’ that is ‘wheel of time’ or not…for, repetition of History perhaps proves that time is not linear…

The ‘educated’ ancients appear to have concluded that man is only a witness of the drama - produced, directed and acted by the ‘Controller of Time’ that is ‘Mahakal Shiva’ or Earth - like planet Saturn believably is (as a model of Lord Vishnu/ Nadbindu/ Formless Shiva represented by Shiva lingam)…

It, therefore, apparently is a question of faith. Or, of conducting research to either prove or disprove the existence of the believably mysterious and mischievous Formless being...

And, that’s what actually, apparently, is happening since time immemorial – there are characters who say they believe in God while an equal number might say that they don’t! Perhaps only those who do not bother whether God exists or not are able to enjoy the drama better!

JC Joshi said...

Of course, terms and conditions apply - as in all commercial propositions also as reflection of the universal truth…

For happiness is a state of mind, one must keep in mind that as far as the exterior world is concerned each one of us is part of an ever changing environment. Therefore, that also being the truth of life, although one’s own concept of the truth might be different because of innumerable factors, one could perhaps take help from the ‘Hindu’ mythological stories for better understanding the'Nature'…

Take, for example, some individuals, including journalists and Historians, expressing in the media their anger at the ‘Left’ for creating hinderance in the so-called Indo-US nuke deal and citing the ‘communists’ generally as a spent force…

A ‘Hindu by thought’ could perhaps have related the India’s present political scenario with the evolutionary process being seen in the reverse order…Kartikeya (related with poisonous planet Venus as its typical model and start of churning reportedly resulting in 'halahal') believably is the elder son of Shiva-Parvati and is believed as their ‘right hand’, while Ganesha, the younger one as the ‘Vighna harta’ or trouble shooter and the all rounder with blessings of Mothers or energies, ‘Kali’ literally the ‘black’, as well as Gouri, literally the ‘fair one’, was believably created by Parvati as Her ‘left hand’ for control over Shiva that is earth…

JC Joshi said...

It is a well known fact that all the believable ‘gates to hell’ have become more and more widely opened with the passage of time in the recent times, perhaps as indicators of poisoning of average Indian’s mind…and perhaps thus reflection of one of the major characteristic properties of planet Venus…

However, besides that, as we have seen earlier also, planet Venus or ‘Shukra’ (with its essence believably housed in the human throat, the location of Adam’s apple received from ‘Satan’ via Eve) is associated with Kartikeya as the ‘right hand’ of Shiva-Parvati, that is, Earth-Moon. And, Kartikeya, like Saturn and Krishna the Neelamber as its re-incarnation or model is also associated with blue colour (peacock being his believable vehicle) while Saturn is also associated with blue colour and (Iron &) Steel - and nerves in human form. Thus these hints indirectly relate Venus also with steel and other materials used by humans for making ‘material’ life comfortable…

And one knows how Iron, and thus Steel too as its evolved form, that for long had remained dormant within the bowels of earth has resurfaced and is being progressively used in greater and greater abundance in all walks of life with the passage of time…

The Hindu mythological stories thus could perhaps be better enjoyed in view of the above as one of the backgrounds…perhaps confirming the ancient belief of life as the History of the Formless being reviewed again and again by the Formless Creator (Bhootnath Shiva) – perhaps in search of His Own unknown origin as it gets reflected in it being expressed as unborn and unending by the’wise’ ancients even…

JC Joshi said...

St. Matthew, one of the characters in the drama, apparently recognizing the ’Truth’ of rampant copying in ‘Nature’ – as expressed by Krishna in the Gita also - said, “Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again…etc.”

Every believably ‘educated’ person today perhaps knows the ‘truth’ that even the most intelligent person today utilizes a negligible percentage of the available brain cells - thus literally 'headless'. Thus, if someone were to call another person foolish, directly or indirectly even, say, by some analogy, perhaps it is an ancient realization expressed in the saying, “Coal calling bitumen as black.”

In view of the above-said and the ancient ‘Hindu’ belief of life after life - in the apparent drama in the life of the Formless Creator and His Own images or reflections - one can perhaps visualize why Krishna is lovingly referred as ‘natkhat Nnandlal’, that is, ‘the mischievous son of King Nanada (and his wife Yashoda)’, although he apparently was Vasudeva- Devki’s son!

Every soul or some energy form is believed to have passed through a minimum of 8.4 million life forms before one appears in the human form, a perfectly designed instrument that, however, needs to be tested and calibrated to prove through many cycles before it could become useful to its Creator for His purpose - that ever remains unknown to humans and hence the apparent eternal drama…

JC Joshi said...

Krishna meaning ‘black’ and the believable ‘light of thousand suns’, as mischievous and mysterious physical re-incarnation of Formless Vishnu in Dwaperyuga, makes its presence known - even in the present - through ‘scientists’ who have inferred the presence of a ‘hole’ in space indicated by entry of stars existing in its vicinity and thereafter disappearing into it because of its super gravity...

They also believe that such a ‘Black Hole’ is housed at the centre of our galaxy also…And the ancient Hindu Yogis indicated Yogiraja Krishna to be present at 16,000 locations at the same time.

Krishna, in the Gita, however, clarifies that everyone believes him to be present within each form, because of illusion only, while in reality the whole creation rests within Him! The concept of man as a model of the universe, realized by Yogis, indicates real Krishna/ Vishnu to represent the univesal void that is in turn repersented in physical form by 'Gangadhara' Shiva in human form/ earth as His prototype...

kavitha said...

Hi Joshi uncle,

Here are a few of my comments:

The darkness in the center of the earth can be represented by the void that the souls go through before the judgement is passed be Chitragupta and the next place of residence is decided. (Be it patalaok, devalok etc.) before the next birth commences. This is another ideology.

The connect with material and spiritual, is something that cannot be at equilibrium. When one is spiritual, they completely disconnect from material and it really doesnt matter whether they have it or not. There is fundamentally no attachment. Am a little confused about the return leg.

Research on the possibility that there is a God is a lost battle. It cannot be researched, not in the definition we know as research. Its a lonely path for one to realize and cannot be documented with facts but can only be expressed with experiences.

Regds
Kavitha

JC Joshi said...

Kavitha, I am glad you decided to express your views too!

The concept of man as model of the universe through the solar system members as its essence, such that typical characters, say Ram and Arjuna, having 75% or 50% efficiency respectively at different times, reflect the typical possible best properties of Sun in different eras, respectively, besides innumerable other forms that help represent at the corresponding era the various other possible characterstics of Sun through the apparent hierarchical representation…

The character of ‘Chitragupta’, in the believable drama of water-cycle-like cycles of souls by the ancients, was perhaps visualized based on the observation of a parallel system of judgement in the humn system for promotions or demotions in one’s carrier in a condensed form during the short life span as reflection of a bigger system…

By ‘the return leg of the journey’ I meant that the original churning believably took place during some period in four stages with the sole purpose of attaining immortality by the devtas, and a part demon too, that is the solar system members as we have come to name them from, say, Sun to Saturn, reflecting different properties…It is perhaps like a process symbolically represented by the conquer of, say, Mount Everest, by two persons, Hillary and Tenzing, at the same time, supported by a team of mountaineers as typical representatives of the ‘east’ and the ‘west’, but with obligation for all to return to the base, or zero, due to various other factors governing human day-to-day life...

Whereas the solar system members continue to function with whatever evolved form they had acquired at some point of time in the past, although undergoing some changes in the outward appearances – like human beings change with the help of garments/ hair-cut/ even change of sex through surgeries, and so on in innumerable other ways too…

The concept of balance between spiritual and the material is perhaps imagined based on the behaviour of the Heavenly Bodies which apparently are in existence for billions of years because of the balance between the material content and the gravitational force…

Apparent research is going on naturally through ‘scientists’ and ‘seekers’, both looking for the ‘Truth’. We, however, apparently being in the Kaliyuga, having believably reached here from Satyuga in teh return journey back to our base, can only visualize the balance between the ‘material’ and the ‘spiritual’ that was believably attained in the Satyuga by Shiva if 'we can enter His mind' through a thoughtless stage – believably the state where God ever remains, and reaching there the concerned rare soul also attains ‘moksha’!

JC Joshi said...

We have earlier also tried to visualize how, as a hint from the creator, our present status of descent gets reflected even in the 'latest' sport of ‘bungee jump’ where people enjoy jumping from properly designed high structures, after duly ensuring that one end of the duly tested and proved rope is tied properly to the strong structure and the other to the jumper - perhaps thus communicating to us humans that faith in God should be as strong as the rope used in the ‘bungee jump’…

The 'wise' ancient 'Hindus', however, cited the example of an ever present, light-weight, spider’s descent from the ceiling to the floor with the help of a sufficiently strong string prepared by it without any external aid, using its naturally available faculty…and it additionally communicates the need to not carry heavy luggage during the descent!

JC Joshi said...

Talking of spiders, one might like to learn some more about them…

In very brief, I read that there are at least 40,000 species, in about 100 families of spiders, which can geneally be distinguished from other arachnids (that is, any member of a class of wingless anthropods with jointed bodies, viz. spiders, mites, and scorpions) by their distinctive appearance and their ability to produce silk...

And, that a typical spider has 8 eyes, and a body divided into 2 parts – the cephalothorax and the abdomen. All spiders are predatory, injecting venom into their prey…and they live in every terrestrial habitat, from tropical rainforests to cellars and caves…

And, the ‘wise’ ancient ‘Hindus’ also believed Mother Durga to be eight-handed, perhaps alluding to Moon as the central - most important figure - and seven other members, out of eight selected members of the solar system [from Sun ('Brahma') to Jupiter ('Krishna'/ 'Vishnu') – ‘the eight eyes’] responsible for the ‘kalchakra’ or spinning of the ‘wheel of time’, for generation of ‘Maya’ that is optical illusion in human beings on Earth that is Mahesha…

Perhaps thus many apparently different versions of the same event from humans (believably represented by two vessels, or two zeros in the form of numeral 8 that represents infinity when made to recline - Vishnu-like!) at any point of time!

JC Joshi said...

Another feature of worship of the Goddess of wealth, Laxmi, in the present, that is, the fag-end of Kaliyuga being seen in reverse order, that reflects the domination of Kartikeya (planet Venus that holds poison in its atmosphere – the halahal of the Hindu Mythology) the provider of material, at the beginning of churning, unchecked and unhindered by his more evolved with time younger brother Ganesha (planet Mars the all rounder, representing a combination or Yoga of Kali & Gouri, the destructive and constructive forces respectively), is the proliferation of hundreds of crores of Rupees worth of ‘modern temples’ in India that is Bharat and abroad that are apparently mushrooming at different places with the help of NRI/ local money, and is being hotly debated on TV channels by the present day ‘experts’, who unfortunately perhaps haven’t been initiated in to the ancient ‘wise’ Hindu concept of Formless Creator and need for surrender in Him…thanks to Mahakal Shiva, the believable whole-sale ‘Destroyer’ at tehend of a Yuga…

JC Joshi said...

I give below for information an extract of one of the ‘modern western thoughts’, which virtually reflects the basis of the ancient ‘Hindu thought’ on the apparent believably illusory universe, from an essay by Mark Lilla, professor of the humanities at Columbia University, appeared in the New York Times on 19/8, reportedly adapted from his book “The stillborn God: Religion, Politics and the Modern West,” to be published next month.

“…If God is thought to be passive, a silent force like the sky, nothing in particular may follow. He is a hypothesis we can do without. But if we take seriously the thought that God is a person with intentions, and that the cosmic order is a result of those intentions, then a great deal can follow. The intentions of such a God reveal something man cannot fully know on his own. This revelation then becomes the source of his authority, over nature and over us, and we have no choice but to obey him and see that his plans are carried out on earth. That is where political theology comes in.
One powerful attraction of political theology, in any form, is its comprehensiveness. It offers a way of thinking about the conduct of human affairs and connects those thoughts to loftier ones about the existence of God, the structure of the cosmos, the nature of the soul, the origin of all things and the end of time. For more than a millennium, the West took inspiration from the Christian image of a triune God ruling over a created cosmos and guiding men by means of revelation, inner conviction and the natural order. It was a magnificent picture that allowed a magnificent and powerful civilization to flower. But the picture was always difficult to translate..."

JC Joshi said...

The ‘wise’ ancient ‘Hindus’ realized appearance of dreams in 'imperfect' and therefore temporary human's mind’s eye in apparent sleep - or even when one is apparently day-dreaming immersed in deep thoughts - as a reflection of the apparent infinite ever-changing physical universe being seen in His ‘Third eye’ by Bhootnath Shiva during ‘apparent time’ as the various ‘Truths’. For He Himself is related - as the believable Nadbindu or a point source of indestructible infinite energy - with zero time and zero space, as the ‘Absolute truth’, that is, the real Supreme Being or the Supreme soul…who believably resides within each and every apparent physical form as a witness of the various chains of thoughts in each form in the animal world right from their origin, that is, each form's coming into apparently temporary existence innumerable times till it attains the perfect human form, the believably superior most form in the animal world as His Own image in 'Satyuga' in the past...

He thus believably is a perfect entity resulting from fusion (yoga) of a 'scientist' and a 'seeker', out of innumerable permutations and combinations thereof, who seeks the probable truth of His Own origin from His Own possible History...

Aswin Kini said...

A very very nice article. Although i knew the story of Kannappa Nayanar, it is an immense pleasure to read the story after a long time(This story brings back memories of my Tamil teacher, Mr. Velu, who used to sing this story as a small poem and then explain to us the depth of the devotion involved). I never knew that there was a temple for Kannappa Nayanar. Thanks for the info. By the way, have you written any articles on Kanipakkam Ganapathi.

ANAND said...

Hello everyone,

I reached this site while searching for information on Kannappa Nayanar. From the various postings by various persons, everyone is trying to understand how vast the world and universe is and the logic of the enitre working of the universe, birth and death, creation and disolution.
If you come back to the story of Kannappa Nayanar, there is no use of talking about such things. Just being a simple person with humility, child-like innocence is sufficient to reach or become the "CREATOR" and dissolve into his "CREATION". The information, knowledge and / or anaylsis of "CREATOR" or "HIS / HER CREATION" will not lead anyone anywhere.
For further information, i will suggest you to visit these links.

http://www.sadhguru.org/portal/index.php/content/view/182/138/

http://www.ishafoundation.org/