Thursday, January 7, 2016

The history of Kannappa Nayanar

The history of Kannappa NayanarThe 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.     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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015



The celestial serpent Vasuki is the second child among the Nagas born to Kadru and Kashypa PrajaPati. He beautifies the neck of Lord Shiva by coiling around it. Mahadev uses serpents as his adornments. The hoops of Lord Shiva are nagas named Penaman and Kundalan. The armlets of the lord are decorated by serpents Ashwara and Takshaka. Wearing Nagas as the ornaments implies that Mahadev’s devotees would not die of snake bite and they don’t have to undergo the prolonged stays in hospitals with diseases. The two coiled serpent seen on scepter of the caduceus the medical symbol indicates the two nerves “Ida “and “Pingala”. That serpent is Vasuki. The blood of asura named Prithamali is the poison of him, known also by the name “KalaKoodam”. This name can be interprets as the “Things that burns Kala ( god of death /time )”. The five great venoms are Kalakooda, Sringi, Mustakam, Vatsanabham and SangaKarni, out of which KalaKoodam is the most poisonous. The venom Kalakoodam in Sanskrit knows as HalaHal. During the Churning of ocean of milk using vasuki as the rope, the great serpent vomited the vicious poison Halahala, to save the world from imminent devastation gods prayed to MahaDeva. Lord Shiva drank poison to protect the world. The Madura temple known as the halasa temple is dedicated to this form of Mahadeva who consumed poison to rescue the world. This lord whose greatness is praised through 64 plays in a scared book known by the name Halasya Mahatmayam. Once there was a competition between Vasuki and the lord of wind regarding who is the strongest out of two. The challenge was, in order to prove his strength Wind god should crack off a peak of Mount Meru. Vasuki coiled around the peak as a rope and forced it strongly against the earth .The competition was a very tough one. Wind blow as hard and fierce it could but mountain was immobile. This lasted for a prolonged time and none was victorious but none of them want to withdraw from the competition. Then wind subdued as if it left it for a while to take rest. Vasuki tilted his head a bit to check if the Wind god actually left the place. At this moment wind raged powerfully and peak of Meru was chopped off. According to legend the cut off piece of Mount Meru that fell on the ocean later became Sree Lanka. The serpent spirit in the Lord Shiva temple is Vasuki. Hence while doing the ayiliyam pooja and sarpabali it should be conducted by reciting Vasuki mantra not by the Anantha mantra. Vasuki Dhyana “Om Phanshta sathasekharam drutha suvarna punja prabham Varaabharana bhooshanam tharuna jaalathamrasukam Svjravara lakshanam navasarojarakthaikshanam Namami shirasa surasuranamaskratham vasukeem” Meaning – Bow to whom having 108 hoods , having golden effulgence , who wore excellent ornaments , who is radiant , wore sparkling bronze colored silk material, symbolizes an exquisite diamond , who is bowed by the Deva &Asura alike .

Monday, October 19, 2015

Invoking Lord Shiva or Shiva Sloka:

Lingashtakam English Lyrics (Text)

Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, which is the destroyer of desires, which the
Devas and the sages worship, which is infinitely compassionate and which subdued the pride
of Ravana

sarva sugandha sulepita liṅgaṃ
buddhi vivardhana kāraṇa liṅgam |
siddha surāsura vandita liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 3 ||
Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, which is lavishly smeared with variegated perfumes and scents, which elevates the power of thought and enkindles the light of discrimination, and before which the Siddhas and Suras and Asuras prostrate.
kanaka mahāmaṇi bhūṣita liṅgaṃ
phaṇipati veṣṭita śobhita liṅgam |
dakṣa suyaṅña nināśana liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 4 ||
Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, the destroyer of Daksha’s sacrifice, which is decorated with various ornaments, studded with different gems and rubies and which glows with the garland of the serpent Lord coiled around it
kuṅkuma candana lepita liṅgaṃ
paṅkaja hāra suśobhita liṅgam |
sañcita pāpa vināśana liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 5 ||
Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, which is smeared with saffron and sandal paste, which is decorated with lotus garlands and which wipes out all accumulated sins.
devagaṇārcita sevita liṅgaṃ
bhāvai-rbhaktibhireva ca liṅgam |
dinakara koṭi prabhākara liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 6 ||
Tat Pranamaami Sadaa Shiva Lingam
Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga which is worshipped by the multitude of Gods with genuine thoughts full of faith and devotion and whose splendor is like that of a million suns.
aṣṭadaḷopariveṣṭita liṅgaṃ
sarvasamudbhava kāraṇa liṅgam |
aṣṭadaridra vināśana liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 7 ||
Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga, destroyer of all poverty and misery in its eight aspects, which is the cause of all creation and which stands on the eight petal Lotus.
suraguru suravara pūjita liṅgaṃ
suravana puṣpa sadārcita liṅgam |
parātparaṃ paramātmaka liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 8 ||
Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Linga which is the Transcendent Being and the Supreme Self, worshipped by all Suras and their preceptor (Brihaspati), with innumerable flowers from the celestial gardens. liṅgāṣṭakamidaṃ puṇyaṃ yaḥ paṭheśśiva sannidhau |śivalokamavāpnoti śivena saha modate ||



                                                            There is a popular legend among many about Goddess BhadraKali, that after slaying the demon Daruka Devi becoming drunk on the blood of her victims and started destructive dance. As it would lead in to the destruction of the entire Universe , all beings prayed to Mahadev for help. To pacify Devis fury and save the world from an imminent danger Lord Shiva lies down in the way of BhadraKali s path . Fail to see MahaDev lying among the corpses the Devi stepped up on Lord Shivas chest . Immediately realizing Mahadev lies beneath her feet, her anger subdued . This has depicted in many pictures also . But the truth is that no such story can be found not only in the BhadraKali s legend but also not in Markandeya Purana. There is not even a narration in the Markandeya Purana which says that Lord Shiva welcomed his daughter by getting up from his seat then how could it possible that he lay on her path. BhadraKali is worshipped as the KulaDevatha(Goddess of the clan ) , as ParaDevatha (Goddessof the family) and as a temple deity by many others. So the story of Kali stepping up on the chest of lord Shiva must be some whimsical tale created by many who do not like Devis worship.There are various versions of story how goddessanger is pacified. The real version is like this. Devi ,who started from Kailas on top of the Vetala (ghost ) along with the Bhoota Ganas for theslaying of Demon Daruka, after winning the battle was returning towards the Kailas in highest fury . Understanding this fact through the divine vision Lord Shiva thought of pacifying the wrath of BhadraKali by invoking the motherly love in
her. To attain this he asked Lord Ganesh and NandiKesha to take the form of new born babies by Ashtavidhya and lie on the way of Kali.
                                                              This can be known from the verse 55 of Markandeya Purana , Bhadrothpathy. It says like this Lord Shiva told  Nandi and Ganesh , u both take the forms of new born babies and lie down on the outside of the Gopura( Entrance to the temple). By seeing you both in the form of babies Bhadra will forget her fury.Thereafter to the Devas assembled there LordShiva uttered in this way My dearest Devas and reverent Sages do go to the inner side of the Gopura and start chanting Devi praising hymns.
                                                                      Thus Lord Shiva employed Ganesh, Nandi, Bhootha Ganas, Deva and Sages to stand at the four entrances of the Mount Kailas as they were unaware through which way Devi will enter.
After slaying of the Demon Daruka Bhardra Kali reached the northern side of the Kailas with enormous Fury. Up on reaching the entrance she saw two lovely babies playing at the entrance of the Gopura. The innocence of the babies smile and play made Devi to forget her anger. She picked up those babies in her four arms and started fondling them. This is the same way in which now the -Thooka Vrathakaar-of the Kerala Bhadra Kali temple now carrying the babies during the rituals. This is how the anger of the Devi has been pacified .

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The origin of Maha Shiva Rathri

The origin of Maha Shiva Rathri There is an interesting account found in Purana’s portraying the origin of Maha Shiva rathri. In the time immemorial a lotus bloomed out of Lord Mahavishnu’s navel. The creator god Lord Brahma originated in the lotus. By finding himself in the midst of an ocean all alone , Brahma was even more confused about his origin. To find out the mystery of his existence he set out for an expedition through the sea of life. After a long pursuit he found Lord Mahavishnu lying in the ocean of life having his eternal slumber. Lord Brahma asked the whereabouts of the Lord , he answered that he is the creator of Brahma and known as Lord Vishnu. This answer was not acceptable to Lord Brahma. A severe battle broke out between the two which eventually end up in a war, both of them fought tooth and nail to establish the supremacy of one another. Lord Brhama sends his weapon “ Brahmastra “ against Lord Vishnu. To defend this “ Pasupathastra “fired by Lord Vishnu. Once unleashed ,the pasupathastra journeyed around the world and started to threaten the very existence of it , both gods were failed to direct the weapon. Then a pillar of fire appeared between them. It seemed to be stretching endless without a start or end. It’s been decided between the two who ever find out the end of it will be the supreme. Thus lord Brahma travelled to the top in the form of a swan and Lord Vishnu to the bottom in the form of a boar. Eons passed by but both of them failed to find the end of it . On the way to the top Lord brahma got a Kaitaki flower which was falling from the top . With this flower as a proof Brahma lied to Lord Vishnu that he found the end of the pillar. Lord Vishnu agreed the supremacy of Lord Brahma. At this stage Lord Shiva appeared out of the Jyothirlinga, he immobilized pasupathastra. He cursed Lord Brahma for lying and made Lord Vishnu the supreme. It was a day on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar month Maagha as per Amavasya-ant month calculation. It is proclaimed that that auspicious day should be celebrated as Maha shivarathri by lord Shiva.

The age of God Shiva

The age of Lord Shiva----------------------------------------------The age of Lord Shiva It says thousand Chathuryuga (4 yuga) is the one day of Lord Brahma. During the age of brahma at about 14 Indras will come and occupy the title of King of heaven and then decline . This type of two ages of brahma is equivalent to Lord Vishnu's age. At the end of that age Lord Vishnu will also perish. It says lord Shiva’s age is four times that of Lord Maha Vishnu according to Devi Bhagavatha fiifth skanda. Worshipping of Lord Shiva In Bhartha, there are many Shaivites. They follow varied forms of worships but all are basically linked to one another. Traditionally it can be divided in to two as that the ones follow the Vedic ways of worship and others who don’t. We could see a wide spread rituals that follow the sattvic way (sattva is one of the three gunas , means “of pure “,” positive” etc). Parasu Padam way of puja is an age old one. Once they have followed the Vedic ways but later they discarded it. The shiva lingam found in Gudamilla is said to be of dated back to 200 BC, from this we can conclude the antiquity of the Shiva Ling worship.