Monday, 12 August 2013

An eye for an eye

Does an eye for an eye leave the world blind? 

Not when the eye is offered to God.God created man on earth, or so we believe. God gave everything that man needed to lead a happy and contented life. Is there something that God may, sometimes, need from us in return?

Here is a story of a man who thought so.

Thinnan was born in the temple town of Srikalahasthi, which is located in present day Andhra Pradesh. He hunted animals in the forest for a living. He was a staunch devotee of the Vayu Linga (Shiva), which he found in the forest while hunting. He worshipped the Linga every day and offered whatever he hunted to the Lord.

There were a few upper class priests who lived in the same town. They took offence to what Thinnan offered to God. They told Thinnan to stop offering uncooked, impure meat to God as this would anger Him. The priests feared that the curse of the Lord would befall the whole town and all of them would be affected in one or the other way. 

But Thinnan went ahead with his belief and with a pure heart offered whatever he could.

One day, in order to test Thinnan, lord Shiva created a land tremor. The roof of the temple that he had built for the Vayu Linga started to rip apart. All the priests started running helter-skelter. Thinnan stood his ground and covered the deity with his body.

His devotion moved everyone around and he was known as Dheeran from then on. Lord Shiva wanted to test his devotee some more. One day, when Dheeran entered the temple he found blood oozing out of one of the lords’ eye. Thinnan could not bear the sight. Instantly he took his arrow out and pierced his own eye and placed it on top of the Lord’s eye. Lo and behold, the bleeding from the Lord’s eye stopped. 

He placed his foot over God's bleeding eye as a marker...

Thinnan was very happy and as he was about to leave, he saw the other eye of the Lord started to bleed. Thinnan was in trouble now. He knew he had to cut his other eye to stop the bleeding. But he realised that with both his eyes gone, he would not be able to place his eye properly on the Lord’s bleeding eye. He immediately raised his foot and placed it over the Lord’s eye as a marker, before plucking out his second eye. By now the entire town had gathered around Thinnan. 

As he placed the second eye over the Lord’s eye, Lord Shiva appeared before Thinnan and restored his vision. Lord Shiva gave him the status of a ‘Nayanmar’. The Nayanars or Nayanmars were the great poets who had attained sainthood. Thinnan came to be known as Kannappa Nayanar.