Legends of Kannappa Nayanar
He was a devotee of the Vayu linga of Srikalahasti which he found in the forest while hunting. As he was illiterate he did not know how to properly worship Lord Shiva. It is considered that he poured water from his mouth on the Shiva lingam which he brought from the nearby river Swarnamukhi. He offered the Lord whatever animal he hunted.
One day, Lord Shiva tested his devotion. He created a tremor and the roof-tops of the temple began to fall. The sages ran away from the scene except Thinnan who covered the linga with his body to prevent it being damaged. Thereafter he was known as Dheeran.
One day Thinnan noticed that one of the eyes of the Shiva linga was oozing blood and tears. He thought that the Lord's eye had been injured; he proceeded to pluck his one eye out with one of his arrows and placed it in the spot of the bleeding eye of the Shiva linga. This stopped the bleeding.
However he noticed that the other eye of the linga has also started oozing blood. Thinnan thought that if he plucked his other eye he would become blind to exactly know the spot where he has to place his second eye. So he placed his great toe on the eye and proceeded to pluck out his other and only eye. Lord Shiva was impressed by his devotion appeared before him and restored both his eyes. He made Thinnan as one of the Nayanmars and was hence called as Kannappan or Kannappa Nayanar.
On the southern hill of the Sri Kalahasti Temple, there is the shrine dedicated to him known as Kannabeswara.
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