The Supreme Sacrifice

This poem is based on the story of the supreme sacrifice by a tribal boy, Thimman who was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Such was his devotion that he didn’t even hesitate to give his eyes to the Lord and thus Lord Shiva declared him a saint. He came to be known as Kanappa Nayannar since he had sacrificed his eyes for the Lord (Kann is another word for eye).

Thimman was renowned far and wide

For being a reputed archer of his tribe.

Once while hunting, he lost his way

And wandered in forest throughout the day.


Coming across a small, secret shrine

Inexplicably attracted to Shiva, the divine

Filled with an innate desire to pray

Though he didn’t know the correct way.


Consumed with love for the deity divine

He made an offering of meat and some wine.

Touched by his love, the Lord so gracious

Accepted the humble offering so precious.


With a grateful heart, Thimman returned

After sometime arrived the Brahmin learned

For the fortnightly duty to clean and pray

And was shocked at the sight from faraway.


Assuming it to be the work of some creature wild

He asked for forgiveness from the Lord so kind

And thoroughly cleaned and sanctified the shrine

Thus left being satisfied of his duty sublime.


Thimman came again with meat the next day

And talked to the Lord not knowing how to pray

Overcome by bliss and transcendental pleasure

He started coming everyday during his leisure.


Feeling the Lord needed bath as He seemed dirty

Filling water in his mouth while holding a turkey

He poured the water on the deity so as to bathe

Ignorant of his folly, he continued with deep faith.


Next fortnight when the brahmin came

Repulsed by the sight, he was filled with shame

Meat all over the place and spittle too

Not the work of an animal but some human fool!


Crying aloud, the Brahmin addressed the Lord

“ O Shiva! You are the greatest of all Gods

Yet someone defiled you, not caring for your curse

How can you let this happen, O protector of the universe?”


Shiva appeared smiling to the core

“How could the offerings of a devotee ignore?

Hide in a corner and watch his sincere emotion

Ignorant of rituals yet full of love and devotion.”


Curious about this devotee, brahmin hid in a secluded corner

Soon Thimman came carrying meat and a mouthful of water

Spitting water on the deity and offering meat as usual

But the offerings weren’t accepted which was so unusual.


Something was oozing out of the Lord’s left eye

Applying some herbs, Thimman started to cry

As blood started oozing out making the wound worse

And no remedies worked to cure this curse.


Taking out his knife, he cut his left eye

Placing it on the Lord, he let out a sigh

As the blood stopped but other eye bled again

And his sacrifice seemed to go in vain.


The sacrifice of other eye too had to be made

But how would he then see where it should be laid?

Placing his leg on the deity where the Lord had right eye

Thimman took out his other eye, being willing to die.


Unable to bear, the Lord appeared to bestow mercy

Restoring Thimman’s sight as he was deemed worthy

And declared him Shiva’s great devotee Kannappa Nayanar

While the Brahmin and Thimman lay prostrate on the floor.


A lowly tribal boy gained Lord’s affection

Revealing the secret of that intimate connection

With mere rituals and prayers, we can’t flatter

True love and devotion to Lord is all that matter.


© 2017 Shaloo Walia All rights reserved



  1. You have expressed the story no nicely. You certainly excel in narrative poems. I have seen the movie version of this. Its called “Bedara Kannappa”.

    This was awesome read.. 🙂

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