(pronunciation = 'kaNam-pullar')
By Swami Sivananda
Kanampullar Nayanar was a wealthy man in Irukkuvelur. He was a great Siva bhakta. He wanted to utilise all his wealth only in service of Siva and His bhaktas.
So, with unswerving devotion, Kanampullar would light the lamps in Siva shrines and sing Siva's praise.
Lord Siva wanted to reveal the greatness of Kanampullar's devotion. So, Siva withdrew all of Kanampullar's wealth.
Kanampullar Nayanar went over to Chidambaram. There also Kanampullar continued his service of Siva and Siva bhaktas with the money he got by selling his possessions. There was nothing left in the house. He had to cut grass, sell it and purchase ghee with the money and burn the lamps. Because he cut grass known as "Kanampull," he became known as Kanampullar Nayanar.
One day, Kanampullar could not sell the grass. He did not want to swerve from his duty, however. So Kanampullar Nayanar went to the temple and made a wick out of the grass and burnt it. The quantity of grass was not enough. So, he brought his own head near the lamp, spread his hair on the lamp, and began burning it. At once Lord Siva appeared before Kanampullar and blessed him.
Sekkilaar, and G. Vanmikanathan. Periya Puranam A Tamil Classic On The Great Saiva Saints of South India. Ed. Dr. N. Mahalingam. Chennai: Sri Ramakrishna Math, 2000.
Sivananda, Swami. Sixty-Three Nayanar Saints. World Wide Web edition. India: Divine Life Society, 1999.