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    Nandi
     
     

    About Nandi

    Nandi – The Divine Bull

     

    Nandi is one of the most iconic and famous characters of Hindu mythology. He is the vehicle of ShivaShivaShiva
    Shiva is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindu Trinity that ...
    and also the gatekeeper of the abode of Shiva and Parvati. He holds the position of a deity and is always worshipped along with Shiva. He is one of the favorites of Shiva and is always shown along with him. The name NandiNandiNandi
    Nandi is one of the most iconic and famous characters of Hindu mythology. He is the vehicle of Shiva and also the gatekeeper of the abode of Shiva and Parvati. 
    in Sanskrit translates to “joyous and happy”. Nandi Nandi is the mount of Lord Shiva. It is a bull which guards the Shiva and his devoteesis of the most widely popular and important deities of the world and is worshipped by the people with great devotion and passion.

     

    Depiction

     

    There are various depictions of Nandi with some standard features in all. The most common depictions of the deity portray him as a bull sitting down with the limbs folded. The color of Nandi is either black or white and is always shown wearing a necklace with a bell as the pendant. Most of his depictions portray him as a vehicle of Shiva and as such his master is proved to be seated with him. Other depictions of Nandi show him in a half human and half bull form. He has proven to be clad in a beautiful dress and is adorned with many jewels, ornaments, flowers, garlands and a crown. He holds a conch shell, a staff and a deer in his hands and blesses his devotees.

     

    Birth

     

    There are many Vedic texts and references that state that once upon a time there was a very great sage named Shilada. He was a very wise and benevolent person. He wanted to have a great and immortal child. So, to get such child as a boon, he observed severe austerities and performed intense penance. Indra, the king of gods, was pleased by his devotion and appeared before him. He told him to ask for a boon, upon which Shilada replied that he wanted to have an immortal child. Indra told him that such boon was beyond his powers and said that Shilada should worship Shiva, the most powerful god and that only Shiva would be able to grant him the boon. Shilada then started worshipping Shiva with great devotion and observed intense penance please him. He continued his meditation and penance with unflappable devotion for one thousand years. He stayed completely motionless all throughout his worship and, as such, termites started to settle on his body. With time, the termites built their nest on his body and, eventually, his whole body was covered by them. They started feasting on the flesh as well as the blood of Shilada. After quite some time, only the bones of Shilada remained. Finally, Shiva appeared in front of Shilada and granted him the boon of an immortal child. He also restored the body of Shilada with a single touch. Shilada then performed a yajna, and a divine child was engendered from it. The child had a brilliant radiance and was clad in armor made of diamonds. The heavenly singers and dancers performed on the birth of the divine child, and the gods blessed him and showered flowers on him. As the boy brought about great happiness and joy all around, Shilada named the boy Nandi.

     

    Shilada then took Nandi with him to home. However, as soon as they reached Shilada’s home, Nandi lost all of his brilliance and became an ordinary child. Shilada became very worried but with time regained his composure. He then dedicated himself to the proper upbringing and education of Nandi. He nurtured Nandi with great love, affection and knowledge. By the age of seven, Nandi possessed extensive knowledge of the sacred texts and scriptures and had become very well versed in the Vedas. Four ancient texts constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism One day the deities Mitra and Varuna came to meet Shilada. They saw Nandi there and were very pleased with the behaviour and temperament of the boy. Nandi bowed down to the deities and treated them with respect. The deities blessed him and wished him a long and happy life. However, the deities had a bit sad expression on their face. Shilada noticed that, and when the deities went outside of Shilada’s home to leave, he caught up with them and asked why they were sad when they blessed Nandi. To this the deities replied that Nandi would not live long and will die before he attained the age of eight. This left Shilada completely struck with grief and sorrow. When he returned to his home, Nandi saw the expressions on his father’s face. He asked him why he was so depressed. Shilada then told everything to Nandi with a heavy heart. Nandi was not able to bear the depression and sorrow on the face of his father and started praying to Shiva. He then went to the holy river Bhuvanaand entered it. He then began observing penance for Shiva with great devotion and concentration. Soon, Shiva appeared in front of the boy and blessed him with a divine necklace carrying a bell as a pendant. Moreover, he made Nandi immortal and his vehicle, companion and head of the Ganas. He also granted him the boon that Nandi would always be worshipped along with him. Soon after this, the boy regained his divinity and transformed into half human and half bull form. After that Nandi and Shilada went to the abode of Shiva to live there.

     

    Legends

     

    A very famous legend associated with Nandi states that once Shiva and ParvatiParvatiParvati
    After the death of Shiva's first love Sati, Shiva...
    were playing a game of dice and they made Nandi as the umpire of the game. The game started and the couple took their turns. Nandi then declared Shiva as the winner, even though he had lost the game. Parvati knew that Nandi had favored Shiva in the game. She was infuriated by the partiality of Nandi and cursed him that he would die of an incurable disease. To this Nandi humbly replied that he was just helping and respecting his master Shiva. He also added that it would be very humiliating for him to declare his master as the loser. He asked Parvati to forgive him and requested her to remove such a string curse for such a petty matter. Upon this, the anger of Parvati mollified, and she told him that he should atone for his sins by meditating and worshipping her son GaneshaGaneshaGanesha
    The guardian deity of Hindus, also known as the Ganapati (The God of all groups) is the son of Lord Shiva ...
    on his birthday and offer him the thing that is most pleasant to Nandi. Nandi followed the instructions by Parvati and worshipped Ganesha on the Chaturdashi of the Bhadrapada month and offered him green grass that is the most favorite item of Nandi. By performing the aforementioned actions, Nandi was freed from Parvati’s curse. Moreover, since then it has become a tradition to offer to the gods the thing that is pleasant to oneself the most to atone for one’s sins.

     

    Another legend states that at the time of Samudra Manthan, i.e., the churning of the great ocean, the snake king vasuki He is one of the king serpents, given high privilege in Hindu mythology. He is depicted with a gem on his head. He is the snake of Lord Shiva and the brother of another snake named Manasa. He is the jewel of Shiva and sits around his neck. He was blessed by Shiva and thus given an important status. He was one of the main participants in the churning of the ocean. He was used as the churning rope and his one end was held by the demons and the other by Gods. His face was at the demons side and thus they were affected by his venom. was used as a rope for the churning process. Consequently, a lot of poison was spewed by the snake in the process. To save the living beings from the harmful effects of the poison, Shiva drank all the poison. Shiva had immense powers and even the protection of Parvati to protect him. He drank so much of the poison that his throat became blue. However, some of the poison still spilled out in the process. To make sure that even a single drop poison does not harm anyone, Nandi drank all the spilled poison. This left everyone shocked, and the Devas, the gods and even the Asuras were struck with utter awe. They thought that Nandi would die soon. However, much to their relief, Shiva replied that Nandi was not just his vehicle but also his closest companion. And as such, Nandi had all the powers and protection that Shiva had.

     

    Temples

     

    Nandi is one of the most popular deities whose idols can be found in virtually all the temples of Shiva. One of the most famous temples is the GaviGangadhareshwara Temple near Bangalore, Karnataka. A very popular feature of the temple is that every year on the day of Makar Sankranti, the rays of the sun traverse through the horns of the idol of Nandi and then shine on the Shiva Linga Linga is a phallic shaped symbol of Shiva which is considered his source of power and is worshipped by Hinduspresent inside the temple. Another famous temple of Nandi is the MahanandiswaraSwamy Temple at Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh. The temple is very popular as it has the highest statue of Nandi in the world. It is also said to be one of the few temples in the world which are solely dedicated to Nandi.

     

    Beliefs and Significance

     

    Nandi is very dear to Shiva. It is believed that Shiva had assigned him the tasks of being the protector of the Dharma, the head of his Ganas, and his assistant. Nandi is also considered to be the chief of the eighteen Siddhas of the Hindus and as such has the power of granting a boon to the devotees. There is a popular belief that is worshipping Nandi with sincerity and devotion and whispering one’s wish into the ears of the deity results in the fulfillment of one’s wish. Nandi symbolizes purity, justice, faith, knowledge, wisdom, power, virility and honor.

     


     
     

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