A representation of devotion and strength – Nandi

  1. Bhagwan Shv’s mount Nandi signifies strength and devotion both in such a pristine way that the balance of having strength and being purely devotional is understood in a clear concise way. Being the guardian, gate keeper of Kailash Mountain, Nandi fulfils every aspect of Bhagwan Shiv’s devotion. In Sanskrit, Nandi means happy and satisfies, and Nandi is true to his name, has the greatest happiness and satisfaction watching over his master and nothing else.
    Born to Rishi Shilada, Nandi was an obedient child right from his childhood. Nandi went on to master
    all the Vedas and the scriptures and grew to be an ardent devotee of Bhagwan Shiv. Once, a group of
    Rishis came to meet Rishi Shilada. They were welcomed by the Rishi and Nandi offered warm
    hospitality. The Rishis were delighted by the services of Nandi. However, when Nandi sought their
    blessings, they did not offer him any. When Rishi Shilada asked them the reason for their behaviour,
    they said that Nandi had a life only of eight years and hence they couldn’t bless him.
    Rishi Shilada was overcome with grief listening to this. But Nandi did not lose heart. He went to the
    banks of Narmada River and observed penance on Bhagwan Shiv. The devotion and fervour of Nandi
    pleased Bhagwan Shiv so much that he appears in front of the little boy and asks Nandi what he
    desired. Nandi was so delighted to see the cosmic and beautiful form of Bhagwan Shiv that he says
    he has no wish, but to only remain watching him always. Pleased by his words, Bhagwan Shiv grants
    him a boon that Nandi would become his vehicle in the form of bull, and guard his entrance, thus
    always watching him.
    A bull symbolises might and power. It bears and balances heavy weights with patience. Being white
    in colour, Nandi signifies purity too. Thus, Nandi is the personification of the patience a devotee has
    in serving Bhagwan Shiv with pure and total faith. With the boon of Bhagwan Shiv, Nandi always
    guards the gates of Kailash. Hence, even today, we see the image of Nandi at the entrances of
    Bhagwan Shiv’s Ji’s temples. His seating position gazing over Bhagwan Shiv also symbolises an
    important fact that all thoughts should be focussed on the Almighty, avoiding any kind of
    disturbances and attractions of the materialistic world.
    Nandi is the destroyer of arrogance too. He was the one who destined Ravan’s end by monkeys.
    Ravan once comes visiting Bhagwan Shiv to Kailash, but is stopped in the entrance by Nandi. Ravan
    mocks Nandi as a monkey faced one and taunts him to be an inferior animal. Enraged by the
    arrogance of Ravan, Nandi curses Ravan that the monkeys would play a significant role in destroying
    Ravan and his clan. Thus Ravan meets his end through the monkey army of Shri Ram.
    Nandi is a powerful warrior too, and aids Bhagwan Shiv in many battles over demons through his
    able riding skills. In our Indian iconography, he is depicted as a warrior too with an axe, mace and an
    Abhayamudra granting protection to devotees seeking refuge of Bhagwan Shiv. Nandi is more than a vehicle, he is a representation of the soul dedicated to the Bhagwan Shiv and guides mankind as a teacher to reach the feet of Bhagwan Shiv.