Nandi is the virtue for loyalty and wait. The greatness of the Lord Shiva has been sung since time immortal. But rarely do we speak about the bull in front of the shiv lings in the temple. I recall vivdly visiting shiv temples as a child, and seeing the bull in front of the temple, I always wondered if it was a piece of decoration or had some meaning.
Bull is the symbol of dharma – righteousness. Lord Shiva riding on the bull means that when you are truthful, the infinite conciousness is with constantly guiding us.
An old shivpuran legend, goes to narrate the beautiful story of Nandi, who was the son of the sage Shilada. Shilada underwent severe penance to have a boon– a child with immortality and blessings of Lord Shiva, and received Nandi as his son during a havan. Nandi got the divine-knowledge of Agamic and Tantric wisdom taught by Shiva, from goddess Parvati.
Nandi, which means “giving delight” or “giving joy,” is the sacred bull of the Hindu god Shiva, one of the most important Hindu gods. When the world becomes evil, Shiva destroys it to make way for beneficial change. Nandi is Shiva’s animal form, his means of transportation, and his most ardent worshiper.
Nandi, the bull is the vahana (“mount”) of the Hindu god Shiva, identified as the god’s vehicle since the Kushan dynasty (c. 1st century ce). Nandi’s individual statue is seen at Chamundi Hill, Mysuru (Mysore), India. The respect shown to the bull in modern India is partly because of his association with Shiva.
An old folklore goes that if we need to reach a prayer or a wish to lord Shiva for him to grant one boon..Then one needs to whisper the wish in the ears of Nandi and Nandi acts a messenger and reaches out to Lord Shiva to fulfill the wish.
However , Nandi saw its end when he was killed in a battle by Tarakasura. However, a physical death may have happened. But Nandi sits in waiting for mahadev to wake up from his samadhi.
Such is the legend of Nandi. .