The Info List - Nandi Bull

--- Advertisement ---

- Shakti

Sadasiva Rudra Bhairava Parvati Durga Kali

Ganesha Murugan Others

Scriptures and texts

Agamas and Tantras

Vedas Svetasvatara

Tirumurai Shivasutras Vachanas


Three Components

Pati Pashu Pasam

Three bondages

Anava Karma Maya 36 Tattvas Yoga


Vibhuti Rudraksha Panchakshara Bilva Maha Shivaratri Yamas-Niyamas Guru-Linga-Jangam


Adi Margam

Pashupata Kalamukha Kapalika




Non - Saiddhantika

Kashmir Shaivism

Pratyabhijna Vama Dakshina Kaula: Trika-Yamala-Kubjika-Netra


Veerashaiva - Lingayatism Nath Siddhar Srouta Nusantara Agama Siwa


Lakulisa Abhinavagupta Vasugupta Utpaladeva Nayanars Meykandar Nirartha Basava Sharana Srikantha Appayya Navnath


Nandi Tantrism Jyotirlinga Shiva

Hinduism portal

v t e

Nandi (Sanskrit: नन्दि, Tamil: நந்தி, Kannada: ನಂದಿ, Telugu: న౦ది, Odia: ନନ୍ଦି) is the name of the gate- guardian deity of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva. He is usually depicted as a bull which also serves as the mount to the god Shiva. According to Saivite siddhantic tradition, he is considered as the chief guru of eight disciples of Nandinatha Sampradaya - Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Tirumular, Vyagrapada, Patanjali
and Sivayoga Muni who were send to eight directions to spread the wisdom of Shaivism.[2]

Decorated Nandhi at Thanjavur big temple


1 Etymology 2 History and Legends 3 Iconography and symbolism 4 Nandi Flag 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Etymology[edit] The word nandi has come from Tamil root word Nandhu (Tamil: நந்து) means to grow, to flourish or to appear which was used to indicate growing fluorished white bulls as well as divine bull nandi.[3][4] The Sanskrit word nandi (Sanskrit: नन्दि) has the meaning of "happy", "joy" and "satisfaction"; also said as the properties of divine guardian of Lord Shiva
- Nandi.[5] Almost all Shiva
temples display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine. It is recently documented that the application of the name Nandi to the bull (Sanskrit: Vṛṣabha) is in fact a development of recent syncretism of different regional beliefs within Saivism.[6] The name Nandi was widely used instead for an anthropomorphic door-keepers of Kailasha rather than his mount in the oldest Saivite texts in Sanskrit, Tamil and other Indian languages. Siddhantic texts clearly distinct Nandi from Vṛṣabha. According to them, Devi, Chandesha, Mahakala, Vṛṣabha, Nandi, Ganesha, Bhringi
and Murugan
are eight Ganeshwaras (commanders) of Shiva.[7] History and Legends[edit]

seal from Indus Valley Civilization.

The worship of Shiva
and Nandi can be traced to even Indus Valley Civilization time period. The famous 'Pasupati Seal' depicts a seated figure which is usually identified as Shiva
and there were so many bull seals were found in Mohenjo daro
Mohenjo daro
and Harappa
that led to conclude the researchers it might be the origin of Bull
- cum - Nandi worship.[8] Nandi is described as the son of the sage Shilada. Shilada underwent severe penance to have a boon — a child with immortality towards Lord Shiva
and got Nandi as his son. It is said that Nandi was born from a Yajna
performed by the Shilada and his body was clad in armour made out of diamonds when he was born.[9] Nandi grew as an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva
and he did penance to become the gate-keeper of the Lord Shiva
as well as his mount on the Banks of River Narmada near Tripur tirth Kshetra present day Nandikeshwar Temple, Bargi, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh

17th Century sculpture of a Nandi in Mysore.

Nandi got the divine knowledge of Agamic and Tantric wisdom taught by Lord Shiva
from goddess Parvati. He could teach that divine knowledge to his Eight disciples who are identified as the progenitors of Nandinatha Sampradaya - Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Tirumular, Vyagrapada, Patanjali
and Sivayoga Muni. These eight disciples are directed to eight directions of the world by Nandinatha to spread the wisdom he taught them.[2] There are so many other puranic tales are available about nandi. One describes his conflict with Ravana, the anti-hero of Ramayana. Nandi cursed Ravana
(the demon King of Lanka) that his kingdom would be burnt by a monkey (Vanara). Later Hanuman
burnt Lanka when he went in search of Sita, who was kept prisoner by Ravana
in Ashok Vatika.[10] Tamil Thiruvilaiyadal
Puranam mentions another story in which nandi incarnate as a whale.[11] It says that Parvati
lost her concentration while Shiva
was explaining the meaning of Vedas
to her. Parvati
then incarnated as a fisherwoman to atone. To unite his master and his beloved wife, Nandi takes the form of a whale and starts to trouble the people. Fisherwoman Parvati's father told that anyone who killed the whale would marry his daughter. Later Lord Shiva
takes the form of a fisherman, kills the whale and gets Parvati
in her previous form. Iconography and symbolism[edit]

Nandi at Gangaikonda Cholapuram.

Agamas describe him in a zoo-anthropomorphic form with the head of bull and four hands with antelope, axe, mace and abhayamudra. In his mount form, nandi is depicted as a seated bull in all Shiva
temples, all over the world. This nandi form has been found even in Southeast Asian countries including Cambodia.[12] The white color of the bull symbolizes purity and justice.. Symbolically, the seated Nandi towards sanctum in Siva temples, represents an individual jiva (soul) and the message that the jiva should always be focused on the Parameshwara. From the yogic perspective, Nandi is the mind dedicated to Lord Siva, the Absolute. In other words, to understand and absorb Light, the 'experience and the wisdom' is Nandi which is the Guru
within.[13] Nandi Flag[edit]

Nandi Flag, the official flag of Hindu Saivites all over the world.[14][15]

Nandi Flag or Vrshabha Flag, a flag with the emblem of seated bull is recognized as the flag of Saivism, particularly among Tamil community all over the world. Nandi was the emblem of historical Tamil monarches such as Pallava dynasty
Pallava dynasty
and Jaffna Kingdom.[16] Several campaigns to aware the Saivites about their Nandi flag is carried out continuously during the Shivaratri
session particularly among Tamil community of Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
and diaspora.[17] The nandi flag used nowadays was designed by Mr.Ravindra Sastri of Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
according to the request and guidance of Mr.S.Danapala, a Sri Lankan Saivite personage in the 1995s. The first Nandi flag was hoisted in 1998 at Colombo Hindu College at Ratmalana, Sri Lanka.[18][19] Following years, It was declared as the official saivite flag in Fourth international Saiva Siddhanta Conference held at Zurich in 2008 [15] Nowadays Tamil Saivites, especially in Sri Lanka, Canada, Australia, UK, South Africa
South Africa
and Switzerland
hoist Nandi Flag in their all religious and cultural festivals.[15][18][19] Nandi flag is declared as the official Hindu flag of Sri Lanka.[20][21] See also[edit]

Kamadhenu Cattle in religion Gavaevodata, the primordial cow in Zoroastrianism


^ Gopinatha Rao, T. A. (1997). Elements of Hindu Iconography, Volume 2. Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. p. 213. ISBN 9788120808775.  ^ a b Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (2003) "Dancing with Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism" Himalayan Academy Publications ISBN 9780945497899.  ^ Tamil Etymological Dictionary Vol.5, Part I. Directorate of Tamil Etymological Dictionary, Government of Tamil Nadu, India. 2005. pp. 153–156.  ^ University of Kerala. Dept. of Linguistics (2007). "Nandi". International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics: IJDL. 36: 138.  ^ "Monier Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary". Retrieved 5 March 2017.  ^ Gouriswar Bhattacharya, (1977), "Nandin and Vṛṣabha", Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, Supplement III,2, XIX. Deutscher Orientalistentag, pp. 1543-1567. ^ Sabaratnam Sivacharyar, Dr.S.P. Shrimat Kamigagamah Purva Pada (Part One). USA: The Himalayan Academy, Kauai Adheenam. pp. 4:471–500.  ^ R. C. Dogra, Urmila Dogra (2004). Let's Know Hinduism: The Oldest Religion of Infinite Adaptability and Diversity. Star Publications. ISBN 9788176500562.  ^ Chidatman (Swami.) (2009). The sacred scriptures of India, Volume 6. Anmol Publications. p. 79. ISBN 9788126136308.  ^ Jayantika Kala. Epic Scenes in Indian Plastic Art. Abhinav Publications. p. 37. ISBN 9788170172284.  ^ Indian Association for English Studies. The Indian Journal of English Studies, Volume 34. Orient Longmans. p. 92.  ^ " Shiva
and Uma on the Bull
Nandi". The Walters Art Museum.  ^ Vanamali - (2013). Shiva: Stories and Teachings from the Shiva Mahapurana. ISBN 1620552493.  ^ DBS.Jeyaraj (2013). Reviving Practice of Hoisting ‘Nandi’ (Crouched Bull) Flag As Hindu Festivals and Functions,.  ^ a b c Kalabooshanam Chelvathamby Manickavasagar (2008). "Fourth International Saiva Siddhantha Conference and the Glory of Nanthy Flag". The Island. Retrieved 5 March 2017.  ^ Rasanayagam, Mudaliyar (1926). Ancient Jaffna, being a research into the History of Jaffna from very early times to the Portuguese Period. Everymans Publishers Ltd, Madras (Reprint by New Delhi, AES in 2003). பக். 390. ISBN 81-206-0210-2. ^ "Hiduism Today, (2008),Hindu Campaigns for Restoration of Nandi Flag Tradition". Retrieved 5 March 2017.  ^ a b Taṉapālā, kalāniti., Ciṉṉatturai., (2013), "Nantikkoṭi ēṟṟīr! Koṭikkavi pāṭīr!", Omlanka Publication.  ^ a b Ciṉṉatturai taṉapālā, (2008), "nantikkoṭiyiṉ mukkiyattuvamum perumaikaḷum", Manimekalai Publication.  ^ "Nanthi Flag to Maithripala Sirisena". Retrieved 5 March 2017.  ^ "Minister Swaminathan urged to Provide Nanthi Flags to Temples, Societies". Retrieved 5 March 2017. 

External links[edit]

Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend 2004 (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nandi.

v t e



History of Shaivism



Sadyojata Vamadeva Aghora Tatpurusha Ishana

Nataraja Dakshinamurthy Harihara


Ardhanarishvara Parvati

Ganesha Kartikeya Nandi


Shvetashvatara Upanishad Shivarahasya Purana Shiva
Purana Shiva
Sutras of Vasugupta

Mantra/ Stotra

Om Namah Shivaya Rudrashtakam Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Shiva
Tandava Stotram Shiva
Sahasranama Shiv Chalisa Shri Rudram Chamakam Shiva
mahimna stotram

Philosophical Traditions

Shaiva Siddhanta Pashupata Shaivism Kashmir Shaivism Veera Shaivism Siddha
Siddhanta Shiva
Advaita Shaiva Smartas


Bhimāśankara Ghuṣmeśvara Kedāranātha Viśveśvara Mallikārjuna Mahākāleśvara Nāgeśvara Omkāreśvara Rāmeśvara Somanātha Tryambakeśvara Vaidyanātha

Pancha Bhoota Stalam

Chidambaram Temple (Ether) Sri Kalahasti Temple (Air) Annamalaiyar Temple
Annamalaiyar Temple
(Fire) Thiruvanaikaval Temple (Water) Ekambareswarar Temple
Ekambareswarar Temple


Amarnath Brihadeeswarar Kailash Mansarovar Katasraj temple Lingaraj Temple Meenakshi Tirunelveli Panch Kedar

Kedarnath Tungnath Rudranath Madhyamaheshwar Kalpeshwar

Pancha Sabhai

Ratna Sabai Pon Sabai Velli Sabai Thamira Sabai Chitira Sabai

Tiruchengode Thirukutralam Vadakkum Nathan List of Shiva
temples in India

Traditional Observances

Kanwar Yatra Lingam


Maha Shivaratri Pradosha Shiva
Puja Siddha Vibhuti Other na