Shiva - Shakti
Scriptures and texts
Agamas and Tantras
Non - Saiddhantika
Veerashaiva - Lingayatism
Nusantara Agama Siwa
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,
Sivayoga Muni who were send to eight directions to spread the wisdom
Decorated Nandhi at Thanjavur big temple
2 History and Legends
3 Iconography and symbolism
4 Nandi Flag
5 See also
7 External links
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. 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. 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. 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,
Murugan are eight
Ganeshwaras (commanders) of Shiva.
History and Legends
Bull 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 and
Harappa that led to conclude
the researchers it might be the origin of
Bull - cum - Nandi
Nandi is described as the son of the sage Shilada. Shilada underwent
severe penance to have a boon — a child with immortality towards
Shiva and got Nandi as his son. It is said that Nandi was born
Yajna performed by the Shilada and his body was clad in armour
made out of diamonds when he was born. Nandi grew as an ardent
devotee of Lord
Shiva and he did penance to become the gate-keeper of
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
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,
Patanjali and Sivayoga Muni. These eight
disciples are directed to eight directions of the world by Nandinatha
to spread the wisdom he taught them.
There are so many other puranic tales are available about nandi. One
describes his conflict with Ravana, the anti-hero of Ramayana. Nandi
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.
Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam mentions another story in which nandi
incarnate as a whale. It says that
Parvati lost her concentration
Shiva was explaining the meaning of
Vedas to her.
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
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
all over the world. This nandi form has been found even in Southeast
Asian countries including Cambodia.
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
Nandi Flag, the official flag of Hindu Saivites all over the
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
Pallava dynasty and Jaffna Kingdom. Several campaigns to
aware the Saivites about their Nandi flag is carried out continuously
Shivaratri session particularly among Tamil community of
Tamil Nadu and diaspora.
The nandi flag used nowadays was designed by Mr.Ravindra Sastri of
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. Following years, It was declared as the official
saivite flag in Fourth international Saiva Siddhanta Conference held
at Zurich in 2008  Nowadays Tamil Saivites, especially in Sri
Lanka, Canada, Australia, UK,
South Africa and
Switzerland hoist Nandi
Flag in their all religious and cultural festivals. Nandi
flag is declared as the official Hindu flag of Sri Lanka.
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.
^ a b Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (2003) "Dancing with Siva:
Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism" Himalayan Academy Publications
^ Tamil Etymological Dictionary Vol.5, Part I. Directorate of Tamil
Etymological Dictionary, Government of Tamil Nadu, India. 2005.
^ University of Kerala. Dept. of Linguistics (2007). "Nandi".
International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics: IJDL. 36: 138.
^ "Monier Williams' Sanskrit-English Dictionary". Retrieved 5 March
^ 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.
^ R. C. Dogra, Urmila Dogra (2004). Let's Know Hinduism: The Oldest
Religion of Infinite Adaptability and Diversity. Star Publications.
^ 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
^ 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.
Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend 2004 (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by
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