Today we will learn about the Nandi Bull and the significance it holds in religion and traditions. Many of us might be bit surprised about the stories of mythology but they had their own significance like the Jakarta tales in Buddhism and similar pattern can be observed in many religions.
Basically we will be dedicating a different article on this topic but in short it can be said that mostly they carried some deeper spiritual significance behind the seemingly simplistic outlook so that normal folks can listen, digest and absorb them instead of putting in deep words. Secondly such stories helped to develop a pure calm mind and a creative outlook which was much better than watching degrading soaps on TV thesedays.
The Vehicle of Lord Shiva
The significance of Nandi bull in religion is huge. Nandi bull is the animal that is often associated with the Lord Shiva. Nandi Bull was a great devotee of the lord and would always be seen with him. Nandi bull lived with lord Shiva in the Mount Kailash itself. The lord was also very fond of him and trusted him completely. The Nandi bull had immense strength and he knew how to fight battles. Lord Shiva’s son lord Kartik who was a great warrior learnt to fight from Nandi bull itself.
There are many stories that are associated with the Nandi bull. It is said that he could take any form. He was so strong that no one could fight him in a battle. He would always be there to serve lord Shiva and fight for him. Nandi bull dedicated his life to the lord. This is exactly why the Nandi bull is still worshiped. You can easily locate the idol of the Nandi bull in any temple. The Nandi bull is mostly made from a black rock. In most of the temples you will find the Nandi bull facing the idol of lord Shiva.
You will notice that many people whisper their prayers into the ears of the Nandi bull. There is a very interesting story behind this custom. Goddess Parvati lost her memory. Lord shiva was very disturbed by this. He stared meditating along with goddess Parvati. Nandi bull decided that he will also be a part of this meditation. This is exactly why he sat in front of Lord Shiva’s idol. He ensured that he is connected with the Lord. During this meditation Jalandhar who was an enemy of the Lord Shiva abducted Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva was not aware and he continued his meditation.
The Gods were scared and did not know how to inform Lord Shiva about this accident. They selected Lord Ganesha to pass this information. Ganesha tried to make Lord Shiva come out of the meditation but he failed. Then a very good idea struck Ganesha. He saw Nandi bull and he whispered all that he wanted to in the ears of the Nandi bull. The Nandi bull communicated all that he heard to the Lord Shiva. This is how Lord Shiva came out of his deep meditation. From that time this custom has come up that when we whisper something into the ears of t he Nandi Bull it gets communicated to the Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva listens to all these and he accordingly fulfils all the wishes.
Respect for Bulls
You will get to see the idol of Nandi bull in most of the Shiva temples across the country. The Nandi bull is also worshipped. It is said that the puja of Lord Shiva is incomplete if the Nandi bull is not worshiped along with him. The bulls are generally given a lot of respect in India. No Hindu will ever eat a bull as it is sacred. The bulls are worshipped and are fed as a custom. The Nandi bull was once cursed by the king Ravana. Ravana called Nandi bull monkey. Nandi bull cursed Ravana that a monkey will be the reason for the destruction of Ravana. This curse did come true in the form of Lord Hanuman. Nandi bull was a simple being and all he wanted was to serve the lord. He was the vahana of the lord Shiva. Nandi was also a guru and it is said that he was the guru to Siddhar, Kartik and Patanjali.
The Spiritual Significance
Lord Shiva in many places refers to Nandi. He says that if you want to be dedicated you must be like the Nandi bull. The utter submission of the Nandi bull is something that the Lord Shiva considered a lot. Once Nandi bull drank some poison. The gods were worried about what would happen to the Nandi bull. Lord Shiva said that as Nandi bull was so dedicated to him. He and the Nandi bull are more or less the same entity. Even today there are many Nandi bull temples across the country. Some of them are Lepakshi in Andhra Pradesh, Brahadishwara in Tamil Nadu and Chamundi hills in Mysore. The Nandi bull played many roles in the lives of lord Shiva and his wife Parvati.
We hope that by reading this article you must have realised the significance of Nandi Bull in religion. It is said that on chaturdasi if you can feed green grass to the bull all your sins will get forgiven. This is because green grass was Nandi Bull’s favourite. So next time you visit a temple you will know why people whisper into the ears of the Nadi bull. Do follow the custom and you never know when your wish gets fulfilled.