Nandi, the Bull

I find this image a representation of today’s times.

As per Hindu mythology Nandi, the Bull, is vehicle of lord Shiva.

Each Hindu deity has a particular vehicle. These vehicles are either animals or birds and they represent the various forces that the deity rides. These deities are seldom depicted without their corresponding vehicles. For example, Goddess Saraswati’s vehicle, the graceful and beautiful peacock, denotes that she is the controller of the performing arts. Vishnu sits on the primal serpent which represents the desire of consciousness in humankind.

Shiva rides on Nandi, the bull. Nandi stands for the brute and blind power as well as the unbridled sexual energy in man. The riding of Shiva on bull denotes that He can control those forces.

Nandi is also the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati’s abode. Therefore a bull in sitting posture is always placed in front of the sanctum sanctorum of Shiva or just outside the temple. The bull’s head is slightly turned away from the deity but the gaze is fixed on it. It is interpreted as the jeevatman, the individual soul, is being pulled away from god by the animal forces within, but His grace is pulling the jeevatman back to Him. Nandi being kept outside the shrine also symbolizes that jeevatman must leave its vices outside before it can enter the shrine to meet shivatman, the God. The jeevatman that has not shed its vices will have to perpetually wait at the doors of the shrine.

The statute of Nandi shown in this photo is an example of excellent craftsmanship. Nandi’s power, energy and vanity are amply carved into every feature of this statue.

But there is something more interesting in the photo above.  

Here you will find the Nandi sitting in his own well-decorated temple and his lord, Shiva, symbolized by the Shivalinga, is placed just outside the Nandi’s temple in a miniature form!

What else can be more representative of today’s times than this image? Don’t we see a miniature god placed on the door-frames outside every other house in India? And invariably the “Nandi”s living inside most of these well-decorated houses are striving for more and more power and continuously in pursuit of earthly pleasures!

||  कालाय तस्मै नमः ||

|| ॐ नमः शिवाय ||


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