Sacred Bull of Shiva (Nandi) (2023)

More Resources

The Nandi Seekers India Tour

Video showing Nandi sculptures throughout India.


A story of Nandi and Shiva

This website tells the story of the birth of Ganesha, and Shiva and Nandi's involvement.

Tips for teaching nonverbal communication

A website explaining nonverbal communication, with exercises to practice.

Children's Books

Prime, Ranchor. Hinduism (World Religions Series). British Columbia, Canada: Whitecap Books, 2004.

Ages 9-12. This book provides an overview of six major religions: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism.

Ganeri, Anita. This Is My Faith: Hinduism. Barron's Educational Series, 2006.

Ages 4-8. This book features true-life photographs and an interview with a child who talks about Hinduism.

Funding for object education resources provided by a grant from the Morgridge Family Foundation. Additional funding provided by the William Randolph Hearst Endowment for Education Programs, and Xcel Energy Foundation. We thank our colleagues at the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education.

The images on this page are intended for classroom use only and may not be reproduced for other reasons without the permission of the Denver Art Museum. This object may not currently be on display at the museum.


What does the Nandi bull symbolize? ›

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.

What does Shiva Nandi symbolize? ›

As a symbol of Shiva, the Nandi represents power, virility, joy, and delight, as well as a controlled potential for destructiveness. When carved as a free-standing figure, the Nandi is always shown in a resting position that emphasizes the calmer aspect of its power.

Where is Nandi bull now? ›

The giant statue of Nandi Bull is located mid-way on Chamundi hills in Mysore. More than 350 years old, this is one of the oldest icons in Mysore.

How did Nandi get bull head? ›

The powerful god was pleased with his devotion, and he conferred the necklace with the bell on Nandi, transforming him into half man, half bull. He also honored the young Nandi with immortality, making him the vehicle and head of the Ganas.

Is it good to keep Nandi statue at home? ›

place Nandi bull in the south-west zone of your office or home. This Nandi statue is made the traditional way and is a reverent idol to use for you and to represent prosperity, good luck, success, Wealth, Love, Fortune, Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, Royal Power.

Why should we keep Nandi at home? ›

A sacred Nandi statue, of any, make- be it brass or bronze or marble or wood or any material would impart prosperity, good luck, success, Wealth, Love, Fortune, Wisdom, Divine Knowledge, and Royal Power to you and your family.

Why did Shiva choose Nandi? ›

Symbolically, the seated Nandi faces the sanctum in Shiva temples and 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 Shiva, the absolute.

What is the benefit of Nandi god? ›

It gives longevity and good health. It bestows the worshipper with wins in a court case or other matters of litigation. It removes all your obstacles in your life. Nandi is worshipped to attain happiness joy and content in life.

Why Shiva likes Nandi? ›

Nandi is Shiva's closest accomplice because he is the essence of receptivity. Before you go into a temple, you must have the quality of Nandi – to simply sit. You are not trying to go to heaven, you are not trying to get this or that – you go inside and simply sit.

Why do we whisper in Nandi's ears? ›

The Nandi bull communicated all that he heard to 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 the Nandi Bull it gets communicated to Lord Shiva.

Why Nandi placed opposite to Shivling? ›

The Truth is that just as Lingam is the symbol of the Almighty Supreme, Shiva Nandi (Bull) is the symbol of Jeeva (Individual Soul). Nandi sitting before Shiva Linga signifies that a human being should turn away from Prakruthi and direct all his attention towards God only.

Who is the biggest enemy of Shiva? ›

Jalandhara (Sanskrit: जलन्धर, lit. he who holds water), also known as Chalantarana (Sanskrit: चलन्तरण, lit. he who walks and swims) is an asura in Hinduism. He was born when Shiva opened his third eye in his fury when Indra struck him with his thunderbolt.

Is Nandi a male or female? ›

Nandi is a Brahman bull, the male zebu, or Indian ox. Brahman bulls have a hump on their back, horns, and a dewlap (a fold of loose skin hanging from the neck).

Is Nandi black or white? ›

Nandi is the bull of Lord Shiva. The white colour of Nandi symbolizes purity and justice.

Did Nandi have a wife? ›

The details about Lord Nandi's marriage with Ma Suyasha were mentioned in the Holy Shiva Purana.It is also believed that Lord Nandikeswara's marriage takes place at Sri Vaidhyanatha Swamy Temple situated at Thirumazhapadi, Tamil Nadu.

How to please Lord Nandi? ›

A simple Nandi Puja can be performed by bathing Him with Gangajal (Ganges Water), rinse with rose water, wipe dry and apply sandalwood paste. Offer incense and oil lamp. As Nandi is loyal to Lord Shiva, when you chant Om Namah Shivaya, Nandi is sure to bless you too.

Where should Nandi and Shiva be placed at home? ›

Which direction is best for shivling? Placing Lord Mahdev's idol or linga in the southernmost corner of the home may be ideal. Nandi, Lord Shiva's Vahana, has the west all to himself. Lord Shiva should oppose Nandi at the temple because Nandi should always confront him.

How to worship Nandi at home? ›

A simple Nandi Puja is performed by bathing Him with Gangajal (Ganges Water), rinse with perfume, wipe dry and apply sandalwood paste. Offer incense and lamp. As Nandi is loyal to Lord Shiva, once you chant Om Namah Shivaya, Nandi is bound to bless you too.

Where should Nandi statue be placed at home? ›

Where should Nandi statue be placed in home? Always ensure that the Nandi statue is placed in the South / South-West area of the house facing the North direction.

Why not keep Shivling at home? ›

It is also believed that Shiva is the god of ultimate perfection and will not tolerate any mistakes, lies, desecrating acts and other shortcomings at home. For this reason, it is feared that Shivling at home can give room for several grounds that would invite Shiva's anger.

What are the facts about Nandi? ›

Nandi, bull vahana (“mount”) of the Hindu god Shiva, identified as the god's vehicle since the Kushan dynasty (c. 1st century ce). Most Shaivite temples have the figure of a humped white bull reclining on a raised platform and facing the entrance door of the shrine so that he may perpetually gaze on the god.

Can we keep shivling and Nandi at home? ›

You can surely keep a very small, thumbsize Shivling at your home shrine but u need to follow certain rules of purity and austerity at home. Never let it get touched by anybody before taking bath. Daily worship it with flowers, sandalwood paste and milk, water, honey etc.

What is Lord Shiva Favourite flower? ›

Lord Shiva

As per legend, Shiva consumed the poison that was obtained during the ocean churning. Doing so, Datura emerged from his chest and ever since, it is believed to be his favourite flower.

Where to place Nandi in Shiva? ›

When people visit the Shivji temple most of them notice that the idol of Nandi is in a seated position in front of the Shiva Lingam. Most of the devotees wonder what can be the reason behind this. Here is detailed reasoning behind why the idol of Nandi is placed in a seated position in front of Shiva.

Who is the biggest devotee of Lord Shiva? ›

Kannappa was a staunch devotee of Shiva and is closely associated with Srikalahasteeswara Temple. He was a hunter and is believed to have plucked his eyes to offer to Srikalahasteeswara linga, the presiding deity of Srikalahasti Temple.

What is the symbol of Nandi God? ›

The Nandi Symbol

He is depicted as a Gangireddu—a decorated ox—which has become a South Indian tradition. Symbolically, the Nandi sitting toward a shrine in Shiva's temples represents jiva or soul and the message that the jiva should always be focused on the Paramashiva (Shiva as the Supreme Being).

What do you say in Nandi ears? ›

People often whisper their prayers, wishes, and thanks in the ear of the Nandi bull to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva.

How did Shiva meet Nandi? ›

Nandi then went near the River Bhuvana. He entered the river and began his penance. His devotion was so great and his concentration was so high, that Lord Shiva appeared in front of him. "Nandi, open your eyes!" said the three eyed God tenderly, looking at Nandi.

Why do people clap in front of shivling? ›

This is to show to Chandikeshwara that their hands are empty and they are not taking away any wealth of Shiva. Since, Chandikeshwara is always in deep meditation, this clicking / clapping sound is also to awaken Him before confirming to Him that no wealth is being taken away.

Why does water drop on shivling? ›

It is believed that water is basically an electrolyte, which transmits energy much faster than air. Thus, pouring holy water on Shiva Linga releases powerful vibrations and energizes the deity. This helps in cleansing the negativity in the aura and correlates the mind and water as one.

What is the breed of Nandi bull? ›

Lord Shiva rides upon a bull named Nandi, The "Ongole" an old breed of Indian cattle These bulls are known for their toughness, rapid growth, natural tolerance to tropical heat and high resistance to disease.

Who is more powerful than Shiva? ›

The Shiva purana establishes Lord Shiva as the greatest. The Vishnu purana establishes Lord Vishnu as the greatest. The Shrimad Bhagvad Purana establishes Lord Krishna as the greatest.

Which god can defeat Shiva? ›

Shiva engaged him in battle and pierced his heart, but Andhaka was able to recover and strike Shiva with his mace. The blood that fell on the ground from the wound gave rise to the eight forms of Bhairava.

Who gave third eye to Shiva? ›

According to legend, Kamadeva crouched behind a tree and arrowed Shiva in the heart. Shiva became a little uneasy. In order to burn the god of lust to ashes, He opened His flaming Third Eye. For those who worship Shiva, Mahashivratri is a very significant occasion.

Why is Nandi Worshipped? ›

Hindus are of the firm belief that they can overcome fertility related issues with their utmost devotion and sincere worship to Nandi.

How tall is Lord Nandi? ›

According to Hindu mythology Nandi is considered as the vehicle (mount) of Lord Shiva, the lord of destruction. In front of every Shiva temple, on the court facing the shrine, you can see the image of a Nandi. About 16 feet in height and 24 feet long, this Nandi atop the Chamundi Hills is the third largest in India.

Who is Nandi in Ganesha? ›

Ganesha is seated on the bull Nandi, the vehicle of his father, Lord Shiva. Nandi is laying down beneath Ganesh in an unusual position with his back turned towards the front of the sculpture.

What is the curse of Parvati? ›

Parvati cursed the Devatas

From now onwards, your wives shall remain infertile'. Later, she also cursed the earth and said that its appearance shall be strange and it would be the wife of many but shall not have the happiness of having children.

What is Lord Shiva Favourite number? ›

Lord Shiva's Favourite Number 8.

What is Lord Shiva Favourite God? ›

According to Tulsidas's Ramayana, Lord Rama is Shiva's favourite manifestation of Vishnu.

Where is Nandi buried? ›

Death. Queen Nandi Bhebhe died of dysentery on October 10, 1827. Her grave can be found outside Eshowe, off the old Empangeni road. The grave is marked Nandi.

What happened after Nandi died? ›

Nandi died in 1827. Shaka ordered a time of public mourning during which no crops could be planted, all milk was to be poured out, and all pregnant women killed.

Which person is considered a female husband in Nandi? ›

As not every woman gives birth to a male heir, the Nandi solution to sustain the family lineage is for the heirless woman to become the “female husband” to a younger woman by undergoing an “inversion” ceremony to “change” into a man.

What does the Indian bull symbolize? ›

The significance of the bull as a symbol of fertility and strength was widespread in India as early as the Indus Valley Civilization (about 2000 BC), as well as in ancient Egypt, Greece and the Near East.

What is the spiritual meaning of bull? ›

The Bull symbol is related to solar energies, highlighting determination, strength, and virility. Bull symbols have been depicted since prehistoric times. They can be found in art, literature, and astrology.

What is the significance of Nandi Sadhguru? ›

Nandi is a symbolism of eternal waiting, because waiting is considered the greatest virtue in Indian culture. One who knows how to simply sit and wait is naturally meditative. He is not expecting Shiva to come out tomorrow. He will wait forever.

Why was the bull sacred? ›

The bull god's symbol was the phallus, and in the east the bull often was depicted as the partner of the great goddess of fertility and thereby represented the virile principle of generation and invincible force.

Why are bulls sacred in India? ›

In Hindu mythology, the animal is depicted as accompanying several gods, like Shiva, who rides on his bull Nandi, or Krishna, the cowherd god. In ancient Hindu texts, the cow appears as "Kamdhenu" or the divine cow, which fulfils all desires.

What does a bull mean biblically? ›

The bull is Luke, because he starts talking of the sacrifice of Zachariah to God and the bull is the symbol of sacrifice, the desire for a spiritual life, which allows man to triumph beyond animal passions and to obtain peace.

What does God say about bull? ›

Deuteronomy 33:17 NIV

In majesty he is like a firstborn bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them he will gore the nations, even those at the ends of the earth.

What is the power of bull? ›

An examination of evidence from earliest prehistory onwards reveals the bull to be a symbol of political authority, sexual potency, economic wealth and vast subterranean powers.

What Scripture talks about a bull? ›

Deuteronomy 33:17 In-Context

17 Joseph has the strength of a bull, The horns of a wild ox. His horns are Manasseh's thousands And Ephraim's ten thousands. With them he gores the nations And pushes them to the ends of the earth."

What is the benefit of Nandi God? ›

It gives longevity and good health. It bestows the worshipper with wins in a court case or other matters of litigation. It removes all your obstacles in your life. Nandi is worshipped to attain happiness joy and content in life.

How to worship Lord Nandi? ›

A simple Nandi Puja can be performed by bathing Him with Gangajal (Ganges Water), rinse with rose water, wipe dry and apply sandalwood paste. Offer incense and oil lamp. As Nandi is loyal to Lord Shiva, when you chant Om Namah Shivaya, Nandi is sure to bless you too.


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