Nandi – The Bull of Lord Shiva
Nandi is the guardian and vahana of Lord Shiva. Devotees offer prayer to Nandi first to get his permission to visit Lord Shiva in temples. As we all known Nandi is the sacred animal of Uttara Phalguni. People who are associated with this nakshatra are social workers who are always ready for the higher purpose. Aryama is the deity which is related with this nakshatra and known as having leadership qualities.
The word “Nandi” is derived from the ancient Indian Language “Nandu” meaning bull. According to Tamil people, the bull is a sign of masculinity.There was a sage named Shilada who gone severe penance to have a boon. Lord Indra was pleased by the austerities of Shilada appeared in front of him. After hearing the request of Shilada, Lord Indra suggested to pray Lord Shiva. Sage Shilada continued his penance for 1,000 years. He was immovable for many years and slowly nests stared building in his body. Finally, his whole body was covered by the nest and insects stared to eat his flesh and imbibed his blood.
Lord Shiva appeared in front of him. He provided sage Shilada in his old form by single touch. Sage shilada then performed yagya and a child appeared from the sacrificial fire called as Nandi. Shilada brought child home and the child forgot all about his birth. Sage Shilada was worried but he devoted all his time for Nandi’s education and upbringing.
One an occasion deities Mitra and Varuna visited Sage Shilada and at the first sight they were astonished to see that this boy will have very short life and wouldn’t live after eight years of age. Sage Shilada went in vain; Nandi couldn’t see his father in pain. He began to pray Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva appeared and blessed the child by donating a necklace and made him immortal. He also declared that he would be also worshipped along with Him and become vahan. Immediately, the boy got all the divine powers and became half human and half bull.