This is Nandi Temple, in every Shiva Temple there will be Nandi idol (usually facing the Lingam) or a Nandi Temple. The amazing Prambanan temples compound is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s sight is a fulfillment on its own as we had planned it for a long time to visit and photograph these magnificent temples.
Lord Nandi Temple :
Nandi is depicted as a bull, who serves as the mount (Vahana) and gana of Lord Shiva and is a gate-guardian deity of Kailashagiri, the abode of Shiva in Hinduism.
According to Shaiva tradition, he is considered as the chief guru of eight disciples of Nandinatha Sampradaya – Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Tirumular, Vyagrapada, Patanjali and Sivayoga Muni who were send to eight directions to spread the wisdom of Shaivam.
The Origin :
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 worship.
Nandi is described as the son of the sage Shilada. Shilada underwent severe penance towards Lord Shiva to have a boon, he wanted an immortal child and got Nandi as his son. It is said that Nandi was born from a 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 the Lord Shiva as well as his mount.
Nandi got the divine knowledge of Agamic and Tantric wisdom taught by Lord 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, Tirumular, Vyagrapada, 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 about nandi. One describes his conflict with Ravana, the anti-hero of Ramayana. Nandi cursed 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.
Tamil Thiruvilaiyadal puranam mentions another story in which nandi incarnate as a whale. It tells that Parvati lost her concentration while Shiva was explaining the meaning of Vedas to her. Parvati incarnated as a fisherwoman for the atone. To unite his master and his beloved wife, Nandi took the form of a whale and started to trouble the people. Fisherwoman Parvati’s father told that anyone who killed the whale will marry his daughter. Later Lord Shiva took the form of a fisherman, killed the whale and got Parvati in her previous form.
More photos of Prambanan Temple here.
Our group trip photos in Instagram.