or Nandin ( ), is now universally supposed to be the name for the bull
which serves as the mount (Sanskrit:
) of Shiva
and as the gate keeper of Shiva and Parvati
mythology. Temples venerating Shiva and Parvati display stone images of a seated Nandi, generally facing the main shrine. There are also a number of temples dedicated solely to Nandi.
But the application of the name Nandin to the bull (Sanskrit: vṛṣabha
) is in fact a development of recent centuries, as Gouriswar Bhattacharya has documented in an illustrated article entitled "Nandin and Vṛṣabha" Gouriswar Bhattacharya, "Nandin and Vṛṣabha", Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft
, Supplement III,2, XIX. Deutscher Orientalistentag, 1977, pp. 1543-1567.The name Nandin was earlier widely used instead for an anthromorphic deity who was one of Śiva’s two door-keepers, the other being Mahākāla
. The doorways of pre-tenth-century North Indian temples are frequently flanked by images of Mahākāla and Nandin, and it is in this rôle of Śiva’s watchman that Nandin figures in Kālidāsa
’s poem the Kumārasambhava
- A primary god: Nandi as a separate god can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization, where dairy farming was the most important occupation, thus explaining the appearance of various artifacts, such as the 'Pasupati Seal,' indicating a deity much like Shiva. This deity- also known as Pasupati is......