Story of Nandi

Monday is the most auspicious day to worship Lord Shiva. Today, let us seek His blessings by recollecting stories of Nandi, the Lord’s vaahan (vehicle) and one of His greatest devotees.

Legend

A great sage called Shilada lived in ancient India. Being childless, the sage worshipped Lord Shiva for a child who would have the divine blessings of Bholenath Himself. Pleased with the devotion and prayers of Shilada, Lord Shiva appeared and blessed him with a child. The next day, Shilada went to his field and started ploughing it. While ploughing the field, he found a beautiful baby boy with radiant skin. At the same moment, the sage heard a voice from the heavens asking him to bring up the child with utmost care. The sage took the baby boy to his home and named him Nandi.

One day, two sages, Varuna and Mitra, visited Sage Shilada’s ashram. Nandi took utmost care of the two sages and saw to that all their needs were fulfilled. Nandi fell at the feet of the two sages before they left for blessings. The two sages looked sadly at Nandi and told Sage Shilada that the boy does not have a very long life. After the sages left the ashram, Nandi comforted Sage Shilada saying that he would pray to Lord Shiva for a long life. Saying so, Nandi left the ashram and started praying to Lord Shiva. Pleased with Nandi’s devotion, Lord Shiva appeared and granted him a boon. Awestruck by the presence of Lord Shiva, Nandi said that he wants nothing but the permanent companionship of Lord Shiva. The great Lord replied that He had just lost his vehicle (a bull) and Nandi would take up its place. From then onwards Nandi had a head of a bull and served Lord Shiva with utmost devotion.

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