The Story of Lord Shiva and Nandi: A Tale of True Devotion and Its Values

Every kid’s favorite childhood memory would be listening to stories from their grandparents and parents. Storytelling is one of the best ways to improve your bonding with your kids and at the same time teach good values and morals to them. Indian mythology has various interesting stories which help us to know more about our heritage, culture, and traditions and instill good values. We often encounter curious questions from our little kids from their observations. Sometimes such curious questions would be so difficult for us to answer and convince their minds. So next time your kid asks for a bedtime story, just share some good stories you had heard from your grandparents. Here is one such story which you can share with your kids and discuss its values too.

The Story of Lord Shiva and Nandi

The sculpture of Nandi is a common sight in Lord Shiva temples. Nandi, the sacred bull is the gate guardian and is considered the vehicle of lord Shiva. This is a simple story that highlights the value of true devotion and how Nandi acquired the status of lord Shiva’s vehicle.

Once there was a sage by the name of Shilada who was a great devotee of lord Shiva. The sage liked children so much but his worry was he did not have a child of his own. So he decided to adopt a special child who would be devoted to Lord Shiva all through his lifetime. He prayed and underwent strict penance to receive the boon of a child from Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was pleased by his true devotion and granted him a child. He took care of the child with so much love and care. 

The sage was extremely happy to receive the child and brought him up well with so much love and care. He named the child Nandi. From childhood, Nandi was devoted to Lord Shiva and proficient in Vedas and other aspects of education. Shilada was indeed a proud father of Nandi.

A few years later two rishis Mitra and Varuna visited the house of Nandi. They welcomed them happily and served them well. Nandi was instructed by his father to care for them well and he treated them with so much care and devotion. The rishis were really impressed by their treatment and sought their blessings before they left their place. They blessed the sage Shilada for a prosperous and long life. When it was time to bless Nandi they did not seem happy and walked off from their home. 

Shilada noticed this change and went to the rishis to know the reason behind it. But the rishi’s reply regarding Nandi s longevity was quite horrifying for Shilada and came back home with a broken heart. When Nandi asked his reason for his father’s sadness he narrated this incident to Nandi too. He assumed Nandi would be heart-broken to hear the such devastating news from his father. Instead, he was so calm and consoled his father with his reply. He said with pure devotion and reverence to lord, one can even change his own fate. Sage Shilada was surprised by Nandi s unconditional devotion to lord Shiva and blessed him. 

Nandi went to river Bhuvana and began his penance. Lord Shiva was moved by his concentration and utmost devotion to Nandi so he appeared before him and granted his wish. The only wish Nandi had was to be with lord Shiva all through his life and that was granted by Lord Shiva. It is been said that from that day Nandi became the closest accomplice of lord Shiva and he accompanied the lord all the time. Nandi became the sacred bull that serve as a vehicle for lord Shiva. Hence Nandi holds a great place at the holy abode of Mount Kailash and is regarded as a companion of Lord Shiva. Nandi thus became Lord Shiva s vehicle, his doorman, and his companion. Thus by sheer devotion, focus, and reverence Nandi overcame his own fate and was granted his lifelong wish.

According to Hindu traditions, every god has a significant vehicle for their own. These vehicles would be animals that are in the state endangered or threatened category and needs to be protected. These animals also signify certain qualities connected with the deities’.Nandhi also helps us to understand values like devotion, respect towards one’s master, and the importance of patience in one’s life. These are important learnings that hold great value in life.