How Nandi became Lord Shiva’s Vahan – A riveting story


Hinduism countenances nature as God. Also, many animals and birds are deemed as vehicles of a few deities due to their divine powers. Nandi, as we all know is a sacred bull upon which Lord Shiva travels the entire Universe. But how does a bull becomes the Lord’s vehicle? How powerful it is to carry Layakarak? What is its significance? This page lets you know the fascinating story about Nandi, the sacred animal.

Table of Contents

Nandi’s significance:

Nandi literally means the happy one and the one who gives delight. Nandi represents devotion, strength, righteousness, and dharma. He is not only Mahashiv’s Vahan, but also his ardent devotee, companion, and his best friend.

How Nandi became Lord Shiva’s Vahan?
Nandi at Chamundi Hills

Birth of Nandi:

According to Shiva Purana, Nandi is a boon born to a sage named Shilada who didn’t have children but was adored to children. Shilada prayed to Lord Indra to bless him with a special child. But Indra directed him to pray Lord Shiva for the same. As per the directions of Lord Indra, Shilada decided to pray Mahadev and underwent rigorous penance for ages. Impressed by Shilada’s penance, the supreme being Lord Shankara benevolence him saying he will be blessed by the child of his wish! Contented by his words, Shilada went back to his place.


The next morning when Shilada was ploughing the land, he found a baby boy on his farm. Then, he heard a voice-over that directed him to take the child and provide him a bright future. Delighted Shilada took the child with him and named him Nandi – the happiness. Both father and son were leading happy, peaceful life until they were acquainted with a bitter truth about Nandi’s life!

What’s the truth they heard? How does the child become Shiva’s Vahan? Continue reading to know more interesting facts.

Transfiguration of Nandi:

Shilada provided Nandi a good education, taught him Vedas, brought him up with love and care. Nandi was also brilliant and learned everything fast. Years rolled on. Once, two Rishis named Mitra and Varuna visited Shilada’s place. Shilada greeted them and gave them some refreshments. Both the sages enjoyed the treatment and before they left, Shilada and Nandi spreadeagled themselves before the sages. They both blessed Shilada with long life and said they can’t bless Nandi for the same as he is short-lived! Alongside, they also suggested Nandi to pray Lord Shiva to reverse his fate.

Nandi promptly followed the Rishi’s words and began a penance. Pleased by his penance, Lord Eshwara appeared before the child and told him to open his eyes in a gentle tone. Enraptured by seeing the most beautiful person, Nandi thought there was no wish left to ask except if he could only stay with the Lord always. He uttered the same when Lord Shiva asked him about his wish.

Shiva smiled at Nandi’s innocence and said “from now you will have a bull’s head and the human body. You’ll be my vehicle to carry me everywhere. In addition, I am also pleased by your devotion and pellucid nature, hence you will be my companion, good friend, and doorman”. From then, Nandi became, Parameshwara’s Vahan and also head of Shiva’s all Ganas!

Nandi also has a boon that, whoever worships Mahadeva has to first pray Nandi and see the Shivling through his horns. It is also believed that, our wishes come true if we whisper them in Nandi’s ears! Is that true? If so, what’s the fact behind this belief? Stay tuned to the page to know why we should whisper our wishes in Nandi’s ears? in our upcoming article.

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