Whispering in Nandi’s ears – is this just a myth or has any reason?


We might have seen people whispering their wishes in Nandi’s ears at Shiva temples? Is there any particular reason or story behind it? This is in continuation with our previous article on how Nandi became Lord Shiva’s Vahan? Read on to know another fascinating story about Nandi – the divine bull.

Position of Nandi in Shiva Temples:

As we all have noticed, there is no Shiva temple without Nandi in it. In all the temples there will be a Nandi statue facing the main shrine in Garbhagriha. But why is it so? What’s the significance? Does the position convey any hidden message to humans? Does praying in Nandi’s ears and its sitting position has any link? The answer to all these questions is given in this article. Read on to know more.

Why people whisper their wishes in Nandi’s ears
Story behind Nandi’s position in Shiva temples:

Nandi is not just Lord Shiva’s vehicle, but also the guardian of Kailash and head of Shiva’s Ganas. Some tales tell us; a poison came out of the sea when Ksheerasamudra was churned by Devas and Asuras. Lord Shiva drank that poison to save nature. But, didn’t swallow, instead, he held the poison in his throat. The poison so held, always gives the burning sensation without letting the Lord meditate peacefully. As we know, Lord Shiva is the one who loves spending most of the time in mediation. He thus asked Nandi to sit in front of him and blow air on his throat. It is believed from then; Nandi sits in front of Lord Shiva while meditating.


However, apart from stories, there is also symbolic meaning of Lord Shiva and Nandi placed opposite to each other. The next paragraph talks about the deep knowledge about this.

Symbolic significance of Nandi’s position:

According to our Puranas / mythology, the purpose of human life is to attain emancipation (Moksha) which can be gained by controlling our Indriyas. Moksha can also be defined as merging Jeeva or Individual soul with the supreme god. Our scriptures have deep significance in all the symbolic forms, similarly; Linga is the symbol of the supreme God and Nandi is the symbol of Jeeva or the individual soul. By constant meditation, Nandi / Jeeva merges with Linga / Eeshwara to become Nandeeshwara. Thus, one can say, the sitting position of Nandi is the symbolic form of stability and realizing oneness.

Why people whisper their wishes in Nandi’s ears

Significance of speaking our wishes in Nandi’s ears:

Now coming to the actual part of our article; let’s see the story behind the aforesaid practice. Whenever we worship Lord Shiva, our elders might have told us to pray in Nandi’s ears so that the wish will come true. But why did this come into practice? Who initiated it? Many of you might not be knowing the reason, in fact, I myself came to know recently and thought to share it with my readers.

Why people whisper their wishes in Nandi’s ears

Hindu mythology is a vast area, and many stories are of course interrelated. One such story is about Jalandhara, a demon who comes in stories about both Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The tale says that, once when Lord Shiva was meditating, Jalandhara kidnapped Parvathi. All the other Gods tried to inform Lord Shiva about this but failed. Lord Ganesha himself couldn’t wake up Lord Shiva from Dhyana / Meditation. After thinking for a while, Ganesha then thought to tell this to Nandi who was sitting in front of Ishwara. Lord Ganesha then narrated the entire thing in Nandi’s ears and Nandi conveyed the whole thing to Lord Shiva.

Nandi in front of meditating Shiva
Why people whisper their wishes in Nandi’s ears

From then, the practice of speaking wishes in Nandi’s ears started, and is believed that whatever we speak in his ears will be conveyed to the Lord directly.

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