27 November 2014

2014 Deepam Festival. Day One—Evening: Adhikara Nandi Vahana

There are two types of Nandi (Nandikeśvara) statues at Siva Temples, the more common is that of the reclining bull (Vrsabha) and the other is that of Adhikara Nandi. In the case of Arunachaleswarara Temple the Adhikara Nandi of last night’s function is in the form of a bull-head human standing on two legs.

Adhikara Nandi's two back hands hold a parasu (battle axe) and mrga (antelope) and the two front hands are folded on the chest in a pose of obeisance. Since he is the chief of the ganas (retinues) of Siva, exercising his authority (adhikara) over them, he is christened as ‘Adhikara Nandi.’

There are different accounts as to the origin of this manifestation. Desirous of a son, a sage named Salankayana, propitiated Lord Vishnu, who granted his wish by producing a boy exactly resembling Siva, from the right side of his body. He was named Nandikesvara. According to another account, a sage called Nandi obtained the status of a Deva and the headship of the ganas of Siva by propitiating him. A third account depicts Adhikara Nandi as emerging from the yagasala (sacrificial shed) of the blind sage Silada, in the form of a young lad resembling Siva, thus bringing ‘nandi’ or joy to him. Silada adopted him as his son.

Panchamoorthies Deeparthana


Arunachaleswarar on Adhikara Nandi Vahana

Panchamoorthies giving darshan front of Arunachaleswarar Temple

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