Nandin, aka: Nāndin; 5 Definition(s)

Introduction

Nandin means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Katha (narrative stories)

[Nandin in Katha glossaries]

Nandin (नन्दिन्) was given the order to guard the door when Śiva was about to tell a story (the adventures of the seven Vidyādharas) to Pārvatī. When Puṣpadanta was about to enter, he was denied entrance by Nandin.

The Kathāsaritsāgara (‘ocean of streams of story’), mentioning Nandin, is a famous Sanskrit epic story revolving around prince Naravāhanadatta and his quest to become the emperor of the vidyādharas (celestial beings). The work is said to have been an adaptation of Guṇāḍhya’s Bṛhatkathā consisting of 100,000 verses, which in turn is part of a larger work containing 700,000 verses.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Kathāsaritsāgara
Katha book cover
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Katha (कथा, kathā) refers to narrative Sanskrit literature often inspired from epic legendry (itihasa) and poetry (mahākāvya). Some Kathas reflect socio-political instructions for the King while others remind the reader of important historical event and exploits of the Gods, Heroes and Sages.

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Shilpashastra (iconography)

[Nandin in Shilpashastra glossaries]

Nandin (नन्दिन्) is a sculpture found at the temple of Lokeśvara.—Nandin, being the vehicle of God Śiva, should always be seated, facing the god, except in the case when He is set up to go on war expedition. Here as Śiva is not on war expedition, his mount is sitting, waiting for the Lord. The temple and the Lokeśvara Liṅga face east. Nandin in the maṇḍapa faces west. It is an open pillared pavilion built on an elevated platform covered with sculptures and other decorations.

Śivapurāṇa sheds light on why Nandin is represented with a high hump. It says: “The king of great splendour, thundering like the great cloud, who is comparable to the peaks of Meru, Kailāsa etc., whose hump is huge in size like the white peaks of clouds…” (Vāyavīyasaṃhitā, uttarabhāga, chapter 31, 53-57). So Nandin is having a hump as high as the peaks of Meru or Kailāsa mountains.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śilpa)
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[Nandin in Shaivism glossaries]

Nandin (नन्दिन्).—In the Somaśambhupaddhati it is mentioned that Nandin is dvārapāla, guardian of the eastern door of the shrine and his place is to the southeast. This statement leads us to say that Nandin, vehicle of Śiva, is different from the door guardian Nandin who is also called Nandīśvara, Śailādin etc. He is represented with human body, fangs, head bedecked with two horns and a tiara.

(Source): Archaeological Survey of India: Śaiva monuments at Paṭṭadakal (śaivism)
Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Nandin in Pali glossaries]

Nandin, (adj.) (Sk. nandin) finding or giving delight, delighting in, pleasurable, gladdening S. II, 53 (vedanā); A. II, 59, 61; It. 112. (Page 346)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Nandin in Sanskrit glossaries]

Nandin (नन्दिन्).—a. [nand-ṇini]

1) Happy, pleased, glad, delighted.

2) Making happy, gladdening, giving delight; अद्याप्यानन्दयति मां त्वं पुनः क्वासि नन्दिनी (adyāpyānandayati māṃ tvaṃ punaḥ kvāsi nandinī) U.3.14.

3) Delighting in, liking. -m

1) A son.

2) The speaker of a prelude or benediction in a drama.

3) Name of the door-keeper of Śiva, his chief attendant, or of the bull which he rides; लतागृहद्वारगतोऽथ नन्दी (latāgṛhadvāragato'tha nandī) Ku.3.41; Māl.1.1.

4) An epithet of Viṣṇu.

5) The Indian fig-tree.

-nī 1 A daughter; तेषां कुले त्वमसि नन्दिनि पार्थिवानाम् (teṣāṃ kule tvamasi nandini pārthivānām); U.1.9.

2) A husband's sister.

3) A fabulous cow, daughter of Surabhi, yielding all desires (kāmadhenu) and in the possession of the sage Vasisṭha; अनिन्द्या नन्दिनी नाम धेनुराववृते वनात् (anindyā nandinī nāma dhenurāvavṛte vanāt) R.1.82;2.69.

4) An epithet of the Ganges; नन्दिनी नलिनी सीता मालती च मलापहा । विष्णुपादाब्जसंभूता गङ्गा त्रिपथगमिनी (nandinī nalinī sītā mālatī ca malāpahā | viṣṇupādābjasaṃbhūtā gaṅgā tripathagaminī) ||

5) The holy basil.

--- OR ---

Nāndin (नान्दिन्).—m. The speaker of the नान्दी (nāndī) or benediction.

See also (synonyms): nāndikara.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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