Not only the deities but birds and animals associated with them are also regarded as sacred. Shiva's insignia is a bull, a vrishabha, called Nandi. He too is worshipped by virtue of being dear to Shiva, as also being his vahana. Bull is a symbol of restrained power. In Shiva temples, the gentle bull sits in front of the linga, gazing at his lord. Here we have Nandi, independent of his Lord Shiva. Devotees seek both, his strength, and his restraint.
Forming a parasol to the image of Nandi is a five-hooded serpent. It represents the coiled energy of kundalini. The presence of serpents is considered auspicious and believed to produce fertility, abundance and paradoxically, protection from snakes. It is also considered to be a phallic symbol and is associated with prolific off spring and the fertility of the earth.
This is a masterpiece in brass, perfectly crafted in three detachable pieces the serpent the bull and the pedestal. To detach, the serpent can be lifted and the bull slided back.
This description by Renu Rana.
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