The bull which wanders about, anxious to find a mate, is taken as the embodiment of the sex impulse. Most living creatures are governed by their instincts; they are ridden over by the bull. They are merely the appendage of their reproductive powers.
But Shiva is the master of lust. He triumphs over the bull. Only those who are masters of their own impulses can tame the bull. Thus such an image of Shiva represents the sexual drive brought under control, though not weakened, through asceticism. As Mahayogi, the god is master of the bull.
A primary aim of yoga is to transform our mighty sexual potency into spiritual power. Yogis believe that sex energy is the very energy that man can utilize for the conquest of his own self. The sexually powerful man, if he controls himself, can attain any form of power, even conquer the celestial worlds. On the other hand, men of weak temperament are unqualified for great adventures, physical or mental. The sex impulse must therefore never be denied or weakened. Yoga thus opposes exaggerated austerities. According to Zimmer, noted Indologist, a deity's animal mount is the manifestation of the god's divine essence. Indeed the man of strong powers is the vehicle of Shiva, through whom the deity reveals his own virile nature and powers. The bull of Shiva is hence also called the joyful (Nandi), correspondingly Shiva himself is known as the lord of joy (Nandikeshvara).
Of Related Interest:
Nandi - Shiva's Escort (Brass Statue)
Nandi Bell (Ritual Item)
Shiva and Nandi (Batik Painting On Cotton)
Shiva's Constant Companion (Miniature Painting On Paper)
Shiva Parvati Riding on Nandi (Miniature Painting On Paper)
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