The tradition of the simian (ape-faced) appearance of nandi,His identity with shiva and His incarnation of hanumAn

768px-Lord_Hanuman_statue

Image of hanumAn from Coimbatore(source:Wikimedia Commons)

This is from the eight chapter of the kedAra khaNDa of the mAheshvara khaNDa of the skanda purANa,the verses are noted as below(Nag Publishers edition)

shloka 59:
shailAdo hi mahAtejA gaNashreShTha purAtanaH|
buddhimAnniti nipuNo mahAbala parAkrami||

Here he is one who is aged(purAtanaH),of great splendour(mahAteja),the chief of the gaNas(gaNashreShTha),intelligent,powerful and valorous.

shloka 66:

tadA brahmAdayo devAH R^iShayashcha vipashchitaH|
praNamya nanindaM prAhuH kasmAttvaM vAnarAnanaH||

Then brahmA and the other deities and the sages bowed to nandin and asked him why he had the face of an ape

shloka 76-77:

shivena datta sArupyaM na gR^ihitaM mayA tadA||
yAchitaM cha mayA shambhorvadanaM vAnarasya cha|

Where nandin recounted that as the son of the sage Shilada,he refused sArupya-mukti and requested the face of an ape,and this wish was granted.

shloka 93(recording viShNu’s instructions to the devas):

he devAH shruyatAM vAkyaM prastAvasadR^ishaM mahat|
shailAdiM cha puraskR^itya sarvaM yuyaM tvarAnvitAH||
avatArAnprakurvantu vAnarIM tanumAshritAH||

Here he instructs the devas,with shailAdi(nandin) as their head to take the bodies of vAnaras.

shloka 97-99:

vAlI chendrAMshasaMbhUtaH sugrIvoMshumataH sutaH|
tathA brahmAMshasambhUto jAmbavAnR^ikShaku~njaraH||
shIlAdatanayo nandi shivasyAnucharaH priyaH|
yo vai chaikAdasho rudro hanumAn sa mahAkapiH|
avatIrNa sahAyArthaM viShNoramitatejasaH||

vAli incarnated as a portion of indra,sugriva incarnated as the son of the sun(aMshumAn is a name of sUrya in the Aditya hR^idaya),the leading bear jAmbavAn was born as an aMsha(portion) of brahmA,and the son of shIladA,the rudragaNa nandin,the fond attendant(anucharaH) of shiva,the great monkey hanumAn,the 11th rudra incarnated to give aid to the splendorous viShNu.

 

 

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