Significance of Nandi and Tortoise in Lord Shiva Temple
Let’s just start with we see most of the temples across the world, which has Tortoise in front of the Lord Shivalinga deity and there is also a Nandi (a bull ) symbol of tremendous power and aggression.
Not very long ago it all started with the Race between a tortoise and rabbit in the jungle, Slow and steady tortoise always wins the race and super confident speed lover rabbit always lost the race.
So let’s find out how is Tortoise connected to Lord Shiva, temples and mythology where is the connection, here is how.
1- Tortoise -Lord Shiva is always known for awakening inner consciousness through meditation and harness energy using Yoga and meditation, There is Yoga posture known as "Kurmasana " or the Tortoise Pose.
2- Tortoise reaction to outside world threat - It retracts and recoils its hands and legs in reaction to danger similarly humans also can detach themselves from material world which could pose a threat and should awaken the inner self.
3- Kachapeshwara (tortoise shaped) temple in south India dedicated to Lord Shiva -According to popular legend Lord Vishnu in form of tortoise wanted to please Lord Shiva and worshiped him in order to achieve ultimate liberation.
Another Hindu legend says there was a traveller named "Sundarar" who was very hungry and Lord Shiva appeared in the form of "Brahmin" and fed the needy "Sundarar"
4-Tortoise has a peculiar process of laying eggs and hatching them -She looks and keeps all the attention and the focus with the help of her eyes on the eggs, The energy from the eyes of the tortoise helps the process of hatching the eggs this is also true when you visit a temple entire focus and attention is always kept unidirectional which is the Lord Shiva as the center of attraction and tortoise pointing in that direction to have a focused and immersive Darshan of "Shivlinga"
Learning - Life is also a race, Tortoise teaches us to go slow, go steady and keep running towards the Goal and eventually you will win always.
The significance of Nandi kept facing Shiva deity in all Shiva temples across the world
Nandi the mighty super powerful official "VAHAN" of Lord Shiva always is kept in the front of every Shiva temple you may have ever visited , You would definately find "Nandi " facing the idol or Shiva linga , as you may already know Shiva during the process "Sagarmanthan" lord Shiva took the poison and held in his neck and turned "Neelkanth "to save the mankind , as venom was very powerful and had a burning effect on his neck and usually caused hindrance to his meditation or Dhanyam .