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Nandi is the gate-guardian deity of Kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva. He is usually depicted as a bull, which also serves as the mount to Shiva. According to Saivite siddhantic tradition, he is considered as the chief guru of eight disciples of Nandinatha Sampradaya, namely, Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana, Sanatkumara, Tirumular, Vyagrapada, Patanjali, and Sivayoga Muni, who were sent in eight different directions, to spread the wisdom of Shaivism. Nandi signifies strength, load bearing capacity and virility. Given that Shiva didn't have to fight fierce battles or travel quickly between the worlds (he spent most time meditating) he didn't have to choose for a more agile vahana similar to Vishnu's. Given that bulls were the main form of transportation in rural India, it made perfect sense for Shiva - who is the most down to earth & connected with rural India - to take a form that was close to the people.