If we enter a śivālaya, we can see three Nandis.
- Adhikāra Nandī, son of Śilāda Maharṣi
- Vṛṣa Nandi, the bull and
- Nandi, the Dvārapāla, companion to Mahākāla
The first two will be dealt later. Now we can see the Dvārapālas Nandi and Mahākālas. They were actually mortals and got the post by their extreme devotion on my Father. Now we can see the story. The story is from Kedāra khaṇḍa of Maheśvara Khaṇḍa of Skānda Purāṇa. The fifth chapter of the same gives the following story. Lomeśa, a sage, while explaining the glory of śiva Bhakti, quotes the following story. The story almost resembles the story of Kaṇṇappa Nāyaṉār.
Once there was a merchant by name Nandi at Avantipura. Due to his extreme devotion, he always meditated and worshipped my Father. He worshipped a śivaliṅga at Tapovana daily. He did Pañcāmṛta abhiṣekas according to the scriptures with Brahmins, experts in Vedas and Vedāṅgas. Then he made arcanās with precious gems and flowers. He worshipped my Father for years. The Liṅga worshipped by him was in a lonely place. A hunter, always indulged in hunting and a sinner by nature went to the same mountain where the Liṅga was situated. He saw a pool and bathed in the same. While goggling he took some water in his mouth and saw the Liṅga on the banks. He removed the precious gems applied by the merchant and did Abhiṣeka with the goggling water. He put Bilvapatras with a hand and the meat of a deer by another hand. He bowed before the Liṅga and made a saṅkalpa in his mind that “Oh Master! I will do the Pūjā everyday here with all my efforts.” Nandi, the merchant saw the things that were placed by the hunter and worried about the disturbance in his worship. Then he cleaned the whole place and went to his home. His preceptor asked about his worried face. He answered that somebody unsanctified the place where he does pūjās. His preceptor told that one who removes the precious gems would be a fool. So don’t worry. We shall go to the temple in the early morning and we can sanctify the place. After hearing these words, Nandi was convinced and slept well. On the next day they both went with great Brahmins and sanctified the place with the procedures mentioned in the scriptures.
After the sanctification, Mahākāla, the hunter came there. He was very ferocious like Yama. He had bow on his hand. By seeing him, Nandi got afraid. His preceptors and others ran away. Mahākāla did the pūjā as usual. He did abhiṣeka with water from his mouth and offered meat. He bowed before my Father and went back to his home. Seeing this, Nandi worried a lot and asked Brahmins about next course of action. Brahmins told him that, this cannot be prohibited since the hunter is very mighty. So the Liṅga should be taken into his home, so that the hunter cannot do his Pūjā. Nandi took the Liṅga into his home and installed on a Pīṭha made up of gold and gems. He worshipped with his usual procedures.
In the mean time, the hunter couldn’t see the Liṅga and he cried a lot. He shouted and prayed my Father to make a presence. Then he tore his stomach and took the inner parts. He filled the pit made on the place of Liṅga while digging. His flesh and inner parts were placed in such a way that they resemble a Liṅga. After worshipping the flesh-Liṅga, he meditated. My Father appeared before him with all his gaṇas. He pacified the hunter by giving his hand. Then told the hunter that he is ready to give any boon according to his wish. The hunter answered that the Lord is everything for him and he doesn’t need anything except devotion on him though the births. My Father was pleased by his pure heart and gave the leadership of a section of his gaṇas and to be the Dvārapāla post. So many instruments like drums and horns made sound. Hearing the sound, Nandi, the merchant went to Tapovana, where he worshipped my father. There he saw the hunter embraced by my Father. He went to the hunter and prayed to him to introduce him to the Lord. Hearing his words, Mahākāla took the hands of Nandi and took him to the Lord. Seeing him, my Father, with a great smile, asked about him. Mahākāla introduced Nandi as his thickest follower and worshipped with gems.
My Father told him that he didn’t know him and he knows only Mahākāla. Since Nandi was the friend of him, he could consider him. Then Nandi could experience the greatness of true devotion. Then by the recommendation of Mahākāla, Nandi too made one of his Dvārapālas. They both got the same form as my Father went with him to Kailāsa. Pārvatī welcomed them in the Kailāsa. Both of them prayed to the Lord and begged him to be his Dvārapālakas. He agreed and they both showed their fingers as their identification. They will see the Lord during the afternoon Pūjā.
This story was told by śailāda, Adhikāra Nandi. Thus the glory of śivapūjā can be understood.
The story ends like this.
The śaivāgama texts give the definition of the both.
nandinaṁ pūrvadigbhāge padmarāgasamaprabham|
trinetraṁ śūlahastañca saumyaṁ nāgopavītinam||
haritābhaṁ mahākālaṁ śūlahastaṁ trilocanam|
nogapavītinaṁ raudraṁ āgneyyāṁ diśi pūjayet||
Nandi should be worshipped at the east. He is three eyed and holds a trident. He is very pleasant and adorned with serpent as sacred thread. His colour is Padmarāga. Mahākāla is green in colour, three-eyed and holds trident. He too has serpent-sacred thread.
mukhamaṇḍaladvāreṣu dvārapālān samarcayet 276
kṛtāñjalipuṭāstiṣṭhan tatsthale nandikeśvaram
dakṣiṇe mahākāḽo pūrvadvāre prakīrtitāḥ 277
nandisūcimukho hastakṛtāñjaliśca dakṣiṇam
daṇḍadhārī nāgadhārī vāmahastaprakīrtitam 278
halapadmāñjalī caiva dakṣiṇe kāḽahastakam
daṇḍādharāñca mudgāñca vāmahastañca kāḽakam 279
vāmapādañca daṇḍādhvakuñcitaṁ dakṣiṇasthitam
kiñcittribhaṅgigaṅgāyāṁ vāmapādastu kuñjitam 280
trinetraṁ caturbhujañcaiva raudra bhāvasamanvitam 281
kaṭisūtrodarabandhaṁ ca yajñopavītanāgabhāk
evaṁ lakṣaṇasaṁyuktaṁ padmapīṭhopari sthitam 282
gandhapuṣpādibhiḥ pūjya svanāmnā caiva deśikaḥ
nandīśo raktavarṇaḥ syātkāḽakaṁ raktavarṇakam 283
sarvābharaṇasaṁyuktaṁ ugrarūpaṁ ca dhyānakam
tasya rūpeṇa sampūjya tatra mantraṁ samuccaret 284
athavānyaprakāreṇa hastarūpaṁ ca vakṣyate
nandinaṁ śyāmavarṇantu dvihastaṁ paraśusamyutam 284
paraśuṁ vāmahaste tu dakṣiṇe veṇukīlakam
nandīśaṁ kuṅkumābhantu paraśuṁ veṇudaṇḍakam 285
dvinetrau dvibhujau caiva nandikāḽāvatho punaḥ
pūrvadvāre sthitau yatra nandikāḽau mahātmakau 286
anantaḥ paśupatiścaiva dakṣiṇadvārapālakau
ananto raktavarṇastu vajrāyudhasamanvitaḥ 287
paścimadvārapālau tu daṇḍimuṇḍī tathaiva ca 288
daṇḍī dharendracāpābho khadgahastogradaṁṣṭrakaḥ
muṇḍī kundenduvarṇastu bhiṇḍipālāyudhastathā 289
vijayaścaiva bhṛṅgīśo uttaradvārapālakau
vijayaścendrakopābhaśśūlahasto bhayaṅkaraḥ 290
bhṛṅgīśo bhṛṅgavarṇastu kṣurikāyudhayuk
tribhaṅgī kuñcitaṁ pādaṁ ugradaṁṣṭraṁ samaṁ viduḥ 291
The Dvārapālas Nandi and Mahākāla should be worshipped in the right and left. Nandi will have sūcī hasta and añjali in the right hands and Daṇḍa and serpent in the left hands. Hala(plough) and Padma in the right hands and Danḍa and Mudgara in the left hands of Mahākāla. The left leg will be little bit Kuñcita on the Daṇḍa and the another leg will be little bit Tribaṅgi. Both will be three-eyed and wear serpent as sacred thread. Nandi will be black in colour and Mahākāla will be red. The alternate definition is “Nandi will be gray in colour and two handed. Axe will be in the left hand and a bamboo staff will be in the right. Both will be two handed. Nandi and Mahākāla will be in the eastern entrances, Ananta and Paśupati will be in the southern entrance. Ananta will be red in colour and will wear Vajrāyudha. Paśupati will be blue in colour and will have śakti in hand. Daṇdi and Muṇḍi will be in the western direction. Daṇdi will be in colour of rainbow and will bear sword at hand. Muṇḍi will be white and will bear the Bhiṇḍipāla. Vijaya and Bhṛṅgi are the guardians of the northern doors. Vijaya will be white in colour and will have śūla in hand. Bhṛṅgi will be black and will have knife in his hands. All the guardians will be ferocious and in Tribhaṅgi.
ajitāgamaḥ ṣaṭtriṁśaḥ paṭalaḥ
dvāre nandimahākālau dvibhujau ca catuṣkarau|
kartavyau daṇḍahastau ca pratyālīḍhena saṁsthitau||346
tarjayantau dviṣaḥ kruddhau triṇetrau lokabhītidau|| 347
Nandi and Mahākāla will have two or four hands. They will have Daṇḍa and will be in Pratyālīḍha posture. They will have the ferocious teeth and curved eyebrows. They will be three-eyed and will threaten the enemies.
dvārasya dakṣiṇe nandīṁ gaṅgāṁ ca tasya dakṣiṇe||
vāmapārśve mahākālaṁ yamunāntasya vāmake|
raktaśyāmadvivarṇābhau daṇḍahastau mahābalau||10
susthitau caikapādau ca daṇḍārdhāśritānyakau|
ugradaṁṣṭrasamāyuktau sūcivismayahastakau|| 11
nandakālāviti khyātau mahākrūrāvagranetrakau||12
gaṅgāṁ ca yamunāṁ caiva śuklaśyāmalasurānibhau|
dvibhuje ca dvinetre ca karaṇḍamakuṭānvite|| 13
sarvābharaṇasaṁyukte hṛdaye cāñjaliyute|
Nandi will be in the right side of the entrance and Gaṅgā will be right to him. Mahākāla will be in the left along with Yamunā. Both will be red and gray in colour and will have Daṇḍa in their hands. One leg will be straight and the next will be placed on the Daṇḍa. They will have cruel teeth and sūcī and vismaya. They will be fully decorated and will have serpent sacred thread. They are Nandi and Mahākāla. Gaṅgā and Yamunā will have Karaṇḍa makuṭa and two handed. They will be fully decorated and will have añjali.
dakṣiṇe tu bhuvaṅgasya nandinaṁ raktavarṇakam|
tryakṣaṁ caturbhujopetaṁ abhayaṁ varadānvitam||
tasyaiva vāmapārśve tu dvinetrāṁ dvibhujāntathā||
gaṅgāyāḥ śuklavarṇantu makarāsanasaṁsthitām|
nīlotpalaṁ savyahaste pūrṇakumbhaṁ tu vāmake||
dvārasya dakṣiṇe gaṅgāṁ nandinaṁ pūjayedbudhiḥ||
bhuvaṅgavāmapārśve tu mahākālaṁ ghanadyutim|
caturbhujaṁ triṇetrañca kapālaṁ śūlameva ca||
dakṣiṇebhayaṭaṅkañca vāme pāśamāvahan|
tasyaiva dakṣiṇe pārśve yamunāñcaiva kalpayet|
dvibhujāñca dvinetrāñca śyāmavarṇasamanvitām||
pūrṇakumbhaṁ tu vāme tu utpalaṁ savyahastake||
yamunāyāḥ svarūpantu sarvāvayavasaṁyutām|
Nandi will be in the right to the Bhuvaṅga and will be red in colour. He will be three-eyed and four handed. He will have Abhaya, varada, Tomara, śūla and Akṣamālā in his hands. Left to him, white complexioned Gaṅgā, seated on Makarāsana will be of two hands. She will have Nīlotpala and Pūrṇa kumbha on her hands. She will be fully decorated and varied cloths.
Mahākāla should be worshipped left to the Bhuvaṅga. He will be four handed and black in complexion. He will have Kapāla, śūla, Abhaya, axe and Pāśa. He will have Jaṭāmakuṭa and serpent made sacred thread. Yamunā should be placed right to him. She will be seated on tortoise, and will have Utpala flower and Pūrṇakumbha in right and left hands.
- Uttara Kāraṇa
उत्तरकारणागमः 89 द्वारपालप्रतिष्ठापटलः
This āgama gives another picture when compared to other āgamas.
garbhagṛhasya dvāre ca bhiṇḍimuṇḍyākhyamīritam|
dvibhujau ca triṇetrau ca jaṭāmakuṭaśobhitau||
khaṭgakheṭadharaṁ bhīmaṁ nāgayajñopavītinam|
karāḽavadanaṁ bhīmaṁ padmapīṭhopari sthitam||
ardhamaṇḍapamadhye tu mahākālañca nandinam|
tryakṣañca dvibhujaṁ bhīmaṁ bhrukuṭīmukhabhīṣaṇam||
dakṣiṇe daṇḍahastañca daṇḍāgre maṇibandhakam|
svastikaṁ vāmapādañca daṇḍamadhyepi kuṇḍike||
siṁhapucchākṛtiṁ hastaṁ ghaṇṭāmālābhibhūṣitam||
karālavadanaṁ ghoraṁ dakṣiṇe ca tataḥ śruṇu|
dvipādaṁ raktavarṇañca karālavadanānvitam||
maṇimālāvibhūṣyañca vāme daṇḍadharantathā||
savyañca svastikaṁ pādaṁ daṇḍamadhye padaṁ nyaset|
savyahastaṁ prasāryātha tu talaṁ nyaset||
siṁhapucchākṛtiṁ vāmaṁ ūrdhvahastantu pūrvavat|
mahāmaṇḍapapārśve tu nandikuṇḍodarau tathā||
caturbhujaṁ triṇetrañca jaṭāmakuṭamaṇḍitam|
dakṣiṇe sūcihastaṁ syāt anyaṁ tāḍitahastakam||
vāme cordhvapatākañca anyaddaṇḍadharaṁ tathā|
maṇibandhe tu daṇḍāgraṁ svastikaṁ vāmapādakam||
daṇḍamadhye nyaseccaiva pādaṁ śyāmasamāyutam|
vāme tu raktavarṇaṁ syāt svastikaṁ vāmapādakam||
daṇḍamadhye nyasetpādaṁ prasāryaṁ vāmapāṇinā|
maṇibandhaṁ nyaseddaṇḍe anyaṁ vai tāḍitaṁ karam||
savye tu sūcihastaṁ syāt abhayaṁ bhīṣaṇonnatam|
evaṁ saṅkalpayeccaiva nṛttamaṇḍapapārśvayoḥ||
vikaṭaṁ bhīmamityuktaṁ tryakṣaṁ dvibhujantathā|
vṛttaṁ piṅgajaṭāṁ caiva tundilaṁ daṁṣṭriṇaṁ bhavet||
nāgayajñopavītañca vāme daṇḍadharantathā|
savye tu sūcihastaṁ syāt raktavarṇantathaiva ca||
vāme bhīmaṁ triṇetrañca vṛttaṁ piṅgajaṭādharam|
savye ca sūcihastaṁ syāt vāme daṇḍadharaṁ tathā|
evaṁ vai kalpayet paścāt gopuradvārapārśvayoḥ||
jayañca vijayañcaiva dvibhujaṁ raktavarṇakam|
akṣamālāṁ triśūlañca dhāriṇaṁ jaṭilantathā||
jaṭāmakuṭaśobhāḍhyaṁ vāme caiva tataḥ śruṇu|
kṛṣṇavarṇaṁ triṇetrañca jaṭāmakuṭamaṇḍitam||
kapālañca triśūlañca dadhānaṁ bhrukuṭimeva vā|
In the doors of Garbhagṛha, Bhiṇḍi and Muṇḍi will be placed. Both are two handed three-eyed and will have jaṭāmakuṭa. Both will have sword and shield on their hands.
In the gate of ardhamaṇḍapa, Nandi and Mahākāla should be placed. Both are three-eyed, two handed. The will have daṇda in their right hands their wrist will be placed on the edge of daṇḍa. Their right legs will be svastika position and the other legs should be placed on the daṇḍa. Their other hands will be in siṃha puccha position and they will wear bells as garland. On the left, Mahākāla with Jaṭāmakuṭa and serpent sacred thread will be installed. He will have maṇimālā. His right leg will be in svastika position and right will be placed on the daṇḍa. Right hand flat and left will be of siṃhapuccha type.
Nandi and Kuṇḍodara will be installed at the doors of Mahāmaṇḍapa. They will be four handed, three eyed and will have Jaṭāmakuṭa. They will be decorated with garland of bells and skulls. Right hands will have Sūcī and tāḍita. Ūrdhva patākā and daṇḍa will be in left hands. The tip of the daṇḍa will be placed on the wrist. Left leg will be placed as svastikam and right will be placed on the daṇḍa. On the left side, red complexioned Mahākāla with Tāḍita, sūcī and Abhaya hastas.
Vikaṭa and Bhīma will be installed on the doors of Nṛtta maṇḍapas. Vikaṭa will be three eyed with brown jaṭās. He will have belly, serpent sacred thread. He will hold daṇḍa on left hand and sūcī in his right hand. Bhīma too has the same definition.
Jaya and Vijaya will be placed on the gopura entrances. They will have matted hairs. They will hold akṣamālā and triśūla.
- Ānanda kanda
This is a Tantra text and gives the procedures of śivapūjā.
nandinaṁ ca mahākālaṁ bhṛṅgiṁ riṭiṁ mahābalam |
kumbhakarṇaṁ ca sugrīvaṁ bhṛṅgakaṁ ca dṛḍhāyudham ||
caturdvāre tu vinyasya dvau dvau prāgādipūjitau | āka-1,2.117 ||
Nandi, Mahākāla, Bhṛṅgi, Riṭi, Mahābala, Kumbhakarṇa, Sugrīva and Bhṛṅgaka will be installed on the four doors.
- Śivārcana Candrikā
The dvārapālārcana part of this text written by śrīmad Appayya dīkṣitendra, gives the details of dvārapālakas.
hāṁ nandinenamaḥ | aruṇajaṭāmakuṭadharaṁ triśūlākṣamālātarjanīmudgaradhāruṇaṁ sthūladehaṁ nandinaṁ pūjayāmi | hāṁ gaṅgāyai namaḥ | dhavaḽavarṇāṁ makaravāhanāmamṛtakalaśacāmaradhāriṇīṁ gaṅgāṁ pūjayāmi | hāṁ mahākāḽāyanamaḥ | kaṣṇavarṇaṁ daṁṣṭrākarāḽabhrukuṭībhīṣaṇasthūladehaṁ śūlakapālamudgaratarjanīmudrādhāriṇaṁ mahakāḽaṁ pūjayāmi | hāṁ yamunāyainamaḥ | śyāmavarṇāṁ kūrmavāhanāṁ cāmarāmṛtakalaśadhāriṇīṁ yumunāṁ pūjayāmi | tattatsthāneṣu pujayet | sarva ete dvārapālāḥ gaṅgāyamune vinā triṇetrāḥ sarve caite dvārasamānamukhāḥ |
Nandi has red matted hairs and have Triśūla, Akṣamālā, Tarjanī and mudgara in his hands. Gaṅgā, is white complexioned and seated on makara. She will hold, amṛta kalaśa and cāmara. Mahākāla is dark complexioned, and will have śūla, kapāla, mudgara and tarjanī hastas. Yamunā is gray coloured and seated on tortoise. She too have amṛta kalaśa and cāmara.
While explaining the āvaraṇa pūjās, the consorts of Nandi and Mahākāla too mentioned. The consort of Nandi is Kuṇḍalī and consort of Mahākāla is Padmini.
The thirty second chapter of this āgama gives the details of the Dvārapālakas.
nandikālau tu pūrve tu dakṣiṇedakṣiṇe sthitau|
daṇḍī muṇḍī avācyāntu vijayo bhṛṅgireva ca||
vāruṇe rakṣakāvetau gopatyanantakāvimau|
uttaradvārarakṣārthaṁ dakṣiṇedakṣiṇe nyaset|
śyāmābhakuṅkumābhau ca nandikālau kramātsthitau||
indragopanibhau caiva mayūrasyeva kandharam|
avācyāṁ dvārikau bhāsā padmarāgābhanīlakau||
vāruṇe dvārapālau tu sitakālābhāvuttare|
daṇḍaṁ gadā ca khaḍgaṁ ca triśūlaṁ bhindapālakaḥ||
vetraṁ gadā ca vajraṁ ca nandyādīnāṁ tu cihnakam|
triṇetrāḥ caturbhujāssarve tvatiraudrāḥ sadaṁṣṭrakāḥ||
jaṭāmakuṭayuktāśca karaṇḍaṁ vā kirīṭakam|
Nandi and Kāla will be installed on the right and left sides. Daṇḍi and Muṇḍi will be in the south. Vijaya and Bhṛṅgi will be in west and Gopati and Ananta will be in the north. Nandi and Mahākāla will be white and red in colour. The south guardians will be of yellowish white and blue. The western guards will be white and black in colour. The weapons of all guardians are Daṇḍa, Gadā, Khaḍga, Triśūla, Bhindipāla, Vetra, Gadā and Vajra. All guardians are three-eyed and four handed. All will have Jaṭāmakuṭa or karaṇḍa or kirīṭa makuṭa.
pūrvadvārādhipau jñeyau nandikālāvubhau tathā|
daṇḍī muṇḍī mahāvīryo dakṣiṇadvārapālakau||
bhṛṅgī ca vijayaścaiva paścimadvārapālakau|
anantaḥ paśupatiścaiva uttaradvārapālakau||
nandīśo daṇḍahastaḥ syāt kālaḥ pāśadhārakaḥ|
daṇḍīśo daṇḍahastaḥ syānmuṇḍī vai bhiṇḍipāladhṛt|
bhṛṅgī vai khaḍgahastaḥ syāt vijayaḥ śūladhārakaḥ||
ananto vajrahastaḥ syāt paśupatiḥ pāśadhārakaḥ|
nandīśaḥ śyāmavarṇaḥ syāt kālau vai dhūmravarṇakaḥ||
indranīlanibho daṇḍī muṇḍī vai śvetavarṇakaḥ|
bhṛṅgī mayūragrīvābho vijayo raktavarṇakaḥ||
anantaḥ kālavarṇasyāt paśupatiḥ nīla eva ca|
triṇetrāḥ caturbhujāssarve sarvābharaṇabhūṣitāḥ||
kiñcit tribhaṅgikaṁ kāryaṁ vāmapādaṁ tu kuñcitam|
Nandi and Kāla will be installed on the eastern doors. Daṇḍi and Muṇḍi will be in the south. Vijaya and Bhṛṅgi will be in west and Gopati and Ananta will be in the north. Nandi will have Daṇḍa and Mahākāla will have Pāśa. Daṇḍi will have Daṇḍa and Muṇḍi will have Bhiṇḍipāla. Bhṛṅgī will have Khaḍga and Vijaya will hold śūla. Ananta will be with vajra and Paśupati will be with Pāśa. Nandi is gray and Mahākāla will be of smoke colour. Daṇḍi is of Indranīla gem and Muṇḍi will be of white. Bhṛṅgī will be of the colour of neck of peacock and Vijaya is of red colour. Ananta is block and Paśūpati is blue in colour. All are three-eyed and four handed.
- Rūpa Maṇḍana & Aparājita Pṛcchā
Both the texts give the same definition to Nandi & Mahākāla.
mātuluṅgañca nāgendraṁ ḍamaruṁ cākṣasūtrakam|
nandī mukuṭaśobhāḍhyaḥ sarvābharaṇabhūṣitaḥ||
khaḍvāṅgañca kapālañca ḍamaruṁ bījapūrakam|
daṁṣṭrākarālavadanaṁ mahākālantu dakṣiṇe||
The eastern guards are Nandi and Mahākāla. Nandi will have Pomegranate fruit, ḍamaruka, Akṣasūtra and a serpent. Mahākāla will have Khaṭvāṅga, Kapāla, ḍamruka and pomegranate. Both will have ferocious teeth.
tarjanī ca triśūlañca ḍamaruṁ gajameva ca|
herambo vāmabhāge syāt bhṛṅgī dakṣiṇataḥ śruṇu||
gajaṁ ḍamarukhaḍvāṅgaṁ tarjanīvāmahastakaḥ|
ubhau ca dakṣiṇe dvāre bhṛṅgī dakṣiṇataḥ śubhaḥ||
Heramba and Bhṛṅgi are the southern guards. Heramba will have Tarjanī, Triśūla, ḍamaru and gajahasta. Bhṛṅgi will be in the right and will hold gajahasta, ḍamaruka, Khaṭvāṅga and Tarjanī.
triśūlaṁ ḍamaruñcaiva khaṭvāṅgañca kapālakam|
paścime durmukho vāme tadvaktraṁ gomukhākṛti|
ḍamaruñca tathā daṇḍaṁ bījapūraṁ tathaiva ca||
dvāre paścimake kāryaḥ pāṇḍuro vāmadakṣiṇe||
Durmukha and Pāṇḍura are the western door keepers. Durmukha will be in the left and will have Triśūla, ḍamaru, Khaṭvāṅga and Kapāla. His face will be like of cows. Pāṇḍura will be in the right and will hold ḍamaruka, Daṇḍa, Bījapūra.
mātuluṅgaṁ mṛṇālañca khaṭvāṅgaṁ padmadaṇḍakam|
sitaścaivottare khaṭvāṅgaṁ mṛṇālaṁ bījapūrakam||
asito dakṣiṇe bhāge uttare dvāra eva ca||
Sita and Asita are the northern doorkeepers. Sita will be in the left and will hold pomegranate, stalks of lotus, Khaṭvāṅga and Daṇḍa. Asita will be in the right and will have Khaṭvāṅga, stalks and Pomegranate.
Thus the various texts give the details of the dvārapālas, Nandi and Mahākāla.
The comparative study is given below
|Yogaja||Nandi||Daṇḍa, Nāga, alapadma Añjali||Red||Ananta||Vajra||Red||Daṇḍi||Khaḍga||Rainbow||Vijaya||Śūla||Indragopa|
|Mahākāla||Daṇḍa and Mudgara||Red||Paśupati||Śakti||Blue||Muṇḍi||Bhiṇḍipāla||White||Bhṛṅgi||Kṣurikā||Black|
|Acintya||Nandi||Daṇḍa, Sūcī, Vismaya||Red|
|Mahākāla||Daṇḍa, Sūcī, Vismaya||Gray|
|Pūrva kāraṇa||Nandi||Abhaya, Varada, Tomara, śūla||Red|
|Mahākāla||Kapāla, śūla, Abhaya, Taṅka & Pāśa||Black|
|Uttara Kāraṇa||Bhiṇḍi||Khaḍga and Kheṭa|
|Śivārcana Candrikā||Nandi||Triśūla, Akṣamālā, Tarjanī, mudgara||Red|
|Mahākāla||Śula, Kapāla, Mudgara, Tarjanī||Black|
|Rūpa maṇḍana||Nandi||Mātuluṅga, Nāga, ḍamaru, akṣamālā||Heramba||Tarjanī, Triśūla, ḍamaru, Gaja||Durmukha||Triśūla, ḍamaru, Khaṭvāṅga, Kapāla||Sita||Mātunuṅga, Mṛṇāla, Khaṭvāṅga, Padmadaṇḍa|
|Mahākāla||Khaṭvāṅga, Kapāla, ḍamaru, Bījapūra||Bhṛṅgi||Gaja, ḍamaru, Khaṭvāṅga, Tarjanī||Pāṇḍura||ḍamaru, Daṇḍa, Bījapūra||Asita||Khaṭvāṅga, Mṛṇāla, Bīapūra|
Let us see some Dvārapālas
The Dvārapālas of Cave temples from Vallam, Tirumeyyam and Kuṉṉaṇḍār Koil and structural temples like Kailāsanātha temple and Mataṅgeśvara have Triśūla and Paraśu on the head and Jaṭāmakuṭa by which they are identified as śūladeva and Paraśudeva by some scholars. Important evidence from Skānda purāṇa too boosts this view. The incident describes the journey of My father along with his gaṇas. His śūla by name Vijaya went along with him with a form and was worshipped by the gaṇas. His paṭṭiśa (Axe) too went along him and was worshipped by other weapons. This can be quoted in this identification.
But the query is not that much simple. There is not a single evidence from scripture backs this view. If we clearly analyze the dvārapālas of big temple at Tañjāvūr, we can see that all the Dvārapālakas have Triśūla on their head. If we identify the guardians of cave temples as manifestations of śūla and Paraśu, they we should take the same conclusion on the dvārapālas of big temple which is not acceptable. Hence it should be concluded that the guardians at the cave temples should be considered as the Nandi and Mahākālas. This view can be supported by the scriptures and the developments in the later structures. Though the reason for carving the Triśūla and Paraśu cannot be explained with the available scriptures, the unpublished may have the key.
After the 8th CE, the dvārapālas of temples follow the prescriptions of āgamas. The Dvārapālas of Takkolam have Daṇḍa, sūcī and vismaya which clearly denotes the prescription of Acintyāgama.
The dvārapālakas of Nārtāmalai follow the Ajita and the Ālandurai dvārapālas took their definition from Raurava.
The Dvārapālakas from the big temple of Tañjāvūr seems to be taken partially from Yogajāgama.
Thus the purāṇic and āgamic aspects of Nandi and Mahākālas are very clearly adopted in the temples.