Who Is The Biggest Devotee Of Lord Shiva? Tales of Unwavering Devotion.

Nandi: The Bull of Faithfulness

Nandi, the sacred bull, is perhaps the most iconic devotee of Lord Shiva. According to the Puranas, Nandi was born to the sage Shilada and was blessed with immortality by Lord Shiva himself.

Nandi’s devotion is exemplified by his constant presence at Shiva's feet, acting as the guardian of Kailash, the divine abode of Lord Shiva and Parvati. His unwavering faith and service to Shiva have made Nandi a symbol of absolute devotion and loyalty.

Ravana: The Demon King’s Devotion

Ravana, the ten-headed king of Lanka, is often remembered for his antagonistic role in the Ramayana. However, his devotion to Lord Shiva is a lesser-known but significant aspect of his character.

Legend has it that Ravana composed the Shiva Tandava Stotram, a powerful hymn extolling the grandeur of Shiva. His intense tapasya (austerity) to gain Shiva's favor is a testament to his devotion. Despite his flaws, Ravana's dedication to Shiva remains a powerful example of bhakti (devotion).

Kannappa: The Hunter’s Sacrifice

The story of Kannappa, a tribal hunter, is a profound example of devotion that transcends social and ritualistic boundaries. Kannappa’s love for Shiva was so pure that when he saw blood oozing from the eyes of the Shiva Linga, he offered his own eyes without hesitation to stop the divine suffering.

This selfless act of devotion moved Shiva to reveal himself and bless Kannappa with moksha (liberation). Kannappa's tale is a poignant reminder that true devotion lies in the heart, beyond rituals and dogma.

Markandeya: The Eternal Devotee

Markandeya, a young sage, epitomizes the grace of Lord Shiva towards his devotees. Born under the shadow of a curse that he would die at sixteen, Markandeya's unwavering worship of Shiva saved him from death.

On the fateful day, as Yama, the god of death, approached to claim him, Markandeya clung to the Shiva Linga. Shiva appeared and drove Yama away, granting Markandeya eternal life. This story highlights Shiva’s protective nature and the power of sincere devotion.

Basava: The Philosopher and Saint

Basava, a 12th-century philosopher and statesman, was a devout follower of Shiva. He founded the Lingayat sect, emphasizing the worship of Shiva in the form of the Ishtalinga, a personal linga worn by adherents.

Basava’s teachings advocated for a caste-free society, equality, and the devotion to Shiva through pure love and service. His life and works remain influential, embodying the principles of devotion and social reform inspired by his unwavering faith in Shiva.

Sundarar: The Poet Devotee

Sundarar, one of the revered Nayanars (saints devoted to Shiva), was known for his poetic hymns that expressed deep love and devotion to Lord Shiva. His compositions, part of the Tamil Shaiva canon, resonate with the themes of divine love, human imperfection, and the grace of Shiva. Sundarar’s life, filled with divine interventions and miracles, is a testament to the boundless compassion of Shiva towards his devotees.


The tales of Shiva’s greatest devotees are timeless narratives that illustrate the diverse paths of devotion—whether through loyalty, sacrifice, austerity, or love. Each story, rich with symbolism and moral lessons, continues to inspire and guide followers on their spiritual journey.

Lord Shiva, in his infinite compassion, embraces all forms of sincere devotion, reinforcing the belief that the path to the divine is as varied as the devotees themselves.

Also Read: Why Lord Shiva Has Moon On His Head

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