Nandi is symbolic of eternal waiting, because waiting is considered the greatest virtue in Indian culture. One who knows how to simply sit and wait is naturally meditative. Nandi is not expecting Shiva to come out tomorrow. He is not anticipating or expecting anything. He is just waiting. He will wait forever. That quality is the essence of receptivity. Before you go into a temple, you must have the quality of Nandi – to simply sit. You are not trying to go to heaven, you are not trying to get this or that, you simply sit. People have always misunderstood meditation as some kind of activity. No- it is a quality.
That is the fundamental difference. Prayer means you are trying to talk to God. Meditation means you are willing to listen to God. You are willing to just listen to existence, to the ultimate nature of creation. You have nothing to say, you simply listen. That is the quality of Nandi – he just sits, alert. This is very important – he is alert, not sleepy. He is not sitting in a passive way. He is sitting, very active, full of alertness, full of life, but just sitting – that is meditation.