From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

The saintly devotees Ahilya Bai (left) and Mira Bai (right) holding murtis of their worship.

Sarupa-vigraha literally means ‘an icon with form’.

In ritualistic worship vigrahas or icons are used extensively. These may be sarupa[1] or arupa.[2] It can be classified as follows:

  1. Sarupa-vigraha - It has a definite form, the form of the deity to whom worship is offered. It may be anthropomorphic or otherwise. Excessive limbs like four hands or unnatural features like half-animal body are often seen in them to denote their supernatural status and power.
  2. Arupa-vigrahas - These are the śivaliṅgas, śālagrāmas, yantras, cakras and stones of irregular shapes.


  1. Sarupa means with form.
  2. Arupa means without form.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore