From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Āsanamurti literally means ‘image in the seated posture’.

A temple is an ancient institution. The images that are installed inside the shrines or inscribed on the walls and the pillars should be prepared strictly according to the rules of ‘murtiśilpaśāstra’ or iconography. Such murtis or images of gods and goddesses are generally divided into three kinds depending upon their posture :

  1. The sthānaka or standing
  2. The āsana or sitting
  3. The śayana or lying down

The āsanamurtis again can be of various types depending on the particular āsana or posture adopted. At least twenty āsanas are mentioned in the iconographical works. A few of them have been mentioned below :

  1. Āliḍha
  2. Kurma
  3. Dhyāna
  4. Padma
  5. Paryaṅka
  6. Yoga
  7. Bhadra
  8. Vīra
  9. Svastika


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore