ābhicārika-mūrti

(‘image pertaining to abhicāra’)

According to Hindu iconography certain categories of the images of Viṣṇu whose installation and consecration help in black magical rites for the destruction of enemies, are classed under the ābhicārika type. These images, whether in the standing, sitting or lying posture, are bereft of beauty or symmetry. Emaciated body, dark complexion, dark clothes and a shrunken countenance with the eyes turned upwards characterise such images. They are, as a rule, established in the outermost periphery of the village or town, known as the ‘paiśācapada’ (the place where goblins live), in inaccessible places like mountain tops or thick jungles. Installation is done at inauspicious moments and worship conducted through magical formulae and sorcery.

See also ABHICĀRA.