āsanamūrti

(‘image in the seated posture’)

The Hindu 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 ‘mūrtiśilpaśāstra’ or iconography. Such mūrtis or images of gods and goddesses are generally divided into three kinds depending upon their posture: the sthānaka or standing, the āsana or sitting and the śayana or lying down.

The āsanamūrtis again can be of various types depending on the particular āsana or posture adopted. At least twenty āsanas are mentioned in the iconographical works. To name a few: ālīḍha, kūrma, dhyāna, padma, paryaṅka, yoga, bhadra, vīra and svastika.