Ekapādamurti

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Ekapadamurti, EkapAdamurti, Ekapaadamurti


Ekapādamurti literally means ‘image with one leg’.

Ekapādamurti

God has sometimes been described in the scriptures as Ekapāt or Ekapādah. It is applicable because the manifested universe is only a quarter[1] of him. The word is applied to both Śiva and Viṣṇu. ‘Ajaikapāt’ is one of the epithets of Śiva used even in the Ṛgveda.[2]

The Ekapādamurti is actually the iconographic representation of the Vedic concept of Śiva as Ajaikapāt. In this form he has only one leg. He is described as luminous like a million suns, three-eyed and four-armed. He carries ṭaṅka[3] and Mṛga in his arms.[4] He exhibits the abhaya and the varada mudrās in the other two hands. ‘Ekapāda[5] signifies the Supreme God to be the sole support of the whole universe.


References

  1. Pāda means quarter.
  2. Ṛgveda 6.50.14; 10.64.4
  3. Taṅka means chisel.
  4. Mṛga means antelope.
  5. Ekapāda means one leg.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore