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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Sayanamurti, ZayAnamurti, shayaanamurti

Śayānamurti literally means ‘image in the reclining posture’.


The images of gods established in temples are generally of three types, of which the śayānamurtis[1] are the last. According to the Vaikhānasāgama it is only the images of Viṣṇu, as those of Raṅganātha and Padmanābha, that are shown as śayāna- murtis.


  1. Śayānamurti are the images in the reclining posture.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore