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Ekapada Shiva – Single Leg Form of Shiva - Ekapada Trimurti

Ekapada Shiva is a unique murti form of Shiva with Bhagvan Vishnu and Brahma emerging from him. This form of Shiva with a single leg is closely associated with Tantric worship. This murti form of Shiva is found in South India, Orissa, Rajasthan and Nepal.

There are three types of Ekapada Shiva murti – one is Ekapada Murti, Ekapada Trimurti and Ekapada Bhairava.

Ekapada Shiva is a symbolic representation of the cosmic pillar form that Shiva took. This pillar is referred as Jyotirlinga or Lingodbhavamurti. It is believed to be column of fire that appears during the beginning of a cycle of creation.

Mention of the murti is found in various Agama texts and also in the Linga Purana.

The Linga Purana states that

“the lord who has one foot, four arms, three eyes and a trident ... who is stationed after creating Vishnu from his left side and four-headed Brahma from his right side.”

Ekapada Trimurti

Amasumadhdagama and Uttara Karanagama give elaborate descriptions of the forms of Trimurti. The ekapada Trimurti representing a pacific aspect, should be samabhanga (standing erect) with only one leg upon a padma peetha. The color of the deity is crystal clear, and he has three eyes and four arms. The ears may be adorned with kundala (earrings) set with pearls and the head, with matted locks (jatamukuta).

From the right and left of this erect figure of Shiva should be seen emerging those of Brahma and Vishnu respectively. In sculpture they ought to be shown above the waist. Brahma should have four faces and four arms. Similarly, Vishnu should have four arms, with the front two folded. The whole composite piece should have a prabha mandala (halo)