According to Hindu mythology, Apasmāra is a dwarf who represents spiritual ignorance and nonsensical speech

He is also known as Muyalaka or Muyalakan

To preserve knowledge in the world, Apasmāra must be subdued, not killed, as to do so would disturb the necessary balance between spiritual knowledge and ignorance

Killing Apasmāra would symbolise the attainment of knowledge without the (essential) effort, dedication and hard work involved, and this would lead to the devaluing of knowledge in all its forms

To subdue Apasmāra, Lord Shiva adopted the form of Śrī Naṭarāja - the Lord of Dance and performed the cosmic dance of Tāṇḍava

During this dance, Śrī Naṭarāja suppressed Apasmāra by crushing him with his right foot

As Apasmāra is one of the few demons destined to immortality, it is believed that Lord Shiva forever remains in his Śrī Naṭarāja form suppressing Apasmāra for all eternity

Nataraja’s right foot is planted squarely on a horrible little subhuman creature - the demon, Muyalaka

A dwarf, but immensely powerful in his malignity, Muyalaka is the embodiment of ignorance, the manifestation of greedy, possessive selfhood

Stamp on him, break his back! And that’s precisely what Nataraja is doing

Trampling the little monster down under his right foot

But notice that it isn’t at this trampling foot that he points his finger; it’s at the left foot, the foot that, as he dances, he’s in the act of raising from the ground

And why does he point at it? Why? That lifted foot, that dancing defiance of the force of gravity - it’s the symbol of release, of moksha, of liberation

This mythological dwarf is generally depicted with his hand in the Añjali Mudrā

He is often depicted in this posture in depictions of Naṭarāja

In some other interpretation it is regarded as the dwarf vamana(vishnu’s avatar) depicting a wider sectarian antagonism