Bhikshatanamurti is one of the aspects of Lord Shiva. The word Bhikshatanamurthi means Supreme Mendicant. Though the word Mendicant refers to Beggar, it is mostly referred to ascetics, religious followers or supreme sages. There are different kinds of beliefs about the concept of Bhiksatanamurti. Some believe that Lord Shiva roams around the world in the form of naked mendicant, observing the people’s deeds in their different walks of life.
Some other believes that he is the kind appearance of his ferocious nature, thus making the people pleasant and enabling them to believe in God. In other philosophies, it is believed that the logic behind Lord Shiva in the form a beggar, is asking for the alms in disguise to gift you the spiritual strengths, which help to attain the ultimate liberation.
The concept of Bhiksatanamurti has been discussed in epics like Linga Purana, Shiva Purana, Kurma Purana and Bhagavata Purana. In Kurma Purana, it is being referred that, in a particular council of sages, Lord Brahma has challenged Lord Shiva’s Supremacy over the Universe. Though the council has agreed that Lord Shiva is supreme all over, Brahma did not. As a result, furious Shiva has struck down one of Brahma’s heads.
Due to his immortal characteristics, Brahma survives the power of Shiva and gets back to life. And it is because of this Brahmahatya or Brahminicide, which is the most sinful act, Lord Shiva has to wander all over the Universe with his nudity in the form of a mendicant or a sage. At this time, he does Bhikshata, which means begging for alms, and brings the realization of truth in the people.