The firm foot of Shiva rests on a dwarf like creature. This posture is called the Sthita Padam. The firm foot is fixed on the base, the dwarf. The firmness signifies that the Great Lord is omnipresent. The god is present everywhere. In good as well as bad, in pain and in health, the god has his presence felt.
The apasmara is the little dwarf on which the lord places his firm foot.
The Apasmara is said to be the ego of the humans. The little devil is seen to hold a curved double sided sword, which means that when the little dwarf is let out of control, everyone gets sliced to to pieces including himself, that's how fatal and insalubrious ego can be. The ego is personified as a dwarf because it might not seem as harmful as it really is, to the person who feeds it. Moreover, Shiva implies that the devil of ego should be crushed while it is still tiny. When Shiva has his foot on the ego,he signifies that,if the Apasmara is not destroyed in time, it has the capacity to destroy everything and everyone. The ego does not differentiate between loved ones and enemies. If let free the ego harms the loved ones as well. It is best to offer our ego to Shiva, who knows best how to handle it. The only way to defeat this ego is through knowledge.Knowledge can be acquired through devotion.
This is in fact what Karma yoga is really about. Arjuna had a difficult time understanding this Karma yoga when he stood in the war-field of Kurukshetra, and this is what the Bhagavad Gita is really about. Karma yoga is the knowledge that even though it appears that A person is the doer of the action, One knows what unattributable consciousness is. There in fact is no personal 'I', therefore there really is no ego to claim that 'I did this'.
Hindu mythology, when studied in depth has lots of spiritual knowledge and practical knowledge hidden in simplest of stories and idols. The ego has the power to destroy your life. Not the healthy ego, that is a imperative element of ones identity. But the unhealthy ego which appraises the idea of 'I did this' or ‘this is mine’, is what needs to be suppressed because truly speaking there is no ‘I’ or ‘me’. Whatever accomplishment that one credits oneself with in-fact required not just the help of the lord but the entire creation.
The true knowledge is ‘I am the whole, I belong to everything and everything belongs to me.’Everything is already me. All there is, is I. There isn't anything else.
The basic awareness is, that Shiva the personification of consciousness, has Apasmara Personified ego, under his firm foot. Not destroyed, but he keeps the devil in check.