The Story of Panchmukhi (Five Faces) Hanuman

Panchamukha or Panchamukhi is considered to be an ancient Sanskrit word that means “Five Faced”, Many of the gods and goddesses in Hinduism are shown as having several Faces.

Panchmukhi Hanuman 

Lord Hauman is known to have many names and each name has a story associated with it.  We all must have seen or worshiped Lord Hanuman Panchamukhi's idol in some way or the other. The story behind Sri Panchamukhi Hanuman originated from a story in Ramayana. 

When the war was declared between Lord Ram and Ravana, It was Ravana who did a conspiracy when he asked for the help of Ahiravan, king of Pathala(Patal Lok -Hell), who was also a brother of Ravana and a master of Tantra Mantra vidya(occult arts)who took Lord Ram and his brother Lakshman to Patal Lok by transforming himself into Vibhishana, Vibhishana was the noblest person in the kingdom of Ravana and he was also the brother of Ravana, Vibhishana deserted Ravana and joined Rama's army when Ravan did not heed his advice on returning Maa Sita.

When Hanuman set foot in Patal Lok to look for Lord Ram and Lakshmana, He came to know that Ahiravana was concealed in the five lamps which were kept in different directions. The only way to kill Ahiravan is by blowing out all 5 lamps at the same time and to kill Ahiravan Hanuman took the form of Panchamukha Hanuman. 

The Story of Hanuman's Five Faces

This form of Hanuman has five faces. Hayagriva, Narasimha, Garuda, and Varaha with Hanuman's faces, and by using the five faces in 5 different directions, he extinguishes all the five lamps and accomplished his mission by killing Ahiravana.

Hayagriva also spelled Hayagreeva, is a Lord Vishnu horse-headed Avatar in Hinduism.

Narasimha is also an aggressive avatar of Hindu Lord Vishnu, the one who incarnates in the form of part lion and part man, who plays his part by restoring Dharma by destroying evil and ending religious persecution and calamity on Earth.

Garuda is a mythological bird-like creature in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain mythology. The creature portrayal was of a vehicle mount (Vahana) of the Hindu god Vishnu, a dharma-protector in Hinduism

Varaha “a boar” is the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. Out of the ten principal avatars of Vishnu, Varaha is listed as third in the Dashavatara.

Every idol from Sri Panchamukhi Hanuman provides a kind of Sidhi(accomplishment), and east-facing Anjaneya(Hanuman)  grants Ishta Siddhi(desire) to humanity. South facing Narasimha to grant Abhista Siddhi(attainment of the desired objective/thing) to humanity. West-facing Garuda to grant Sakala Sowbhagya(Luck, Fortune) to humanity. North facing Varaha to grant Dhana Prapthi(wealth) to humanity. Hayagriva to grant Sarva Vidya Prapthi (Knowledge) to humanity.

Hanuman always used to Naman, Smaran, and Keerthanam to Lord Ram. Lord Hanuman totally surrendered (Arpanam) and also begged (Yachanam) Ram to bless him with unshared love. Each face of Panchamukha is a depiction of one of these five forms of worship.

Panchamukha is interpreted as the five ways of praying to God in Hinduism and these five ways are known to us as Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yacham, and Arpanam

In the Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna said to Arjun, "He who acts for me, who is engrossed in me, who is my devotee, who is free from attachment, he reaches me". We find all these 5 qualities preserved in Hanuman. Each of his faces represents these five divine qualifications. 

Devotees who worship this form of Hanumanji daily get freedom from fear. Self-confidence increases and mental tension is removed. Sit in front of a picture or statue of this form and should recite Hanuman Chalisa by lighting a lamp (Diya).