Panchmukhi Ganesha is a representation of Lord Ganesh with five faces. “Panch” literally means “Five” and “Mukhi” means “Faced”. Each of the faces of Panchmukhi Ganesha faces a different direction and hence the name. Panchmukhi Ganesha is regarded as an embodiment of all potencies. Each head of Panchmukhi Ganesh symbolizes the Pancha Koshas or five sheaths in the subtle anatomy of human beings. They are the Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya, and Anandamaya.
What is the each face of represents Panchamukhi Ganapati?
1) Annamaya Kosha – This is the food sheath and corresponds roughly to the physical body.
2) Pranamaya Kosha – This is the vital energy and it represents the subtle body, nadis, chakras and kundalini.
3) Manomaya Kosha – This is the mental sheath which represents the mind and the organs of perception
4) Vijnanamaya Kosha– This is the wisdom sheath which represents vijnana, or intellect, the talent which discriminates, determines or wills
5) Anandamaya Kosha – This is the cosmic bless sheath and represents the eternal center of consciousness. Thus the fifth head of Ganesh symbolizes the highest level of yogic experience called Anandamaya kosha or Sat-Chit-Ananda the Pure Consciousness without qualification.
Panchamukha Ganapati is very powerful in warding off the bad spirits and bad things happening without ones consciousness. Placing Panchamukhi Vinayaka or 5 faced Ganesha facing towards east, either in your home or office, would work wonders. Worshiping Panchamukhi Ganapati will help a devotee to attain Anandamaya Kosha, or Sat-Chit-Ananda, the Pure Consciousness. It is believed that placing Panchamukhi Vinayaka towards east in one’s home or office would help to ward of evils and bring prosperity.
What is the meaning of Panchamukhi Ganapati?
We have five senses in our body: the sense of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing, and there are five elements in the creation: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether. There are five senses and five elements, so in this way there are five facets to God. So that form of Divinity which is capable of removing any obstacle in these five is called Panchamukhi Ganapati.
Lord Ganapati (another name for Lord Ganesha) is the lord of all these Ganas or groups. And since there are five principal groups, that is why this particular form is called the Panchamukhi Ganapati.
Ganesh with five heads and ten arms showing his weapons or powers that he possesses
The Panchamukhi Ganesha is very popular in Southern India. Worshiping Panchamukhi Vinayaka helps the devotee in spiritual attainment of Anandamaya Kosha, the Pure Consciousness. The five-headed Ganesha is also known as Heramba Ganpati particularly popular in Nepal. This form is important in Tantric worship of Ganesha. ‘Panchamukhi Vinayaka’- five faced Ganesha.
According to Hindu mythology, the benefits of this idol are increased by five folds, literally!