Pancha vakthram Maha bheemam, tripancha nayanair yutham, Bahubhir dasabhir yuktham, sarva kamartha sidhidham.

(Who has five faces, who was greatly gross, who had fifteen eyes, and had ten hands and would grant all desires. – Sri Garuda chanted)

According to the texts in Hanumanth Prakaranam in Sri Vidyarnavatantram, Panchamukha Hanuman has five faces and ten weapons. The five faces are Lord Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Hayagriva, and Lord Garuda.

Hanuman is a great yogi having transcended the five senses (Pancha Indriyas). Hanuman can be traced to the greatest epic of our country, the Ramayana. In the Ramayana, during the battle between Rama and Ravana, when Ravana’s son Indrajit is killed, Ravana calls his brother MMahiravana for help.

MMahiravana, Mahiravana, the king of Patala (the Underworld), promises to help. Vibhishana somehow manages to hear about the plot and warns Rama about it. Hanuman is put on guard and told not to let anyone into the room where Rama and Lakshmana are. MMahiravana makes many attempts at entering the room but all of them are thwarted by Hanuman.

Finally, Mahiravana takes the form of Vibhishana and Hanuman lets him enter. Mahiravana quickly enters and takes the “sleeping Rama and Lakshmana” away. When Hanuman realizes what has happened, he goes to Vibhishana. Vibhishana says, “Alas! They have been abducted by Mahiravana. If Hanuman does not rescue them fairly quickly, Mahiravana will sacrifice both Rama and Lakshman to Chandi.” Hanuman goes to Patala, the door to which is guarded by a creature, who is half Vanara and half reptile. Hanuman asks who he is and the creature says, “I am Makardhwaja, your son!” Hanuman is confused since he did not have any child, being an adept Brahmachari. The creature explains, “While you were jumping over the ocean, a drop of your sweat fell to the ocean and into the mouth of a mighty crocodile. This is the origin of my birth.”

After defeating his son, Hanuman enters Patala and encounters Mahiravana. They have a strong army and Hanuman is told by Chandrasena that the only way to vanquish them is by blowing out five different lamps located in five different directions, all at the same time in return for a promise to be Lord Rama’s consort. Hanuman assumes his five-headed form (Panchmukha Hanuman) and he quickly blows out the 5 lamps and thus kills Mahiravana. Throughout the saga, both Rama and Lakshmana are rendered unconscious by a spell by the demons.

There are five ways of prayer to the Lord. They are Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam. The five faces depict these five forms. Lord Hanuman always used to Naman, Smaran and Keerthanam of Lord Sri Rama. He totally surrendered (Arpanam) to his Master Sri Ram. He also requested Sri Rama to bless him the undivided love. The weapons are a parashu, a talwar, a chakra, a dhaal, a gada, a trishula, a kumbha, a Katar, a plate filled with blood and again a big Gada.

Each face of the Lord in the form of Panchamukha Hanuman has significance:

Hanuman faces East – purity of mind and success

Narasimha faces South – victory and fearlessness

Garuda faces West – removes black magic and poison

Varaha faces North – prosperity and wealth

Hayagriva faces Sky – knowledge and children

|| Jai Hanuman Jai Sri Ram ||

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