Sri Panchamukha Hanumanji, is a representation of Anjaneya, showing five faces, in different directions. It is based on an episode in the Ramayana, where Lord Hanumanji assumes the form to kill, Ahiravana, the king of Pathala, and Ravan’s brother.
Apparently when Indrajit was killed, and Ravana was losing the battle against Sri Rama, he summoned Ahiravana, to help him out. Ahiravana promised to capture Rama and Laxmana alive, take them to his kingdom, where he would sacrifice them to the Goddess Mahamaya. Vibhishan, having got prior knowledge of Ahiravana’s plans, informs Rama and Laxmana about this evil plan, and asks Hanumanji to keep guard over them. He also warns Hanumanji, that Ahiravana is a master of disguise, and to be careful of any trickery. Ahiravana tries to enter the place, where Rama and Laxmana are sleeping, in various disguises, but Hanumanji manages to thwart him. Finally he assumes the disguise of Vibhishana himself, and having fooled Hanumanji, he enters the place and manages to carry away Rama and Laxmana to Pataal Loka.
When Hanuman finds he has been tricked by Ahiravan, he vows to Vibhishan, that he would find Ram and Laxman, and kill Ahiravan. Hanuman goes down into the Patala Loka, where he finds Ahiravana’s massive palace, that is heavily fortified on all sides.He first has to contend with the guard, Makardhwaja , who is half Vanara, half fish, and also happens to be Hanumanji’s son in a way too. After defeating his son, Hanumanji makes his way into Mahiravana’s palace and learns that the way to kill Mahiravana is to extinguish 5 different lamps in different directions. This is when Hanumanji assumes his powerful Panchamukha Anjaneya form here.
As per most scriptures, Hanumanji assumes the form of Panchamukha( 5 faces) and carries 10 weapons. The five faces here are those of
1. Sri Anjaneya- Facing East who grants Ishta Siddhi (desired boons).
2. Sri Karala Ugraveera Narasimha- Facing South, grants Abhishta Siddhi (Intended powers).
3. Sri Mahaveera Garuda- Facing West, grants Sakala Soubhagya. (Auspiciousness/Fortune).
4. Sri Lakshmi Varaha- Facing North, grants Dhana Prapthi (Wealth/Affluence).
5. Sri Hayagriva, known as the Urdhva Mukha( facing upwards), grants Sarva Vidya Jaya Prapthi (All Knowledge and Intellect).
He assumed this powerful form to blow out the five lamps, and then kill Ahiravana.
It’s believed to represent Hanuman’s mastery over the five senses or Pancha Indriyas. A very beautiful couplet in Kamba Ramayanam, explains the significance here.
The son of one of the five elements( Vayu or wind) , crossed one of the five elements( Sagara or Ocean, Water), through another of the elements( Sky), and met the daughter of another element( Sita, being the daughter of Earth). And then burnt down Lanka by Fire( another element).
It is also said that Hanumanji appeared in this form to Shri Raghavendra Swamy of Mantralayam, and a Panchamukhi Anjaneyaswamy temple is located here at the spot where he did penance.
There are five forms of prayer to him, Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam, which depict the five faces.
It is also believed to represent the following quote from the Gita, where Krishna says to Arjuna
He who acts for me, who is engrossed in me, who is my devotee, who is free from attachment, he reaches me.
It is believed that Panchamukha Hanuman embodies all these five qualities, and each face represents one of the qualities.
Thus Sri Hanuman Ji manifested himself in Panchmukha or Panchmukhi (five-faced) avatar to kill Ahiravana.
When Hanuman met His Son Makardhwaja
“Son of Hanumanji?”, sounds incredible ? We all know, Lord Hanuman was a staunch Brahamchari. Let’s move along with the amazing story that will surprise all.
When Hanumanji reached the door or Patala, He was stopped by a strange and strong creature. He had half the body of a Vanara (monkey) and half the reptile. He was the guard of the door. Hanuman asked him about him for which he said, “I’m your son, Makardhwaja!” This left Anjaneya perplexed as he had been an adept Brahamchari.
Makardhwaja explained the most bizarre incident. The story went this. when Anjani Putra was hopping over the sea, a drop of his semen fell into the mouth of a crocodile. That was the story of Makadshwaja’s birth.
Sri Panchmukhi Hanuman Ji
Five ways to adulate Panchmukhi Hanuman
Devotees can worship Lord Hanuman’s five-faced avatar by
• Naman (bowing down)
• Smaran (remembering)
• Keerthanam (reciting)
• Yachnam (pleading)
• Arpanam (offering)
Weapons of Panchmukhi Hanuman
The weapons of five-faced Hanuman are-
• A plate filled with blood and again a big Gada.
Now, we know the legend behind Lord Hanuman’s Panchmukhi Avatar and His Greatness. There are plenty of benefits of placing under guidance, five-faced Hanumanji statue at home. It protects you from evil and bad forces, destroys fear and removes Vaastu doshas and certain planetary afflictions.
People also wear Panchmukhi Hanuman Kavach (in silver / gold or copper) in the form of a pendant or Talisman or use it as a painting or photo at their homes.
Sri Panchamukha Hanumanji Kavacham