The Five Faces of Hanuman

Lord Hanuman is a popular Hindu god in Hindu religion and a divine companion of Lord Rama. It is a symbol of courage, loyalty, devotion and bravery, thus a symbol of Lord Shiva. Lord Hanuman is also considered to be one of the characters of Ramayana, a Hindu epic poem that is based on the Ramayana Sanskrit. In today’s article, let us talk about the story of the Five faces of Hanuman.

Five Faces of Hanuman

Panchamukhi or Panchamukha Hanuman is a Sanskrit that means “Five faced”. The Five faced Hanuman is believed to be a form considered to be as a Majestic Lord and is believed to be of great power. The face of Lord Nahuman is placed on the center while each face is the face of Lord Vishnu’s Avatar.

Generally, there are just five faces of Hanuman but the missing form or considered to be the Six face will be discussed briefly in the lower part of this article.

The Panchamukha or Panchamuki Hanuman faces each are faced in different directions, and each direction signifies a meaning and of importance. It is also believed that worshippers of the Panchamukhi Hanuman would received abundant blessings and at the same time letting go of the worshippers negative forces as well as fears.


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Origin of Panchamukhi Hanuman

The story behind Sri Panchamukhi Hanuman originated from the story in Ramayana. A war between Lord Ram and Ravana was declared. Ravana asked the help of his brother Ahiravan who is also the king of Pathala and known to be the master of Tantra Mantra Vidya.

Ahiravan took Lord Ram and Laksman (Lord Ram’s brother) to Patal Lok. To do this, Ahiravan changed as Vibhishana who is known to be an honest person in the Kingdom and who happens to also be another brother of Ravana. When Ravana did not listen to Vibhishana’s advice to return Maan Sita (Hindu Goddess), he abandoned Ravana and joined Lord Ram.

Hanuman on the other hand look for Lord Ram and his brother Lakshmana in Patal Lok. When Hanuman arrived in Patal Lok, Ahiravan was hidden on the five lamps or 5 candles, and each lamp was facing in different directions. In order to destroy Ahiravan, the 5 lamps must be blown together at the same time. That is when Hanuman transformed into Panchamukhi Hanuman form, five faces form: Hayagriva, Narasimha, Garuda, Varaha and Hanuman’s face located at the center. Each of these faces are facing in different directions similar to that of the five lamps where Ahiravana was concealed. Taking the Panchamukhi hanuman form, the five lamps were extinguished killing Ahiravana.

5 Majestic Faces of Panchmukhi Hanuman

Each of the five faces or Five heads of Panchmukhi hanuman belonged to different gods: Hayagrivam Narasimha, Hanuman, Varaha and Garuda. Among the 5 fives faces, the 3 faces Narasimha, Hayagriva and Varaha are the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, while Garuda face on the other hand is the Eagle-human bird (Vahana of Lord Vishnu) and Hanuman is the combination of Lord Hanuman and Lord Vishnu powers.

The significance of each of the five heads will be discussed below:

Lord Hanuman (The Monkey Face)

Lord Hanuman’s face is facing in the East direction. Devotees of the monkey face will be blessed with fulfillment of one’s desires and happiness. Sins of the worshippers will be removed and replacing it with purity and peace.


Hayagriva (The horse Face)

The Face of Hayagriva is seen facing upward or facing the sky. Worshippers of Hayagriva are blessed with knowledge, liberation and progeny. It also helps with goodwill and peace. Devotees will be blessed with the thrive to achieve what they are aiming for to achieve in life and protection from harm.


Narasimha (The Lion Face)

The Face of Narasimha is facing the South. It is one of Lord Vishnu’s avatars. Narasimha worshippers are blessed by removing all kinds of fear, helps in keeping oneself from sins and be protected from different forms of evil. Fearlessness and Victory are the blessings on the Lion’s face devotees.


Varaha (The Boar Face)

The face of Varaha is facing the North. Worshippers of Varaha are blessed with not only wealth but prosperity as well.


Garuda (The Eagle Face)

The face of Garuda is facing the west direction. Another part of the Panchmukhi Hanuman. The devotees are blessed with protection any forms of black magic, evil spirits and negativities in life.


The Missing Form (Sixth Face)

There is another Panchmukhi hanuman form of Lord Ganesh, hence it is sometimes called the six faces of Hanuman. The face of Lord Ganesh is portrayed as Half-Ganesha and Half-Hanuman. Another Panchmukhi hanuman that is rare but is considered to be a powerful form as well.


Different Interpretations of Panchmukhi

Panchamukha hanuman can be interpreted into five different ways of praying to God based on the Philosophy of the Hindu: Naman, Keerthanam, Smaran, Yaachanam and Arpanam. The naman, smaran and keerthanam way of Praying to Rama is often used by Hanuman.

Interpretations from the Bhagavat Gita:

Lord Krishna tells Arjun the five divine qualifications that are enclosed in Hanuman.

  • He who acts for me, who is engrossed in me, who is my devotee, who is free from attachment, he reaches me

Each of the faces of Sri Panchamukhi Hanuan represents different kinds of Sidhi or different kinds of accomplishment.

  • Anjaneya – East facing grants desire to humanity (Ishta Siddhi)
  • Narasimha – South facing grants the aims, objectives and desires of things. (Abhista Siddhi)
  • Garuda – West facing bring luck and fortune (Sakala Sowbhagya)
  • Varaha – north facing grants wealth (Dhana Prapthi)
  • Hayagriva – upward facing grants knowledge (Sarva Vidya Prapthi)

Panchmukhi Temples

Panchmukhi Hanuman temple of Basatiyawala

The temple is found in the District of Yamunanagar located in Haryana. It is just near the Kalesar National Park.

Shri Panchmukhi Hanuman Temple

The Shri Panchmukhi hanuman temple is located in Karachi, the Sindh Province of Pakistan. Believed to be 1,500 year old temple. The only temple that has Lord Hanuman’s natural statue is placed.

FAQs

Who is called Panchmukhi?

The form of Hanuman is called the Panchmukhi hanuman. It has five faces that represents five gods or five lord. The story of how Hanuman changed into Panchmukhi form in order save Lord Rama was mentioned in the earliest part of these article.

Is it ok to keep a photo of Panchmukhi hanuman at home?

Known to protect the house in 5 different directions as seen on the five faces of Lord Panchmukhi hanuman form (North, south, east, west and up). If you are to display or keep a photo of Lord Panchmukhi hanuman at home, it is advisable to place it at the entrance of your home. This will help prevent and blocks evil spirits from going inside your home. Also prevents negativities as well as bad or low energy at homes.

It can also be used to correct the Vastu Dosha, it is recommended to place the photo of Panchmukhi hanuman facing the south-west direction in your home making sure that the photo can be seen by everyone.