Panchmukhi Hanuman is a form of Lord Hanuman or Anjaneya. He took this five-faced avatar during Lord Rama’s battle against Ravana in the Ramayana. Panchmukha or Panchmukhi means 'five-faced’.
There is an interesting tale about the origin of Panchamukhi Hanuman. During the battle, Ravana, the demon king, took the help of his brother, Ahiravana, the king of Patal-Lok or the underworld.
Ahiravana disguised himself as Ravana’s brother, Vibhishana, and kidnapped Rama and his brother, Lakshmana, as they lay asleep and took them to Patal-Lok.
When Hanuman became aware of this incident, he went to Patal-Lok in search of Rama and Lakshmana. During his search, he discovered that the demon’s life was hidden in five lamps. All the lamps faced different directions. Ahiravana had obtained a boon that he could be killed only if all the five lamps were extinguished at the same time.
For the purpose of killing Ahiravana, Hanuman appeared in the Panchamukhi form. His five faces were the faces of-
In this special form, Hanuman extinguished all the five lamps by turning his five faces in different directions and succeeded in killing Ahiravana.
Interesting facts about Panchamukhi Hanuman:
There is a shrine dedicated to this Hanuman at Mantralaya, where he is believed to have appeared. He appeared in this form before Raghvendraswamy, who did penance at the same place for 12 years.
One can worship Panchmukhi Hanuman in 5 ways. These are-
- Naman (bowing down)
- Smaran (remembering)
- Keerthanam (reciting)
- Yachnam (pleading)
- Arpanam (offering)
In the Bhagwad Gita, Lord Krishna told Arjuna about the different ways by which one can reach Him. One, who acts for none but Him, one who is His devotee, one who observed in nothing but Him, and one who is free from attachment will find Him.
Hanuman displays all these five qualities as he is an ardent devotee of Rama (one of the avatars of Vishnu).
Significance of Panchmukhi Hanuman:
- Hanuman, in his five-faced avatar, reveals the significance of the number five in a perfect manner. Here they are-
- He is the son of the Wind God (Pavan or Vayu), one of the five elements.
- He traversed one of the five elements- Water- he crossed the ocean and reached Lanka during the Ramayana war.
- He had been through one among the five elements- Sky- he flew over the sky to reach Lanka.
- He met the daughter of Earth (one of the five elements)- Sita.
- Hanuman used fire to burn down Lanka (one of the five elements).
Importance & Benefits of Panchamukhi Hanuman Idol:
In order to worship Panchamukhi Hanuman, his devotees use Hanuman Kavach. If you are planning to install an idol of Panchamukhi Hanumanat at home with Hanuman Kavach, you can offer prayers to him.
There are several benefits of placing a five-faced Hanuman idol at home. It offers protection from evil forces, removes fear, and Vastu dosha.
People wear Panchmukhi Hanuman Kavach as a pendant or as a painting or photo to keep at home.
Panchamukhi Hanuman Stotram:
Panchmukhi Stotram is a hymn that praises each of the five manifestations of Hanuman. Reciting this Stotram is believed to eradicate evil or negative forces and also protect you from problems.
“Om namo bhagavathe panchavadanaaya poorva kapi mukhe
Sakala shatru samhaarnaaya swaaha”
Meaning: The east-facing form of Lord Hanuman protects devotees from problems caused by foes. He bestows happiness and grants wishes.’
“Om namo bhagavathe panchavadanaaya dakshina mukhe
Karaala vadanaaya Narasimhaaya sakala bhoota praeta pramadanaaya swaaha”
Meaning: The south-facing form of Lord Narasimha removes all kinds of fear, sins, evil influences of spirits and demons and grants our wishes.
“Om namo bhagavathe panchavadanaaya paschima mukhe
Garudaaya sakala visha haranaaya swaaha”
Meaning: The west-facing form of Lord Garuda takes away all types of ailments, negativities, poison, black magic, and fear.
Om namo bhagavathe panchavadanaaya uthara mukhe
Aadivarahaaya sakala sampatkaraaya swaaha”
Meaning: The north-facing form of Goddess Varahi bestows the ashta aishwarya (eight different kinds of wealth).
“Om namo bhagavathe panchavadanaaya oordhwa mukhe
Hayagrivaaya sakala jana vasheekaranaaya swaaha”
Meaning: The upwards facing form of Lord Hayagriva helps devotees to attract the goodwill of people. The words of His devotees will turn into reality. He offers them advancement in seeking knowledge, the company of good friends, intelligence, good offspring, and salvation.
Performing Panchamukhi Anjayneya Homam helps you to invoke the blessings of Hanuman and derive all the above benefits too.