In Hindu mythology, Mahabali, Veda Vyasa, Vibhishana, Kripacharya, Parasurama, Ashwatthama, and Hanuman are Chiranjeevis or immortals. Hanuman is a revered devotee of Lord Rama. Hanuman is said to have knowledge gained both by birth and deeds. He is faster than the wind, has great morale, and possesses Ashta Aishwarya Siddhi, as well as the power to grow bigger and smaller.
It is said that those who worship Hanuman will attain good intellect, strength, fame, courage, eloquence, good health, and fearlessness. It is possible to get rid of our weaknesses by worshiping him. The saffron offering to Hanuman Swami is very effective for all auspiciousness and a happy life. The legend behind it is as follows:
Lord Hanuman took the Panchmukha or Panchmukhi (five-faced) form to kill Ravana’s brother, Ahiravana.
Ahiravana was a powerful demon. He kidnapped Rama and Lakshmana to help Ravana during the Ramayana war.
There is a story behind Panchmukhi Hanuman’s appearance. During the Ramayana war, Lakshmana killed Indrajit- the son of Ravana, the Lankan king. Ravana approached Ahiravana for help. He was the ruler of the underworld or Patala. When Vibhishana heard about this, he rushed to warn Rama. He told Hanuman to be alert and not allow anyone to enter the place where Lord Rama and Lakshmana lived. Ahiravana tried to enter the premises, but failed. Lord Hanuman foiled all his attempts.
Ahiravana finally decided to disguise himself in the form of Vibhishana. Hanuman couldn’t recognize him, and he allowed him to enter the room where Ram and Lakshmana were lying. Ahiravana entered the room and abducted Rama and Lakshmana and took them to the underworld.
When Hanuman came to know of this, he went to Vibhishana and told him about it. Vibhishana told Hanuman to rescue them soon, as Ahiravana would sacrifice them otherwise.
So, Hanuman went on his rescue mission to save the two brothers.
Hanuman Meets His Son Makardhwaja
When Hanuman reached Patala, he was stopped by a weird creature. Half its body was of a monkey, and half of it was a reptile. He was guarding the door. When Hanuman asked him about it, he said that he was his son, Makardhwaja. This baffled Hanuman, as he had been a strict Brahmachari.
Makardhwaja explained that when Hanuman was leaping over the sea, a drop of his semen fell into a crocodile’s mouth, and that was how he was born.
Hanuman and Ahiravana
After defeating Makardhwaja, Hanuman entered Patal Lok. Ahiravana had a strong army. Chandrasena told Hanuman how to kill Ahiravana. The demon’s life force was in five different lamps, which faced five different directions. To kill Ahiravana, all the five lamps had to be blown out at the same time.
Hanuman then appeared in his Panchamukhi form and extinguished the five candles, killing Ahiravana. He then rescued Rama and Lakshmana, who were lying unconscious due to a magic spell.
The five faces of Panchmukha Hanuman are-
Hanuman: The face that looks east. Supposedly, worshipping this form removes one’s sins and makes the mind peaceful and pure.
Narsimha: This looks south and grants victory over one’s enemy. Narasimha is an avatar of Lord Vishnu, which he took to protect Prahlada.
Garuda: This is the West facing form. Worshipping this face protects one from evil influences, black magic, and evil spirits.
Varaha: This face faces the north and removes bad planetary effects.
Hayagriva: It faces upward. Those who worship this face gain knowledge and progeny.
Five ways to worship Panchmukhi Hanuman
Devotees can worship Panchamukhi Hanuman by-
- A plate filled with blood and a big Gada
Panchamukha Hanuman Temple is in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, and it is the second most famous temple here, after the Sri Ramanathaswamy Temple. The idols of Rama, his consort, Sita, and Hanuman are enshrined here. These idols were brought from the village of Dhanushkodi when it was almost completely destroyed by the 1964 cyclone. Devotees believed that these idols house the spirits of Rama, Sita, and Hanuman. This is why people from all over the country visit this temple. Many also perform Panchamuki Hanuman Homam to invoke his blessings and gain many benefits.