Panchamukha

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Panchamukha (Devanagari: पञ्चमुख) (alternatively Panchamukhi) is a Sanskrit word meaning 'five-faced'. Most of the Hindu deities are shown as having several faces.

Origins of the Panchamukhi[edit]

The origin of Sri Panchamukhi Hanuman can be traced to a story in Ramayana. During the war between Lord Rama and Ravana, Ravana took help of Ahiravana, the king of Pathala. Lord Hanuman in order to protect Lord Rama and Lakshman formed a fortress with his tail. Ahiravana took the form of Vibhishana the noble brother of Ravana and took Lord Rama and Lakshman to Pathala loka.

Hanuman entered pathala loka in search of Rama and Lakshmana, He found that life of Ahiravana was hidden in the five lamps which were placed in different directions. He could be killed only by extinguishing all five lamps the same time. To accomplish this Hanuman had to take the form of Panchamukha Hanuman. This form of Hanuman has five faces. Hayagriva, Narasimha, Garuda and Varaha are the four other faces along with Hanuman's face. Hanuman, using the five faces in different directions, blew out the lamps thereby killing Ahiravana.

According to Hanumath Prakaranam in Sri Vidyarnavatantram, Anjaneya has five faces (Pancha Mukha) and ten weapons. Hanuman is a great yogi (mystic) having transcended the five senses (Pancha Indriyas). In Kamba Ramayanam (in Tamil), the significance of number five is beautifully narrated as follows: The son of one of the five elements (son of wind - Pavana Thanaya) crossed one of the five elements (water – the ocean), through one of the five elements (sky), met daughter of one of the five elements (daughter of earth - Sita Devi) burnt down Lanka by one of the five elements (fire). Sundara Kanda highlights the heroic exploits of Lord Hanuman at Lanka.

By many, it is considered auspicious to circle the Hanuman idol 5 times, 14 times, 23 times, 32 times or any amount in which the digits of which add to five. The pancha mukha hanuman is rare idol of Hanuman. There are many legends and interpretations of this. One of the legend is that Lord Hanuman appeared before Raghavendra Swami in a unique way amalgamating within him the avataras of "varaha, garuda, anjaneya, narasimha and hayagreeva", thus five-headed.

Panchamukhi, located on the south bank of river Tungabhadra near Manchala now known as Mantralayam is where Raghavendra Swami performed penance for 12 long years in a cave. In appreciation of his Yoga, Lord Panchamukhi Pranadevaru, Kollahpura Mahalakshmi, Lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati and Kurmavathara gave him darshan. Then Raghavendra Swami left for Mantralaya where he entered into Samadhi. A temple, the Panchamukhi Anjaneyaswamy temple, was constructed on the spot where Raghavendra Swami performed penance.

Details of Panchamukaa[edit]

East facing Anjaneya to grant Ishta Siddhi to humanity. South facing Karala Ugraveera Narasimha to grant Abhista Siddhi to humanity. West facing Mahaveera Garuda to grant Sakala Sowbhagya to humanity. North facing Lakshmi Varaha to grant Dhana Prapthi to humanity. Urdhva Mukha being Hayagriva to grant Sarva Vidya Jaya Prapthi to humanity.

Interpretations of Panchamukaa[edit]

The Five Ways of Praying to the Lord

These five ways are known as Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam. The five faces of Panchamukaa are each a depiction of one these five forms of worship. Lord Hanuman always used to Naman, Smaran and Keerthanam of Lord Sri Rama. He totally surrendered (Arpanam) to his Master Sri Ram. He also begged (yachanam) Sri Rama to bless him with undivided love. From the Bhagavat Gita

In the Bhagavat Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjun, "He who acts for me, who is engrossed in me, who is my devotee, who is free from attachment, he reaches me". We find all these 5 qualities enshrined in Hanuman. Each of his faces represent these five divine qualifications. Maybe an artist thought over about this before making the Vigraham. There is a belief that one of the faces is that of Sri Vinayaka. Half Ganesha and half Hanuman The idol of Adyanta Maha Prabhu depicts a figure of half Anjaneya and half Vinayaka. At Madya Kailas temple Adyar Madras, the idol is an amalgam of Sri Vigneshwara and Sri Anjaneya in the style of Ardhanareeswara (Siva and Parvati) and Sri Sankaranarayana (a combination of Siva and Narayana). The word Aadiyantha stands for "beginning to end" (Aadi = beginning & Antha = end). There is a Tamil saying "Begin with Ganesa and end up with Anjaneya". Many people visit the temple to receive a blessing of the "Twins" against the influence of Navagrahas. The importance of the idol is that Sri Vigneswara and Sri Anjaneya are the only two deities who are totally free from any influence over them whatsoever by the Navagrahas. It is believed that, the devotees can and do influence the Navagrahas themselves proportionate to the devoutness with which the devotees address themselves to Sri Aadiyanta Prabhu!

Panchmukhi temples[edit]

Panchmukhi of Basatiyawala[edit]

Panchmukhi Hanuman temple of Basatiyawala exists in Yamunanagar district of Haryana near Kalesar National Park.

As part of INR1200 crore Morni-Kalesar tourism development plan announced in January 2019, the Government of Haryana is developing this temple, along with Kalesar Mahadev temple, Kapal Mochan Tirth, Sharda Mata Temple of Chotta Trilokpur, Lohgarh fort capital of Banda Singh Bahadur.[1]

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