Panchamukhi Hanuman (Five faced Hanuman) – A Deity that imparts intellect, strength, fame, courage and fearlessness

Deity Hanuman’s single faced, five faced and eleven faced forms are world famous.

बुद्धिर्बलं यशो धैर्यं निर्भयत्वमरोगता ।
अजाड्यं वाक्पटुत्वं च हनुमत्स्मरणाद्भवेत् ॥ 

– पराशरसंहिता, पटल ७६, श्लोक १५

Meaning : The devotee worshiping Deity Hanuman acquires intellect, strength, fame, courage, fearlessness, health, swiftness and quick-wittedness.


1. Panchamukhi Hanuman’s form

The form of Panchamukhi Hanuman is described in Panchahanumatkavach stotra (Verses) as follows :

पञ्चवक्त्रं महाभीमं त्रिपञ्चनयनैर्युतम् ।
बाहुभिर्दशभिर्युक्तं सर्वकामार्थसिद्धिदम् ॥ 

– Panchahanumatkavach stotra, shloka 2

Meaning : The gigantic form of Hanuman is adorned with five faces, fifteen eyes, ten hands and is capable of bestowing all sorts of desired supernatural powers.


2. Five faces of Deity Shiva and Deity
Shiva’s incarnate form of Panchamukhi Hanuman

Tatpurush, Sadyojat, Vamdev, Aghor, Eshan are the famous Names of five faces of Deity Shiva. These faces are positioned in East, West, North, South and Upwards direction respectively. The incarnation of five faced Deity Shiva in the form of Deity Hanuman is also five faced.


3. Panchamukhi Hanuman

3A. Five faces of Deity Hanuman

Order Face Direction Characteristic History of the face
1. First Monkey East Radiance of 1 crore Suns. Its molar teeth are ferocious and eyebrows are raised.
2. Second Narsimha South Adorned with magnificent, distinguished and fierce radiance and scary form (fear remover for those surrendering unto Him) Deity Narsimha had emerged from a pillar to protect devotee Pralhad and annihilated demon Hiranyakashyapu
3. Third Garud West Having bent and strong beak, having capability of defeating all the snakes, and eradicating effect of poison and ghosts Garud is a vehicle of Shrivishnu. Both of its wings are in ‘bruhad’ and ‘rathantar’ form.
4. Fourth Varah North Having sky-blue complexion and radiant. Capable of annihilating embodied souls, lion and Vetal from the Hell region and eradicating fever like diseases. Deity Varah had emerged to uplift the earth submerged in the Hell region.
5. Fifth Hayagriv Upward Extremely ferocious and One who is capable of annihilating demons. Hearing to Deity Brahma’s prayers, Bhagwan Hayagriv had emerged to protect Vedas. His face and neck were like a horse. He uplifted Vedas. As per Devi Bhagwat, demon Hayagriv had obtained a boon that his death would happen at the hands of one having the form of Hayagriv. Due to this boon, Bhagwan took the form of Hayagriv to kill the demon.

3B. Ten weapons

खड्गं त्रिशूलं खट्वाङ्गं पाशमङ्कुशपर्वतम् ।

मुष्टिं कौमोदकीं वृक्षं धारयन्तं कमण्डलुम् ॥

भिन्दिपालं ज्ञानमुद्रां दशभिर्मुनिपुङ्गवम् ।

एतान्यायुधजालानि धारयन्तं भजाम्यहम् ॥

 – Panchamukhhanumatkavach Stotra, Shloka 9 and 10

Meaning : I worship Deity Hanuman who bears Khadag (A weapon which is thorny and broad at one end and narrow at the other), trident, Khatvang (A weapon of the shape of the leg of a cot), noose-goad-mountain (all the three weapons in one hand), mushthi (Weapon in the form of a fist), mace, tree, kamandalu (Water pot generally used by Ascetics) and bhindipal (A weapon which can be thrown to hit and made from iron) in nine hands and performs dnyan mudra with His tenth hand.

In one of the shlokas, Shri Hanuman is described as ‘वामहस्तगदायुक्तम् ‘, which means One who constantly bears mace in His left hand.

3C. Surprising similarity between Hanuman and Garud

Just as Garud is engrossed in service unto Shrivishnu in Vaikunth, similarly, Deity Hanuman is constantly engaged in service unto Shriram. Garud had brought nectar from heaven to free its mother from slavery. Hanuman had brought Sanjivani medicinal herbs from the mountain to awaken Lakshman from subconsciousness. In the same way as Shrivishnu rides on the back of Garud, Shriram and Lakshman had sat on Hanuman’s shoulders. When Ahiravan had captured Shriram and Lakshman, Hanuman had brought Them back by carrying Them on His shoulders. Garud is also immortal as is Hanuman.

3D. Panchamukhi Hanuman – A deity with
enormous power obtained through five incarnations
and capable of undertaking most complex tasks to completion

Hanuman is an incarnation of Deity Shiva. Garud is also an incarnation. Similarly, Varah, Narsimha and Hayagriv are also incarnations. By virtue of this, in Panchamukhi Shri Hanuman, the Shakti (Divine Energy) from all the five incarnations have combined in uniform manner. Due to this enormous Shakti, Hanuman is capable of undertaking any complex mission to completion.

3E. Panchamukhi Hanuman’ birth history

Once a five faced ferocious demon had emerged. He undertook severe austerities and obtained a boon from Deity Brahma that only that being which has same form as his would be able to annihilate him. As soon as he was awarded the boon, the demon started harassing everyone. All the deities pleaded to the God to free them from this suffering. As per God’s directive, Panchamukhi Hanuman assumed the incarnation on eight day of the dark fortnight of the lunar month of Margashirsha, which was a Tuesday with Pushya asterism and Simha lagna. He had five beautiful faces – Monkey, Narsimha, Garud, Horse and Varaha. Panchamukhi Hanuman then annihilated the demon.

3F. Spiritual meaning behind Hanuman assuming five faces and 3 eyes

The five faces of Hanuman defeat the five disorders of Avidya (Ignorance) and frees one from the three foes namely desire, anger and greed. The three beautiful eyes on each face provide freedom from spiritual, Divine and physical sufferings.

Reference : Monthly Kalyan magazine, February 2007

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