Panchmukhi Hanuman and the story behind the five faces of Hanuman

The picture of Hanuman as a panchmukhi (five faced) is rare to find. Even if you find it, it is very unlikely that you know the story behind it. Let me try to tell you the story behind Panchmukhi Hanuman ji. 

The five faces in panchmukhi Hanuman is of -

1. Sri Varaha facing the North
2. Sri Narasimha facing the South
3. Sri Garuda facing the West
4. Sri Hayagriva facing the sky and
5. His own (Hanuman) facing the East

During the war of Lanka, a demon named Ahiravan captured Lord Rama and Lakshmana, and took them to patala (hell). Ahiravan was a practician of dark arts and black magic. So he started preparations

for killing the brothers and gifting it to Goddess Kali.

Lord Hanuman also reached the patal loka and came to know that in order to kill Ahiravan, he has to simultaneously extinguish five lamps which were kept in different directions. In order to complete this task, Lord Hanuman assumes the form of Panchmukhi Hanuman and extinguishes the 5 lamps simultaneously. Thus demon Ahiravan is killed and Lord Rama and Lakshmana are saved.

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