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Pancha Mukha Anjaneya (five faced Hanuman) consisting faces of Hayagriva, Narasimha, Anjaneya, Garuda and Varaha is found in few south Indian temples. Is there any Puranic or scriptural evidence that Pancha Mukha Anjaneya existed during Ramayana period?

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Hayagriva, Narasimha, Anjaneya, Garuda and Varaha (from L to R in the picture above)

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    Valmiki Ramayana, Kamba Ramayana and , even Tulidas Ramayana doesn't contain any references to Pancha mukha Anjaneya, I think. May be it is there in Parassara samhita, which talks about exploits of Hanuman. But Parassara samhita in its current state appears to be a some modern day work, subjected to lot of interpolations and not so authentic. – user808 Sep 21 '16 at 10:05
  • I saw these pancha muka anjaneya statue in Bangalore rahi gudda temple outside the main gate. Many photos are being sold. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Sep 21 '16 at 10:15
  • BTW you are well versed in Ramayana it seems from ur answers.Kudos to ur knowledge. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Sep 21 '16 at 10:16
  • I think Panchmukhi form of Sri Hanuman(Anjaneya) may be because he is considered as rudravatar. – ChintaMoney Sep 23 '16 at 9:42
  • Narasimha and Varaha are avatars. Garuda is Periya thiruvadi and Anjaneya is Chinna Thiruvadi. Hayagriva not an avatar but for educatrion. – Parthasarathy Raghavan Sep 23 '16 at 14:47
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Significance of Pancha Mukha Anjaneya is described in official website of Sri Panchamukhi Anjaneya Kshetram which is located in Karnataka.

The origin of Sri Panchamukhs Hanuman can be traced to a story in Ramayana. During the war between Lord Rama and Ravana. Ravana took help of Mahiravanka who is the king of Pathala.

Lord Hanuman in order to protect Lord Ram and Lakshman formed a fortress with his tail. Mahiravana took the form of Vibeeshana and took Lord Ram and Lakshman to pathala loka. Hanuman entered pathala loka in search of Rama and Lakshmana, He found out that to kill Mahiravana he had to extinguish five lamps burning in five different directions at the same time, so he has taken the Panchamukhi form with Hanuman, Hayagriva, Narasimha, Garuda and Varaha faces and extinguished the lamps and killed Mahiravana.

According to Hanumath Prakaranam in Sri Vidyarnavatantram, Anjaneya has five faces (Pancha Mukha) and ten weapons. The five faces are that of Lord Hanuman, Lord Narasimha, Lord Adivaraha, Lord Hayagriva, and Lord Garuda. 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 Kandam, which highlights the heroic exploits of Lord Hanuman at Lanka is the fifth canto in the Ramayana. Therefore, it is considered auspicious to go around His idol 5 times, 14 times, 23 times, 32 times or with such numbers the digits of which add to five.

The Panchamukhi hanuman is rare idol of Hanuman. There are many legends and interpretations to same.

The legend:

Lord Hanuman is said to have appeared before Raghavendraswamy 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 Raghavendraswamy 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 darshan to him. Then he left for Mantralaya where he entered into Samadhi.

A temple has been constructed at the spot where he performed penance known as the Panchamukhi Anjaneyaswamy temple.

The description for 5 Faces of the Hanuman Idol ( Panchamukhi) is as follows:

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

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