Lord Hanuman is revered all over the world by his worshippers, who are devout and sincere. He is known by various names, like Maruti, Anjaneya and Bajrang Bali.
One of the seven chiranjeevis or immortals in Vedic astrology, Lord Hanuman was born to Lord Pawan, the wind God, and Anjana Devi. Lord Surya is his Guru and in the Valmiki Ramayana, there is a Sundar Kand which defines his tales of heroism and adventure while in search for Seeta Mata in Lanka.
As per the Hanuman Prakaranam, Prabhu Hanuman has ten weapons and five faces, which are Hanuman, NarSimha, AdiVarha, Hayagriva and Garuda. Lord PanchMukhi Hanuman is a yogi of a great stature, of the kind who has achieved a state which is beyond the five senses.
In the Kamba Ramayanam, which is the Ramayana in Tamil, the value of the number five has been beautifully depicted in the form of Panchatatvas, which are the five elements- wind, water, sky, earth and fire. Lord Hanuman is Pawan Putra, the son of wind. He crossed water, in form of ocean to reach Lanka, and he flew in the sky. There he met Seeta Mata, who is the daughter of earth, and in the Sundara Kandam, he doused Lanka in fire.
The Sundara Kandam, which defines his exploits in Lanka, is the fifth chapter in the Ramayana. It is believed that one must go around Lord Hanuman’s idol 5 times, 14 times or 32 times, such that the digits add up to 5.
Another very well known and popular description for PanchMukhi Hanuman comes from the Ramayana. In the war between Lord Rama and Ravana, the demon king, Ravana took aid from Mahiravana, the king of Pathala Lok.
As Lord Hanuman entered the Pathala Lok in his search for Sri Ram and Laxman, he came to realize that to kill MahiRavana he had to extinguish 5 lamps all at once. Thus Hanuman, the expansion of Vayuh, who is the wind God, or the key necessity of life, meditated upon Lord Vishnu, who is the Praneshwara, or the preserver of life.
At this stage, Lord Vishnu took an avatar in Lord Hanumana. He took the PanchMukhi form through Hanuman, Hayagriva, Narasimha, Garuda and Varaha faces to extinguish the five lamps, and MahiRavana was killed immediately.
There is another beautiful explanation for the five faces of Lord PanchMukhi Hanuman. It is believed when a devotee meditates upon Lord Hanuman in search of Atma Gnana, or the truth, it is through the five faces that Lord Hanuman reveals the divine truth to the worshipper.
The first three faces represent the past, present and future for the soul, which are phases of life for the soul which is in our sthool, or material body. With the fourth face, Lord Hanuman guides the soul to overcome the bounds of past, present and future, and dissolve the individuality into the boundless universality of divine power. This may be seen as saranagathi, or the divine surrender to the almighty.
It is through the fifth face that Lord Hanuman initiates the soul into this sublime process, such that the individual soul achieves a union with the divine soul. Such is the glory of PanchMukhi Lord Hanuman.