The Story of Hanuman Ji’s Panchmukhi Avatar - The India Saga



The Story of Hanuman Ji’s Panchmukhi Avatar

Ramayana is an Indian epic with so many stories of sacrifice, penance, dedication and love that we can learn from…

The Story of Hanuman Ji’s Panchmukhi Avatar

Ramayana is an Indian epic with so many stories of sacrifice, penance, dedication and love that we can learn from and bring changes to our lives. Hanuman Ji is a character in the epic who taught us the true meaning of unconditional love & worship. This write-up is the story of Hanuman Ji’s most deadly avatar, “Panchmukhi,” and how he saved Ram & Lakshman from Patal Lok’s strongest demon.

After Ravan sensed he might lose the Lanka war to Shri Ram, he became desperate to win. He planned a secret attack on Ram. He asked the ruler of Patal Lok  (Hell), his brother, to kidnap Ram & Lakshman and kill them. In anger, Hanuman Ji went to Patal Lok in his most deadly avatar. 

Mahiravan, also known as Ahiravan in some texts, was a sorcerer and the ruler of Hell. He was a brother of Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, who sought his help to defeat Rama and Lakshman in the epic battle of Ramayana. Mahiravan was well-versed in magical arts and possessed powers that made him a formidable foe, including the ability to become invisible and change form at will. 

As the war between Rama and Ravana raged on, Ravana, desperate to turn the tide in his favour, sought Mahiravan’s help. Mahiravan, in his loyalty to his brother, devised a plan to kidnap Rama and Lakshman and sacrifice them to the goddess Kali to gain invincibility.

Using his magical powers, Mahiravan managed to enter the camp where Rama and Lakshman were resting and kidnapped them using his sorcery. He transported them to Patal Lok, intending to perform a ritual sacrifice. The sudden disappearance of Rama and Lakshman caused great distress among their allies.

Upon learning of the abduction of Rama and Lakshman, Hanuman ji was filled with rage and concern for their safety. His devotion to Rama was unparalleled, and the thought of them being in danger ignited his fierce determination to bring them back at any cost. Hanuman’s immediate response was to set out on a rescue mission, utilising his divine powers to track down Mahiravana and infiltrate Patal Lok. In this netherworld (Hell), Mahiravan had taken Rama and Lakshman.

Mahiravan, a master of dark arts and sorcery, had received a powerful boon that made him nearly invincible. This boon made him invisible at will, making it exceedingly difficult for anyone to track or fight him. Mahiravan, endowed with a boon that made him nearly invincible, had kidnapped Lord Rama and Lakshman to sacrifice them to Goddess Kali.

Mahiravan could only be killed when five lamps, representing his life force and placed in five different directions, were extinguished simultaneously. This condition made defeating Mahiravan a daunting task. This task was seemingly impossible for any ordinary being due to the strategic placement of the lamps.

Understanding the gravity of the situation and the unique challenge posed by Mahiravan’s boon, Hanuman Ji devised a plan to tackle the sorcerer’s defences. His deep knowledge of divine powers and his ingenuity played a crucial role in formulating a strategy to defeat Mahiravan.

Looking at the entire situation, Hanuman Ji acted in his prowess. He took his deadliest avatar, PANCHMUKHI, a Five-faced avatar—A divine manifestation with five faces, each representing a distinct deity and direction:

Hanuman Ji’s Panchmukhi Avatar

  • Hanuman (East) – His original face, embodying devotion, strength, and protection.
  • Narasimha (South) – The lion-man avatar of Lord Vishnu, symbolising fierce courage and the ability to overcome obstacles.
  • Garuda (West) – The mighty eagle, representing speed and the power to counteract hostile forces.
  • Varaha (North) – The boar avatar of Lord Vishnu, denoting resilience and the capacity to uplift.
  • Hayagriva (Upwards) – The horse-faced avatar associated with wisdom and knowledge.

Armed with his Panchmukhi form, Hanuman Ji descended into Patal Lok, ready to confront Mahiravana and his dark forces. The battle that ensued was monumental, showcasing Hanuman’s unparalleled might and the strategic genius of his Panchmukhi avatar. With each face wielding distinct powers, Hanuman could counter Mahiravan’s sorcery, combat his minions, and keep the lamps in sight.

With the lamps extinguished, Mahiravan’s boon was nullified, rendering him vulnerable. Hanuman seized this opportunity to engage Mahiravana in direct combat. The battle was fierce, but Hanuman’s divine strength, coupled with the strategic advantage of his Panchmukhi form, ultimately led to Mahiravan’s defeat.

With Mahiravan vanquished, Hanuman Ji quickly located the captive Lord Rama and Lakshman. Using his immense strength and divine powers, Hanuman liberated them from their confines and escorted them safely out of Patal Lok. The return journey was swift, with Hanuman ensuring their safety and comfort. They returned with the spirit as the great Lanka war awaited their final duel. 

This is only one incident of unconditional love and sacrifice that shows the greatness of Indian history. The history of Bharat is very rich and filled with so many courageous incidents from which we can learn and transform our lives. This is the responsibility of every Indian as a proud citizen of the country that we never forget these amazing sacrifices.