One of the popular images of Hanuman is one where he has five faces and five pairs of hands. It is known as the Panchmukhi, or five-faced, Hanuman. It reminds us of Krishna’s Vishwarupa described in the Bhagavad Gita, albeit a diminutive version. It transforms Hanuman from a dependable servant of Ram to a very independent deity worshipped in his own right.
Besides the monkey head, there is the head of a lion, an eagle, a wild boar, and a horse. The horse represents Hayagriva the god of wisdom, the Varaha represents Vishnu’s boar form, the eagle represents the soaring Garuda and the lion represents the powerful Narasimha. In his five hands, Hanuman holds five weapons. Panchmukhi Hanuman is often kept in temples facing the south and is also called Dakshin Mukhi Hanuman, the south being the direction of death, associated with Yama and with ghosts, goblins, negative and malevolent forces. This form of Hanuman is used especially in the occult practices to protect oneself from negative forces.
The images of Hanuman with his five arms, five heads trampling two demons Mahiravan and Ahiravan, with his upraised tail and an aggressive posture is a very strong tantric symbol. This is used independently by many people to protect themselves and give themselves strength in hard times. The image reminds us of possibilities. Hanuman is a vanara, a monkey in the popular imagination. But when he meets Ram, when he serves Ram, he travels to the south and to the nether regions (Pataal) and discovers the divine potential within him as he solves problems. This potential enables him to the limitations of his monkey body. He discovers within himself the horse, the lion, the eagle and the wild boar. It reminds us to rise above the constraints of biology, through faith, patience and perseverance.
Jai Bajrang Bali Ji