Hanuman, the Monkey God, is known for His strength (he is said to be able to lift mountains), valour and bravery. He is very popular in Indian villages.
In the form of Panchkhumi, or Hanuman of Five Faces, He represents the accomplished disciple.
In the Ramayana, in order to save Rama and Lakshman, Hanuman had to kill Ahiravana who had kidnapped them and hidden them in Pathala Lokha: the only way to achieve this feat was to extinguish at the same time five lamps burning in five different directions and hiding the demon's life. The way found by Hanuman was to take the form of Panchkhumi.
The 5 faces represent the avatars of Vishnu: Varaha, the boar god, Garuda, mount of Vishnu, Narashima, lion man and Hayagriva, horse man with Hanuman in the center.
This statuette of Hanuman symbolizes: the perfect devotee.
The 5 faces have many meanings including:
- the 5 senses, the 5 elements (sky, air, earth, fire, water): these aspects were all transcended by Hanuman in His heroic feats in the Ramayana.
- five forms of worship
Hanuman, in this statue, brings together the many qualities of Vishnu's avatars: knowledge/wisdom (Hayagriva), victory and absence of fear (Narashima), success, bravery, purity of spirit (Hanuman), speed, omnipresence (Garuda) and prosperity, wealth(Varaha).
His 10 arms each carry a different attribute:
Gadâ, a primitive weapon, embodying Hanuman's raw and exceptional strength but also the mastery of instinctive, physical and natural forces. In this statue, Hanuman wears two of them, a large one whose end is close to His right foot and a smaller one in His middle right hand.
Khada, symbol of wisdom: it cuts through ignorance, dissolves the darkness that obscure the mind. It frees us from the bonds of attachment (from everything that separates us from our ultimate nature, the absolute: beliefs, inner demons, material goods...). The presence of a sword thus marks the intelligence, the clarity of the mind.
Parashu and the knife
Katar (bottom left) have meanings very close to the sword.
(last arm, upper right)
Kalasha : abundance-wisdom-immortality
The famous trident
of Shiva : its three points have many interpretations and especially that of the three aspects of the divine. The Trimurti: Brahma the creation, Vishnu the maintenance and Shiva the destruction and renewal. And also the 3 gunas, the 3 planes physical, emotional and spiritual ...
The disc or the wheel
Chakra: the Chakra has many meanings and symbols: round, circle, sun. It can be represented as a disc, a wheel with spokes ... The wheel represents the cycle of birth and death which is an integral part of life and marks the continuous change.
The Chakra also symbolizes the sun, the light, the fire that allows us to destroy ignorance, to see pure reality: thus the gods use it as a weapon to destroy the demons that are an archetype of our false beliefs, of the mind.
Khetaka, sign of protection, used by deities fighting demons and not possessing invincible weapons.
The plate filled with blood
marking the victory and power of Hanuman.
The knife is the last weapon down and to the left.
Hanuman is dressed in royal clothes, richly embroidered, reinforcing His unusual stature.
Hanuman Panchmukhi is invoked when it is necessary to face immense challenges that require many qualities and means.