Hanuman with Five Faces – Panchmukhi Hanuman

Panch Mukhi Hanuman is the form of Hanuman in which he has five faces. This is the Virata Rupa of Hanuman – a gigantic form that is beyond imagination of human mind. There are two forms of Panchmukhi Hanuman – in one all the five heads are that of Hanuman. In another form – only one head is of Hanuman and the other heads are that of Hayagriva, Narasimha, Varaha and Garuda.

As Hayagriva, Narasimha and Varaha are incarnations of Vishnu, Panchmukhi Hanuman is a combined avatar of Vishnu and Hanuman.

The five-faced Hanuman is widely believed to be Tantric representation of Hanuman as he is the perfect Siddha.

A story associated with Panchamukhi Hanuman states that Hanuman took this form to save Sri Ram and Lakshman who were captured by Mahiravan and Ahiravana during the Ram-Ravan war. The demons took them the netherworld and kept confusing the brothers with their black magic. Hanuman fought a fierce battle with the demons but was not able to defeat them. The only way to defeat Mahiravan and Ahiravana was to extinguish five lamps in five different directions simultaneously. To extinguish the five lamps simultaneously Hanuman appeared in his Virata Rupa with five faces.

Please note that the stories associated with Panchamukhi Hanuman are not found in the Ramayana. They are mostly found in Puranas and local folklores.

Bahiram – About Hindu God Bahiram

Bahiram is closely associated with Hindu God Shiva and is widely worshipped in the Amravati region in Maharashtra. One belief is that Bahiram is a corrupt form of Bhairav. The deity is also believed to be the guardian deity of the betel leaf gardens. Bahiram is also associated with the Khandoba worship in Maharshtra.

The most popular temple dedicated to Bahiram is located near Karanja-Baheram around 20 km from Achalpur. The temple is located atop a hill, locally known as, Bahiram hill, and is around 3 km from Karanja-Baheram.

The murti (idol) worshipped in the temple is Swayambhu, appeared on its own. The murti is 6 feet high and 8 feet to 10 feet in width.

Bahiram is the kul devata, or family deity, of many families in Maharashtra. Barias of Maharashtra annually go on pilgrimage to temples dedicated to Bahiram.

The main offerings to the deity include sindhoor, butter, coconut, lowers, red lead and parched rice.

Prayers are offered to Bahiram by couples for healthy children. The deity is believed to give relief to mental and physical distress.

The annual festival dedicated to Bahiram is held from Margashirsh Shukla Paksha Panchami as per Marathi Calendar and attracts thousands of devotees.

Sabari Peedam - Importance of Sabaripeedam on the way to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple

Sabaripeedam is a holy spot on the way from Pampa to Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple. Ayyappa Devotees trekking from Pampa to the temple comes across this spot after Appachimedu. Sabari Peedam is believed to be place where Sabari was given Moksha by Lord Ram during his exile period in the Ramayana.

It is believed that Sabari lived and observed austerities at this spot in the forest. It is here Lord Ram symbolically explained to the world that what is more important is devotion and not the value of the offerings.

Sabari, a very old lady, was an ardent devotee of Lord Ram. During his search for Mata Sita, Lord Ram along with Lakshman reached the hut of Sabari in the forest.

The old lady who was overwhelmed with joy had nothing to offer to the Lord. Tears trickled from her eyes and then she remembered about fresh fruits that she had collected the other day.

Sabari was not sure whether the fruits were tasty, sour or poisonous. So she tasted them first a little and threw away all that was sour and not good.

So when she went to get them she realized that she had bitten all the fruits. She did not want to offer the half-eaten fruits to Lord Ram.

Lord Ram who realized this asked Sabari to share the half-eaten fruits. Thus Lord Ram proved that it is not the condition or value of the offering that matters but devotion of the devotee who offers it.

Some devotees break a coconut at Sabari Peedam. Light of camphor here is considered auspicious. Another offering her is Vedi Vazhupadu or lighting of cracker.

The Ayyappa devotees who could not offer the Sharakol and Karuppukacha at the Sharam kutti offer it at Sabaripeedam.

The annual procession carrying the Thiruvabharanam to the Ayyappa temple passes through the Sabaripeedam.

It is also believed that there were seven forts in the forest and Sabaripeedam was one among them.

Crowd-sourced animation movie in Sanskrit

Punyakoti, which explores man-animal conflicts, will be the first crowd-sourced animation movie in Sanskrit.

Produced by Puppetica Media, an India based media house, Punyakoti will be the world's first full length animated movie in Sanskrit. The movie will be crowd funded and crowd animated by studios/schools across the world. The movie will also feature a unique musical experiment by the legendary music composer Sri Ilaiyaraaja.

The movie is based on a Kannada folk song that narrates the story of a confrontation between a cow and a tiger.

You can find more about the movie and contribute to it here – Punyakoti – A Sanskrit Animation Movie

Anticipating troubles leads to unnecessary worry – J P Vaswani

Anticipating troubles leads to unnecessary worry. We are told that worry is derived from two different Anglo Saxon roots which mean, “harm” and “wolf.” True, worry is harmful and it bites and tears us even as a wolf mauls a lamb.

A little worry or anxiety can be helpful, for it keeps us on the alert, and prepares us for action. But excessive worry has the opposite effect – it paralyses the will and makes us unfit for action. It clouds our vision and distracts the thinking process.

We have all been endowed with sufficient strength. God has blessed us with the means and resources to tackle our life each day. God does not dwell in the Heavens above, He is here in the heart within you. He gives you the strength to face the troubles that you may have to face on any given day.