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Pancha Vyuha – Consecration And Worship Of Vishnu In Five Manifestations

Pancha Vyuha is the consecration and worship of Vishnu in a five-fold manifestation. This is a direct continuation of the Vedic fivefold fire, a connection which is clearly felt by one who follows the Vaikhanasa tradition.

The five manifestations in Pancha Vyuha are
  1. Vishnu
  2. Purusha (person)
  3. Satya (the true one)
  4. Achyuta (the steadfast one)
  5. Aniruddha (the unobstructed one).
Vishnu is the original and highest among the pancha vyuha.

The concept is also characterized by the four qualities of Vishnu – tradition, wisdom, dominion and equanimity.

Therefore the four manifestations of purusha, etc, are inseparable from the primeval manifestation.

The manifestation of Purusha is individualized by the quality of tradition; the manifestation of satya by knowledge; the manifestation of achyuta by dominion; the manifestation of aniruddha by equanimity.

These manifestations stand for four eras, the four stages of life, the four classes of society, the four Vedas and the givers of the welfare of the four classes.

The method for worship of the five-fold manifestation is thus no other thing than a five-fold representation of the sole primeval manifestation. Therefore the worship performed according to the fivefold representation is the best one for bringing welfare to the four classes.

According to Vaikhanasa Agama (the iconographical tenets), pancha vyuha technically refers to the five manifestations of Brahman in the vyuha, a type of arrangement.
The devotee worshipping the five manifestations should have the five established in due order:

To the east the image of Purusha with the color of crystal, but with red mouth, eyes, hands, feet, nails and garment. The four-armed bearing murti should have conch and the disc and is accompanied by Jaya and Bhadra as fanners.

To the south the image of satya with black color of collyrium and a yellow garment, accompanied by Dhriti and Ausni (goddesses). They are fanned by Sura and Sundara.

To the west, Achyuta with the color of gold, wearing a garment of color of parrot feathers, accompanied by Pavitri and Ksoni and with Kirti And Tusti as fanners.

To the north, Anirudha, with the color of the recently risen sun, wearing a shining black (shyama) garment sitting on Ananta, his crest overshadowed by the seven or five hoods of Ananta, with bent head, keeping one leg crosswise, with the left hand in uttambhita pose, resting on the left knee, the other one supported by Ananta and accompanied by Mahi and Pramodayini, the boar and the man-lion, and by Svaha and Svadha as fanners.

On the second floor, the devotee should establish Vishnu with dark body, four-armed bearing conch and disc, decked will all sorts of ornaments, accompanied by Sri Harini, who has a golden and dark color and are wearing a red and white garment, respectively, and by Kiskindha and Sundara fanners.

Above these on the third floor will be the image of Vishnu lying on Ananta. He may also establish above the four manifestations on the second floor the man lion or boar.

The temple hold Pancha Vyuha should be surrounded by means of three, five or seven protecting walls and there should be sufficient place to install attendant deities.

Within the first enclosure, Garuda should be made, looking in the western direction towards God sitting in Swastika posture or standing. Within the second enclosure, on the inside, the disc should be made, outside the gateway; in the same manner there should be the banner and the conch.

Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VIII page 36 - IHRF