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Deities are often portrayed with many arms, specifically when they are battling cosmic forces. The multiplicity of arms emphasizes the deity"s immense power and ability to perform several acts at the same time. The portrayal that a deity in human form but with multiple arms is the artist"s effort to to express the deity"s superhuman power. Demons are commonly depicted through multiple heads to convey their superhuman strength as well.

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Occasionally a deity is presented with much more than one head in an effort to explain various facets of the personality of that deity.

The many arms space to display a distinction but also a better power than humans.The number of arms varies depending on the symbolism gift shown. Thus normally it is 4 arms each holding a different item (with a various meaning). However, the number can and also does vary. For example Lord Ganesha.

The Abhaya Mudra (gesture of fearlessness) that his reduced right hand symbolizes Ganesha"s blessings and protection on a person"s journey v life, specifically the spiritual one.In His upper best hand, Ganesha generally holds an axe, through which that is said to reduced off every attachments.

He pulls the devotee nearer come the spiritual route by the rope the He dead in His top left hand.

He uses rewards because that penances (sadhana) done v the modak (type that confection, normally made indigenous rice flour and a stuffing that jaggery, coconut, etc.) the holds in His reduced left hand.

You can get 6 or 10 armed Lord Ganesha with various other items each v their very own meaning. For this reason it counts on the complexity of the message.

Places that have actually a 2 armed deity usually (not always) have a legend the the divine being manifesting in the area wherein the temple was built.

Some interpretations for this element go directly into an ancient Indian mythology, for example:

Brahma initially possessed one head. Native a part of his own body, he created a woman Shatarupa. Brahma fell in love with his own female creation and also could not take his eye off she extraordinary beauty. Shatarupa felt shy and also tried come evade his stare by relocating away on every sides. To follow her wherever she moved, Brahma produced his 5 heads. Four of which dealing with East, West, North and also South and also the one encountering up. (It is stated that native the four of his heads four Vedas came into existence, namely, Rigveda, Samveda, Yajurveda and also Atharvaveda and from the optimal one 18 Puranas.)

Then mr Shiva acquired angry because that this habits of Brahma and also cut off his fifth head encountering up. Therefore HE was left with 4 of his heads.

Quoting from Mythencyclopedia Or for example,

In a fight with gods (Devtas), Tarakasur gathered the most disastrous things in Brahmand(Universe) and also made a direct weapon out of the same. He wanted it to usage it on earth to destroy it to avoid Lord Shiva to develop the 51 Shakti-peeths created out that the limbs of Sati fallen on earth to stop the Devtas obtaining power native there.

When lord Shiva came to know by his intuition around the plans of Tarakasur, he imbibed or soaked up the weapon in the same means as he had actually done with Poison or Vish at the moment of good Ocean Churning (Samudra-manthan). He might have very well thrown the weapon everywhere in the universe but then that would have meant full destruction that that part of the universe, the weapon being expected for hefty destruction.

Hence to avoid that destruction, mr Shiva absorbed it in his body and also it developed the third eye, the eye of destruction. From climate it is opened up by mr Shiva only once he wants to completely destruct anybody (e.g., Kamadev, the God the Sex) or noþeles (say universe at the end of every 4 yugas).

Edit:

I to be asked in comment "Why wasn"t mr Hanuman depicted like that"? my answer is mr Hanuman was depicted like that as well in his hypostasis of Panchamukhi Hanuman.

Here is a snapshot of Hanuman, his hypostasis that Panchamukhi Hanuman. The photo I absorbed Jakhoo temple in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

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Panchamukha (Devanagari: पञ्चमुख) (alternatively Panchamukhi) is a Sanskrit word definition "five-faced". Many of the Hindu deities are shown as having several faces.

The beginning of Sri Panchamukhs Hanuman deserve to be traced come a story in Ramayana.

During the war in between Lord Rama and also Ravana. Ravana took help of Mahiravana that is the king the pathala. Mr Hanuman in order to safeguard Lord Ram and also Lakshman created a fortress v his tail. Mahiravana take it the kind of Vibeeshana and took mr Ram and Lakshman to pathala loka.

Hanuman entered pathala loka looking for Rama and Lakshmana, and he uncovered out that to death Mahiravana he had actually to extinguish 5 lamps (life that Mahiravana is in 3 places, lamps are among them) burn in five various directions in ~ the same time, therefore he has actually taken the Panchamukha kind with Hanuman, Hayagriva, Narasimha, Garuda and Varaha faces and extinguished the lamps and killed Mahiravana.

According to Hanumath Prakaranam in Sri Vidyarnavatantram, Anjaneya has five faces (Pancha Mukha) and also ten weapons. The five faces are the of lord Hanuman, lord Narasimha, mr Adivaraha, mr Hayagriva, and Lord Garuda. Hanuman is a great yogi (mystic) having transcended the five senses (Pancha Indriyas).

In Kamba Ramayanam (in Tamil), the significance of number 5 is beautiful narrated as follows: The kid of among the five facets (son that wind - Pavana Thanaya) crossed among the five elements (water – the ocean), through one of the five facets (sky), met daughter of among the five facets (daughter of earth - Sita Devi) burnt down Lanka by one of the five aspects (fire). Sundara Kandam, i beg your pardon highlights the heroic exploits of mr Hanuman at Lanka is the 5th canto in the Ramayana.

Therefore, it is considered auspicious come go around His idol 5 times, 14 times, 23 times, 32 time or through such number the number of which add to five. The pancha mukha hanuman is a rarely idol of Hanuman.

There are many legends and also interpretations to this. The legend mr Hanuman is claimed to have appeared before Raghavendraswamy in a unique method amalgamating within him the avataras the "varaha, garuda, anjaneya, narasimha and hayagreeva", therefore five-headed. Panchamukhi, located on the south bank of river Tungabhadra near Manchala now recognized as Mantralayam is where Raghavendraswamy performed penance for 12 long years in a cave.

In appreciation of his Yoga, mr Panchamukhi Pranadevaru, Kollahpura Mahalakshmi, lord Venkateshwara of Tirupati and also Kurmavathara gave darshan come him. Then he left for Mantralaya where he entered into Samadhi. A temple has been created at the spot whereby he performed penance well-known as the Panchamukhi Anjaneyaswamy temple.

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The details the Panchamukaa are: eastern facing Anjaneya to give humanity Ishta Siddhi. South facing Karala Ugraveera Narasimha to provide humanity Abhista Siddhi. West facing Mahaveera Garuda to approve humanity Sakala Sowbhagya. North encountering Lakshmi Varaha to give humanity Dhana Prapthi. Urdhva Mukha atop being Hayagriva to approve humanity Sarva Vidya Jaya Prapthi. The interpretations

There are 5 ways that prayer to the Lord. They room Naman, Smaran, Keerthanam, Yachanam and Arpanam. The five encounters depict these 5 forms. Lord Hanuman constantly used to Naman, Smaran and also Keerthanam of mr Sri Rama. He completely surrendered (Arpanam) come his grasp Sri Ram. He additionally begged (yachanam) Sri Rama come bless the the undivided love.

In Bhagavat Gita lord Krishna states to Arjun, "He who acts because that me, who is engrossed in me, that is my devotee, who is complimentary from attachment, the reaches me" . We discover all this 5 qualities enshrined in Hanuman. Every of his face explains the five divine qualifications. May be one artist believed over around this prior to making the Vigraham. There is a id that one of the encounters is the of Sri Vinayaka. The idol the Adyanta Maha Prabhu depicts a number of half Anjaneya and half Vinayaka. Fifty percent Ganesha and half Hanuman in ~ Madya Kailas holy place Adyar Madras The idol is an amalgam the Sri vigneshwara and also Sri Anjaneya ~ above the present of Ardhanareeswara ( Siva and Parvati) and also Sri Sankaranarayana (combination of Siva and also narayana). The word Aadiyantha means "beginning to end" (Aadi = start & Antha = end). There is a Tamil speak "Begin v Ganesa and also end up with Anjaneya". Many world visit the temple to obtain the blessing of the "Twins" versus the influence of Navagrahas. The importance of the idol is that Sri Vigneswara and also Sri Anjaneya space the only two deities who room totally free from any influence over them whatsoever through the Navagrahas. It is believed that, the devotees can and also do influence the Navagrahas us proportionate come the devoutness with which the devotees deal with themselves to Sri Aadiyanta Prabhu!