Pancavaktra, Panca-vaktra, Pañcavaktra, Pancan-vaktra, Pañcavaktrā: 19 definitions


Pancavaktra means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Alternative spellings of this word include Panchavaktra.

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Source: Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) refers to a type of temple (prāsāda) classified under the group named Nigūḍha, according to Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra chapter 56. The Nigūḍha group contains five out of a sixty-four total prāsādas (temples) classified under four groups in this chapter. The Samarāṅgaṇasūtradhāra is an 11th-century encyclopedia dealing with various topics from the Vāstuśāstra.

Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

[«previous next»] — Pancavaktra in Rasashastra glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) or Pañcavaktrarasa refers to various Ayurvedic recipes defined in the fourth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 2, dealing with jvara: fever) and the fifth volume of the Rasajalanidhi (chapter 4, Hikkā: hiccough and Śvāsa: asthma). These remedies are classified as Iatrochemistry and form part of the ancient Indian science known as Rasaśāstra (medical alchemy). Pārvatīśaṅkara is an ayurveda treatment and should be taken with caution and in accordance with rules laid down in the texts.

Accordingly, when using such recipes (e.g., pañcavaktra-rasa): “the minerals (uparasa), poisons (viṣa), and other drugs (except herbs), referred to as ingredients of medicines, are to be duly purified and incinerated, as the case may be, in accordance with the processes laid out in the texts.” (see introduction to Iatro chemical medicines)

Rasashastra book cover
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Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous next»] — Pancavaktra in Purana glossary
Source: Shiva Purana - English Translation

1) Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) refers to a “Rudraksha with five faces”, according to the Śivapurāṇa 1.25, while explaining the greatness of Rudrākṣa:—“[...] a Rudrākṣa with five faces (pañcavaktra) is Rudra Himself. Its name is kālāgni. It is lordly. It bestows all sorts of salvation and achievement of all desired objects. A five-faced Rudrākṣa dispels all sorts of sins such as accrue from sexual intercourse with a forbidden woman and from eating forbidden food”.

2) Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) refers to one who is “fair-complexioned, handsome in appearance” which is used to describe the appearance of Śiva, according to the Śivapurāṇa 2.2.17. Accordingly as Brahmā narrated to Nārada:—“[...] When her Nandā rites were concluded on the ninth day (Navamī), while she was engrossed in meditation, Śiva became visible to her. [...] He was fair-complexioned, handsome in appearance, had five faces (pañcavaktra) and three eyes. The crescent moon adorned His forehead. [...] On seeing Śiva directly in such a form she bent her head from shyness and she knelt at his feet. Although He desired her to be his wife He wished to bestow on her the fruit of her penance. Thus He spoke to her in the state of her penance”.

Source: Puranic Encyclopedia

Pañcavaktrā (पञ्चवक्त्रा).—A soldier who fought bravely against the asuras on the side of Subrahmaṇya.

Source: JatLand: List of Mahabharata people and places

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. IX.44.71) and represents one of the many proper names used for people and places. Note: The Mahābhārata (mentioning Pañcavaktra) is a Sanskrit epic poem consisting of 100,000 ślokas (metrical verses) and is over 2000 years old.

Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) represents the “five manifestations of Śiva”, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Puranic Śaivaism is, to begin with, characterised by the doctrine of Gods five manifestations pañcabrahman or the so called faces pañcavaktra and that of his eight forms or embodiments aṣṭamūrti.

The Pañcavaktra (five manifestations) are Īśāna, Tatpuruṣa, Aghora, Vāmadeva and Sadyojāta. The origin of these forms are described in the Liṅgapurāṇa (1.11.14-16). The colours of these five forms are given as white, red, yellow, black and of the colour of a sphaṭika. Vedic mantras of these forms are used to describe the glory of these forms. The five forms represent the soul, Prakṛti, Buddhi, Ahaṃkāra and Manas. They pervade the universe as the different sense organs, subtle elements etc. The Saurapurāṇa advocates the dhyāna of Śiva conceiving Him as having five faces, ten arms and wearing the sacred thread of Serpents.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Shaktism (Shakta philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Pancavaktra in Shaktism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram

1) Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) refers to “one with five faces” and is used to describe Ardhanarīśvara, according to the second recension of the Yogakhaṇḍa of the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.—Accordingly, as Bhadrakālī said to Śrīkaṇṭha: “[...] (You are) he, the Siddha who has been pierced (by the power of the Command) and, made of universal bliss, is accompanied by Yogeśvarī. He is Śaṃkara’s lord; supreme, he has five faces [i.e., pañcavaktravaktrapañcadharaḥ], three eyes, holds a spear and, adorned with matted hair and crown, (his) divine body is covered with ashes. He is the pervasive lord Ardhanarīśvara”.

2) Pañcavaktrā (पञ्चवक्त्रा) refers to “she who has five faces” and is used to describe Jvālāmaṅgalyā and Pūrṇacandrā, according to the Manthānabhairavatantra, a vast sprawling work that belongs to a corpus of Tantric texts concerned with the worship of the goddess Kubjikā.

Shaktism book cover
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Shakta (शाक्त, śākta) or Shaktism (śāktism) represents a tradition of Hinduism where the Goddess (Devi) is revered and worshipped. Shakta literature includes a range of scriptures, including various Agamas and Tantras, although its roots may be traced back to the Vedas.

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Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Pancavaktra in Shaivism glossary
Source: Google Books: Manthanabhairavatantram (shaivism)

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) refers to “one with five faces” and is used to describe Svacchanda, according to the Śrīmatottara-tantra, an expansion of the Kubjikāmatatantra: the earliest popular and most authoritative Tantra of the Kubjikā cult. Accordingly, “O goddess, Svacchanda is in the middle, within the abode of the triangle. Very powerful, he has five faces [i.e., pañcavaktra] with three times five flaming eyes. He has ten arms and, very fierce, is adorned with many garlands, ornaments, necklaces and anklets. He has beautiful matted hair and the half moon is his crest jewel. O beloved, the face in the east is white like cow’s milk, it shines brilliant white. Generating great energy, contemplate it thus. One should think that the northern face is like the young rising sun, the form of a pomegranate flower and (red) like a Bandhūka”.

Source: SOAS University of London: Protective Rites in the Netra Tantra

1) Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) refers to “five-faced” and is used to describe Sadāśiva, according to the Netratantra of Kṣemarāja: a Śaiva text from the 9th century in which Śiva (Bhairava) teaches Pārvatī topics such as metaphysics, cosmology, and soteriology.—Accordingly, [verse 9.19cd-26, while instructing to visualize Sadāśiva in order to worship the formless Amṛteśa]—“[He] resembles the swelling moon, a heap of mountain snow. Five-faced (pañcavaktra), large-eyed, ten-armed, [and] three-armed, [he] has a serpent as a sacred thread. He is covered in a garment made of tiger skin. [He] sits in the bound lotus pose atop a white lotus, [holding] a trident, blue lotus, arrow, rudrākṣa, [and] a mallet. [...]”.

2) Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र) or “five-faced” is also used to describe Bhairava.—Accordingly, [verse 10.1-7ab, while describing the appearance and worship of Bhairava]—“Now, at this moment, I shall explain the distinct appearance of Bhairava, [who] resembles an ointment [that clears the eye]. He has a nature that burns up and dissolves all things. Five-faced (pañcavaktra), atop a corpse, ten-armed [and] terrible, he resembles troops with demon mouths. [...]”.

3) Pañcavaktrā (पञ्चवक्त्रा) or “five-faced” is also used to describe Bhairavī.—Accordingly, [verse 10.7cd-17ab, while describing the worship of Bhairavī and Bhairava]—“[Bhairavī] has the appearance of vermillion or lac. [She has] erect hair, a large body and is dreadful and very terrifying. [She has the medicinal plant] śatavārī [i.e., mahodarī], is five-faced, and adorned with three eyes. [...]”.

4) Pañcavaktra (दशबाहु) or “five-faced” is also used to describe Tumburu.—Accordingly, [verse 11.1-24ab, while describing the appearance and worship of Tumburu]—“Now, at this moment, I will tell the highest-most teaching to be worshipped with this mantra, for the sake of peace from all calamities, resulting in the fruits of all Siddhis. [He worships] Deva as Tumburu in the middle of an eight petaled lotus, in the maṇḍala, [starting] in the East, O Devī. [The Sādhaka] honors the Lord who is ten-armed, five-faced (pañcavaktra), and three eyed, with the form and faces like Sadāśiva. [...]”.

Shaivism book cover
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Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[«previous next»] — Pancavaktra in Hinduism glossary
Source: 9dozen's blog: Hinduism

Shiva is majorly seen in five of His aspects – Aghora, Ishana, Tat purusha, Vamadeva (Varna Deva) and Rudra (or Saddyojat). Panchavaktra or Panchamukhi is the combination of all these five forms and is commonly depicted as five-headed.

  1. Aghora is the destructive aspect of Shiva. 
  2. Ishana is omnipresent and omnipotent. 
  3. Tat-purusha is the ego aspect of Shiva. 
  4. Vamadeva (Varna Deva) is the female aspect of Shiva. 
  5. Rudra (Sadyojata) is the creative and destructive power of Shiva.

Panchavaktra or Panchamukhi is the combination of all the five forms. Meditating on Panchamukhi (Panchavaktra) Shiva will bestow the aspirant with good mental health, the ability to see things clearly, protect one from all diseases, purify the mind and body, destroy ignorance and give control over sexual instincts.

Source: Shiv Yogi: Hinduism

Shiva is called as Pancavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्रः) because he possesses five faces. The five faces of Shiva are – Sadyojata, Vamdeva, Tatpurusha, Aghora and Ishan. Vedas describe it in details. According to Puranas Lord Shankar expanded his five faces just to see Tilottama. In whichever direction she was dancingly wandering, Shiva emerged with a face there. Tilottama was created for the destruction of demons namely Sunda and Upasunda.

Moreover, Shiva is known as Panchvaktra because he utters Vedas with five methods namely Vidhi (rules), Mantra (incantation), Namdheya (pronunciation), Nishedha (regulations) and Arthavada (interpretation). In the spiritual science, Shiva is Panchvaktra because he is consuming five sense-objects by five sense-organs. The holes of the heart are also said to be five only. And Sadashiva alone is the creator of five sense-objects.

Often Shiva is said to be Panchvaktra, because he resides in the center of the heart. Sadyojata etc are mentioned as five holes of the heart. According to Shiva-Purana the order of Pancha-Brahman is like this— Ishan, Tatpurusha, Aghora, Vamdeva, Sadyojata.

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pancavaktra in Sanskrit glossary
Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र).—

1) epithets of Śiva.

2) a lion (so called because its mouth is generally wide open; pañcam ānanaṃ yasya), (often used at the end of names of learned men to express great learning or respect; nyāya°, tarka° &c. e. g. jagannāthatarkapañcānana); see पञ्च (pañca) a.

3) the sign Leo of the zodiac.

- an epithet of Durgā.

Derivable forms: pañcavaktraḥ (पञ्चवक्त्रः).

Pañcavaktra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pañcan and vaktra (वक्त्र). See also (synonyms): pañcānana, pañcāsya, pañcamukha.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र).—m.

(-ktrā) 1. Siva. 2. A lion. E. pañca five, and vaktra a face.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र).—I. adj. having five faces, [Rāmāyaṇa] 5, 68, 7. Ii. m. a name of Śiva, [Lassen, Anthologia Sanskritica.] 66, 6.

Pañcavaktra is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms pañcan and vaktra (वक्त्र).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र).—[adjective] five-faced; [masculine] [Epithet] of Śiva.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र):—[=pañca-vaktra] [from pañca] mfn. 5-faced, [Harivaṃśa; Rāmāyaṇa]

2) [v.s. ...] m. Name of Śiva, [Dhūrtasamāgama]

3) [v.s. ...] of one of the attendants of Skanda, [Mahābhārata]

4) [v.s. ...] a lion, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

5) Pañcavaktrā (पञ्चवक्त्रा):—[=pañca-vaktrā] [from pañca-vaktra > pañca] f. Name of Durgā, [Catalogue(s)]

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Yates Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pañcavaktra (पञ्चवक्त्र):—[pañca-vaktra] (ktraḥ) 1. m. Shiva; a lion.

[Sanskrit to German]

Pancavaktra in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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