The word panchayantan has a Sanskrit origin. Pancha means five and ayatana mean containing. It means the group of five gods worshipped together. Panchayatan gods are Ganesha, Shiva, Vishnu, Surya and Shakti. The arrangement of the Panchayatan is done in such a way that the particular god is placed in the centre of the other four gods. For example, in Shiva Panchayatan, God Shiva is placed in the centre and others are placed around.
The concept of Rampanchayatan was introduced at a later date which has Ram, Sita, Laxman, Bharat, and Shatrughana.
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