The Hanuman Chalisa:
This is a concise biography of Lord Hanuman in a poetic form. This is a set of forty devotional verses praising the Lord Hanuman and hence it is known as " Hanuman Chalisa "( Chalis: forty in Hindi ) It is intended to be recited as an invocation to Shri Hanuman.
The Forty Verses:
Each of these forty verses cater to a specific objective.
This has been written in Awadhi, which is a dialect of India and is quite close to Hindi. This type of verse is called "Geya" (In Sanskrit) meaning this can be set to a melody and can be sung. Devotees are able to memorize Hanuman chalisa with ease .
In Hindi grammer, such style of verse is called chaupai (means 4 steps). Each chaupai of the Chalisa has two lines, which always rhyme.
Who created Hanuman Chalisa?
This is a creation by Goswami Tulsidas in the sixteenth century. (For beginners,Goswami Tulsidas is the well known, widely-acclaimed scholarly saint who has also authored "Shri Ramcharit Manas" which is a popular Awadhi version of the Epic Ramayan.)
It is acclaimed in Hanuman chalisa and is also widely believed among the devotees that any one who recites the Hanuman Chalisa one hundred times, shall attain freedom from the repeatability of birth and death and shall attain the highest bliss.
It is believed that Lord Hanuman protects the devotee as a result of chanting Hanuman Chalisa.
The reciting of Hanuman Chalisa with utter devotion, sincerity and integrity provides freedom from fear, enhancement of enthusiasm, clarity of thoughts and self confidence.The deity grants freedom from the grave dangers.
The Hanuman Chalisa narrates the strong character, commendable virtues and great deeds of Hanuman.
Lord Hanuman is understood to be a great Yogi and a brahmachari (a celibate). He is blessed as chiranjiv (living eternally,always present among us). The benefits of reciting this verse have also been described in detail. There are three segments - the preamble, the main text (chalisa) and the concluding prayer.
Virtues of the Lord Hanuman:
In order for the prayer to be effective, it is essential that we have correctly understood all the virtues of the deity. Visualizing these virtues has a greater advantage, and is the main aim behind the Hanuman Chalisa.
Lord Hanuman is the blessed devotee of Lord Rama. He is the mighty warrior, undaunted hero. There was no one else like Hanuman in the past; there is no one in the present; nor shall someone like him exist in the future.
Roles of is Hanuman
The different roles of Lord Hanuman have been described in great detail. For example, he is the son of the wind, ambassador to Lord Rama ,Who has established the Lord in his heart.
Hanumat veera: Brave
Ramdoot: Ambassador to Lord Ram, who represents the Lord, who has virtues just like the Lord, and who has been approved by the Lord
Anjani putra, son of the Anjani
Pavan sut nama: son of the wind
keshari nandan: son of keshari
Ram lakhan sita man basiya: (He) who is pious and has truth established in his heart and hence one who has the Lord dwelling in his mind.
Physical description of Hanuman:
The depiction of Lord Hanumana in these verses is such that while reciting, an image is formed about the form and features of Lord Hanuman.
kanchan baran : complexion like gold
biraj suvesha: well dressed
kanan kundal: ornament in the ears
kunchit kesha: neatly arranged hair
hath bajra: weapon in the hand; readiness
aru and dhwaja; flag biraje: exists
tej pratap : brave
maha jag bandan: worshipped by the universe
bajrangi: who is physically strong and can defeat even strongest of weapons
dhari lank jarava: he took a huge form when it was required
Attributes of Lord Hanuman:
Lord Hanuman's virtues have been explained in great detail. It is certainly beneficial if someone tries to embody these virtues.
dnyan gunsagar: who is an ocean of knowledge & virtues, capable, powerful, strong character
kapish: king of all the monkeys, leader, opinion leader, influencial
tihun lok ujagar: known every where, popular, well known, famous, who has established his good will
mahaveer : brave, great warriour, courageous
vidya van : knowledgeable
ati chatur: wise,prudent
Ram kaj karije ko atur: Very prompt and committed for the service
sukshma roop dhari siyahi dikhava: this indicates modesty and humility
The Beginning of Hanuman Chalisa:
This starts with a Doha (a composition having 4 lines, or 8 steps which rhyme like 1, 2 and 3, 4)
"Shri Guru Charan Saroj Raj. Nij Manu Mukur Sudhari - Barnau Raghubar Bimal Yash.Jo Dayak Phal Chari
Buddhiheen Tanu Janike Sumiro Pawankumar - Bal Buddhi Vidya Dehu Mohi Harahun Kalesh Vikar "
Key Words Translated:
Shri Guru Charan :The auspicious feet of my Guru. Saroj: Lotus. Raj: Dust. Nij: mine. Manu:mind. Mukuru :disorders, Sudhari: cure. Bal:power. Buddhi: wisdom. Vidya: knowledge. Dehu Mohi: grant me. Harahu: dispel. Klesh: pains. Vikar : disorders.
The Meaning :
The sheer proximity to my Guru makes my mind pure of all sins. Remember the glory of the Lord Ram and Lord Hanuman. Please grant me strength, wisdom and knowledge. Keep me away from mental woes and disorders.
How to memorize ?
Make it a habit of reading this daily in the morning and evening.
After bath in the morning and getting fresh in the evening. The image or idol or a picture of Lord Hanuman and a scented stick (incense) is desirable although not essential at the time of worship.
What are the benefits of reciting ?
The continuous chanting shall ensure that wisdom shall prevail, and hence all evil thoughts and deeds shall be eliminated. All pains and ailments shall be cured.
Kumati nivar: Remove my bad thoughts. Sumati ke sangi: In the company of the good thoughts. Nase rog: kills all ailments. Hare sab peeda: takes away all pains. Japat nirantar: continuous chanting.
Hanuman frees devotees from grave dangers provided this (name & form) is brought in mind, deeds, speech & meditation.
Sankat te hanuman chudave - Man kram bachan dhyan jo lave (Evil spirits do not trouble whenever and wherever Hanuman's name is being recited)
Bhut Pishaccha Nikat Nahi Ave Mahaveer Jab Naam Sunave (Whosoever recites this one hundred times, freedom is granted and becomes eternally happy and blessed.)
Jo shat bar path kar joi cchut hi bandi maha sukh hoi
The script in Hindi (Devanagari lipi) can be found here:
Hanuman chalisa is a biography of Lord hanuman in forty verses. This is written in a such way that it can be easily memorised and recited and can be set to a melody and sung.
The main purpose is to remember the virtues of Hanuman.The objectives of reciting are to create a power field in the mind, create positive thinking, to build up the courage and strength.
How to recite this is quite crucial. Devotion and intense energy in its input shall result in effective results.
Images of Hanuman for worship: