sriguru charan saroj raja, nija mana mukuru sudhari
barnau raghbar bimal jasu, jo dayaku phal chari
“After cleaning the mirror of my mind with the dust from my guru’s lotus feet, I recite the pure glory of Sri Rama, which provides the four fruits of life.”
buddhiheen tanu janike, sumiron pavankumar
bal buddhi bidya dehi mohin, harhu kalesa bikar
“Having understood that I am devoid of intellect, I am remembering Hanuman, the son of Pavan. I request him to grant me intellect, power, and knowledge and to remove my flaws and sufferings.”
Notes: The mirror of our mind is covered with the dust of ignorance. But we can clean it with the dust of our guru’s lotus feet. As soon as our mind starts getting purified, it voluntarily aspires to recite the glories of Sri Rama, who has always been living within it. Chanting his name and singing his glories then provides the four aims of life: dharma (righteousness and fulfillment of duties), artha (wealth), kama (pleasures and fulfillment of dreams), and moksha (liberation).
If we think we possess the mental faculties to reach Brahman or fully know him, we may be karmically obstructed, at least according to the devotional traditions of Hinduism. Even if we are powerful and knowledgeable, chances are that we may be misusing these resources. Once we understand our own limitations and surrender our self to Hanuman, we can expect him to grant us the intellect, power, and knowledge that can be used for our absolute advancement and to remove the cause of our sufferings.
jai hanuman jnana guna sagar, jai kapisa tihun loka ujagar ||1||
rama doot atulita bal dhama, anjani putra pavan suta nama ||2||
“Salutations to Hanuman, the ocean of jnana and virtue; salutations to the king of vanaras, who is renowned in the three worlds, is the messenger of Sri Rama, possesses incomparable strength, and is known as Anjani-putra (“child of Anjani”) and Pavan-putra (“son of wind”).
mahavira bikrama bajrangi, kumati nivara sumati ke sangi ||3||
kanchan baran biraj subesa, kanan kundal kunchit kesa ||4||
“O Hanuman! You are supremely powerful and heroic, have a physique like lightning, ward off evil thoughts, and grant the companionship of wisdom. You possess a golden complexion, wear auspicious attire, are adorned with ear-rings, and have curly hair.”
Notes: The chalisa begins with salutations to Hanuman, who, as everyone knows, is the ultimate savior and can bestow all sattvic qualities in beings remembering him. Besides incomparable strength, knowledge, and power, Hanuman also possesses perfection in utilizing his powers only for Rama. The golden complexion of Hanuman is a reflection of his pure devotion for Rama as well as his position as a universal guru.
haath bajra au dhwaja biraje, kandhe moonj janeu saaje ||5||
sankar suvana kesari nandan, tej pratap maha jag bandan ||6||
“You carry lightning and a flag in your hands and wear a sacred thread over your shoulder. You are Shiva-incarnate and the son of Kesari. The whole world praises you for your brilliance.”
bidyavana guni ati chatur, rama kaja karibe ko aatur ||7||
prabhu charitra sunibe ko rasiya, rama lakhan sita mana basiya ||8||
“You are extremely intelligent, virtuous, and smart and are always keen to work for Rama. You enjoy listening to Rama’s praise and live in the hearts of Rama, Sita, and Lakshman.”
Notes: Though Hanuman is an eternal ocean of knowledge and virtues, Hanuman’s unique stylishness gets highlighted in the Ramayana during his first visit to Lanka (his first major assignment for Rama). The beauty of his divine play is the focus of the Sundar Kand.
Hanuman has been listening to Rama’s praise from all his devotees and to every being’s viewpoint on the Ramayana for ages but is never satisfied. Out of his grace on all souls, he continues to visit places where Rama’s praise is sung by devotees to ensure that we, the imperfect jivas, do not forget Rama-nama. Unsurprisingly, he lives in the hearts of Rama, Sita, and Lakshman, just like they also live in Hanuman’s heart.
sukshma rupa dhari siyahi dikhawa, bikata rupa dhari lank jarava ||9||
bheem rupa dhari asura sanhare, ramchandra ke kaaj sanware ||10||
“Though you appeared before Devi Sita in a tiny form, you assumed a fearsome form to burn Lanka. You assumed a gigantic form to annihilate asuras and make preparations for Rama’s divine plan.”
laye sajivan lakhan jiyaye, shriraghubir harashi ur laye||11||
raghupati kinhi bahut badhai, tum mam priye bharathi sam bhai ||12||
“By bringing the Sanjivani (an herb) to revive Lakshman’s life, you filled Sri Rama’s heart with happiness, who then embraced you. Rama praised you extensively and stated that you are as dear to him as Bharata, his brother.”
Notes: Hanuman, who possesses all mystical powers and can change forms, assumed different appearances during his visit to Lanka. When he saw Devi Sita under the Ashoka tree, his form was so weak, tiny, and child-like that the Mother Goddess doubted his potential as a warrior. He then assumed a very frightening form while burning down Lanka, and took a gigantic form to annihilate asuras.
Sri Rama’s comparison of Hanuman with Bharata shows Rama’s impartial affection towards all his devotees. At the same time, the comparison is more a compliment and praise for Bharata than for Hanuman, who, like Rama, is beyond all comparisons and had showered his grace on Bharata as well. Just like Hanuman removed Lakshman’s suffering, he also eliminated Bharata’s suffering forever by informing Bharata about Rama’s arrival near Ayodhya.
sahas badan tumharo jasa gavein, asa kahi shripati kanth lagavein||13||
sanakadik brahmadi munisa, narad sarad sahit ahisa||14||
jama kuber digpala jahan te, kabi kobid kahi sake kahan te||15||
“After saying that the thousand-hooded Sheshnaga sings your praise, Rama, the Lord of Shri, embraced you. When Sanaka and his brothers, Brahma and the munis, Narada, Devi Saraswati, Yama, Kubera, and Digpala can not describe your glories, how can poets and scholars describe them?”
Notes: Sheshnaga, the divine serpent who forms the coils on which Narayana rests and who has incarnated on Earth as Lakshmana, is selective in praising others. Besides Sita Rama (or Lakshmi Narayana), it appears that he has found only Hanuman worthy of his praise. Tulasidasa, the ultimate devotional poet, finds all scholars and poets (including himself) unqualified for describing Hanuman’s glories. But he knows that describing the greatness of Hanuman is an unachievable task for even divine beings.
tum upkara sugreevahi kinha, rama milaye raja pada dinha||16||
tumharo mantra vibhishan mana, lankeshwar bhaye sab jaga jaana||17||
“As a result of your beneficence, Sugreeva met Rama and got his throne. The world already knows that Vibhishana became the king of Lanka by following your advice.”
juga sahastra jojan par bhanu, leelyo taahi madhur phal jaanu||18||
prabhu mudrika meli mukha maahi, jaladhi langh gaye achraja nahin||19||
durgam kaaj jagat ke jete, sugam anugrah tumhare tete||20||
“You swallowed the Sun, located thousands if miles away, believing it to be a sweet fruit. It is unsurprising that you jumped over the ocean with Rama’s ring in your mouth. The impossible tasks of the world become easy with your grace.”
Notes: Hanuman’s grace on Sugreeva and Vibhishana was similar. Both were more worthy, in terms of dharma, than their respective brothers. As a result of their meeting with Sri Rama, who is the king of the Universe and the sustainer of dharma, both got enthroned in their kingdoms, Kishkindha and Lanka. A face-to-face meeting of a jiva with Rama (darshan) solely falls in Hanuman’s domain, for only he can make is possible for a being.
Though jumping across an ocean or reaching the Sun to engulf it may appear impossible tasks to even seers and gods, nothing is impossible for the incarnation of Shiva who was born to help Para Shakti and Parameshvara in their divine play on Earth.
rama duare tum rakhware, hota na aagya binu paisare||21||
sab sukh lahe tumhari sarana, tum racchak kahu ko darna||22||
“You guard the door to Rama’s abode, which no one can enter without your approval. Your refuge provides absolute happiness, and no fears exist with you as one’s protector.”
aapan tej samharo aape, teenon loka haank te kaapen||23||
bhoot pishach nikat nahin aavein, mahavira jab naam sunavein||24||
nase roga hare sab pira, japat nirantar hanumat beera||25||
“Only you can control your energy and brilliance; the three worlds quiver when you roar. Evil souls do not approach a person who recites the name of Hanuman. The continual chanting of Hanuman’s name removes all diseases and sufferings.”
Notes: Hanuman is considered the real guard to Rama’s abode because Hanuman’s blessings are essential for Rama’s grace on a being. Though Hanuman is fully calm, the universe does fear his potential anger. However, a devotee of Hanuman, who is always protected by him, has no reason to fear, for chanting of Hanuman’s name removes all three types of sufferings — spiritual, mental, and physical.
sankat tein hanuman chhuravai, mana krama bachan dhyana jo lave||26||
sab par rama tapasvi raja, tin ke kaaj sakal tum saaja||27||
“Whenever someone remembers Hanuman using mind, action, or word, his or her hardships are removed. O Hanuman, you even fulfilled the objectives of Rama, the ultimate yogi who rules over the universe.”
Notes: It is advisable to remember Hanuman if one needs help in any sphere of life. If one can not meditate upon him (using the mind) or bow one’s head before his murti (an example of a devotional action), Hanuman can be remembered simply by uttering his name from the mouth. When Hanuman could fulfill the aspirations of Rama, the Supreme Soul, there is no reason why he can not fulfill the aspirations of a weak soul.
aur manorath jo koi lavai, soi amit jeevan phal paavai||28||
charon jug partap tumhara, hai parsiddha jagat ujiyara||29||
sadhu sant ke tum rakhvare, asura kinandan rama dulare||30||
“Whoever discloses his or her hopes before you attains incalculable fruits of life. Your brilliance and glory span all the four yugas and brighten up the entire universe. You are the protector of seers and saint, the destroyer of evil beings, and the dearest to Rama.”
ashta siddhi nau nidhi ke data, asa bar deen janaki mata||31||
rama rasayan tumhare paasa, sada raho raghupati ke dasa||32||
“As a result of a boon from Mother Sita, you can bestow the eight siddhis and nine riches upon anyone. Because you hold the nectar of Rama bhakti, you always remain in Rama’s service.”
Notes: Like Bhagavan Shiva, Hanuman can provide immeasurable blessings, both worldly and spiritual, to beings who remember him and share their dreams with him. As a result of a boon given by the Devi Sita, Hanuman can provide all the kinds of mystical powers and riches to his devotee at his discretion. Though Hanuman was born on Earth in treta yoga, his glory spreads beyond time and space. He is, therefore, revered in all the four yugas (even sata yuga) and by everyone in the universe, including divine beings. A major characteristic of Hanuman’s bhakti is his perfection in dasya bhava, more about which can be read here.
tumhare bhajan rama ko paave, janam janam ke dukh bisrave||33||
ant kaal raghubar pur jayee, jahan janma hari bhakta kahai||34||
“Your adoration leads a being to Bhagavan Rama, and he or she forgets the sufferings experienced over previous lifetimes. After concluding one’s time on Earth, the being reaches the abode of Rama and eternally remains his devotee.”
aur devata chit na dharahi, hanumat sei sarba sukh karai||35||
sankat kate mite sab pira, jo sumire hanumat balbira||36||
“A devotee of Hanuman need not worship any other god, for Hanuman’s devotion is sufficient to grant complete bliss. All misfortunes and pains are eliminated by remembering the supremely powerful Hanuman.”
Notes: Some of the perceptible fruits of Hanuman’s bhakti, as summarized by Goswami Tulasidasa, include liberation from the karmic cycle and eternal nearness to Rama. Because Hanuman acts like a guardian, provides all material and spiritual blessings, and eventually hands over an individual soul (jiva) to Rama, the Supreme Soul, Hanuman’s devotees find little need to worship anyone else. The world has not heard of a bigger protector and savior than Hanuman.
jai jai jai hanuman gosain, kripa karahu guru deva ki nain||37||
jo sat baar path kar koi, chhutahi bandi maha sukh hoi||38||
“Hail to you, Lord Hanuman! Please grace me as my guru. Whoever recites this prayer a hundred times is liberated from bondage and experiences the greatest joy.”
jo yeh pade hanuman chalisa, hoye siddhi saakhi gaurisa||39||
tulasidasa sada hari chera, kije naath hriday mahan dera||40||
“Whoever reads this Hanuman Chalisa becomes spiritually accomplished; Bhagavan Shiva himself is the witness to this. Tulasidasa is an eternal servant of Sri Rama. O Lord Hanuman! Please dwell in my heart.”
pavantanaye sankat haran, mangal murati rupa
rama lakhan sita sahit, hriday basahu sur bhupa
“O son of Pavan! You are the remover of miseries and the embodiment of auspiciousness. Please reside in my heart, O King of gods, with Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita.”
Notes: Hanuman, out of his limitless grace, has stayed on Earth to guide individual souls towards Rama. All Rama devotees, including some of the biggest bhakti saints ever born, have been dependent on Hanuman’s grace for reaching Rama. This explains why Hanuman can be called the ultimate guru for everyone who has or will, in the future, get to utter even a single name of Rama. Though Hanuman’s worship can provide mystical powers as well as immeasurable riches, true bhakti lies in his selfless (nishkama) remembrance. Only then can we expect him to reside in our hearts with Sita-Rama and Lakshmana.