Hanuman—the epitome of devotion, strength, and courage—is a beloved figure in Hindu mythology. Known as Lord Rama’s most loyal devotee, millions around the world revere and worship Hanuman. One of the most popular hymns dedicated to Hanuman is the Hanuman Chalisa. This sacred text holds great significance in Bhakti Yoga and is recited by devotees to seek blessings, protection, and strength from Hanuman. Through the melodic rhythm and enchanting lyrics, this hymn leaves an indelible imprint on the hearts and souls of those who recite it with devotion.
Who is Hanuman?
Hanuman, also known as the “monkey god”, is a prominent deity in Hindu mythology, revered for his unwavering devotion, strength, and loyalty. He is considered the greatest devotee of Lord Rama, the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu. Hanuman is depicted as a monkey-faced god with a muscular physique, symbolizing his immense power and agility. He is the son of the wind god Vayu and Anjana; hence, he inherits immense power and speed. He is widely worshipped across India and is revered as a symbol of courage, dedication, and selflessness.
Hanuman as a Symbol of Devotion
The most famous story associated with Hanuman is his role in the epic Ramayana, where he plays a pivotal role in the rescue of Lord Rama’s wife, Sita, from the demon king Ravana. His steadfast faithfulness, selfless love and unwavering loyalty to Sita and Rama is an inspiration to practitioners of Bhakti yoga as he uses his powers not for self-gain but selflessly in service to the Divine.
Significance in Indian Culture
In Indian culture, people often pray to Hanuman for strength and courage to overcome challenges in their lives. Hanuman is believed to bestow his devotees with the strength to face adversity and emerge victorious. His ability to lift mountains and leap across vast distances serves as a reminder to his devotees that they too can overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their lives.
Besides his physical prowess, Hanuman is revered for his wisdom and intelligence. He is considered to be a symbol of quick thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning. Many devotees seek his blessings to enhance their mental capabilities and to gain clarity in their decision-making processes.
Hanuman is not only worshipped by individuals facing personal challenges, but is also revered by warriors and soldiers. He is often regarded as the protector and guardian deity, providing strength and courage to those engaged in battles and conflicts. Soldiers often invoke Hanuman’s name and wear his symbol as a talisman for protection and bravery on the battlefield.
What is Hanuman Chalisa?
The Hanuman Chalisa is a devotional hymn in praise of Hanuman, composed by the poet-saint Tulsidas in the 16th century CE. The Chalisa is often recited as a chant or sung as a devotional song by devotees seeking Hanuman’s divine intervention and protection. This sacred text is written in Awadhi, a language closely related to Hindi. The Hanuman Chalisa consists of 40 verses, each known as a “chaupai” and two introductory couplets called “dohas.” The word “Chalisa” is derived from the Hindi word “chalis,” which means forty.
In these 40 verses, Tulsidas eloquently describes the auspicious form, knowledge, virtues, powers, and bravery of Hanuman. The hymn also narrates the great acts of Hanuman in serving Rama during his battles against evil forces, as depicted in the Ramayana.
Structure of the Hanuman Chalisa
The Hanuman Chalisa adheres to a structured poetic form. It begins with two introductory Dohas or couplets, followed by 40 Chaupais or quatrains (the actual Chalisa), and concludes with a Doha. Each Chaupai or verse extolls the various attributes and deeds of Hanuman, seeking his blessings and protection. The final Doha serves as a conclusion, expressing the poet’s humility and the purpose of the composition.
Meaning of Hanuman Chalisa and its Philosophical Interpretations
The Hanuman Chalisa is a poetic expression of the profound reverence and adoration towards Lord Hanuman. Each verse sheds light on Hanuman’s extraordinary acts of courage, his unflinching devotion towards Lord Rama (also known as ‘Sri Rama’), his intelligence, and his boundless power. However, the underlying philosophical interpretations go beyond the literal meaning.
In the spiritual context, Hanuman symbolizes the human mind, which when disciplined and focused, can perform remarkable feats and overcome challenging obstacles, just like the ‘destroyer of demons’. The ‘sacred thread’ he wears signifies purity of speech, thought, and action. The journey of ‘thousands of miles’ represents the constant pursuit of truth. His triumph over the ‘demon king’ is a metaphor for man’s victory over the vices within.
Chalisa’s Role in Spiritual Practice and Bhakti Yoga
The Hanuman Chalisa is not just a hymn of praise; it is also a spiritual tool that plays a pivotal role in Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion). Chanting or singing the Chalisa is a practice that helps in fostering a personal relationship with the divine, through love and devotion. For many, the regular chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa becomes a form of meditation, aiding in the development of concentration, and eventually leading to a higher level of spiritual awakening.
The Hanuman Chalisa also serves as a conduit in one’s spiritual journey, guiding yogis towards realizing their inherent divinity, and experiencing a deeper connection with the divine. The lyrics of the Chalisa are imbued with profound meaning and symbolism, each verse carrying a unique message and teaching.
Benefits of Chanting Hanuman Chalisa
Chanting the Chalisa has numerous benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Below are the main benefits of chanting this powerful prayer:
- Strengthens Faith and Devotion: Regular chanting of Hanuman Chalisa strengthens one’s faith and augments devotion, nurturing a deeper connection with the divine. It instills a sense of hope, encouraging individuals to find solace in their faith during challenging times.
- Increases Focus and Concentration: The prayer’s rhythmic verses and melodious tune have a soothing effect on the brain, enabling better focus and an increased ability to concentrate on tasks at hand. It helps to clear the mind of distractions, improves mental clarity, enhances focus and sharpens concentration.
- Protection from Negativity: Hanuman is believed to be a powerful protector against negative energies and evil forces. Chanting the prayer acts as a shield, safeguarding the individual from any harm or malevolent influences.
- Promotes Inner Peace: The repetitive chanting of the prayer allows one to enter a state of deep relaxation and calmness. It helps to alleviate stress, anxiety, and restlessness, promoting a sense of overall well-being.
- Helps Attain Spiritual Growth: The profound meanings embodied in the verses of the Hanuman Chalisa guide individuals on their spiritual journey. The regular practice of chanting this hymn fosters self-reflection, helping one evolve spiritually and realize their inherent divinity. By chanting with sincerity and devotion, one can experience a deep sense of spiritual upliftment.
Tips on Learning to Chant the Hanuman Chalisa
Embarking on the journey of learning to chant the Hanuman Chalisa can be an enriching and transformative experience. The goal of learning to chant this prayer is not just about perfecting the words, but about immersing yourself in the beauty and spirituality of the hymn. Here are some helpful tips to guide you on your path:
- Start Slow and Focus on Pronunciation: The Hanuman Chalisa is written in Awadhi, an old form of Hindi. As such, it may contain words and phrases that are unfamiliar to beginners. Start by chanting slowly, focusing on the pronunciation of each word. With time and practice, you’ll become more comfortable with the language.
- Listen to Recordings: Another effective way to learn to chant the Chalisa is by listening to audio recordings. This can help you understand the correct intonation, rhythm, and pronunciation.
- Practice Regularly: Consistent practice is key to mastering the chant. Try to incorporate the Chalisa into your daily routine, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. Over time, you’ll see progress in your ability to chant fluently.
- Chant with Devotion: The power of the Hanuman Chalisa lies not just in the words, but in the devotion with which they are chanted. As you chant, try to focus on the meaning of the verses and connect with the divine energy of Hanuman.
- Memorization Techniques: To memorize the Chalisa, break it down into manageable sections. Start by memorizing the first few verses, then gradually add more as you become comfortable. Repetition is also a useful technique for memorization.
Lyrics and Translation of Hanuman Chalisa
Below you will find the original Sanskrit verses of the Hanuman Chalisa paired with an English translation to help non-native speakers understand its profound meaning.
Sri Guru Charan Saroj Raj, Nij Mann Mukuru Sudhaari.
Barnaun Raghuvar Bimal Jasu, Jo Daayaku Phal Chaari.
Having polished the mirror of my heart with the dust of my Guru’s lotus feet, I recite the pure glory of Raghukul’s great king, which bestows the fruit of the four-fold achievements.
Buddhiheen Tanu Janike, Sumiraun Pawan-Kumar.
Bal Buddhi Vidya Dehu Mohi, Harahu Kalesh Bikaar.
Knowing this body to be devoid of intelligence, I remember the Son of Wind, who grants me strength, wisdom, and knowledge, and removes all my afflictions and impurities.
Jai Hanuman Gyan Gunn Sagar. Jai Kapees Tihun Lok Ujaagar.
Ramdoot Atulit Baldhama. Anjani-Putra Pawansut Naama.
Victory to Lord Hanuman, the ocean of wisdom and virtue. Victory to the chief of monkeys, illuminator of the three worlds. You are Lord Rama’s messenger, the abode of incomparable strength, Anjani’s son, and known as the ‘Son of Wind.’
Mahaveer Vikram Bajrangi. Kumati Nivaar Sumati Ke Sangi.
Kanchan Baran Biraj Subesa. Kaanan Kundal Kunchit Kesa.
O mighty hero, you are as powerful as a thunderbolt. You dispel evil thoughts and accompany those with good ones. Your complexion is golden and you shine in splendid attire. You have earrings in your ears and your hair is curly and thick.
Haath Braj Au Dhwaja Biraaje. Kaandhe Moonj Janeu Saaje.
Shankar Suvan Kesarinandan. Tej Prataap Maha Jag Bandan.
In your hands, you hold a mace and a flag, and a sacred thread adorns your shoulder. You are an incarnation of Lord Shiva and Kesari’s son. Your might and glory are revered by the entire world.
Vidyavaan Guni Ati Chaatur. Ram Kaaj Karibe Ko Aatur.
Prabhu Charitra Sunibe Ko Rasiya. Ram Lakhan Sita Mann Basiya.
You are supremely learned, virtuous, and clever. You are always eager to perform Lord Rama’s tasks. You delight in listening to Lord Rama’s exploits. Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana reside within your heart.
Sukshma Roop Dhari Siyanhi Dikhawa. Bikat Roop Dhari Lanka Jarawa.
Bheem Roop Dhari Asura Sanghare. Ramchandra Ke Kaaj Sanware.
Assuming a diminutive form, you appeared before Sita. In a fearsome form, you burned Lanka. Taking a gigantic form, you vanquished demons. Thus, you skillfully completed Lord Ramachandra’s mission.
Laaye Sanjeevan Lakhana Jiyaaye. Sri Raghuveer Harashi Urr Laaye.
Raghupati Keenhi Bahut Badai. Tum Mum Priya, Bhartahi Sum Bhai.
You brought the life-restoring Sanjeevani herb and revived Lakshmana, Lord Raghuvir joyously embraced you in his heart. Lord Rama lavished praise upon you, saying you are as dear to him as his brother Bharata.
Sahas Badan Tumharo Jas Gaave. Asa Kahi Sripati Kanth Lagaave.
Sankaadik Brahmadi Munisa. Narad Sarad Sahit Aheesa.
Saying this, Lord Rama drew you to Himself and embraced you. Sages like Sanaka and Narada, gods like Brahma, and even the thousand-mouthed serpent sing your fame! Sanak, Sanandan, and the other rishis and great saints: Brahma, Narada, Saraswati, and the King of Serpents sing your glory.
Jam Kuber Digpal Jahan Te. Kabi Kobid Kahi Sake Kahan Te.
Tum Upkaar Sugreevahi Keenha. Ram Milaaye Raj-Pad Deenha.
Yama, Kubera, and the guardians of directions, poets and scholars – none can express your glory adequately. You did a great favor for Sugreeva, you introduced him to Lord Rama who restored his kingdom.
Tumharo Mantra Bibhishan Maana. Lankeshwar Bhaye Sab Jag Jaana.
Yug Sahastra Jojan Par Bhanu. Leelyo Taahi Madhur Phal Jaanu.
Vibhishana accepted your preachings and became the king of Lanka, as is known to the whole world. You leaped towards the sun, thousands of miles away, thinking it to be a sweet red fruit.
Prabhu Mudrika Meli Mukh Maahi. Jaladhi Laandhi Gaye Achraj Naahi.
Durgam Kaaj Jagat Ke Jete. Sugam Anugrah Tumhare Tete.
With the Lord’s ring in your mouth, you leaped over the ocean. With your grace, all the world’s difficult tasks become easy.
Ram Duaare Tum Rakhvare. Hott Na Aagya Binu Paisare.
Sab Sukh Lahe Tumhari Sarna. Tum Rakshak Kahu Ko Dar Na.
You are the guardian at Lord Rama’s doorstep, and without your permission, no one can enter. All happiness is found in your refuge. With you as protector, why fear anyone?
Aapan Tej Samharo Aape. Teeno Lok Haank Te Kaampe.
Bhoot Pishaach Nikat Nahi Aavein. Mahaveer Jab Naam Sunaave.
You alone can restrain your own splendor, causing the three worlds to tremble with a single roar. No ghosts or evil spirits dare come near when the mighty Mahaveer’s name is invoked.
Naase Rog Hare Sab Peera. Japat Nirantar Hanumat Beera.
Sankat Te Hanuman Churave. Mann Kram Vachan Dhyaan Jo Laave.
O valiant Hanuman! When your name is chanted continuously, all ailments and pains are destroyed. Hanuman relieves those in distress who meditate on him with heart, actions, and words.
Sab Par Ram Tapasvi Raja. Tin Ke Kaaj Sakal Tum Saaja.
Aur Manorath Jo Koi Laave. Soi Amit Jivan Phal Paave.
Lord Rama is the king of ascetics, and you arrange all his works. Anyone who approaches you with a desire obtains the infinite fruit of life.
Chaaron Yug Partap Tumhara. Hai Parsidh Jagat Ujiyara.
Saadhu-Sant Ke Tum Rakhvare. Asur Nikandan Ram Dulaare.
Your glory prevails throughout all four ages and illuminates the whole world. You are the protector of saints and sages, the destroyer of demons, and beloved by Lord Rama.
Ashta Siddhi Nau Nidhi Ke Daata. As Var Deen Janaki Mata.
Ram Rasayan Tumhare Paasa. Sadaa Raho Raghupati Ke Daasa.
Mother Janaki granted you the boon to bestow eight siddhi powers and nine kinds of wealth. You possess the elixir of devotion to Rama. May you always remain his devoted servant.
Tumhare Bhajan Ram Ko Paave. Janam Janam Ke Dukh Bisraave.
Antkaal Raghuvar Pur Jaayi. Jahan Janam Hari-Bhakt Kahayi.
Singing your praise gives access to Lord Rama and erases the sorrows of many births. At life’s end, one reaches the abode of Raghuvir and is forever known as a devotee of Hari.
Aur Devta Chitta Na Dharai. Hanumat Sei Sarva Sukh Karai.
Sankat Kate, Mite Sab Peera. Jo Sumire Hanumat Balbeera.
One need not engage in worshiping other deities, as service to Lord Hanuman alone brings all happiness. All troubles vanish and all pain is removed for those who remember the mighty Hanuman.
Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Gosain. Krupa Karahu Gurudev Ki Naai.
Jo Sat Baar Paath Kar Koi. Chutahi Bandhi Maha Sukh Hoyi.
Hail, hail, hail, Lord Hanuman! Grant your grace as the divine guru does. Whoever recites this Chalisa a hundred times will be released from bondage and attain immense joy.
Jo Yeh Padhe Hanuman Chalisa, Hoye Siddhi Saakhi Gaurisa.
Tulsidas Sada Hari Chera, Keeje Nath Hriday Mah Dera.
Whoever reads this Hanuman Chalisa attains fulfillment, with Lord Shiva as the witness. Tulsidas, forever a servant of Hari, prays: O Lord, reside in my heart.
Pawan Tanay Sankat Haran, Mangal Murti Roop.
Ram Lakhan Sita Sahit, Hriday Basahu Sur Bhoop.
O Son of the Wind, remover of afflictions, embodiment of auspiciousness, together with Lord Rama, Lakshmana, and Mother Sita, reside in my heart, O King of Gods.
Best videos of Hanuman Chalisa
There are numerous options available on Youtube of videos of Hanuman Chalisa being sung. These videos not only allow you to listen to the melodious rendition of this sacred prayer, but also provide visual aids and translations to enhance your understanding and devotion. These videos often feature beautiful visuals of Lord Hanuman, along with the lyrics displayed on the screen. This allows viewers to follow along and sing along with the singer. Here are our 3 favorite Chalisa videos:
The Hanuman Chalisa is more than just a holy hymn; it is a potent tool for personal growth and spiritual enlightenment. Each verse carries a deep, insightful message that resonates with the devotees, enabling them to imbibe Hanuman’s virtues into their own lives. Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa catalyzes one’s spiritual journey, paving the path to inner peace, resilience, and divine realization.