Thursday, 14 July 2011

Hanuman Chalisa

Hanuman Chalisa (Hindi: हनुमान चालीसा "Forty chaupais on Hanuman") is a devotional song based on Lord Hanuman as the model devotee. It is a poem written by Tulsidas in the Awadhi language, and is his best known Hindu text apart from the Ramcharitmanas.The word "chālisā" is derived from "chālis" in Hindi, which means 40, as the Hanuman Chalisa has 40 verses.

Hanuman (also known as Anjaneya and Maruti) is a Hindu deity and an ardent devotee of Rama, a central character in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana.

Background and popular legends

Legend goes that Tulsi Das went to meet the then Emperor Aurangzeb in Delhi after having had a darshan or vision of God Sri Rama in Gokula, the birth place of God Sri Krishna. The Emperor challenged Tulsi Das to show Sri Rama to him. When Tulsi Das replied that it is not possible without true devotion to Rama, he was imprisoned by Aurangzeb. In the prison, Tulsi Das is supposed to have written the beautiful verses of the Hanuman Chalisa on Sri Hanuman.

When he completed the Hanuman Chalisa in prison, it is said that an army of monkeys menaced the city of Delhi. The king unsuccessfully tried to control the monkeys with his forces. Finally, the Emperor is supposed to have realized that the monkey menace was a manifestation of the wrath of Hanuman, the Monkey God. He released Tulsi Das and urged him to intervene in this grave matter and it is said that the monkeys stopped their mischiefs immediately after Tulsi's release.

Tulsi Das says in the Chalisa that whoever chants it with full devotion to Hanuman, will have Hanuman's grace. Amongst the Hindus of Northern India, it is a very popular belief that chanting the Hanuman Chalisa invokes Hanuman's divine intervention in grave problems, including those concerning evil spirits and this belief is based on the claim made in the Chalisa itself.

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} and means 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.

Strong Belief:
It is acclaimed in Hanuman chalisa and is also widely believed among the devotees that any one who recites the Hanuman Chalisa a hundred times, shall attain freedom from the repeatability of birth and death and shall attain the highest bliss.

The Benefits:
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 Contents:
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 that the prayer is effective, it is essential that we have correctly understood all the virtues of the deity. Visualizing these virtues have a greater advantage and are 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 it shall exist in the future.Roles of 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, 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: who is pious and has truth established in his heart and hence one who has the Lord dwelling in his mind.}

Physical description of Hanumana:

The depiction of Lord Hanumana in these verses is such that while reciting, an image gets formed about the form and features of Lord Hanuman.

{Key words:kanchan baran : complexion like gold, biraj suvesha: well dressedkanan kundal: ornament in the ears kunchit kesha: neatly arranged hairhath bajra: weapon in the hand, readinessaru: and dhwaja : flag biraje: existstej pratap : bravemaha jag bandan: worshipped by the universebajrangi: who is physically strong and can defeat even strongest of weaponsbikat: hugeroop:formdhari 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 some one tries to imbibe these virtues .

{Key words:dnyan gunsagar: who is an ocean of knowledge & virtues,capable,powerful,strong characterkapish: king of all the monkeys,leader,opinion leader,influencia ltihun lok ujagar: known every where,popular,well known,famous,who has established his good will mahaveer : brave, great warriour,courage ousvidya van : knowledgeableguni: virtuousati chatur: wise,prudent Ram kaj karije ko atur:Very prompt and committed for the service sukshma roop dhari siyahi dikhava: this indicates modesty, humbleness}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 SudhariBarnau Raghubar Bimal Yash.Jo Dayak Phal ChariBuddhiheen Tanu Janike Sumiro Pawan kuma rBal 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: curebal:power, buddhi: wisdom,vidya: knowledgedehu mohi: grant me,harahu: dispel,klesh: painsvikar : 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 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.{Key words:Kumati nivar : Remove my bad thoughtsSumati ke sangi: In the company of the good thoughtsNase rog: kills all ailmentsHare sab peeda: takes away all painsJapat nirantar continuous chanting}Hanuman frees from grave dangers provided this (name & form) is brought in mind, deeds, speech & meditation{Sankat te hanuman chudaveMan 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 Hundred times, freedom is granted and becomes eternally happy and blessed.{Jo shat bar path kar joi cchut hi bandi maha sukh hoi}

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