Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Reciting Hanuman Chalisa

Hanuman Chalisa, the holy devotional work written by Goswami Tulsidas in the sixteenth century, has gained enormous popularity among Hindus living the world over. With the blessings of Shri Hanuman, Goswami Tulsidas has also written Ramayana in Hindi and this Tulsi Ramayana is known as Ram Charitha Manas.  Tulsi Ramayana has revolutionized the Ram Bhakti movement by enabling common man to recite the glorious legend of Shri Rama in Hindi.
The Power of Shri Hanuman
Shri Hanuman is understood as great jnani, yogi and a brahmachari (bachelor). He has been blessed as chiranjivi, one who lives eternally. The blessings of Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, Surya, Indra, and Vayu made Shri Hanuman invincible. He is the great lover of music and also mastered the Sanskrit language. Being the Yogacharya, Shri Hanuman is considered as an embodiment of the four yogas. His strength, valour, prowess, will power, memory, balanced emotions, sharp intellect, fearlessness, and noble actions were perfectly refined and grounded in spirituality. None in the world can equal Shri Hanuman. He had only one thought--that of serving his Shri Rama with utmost humility and devotion. He serves, protects and inspires the devotees of Shri Rama. He holds the flag with fish symbols. Shri Hanuman Chalisa praises the selfless service, courage, humble disposition, and foremost devotion shown by Shri Hanuman towards Shri Rama. Shri Hanuman will present Himself with folded hands in prayer wherever and whenever the Holy name of Shri Rama is recited. Shri Hanuman always loves to hear the mantra ‘Shri Ramajeyam.' Just chant ‘Shri Ramajeyam' mantra 108 times and pray to Shri Hanuman. Here's how to recite one of the popular Hindu chants and mantras, the Hanuman Chalisa.
Step 1
Story of Shri Hanuman.  Punjikasthala was serving as an attendant of Shri Brihaspati, the guru of the gods. Due to her mistake, she was cursed to assume the body of a female monkey. Her curse would be removed once if she gives birth to an incarnation of Siva. Due to this curse, Punjikasthala was born as Anjana. She lived a pure and chaste life with her husband Kesari. To mitigate from the curse, she performed intense austerities for many years, and worshipped Siva.
King Dasaratha of Ayodhya has performed a sacrifice for progeny (Putra Kameshti Yagam). He was blessed with a golden bowl of Divine Beverage (Payasam) and he shared the beverage among his three wives - Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. He was blessed with three male children through his three wives and the children were named as Rama (son of Kausalya), Bharata (Son of Kaikeyi), Lakshmana and Satrughna (Twin Sons of Sumitra). Shri Rama is said to be the reincarnation of Lord Vishnu. Shri Jambavan is said to be the reincarnation of Lord Brahma. Shri Hanuman is considered as the eleventh incarnation of Lord Siva.
Lord Siva was pleased with Anjana's devotion, and decided that he would mitigate Anjana's curse. To make it to happen, by divine ordinance, a kite snatched the bowl with a fragment of pudding. The kite, while flying over the forest, dropped the bowl where Anjana was observing penance. Vayu, the Lord of wind, directed and delivered the bowl of pudding to the outstretched hands of Anjana. On consumption of the divine pudding, Anjana gave birth to Shri Hanuman.
After the birth of Shri Hanuman, Anjana was released from the curse. She wanted to get back to heaven. Shri Hanuman inquired about His future and she assured him that he could never be destroyed. Later, the blessings of all the gods made Hanuman invincible. Shri Hanuman adopted Surya, the Sun­ god, as his guru. Over a short period of time, Shri Hanuman mastered all the scriptures. As a token of respect, Shri Hanuman offered himself to assist and help Sugriva, the son of Surya (lived in Kishkindha).        
At Kishkindha, Shri Hanuman met Shri Rama (the Prince of Ayodhya) and his brother Lakshmana. The brothers came in search of Rama's wife, Sita. Actually Sita was abducted by the demon Ravana.
When Shri Rama revealed His identity as Lord Vishnu, Hanuman fell prostrate before him and Rama picked him up and clasped him to his bosom. From then onwards, the story of Shri Hanuman is inextricably interwoven with that of Shri Rama, and is exhaustively dealt with in the Ramayana.
Shri Hanuman also finds a place in another important epic, Mahabharata. He was blessing the Pandavas in the battle of Kurukshetra by positioning himself on the flag of Arjuna's chariot and he was stabilizing and protecting the side.
Step 2
Why the Name Hanuman Chalisa?  Goswami Tulsidas wrote these forty verses in the praise of Shri Hanuman. Forty in Hindi is called 'chalis.' The hymn containing forty verses is called 'Chalisa.' Each such verse is called a chaupai (means 4 legs) and each chaupai of the Chalisa has two lines each--the two always rhyme. Hanuman Chalisa is simple and is the utmost rhythmical poem. The chalisa is sung in different tunes (more than 100) across the country. Even if you don't understand Hindi, you may enjoy hearing it.
Based on the structure and content of Hanuman Chalisa, the devotees have identified three parts - the invocation or preamble, the main body (chalisa) and the final prayer and request. Hanuman Chalisa speaks about Shri Hanuman's parentage, his physique and intelligence, valor and heroic acts, devotion to Shri Rama and Sita.

Hanuman Chalisa has been found to be highly effective in controlling evil effects.
  • 1) You can recite it either at a temple or at your puja room.
  • 2) Sit at your place. Close your eyes.
  • 3) Place a picture of Shri Hanuman.
  • 4) Offer the garland of oscimum sanctum or Tulsi or lotus flower. Avoid nerium flower. You may offer a garland made out of betel leaves. You may also offer garland made out of Vada (a South Indian snack made of Urad Dhall).
  • 5) Light a ghee lamp.
  • 6) Offer incense sticks.
  • 7) Now meditate on Shri Hanuman.
  • 8) Now chant Shri Hanuman Chalisa. After completion of each Hanuman Chalisa chanting, offer a flower to Shri Hanuman. You may recite it 12 times, 24 times, 32 times. You may also recite the hymns 108 times while going around the pipal tree.
  • 9) You may offer Sweet Pongal, Ven Pongal, Vada, Honey, Fruits and Panakam (a beverage made from jaggery and tamarind).
Step 4
Reciting specific hymns.  After attending many discourses, I have understood that the recitation of specific Hindu prayers and hymns in Hanuman Chalisa will bestow specific results.  I have compiled specific number of the Hymns and the benefits:
1) Chanting the Opening Invocation Hymn of Hanuman Chalisa many times will mitigate the doshas arising out of having insulted knowingly/ unknowingly one's preceptor/ a Rama Bhakta. The hardships in your life will be relieved and you will be blessed with strength and wisdom.
2) Chanting the First Hymn of the Chalisa "Jaya Hanumaan gyaan guna saagar....." will bestow Divine knowledge.
3) Chanting the Third Hymn of Chalisa "Mahaaveer vikrama Bhajrangi....." will remove the bad company of friends or relatives or get rid of your bad habits. It will guide you in your right path.
4) Chanting the Seventh and Eighth Hymns "Vidyavan guni athi chaathur....." will channel a devotee into Rama Bhakti and he will become dear to Shri Rama.
5) Chanting the eleventh Hymn "Laya sanjivan....." will mitigate the effects of poisonous bites and remove fear of snakes.
6) Chanting the Twelfth Hymn will remove misunderstanding between your sons and daughters and will bring unity and affection among them.
7) Chanting the Thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth Hymns will help you to reach name and fame.
8) Chanting the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Hymns will restore lost status or help in getting desired career improvements or promotions.
9) Chanting the Twentieth Hymn will remove obstacles and help in reaching your goals.
10) Chanting the Twenty-second Hymn will provide due protection from adverse planetary effects.
11) Chanting the Twenty-fourth Hymn will drive away all negative energies and evil spirits including black magical deities.
12) Chanting the Twenty-fifth Hymn will restore exuberant health and spirits. The recitation will also give you the ability to withstand physical agony and pain when you are injured or in ailment.
13) Chanting the Twenty-sixth Hymn protects you from general hardships and difficulties.
14) Chanting the Twenty-seventh and Twenty-eighth Hymns will bring fulfilment of desires by Divine Blessings.
15) Chanting the Twenty-ninth will take to the pinnacle of name and fame.
16) Chanting the Thirtieth Hymn will help you to conquer evil forces.
17) Chanting the Thirty-first Hymn will help you to master occult powers and great wealth.
18) Chanting the Thirty-second, Thirty-third, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-fifth Hymns will certainly make you enjoy a self-contented life without any bothers / frustrations. You are assured that at the end of such a self-contented life, you will attain the Lotus feet of Shri Rama.
19) Chanting the Thirty-sixth Hymn will mitigate you from all difficulties and pains.
20) Chanting the Thirty-seventh Hymn will secure the Grace of Shri Hanuman.


If you want to accomplish some major tasks, then you are advised to chant the appropriate Hymn with devotion 1008 times on an auspicious Tuesday, Wednesday,  Thursday, or Saturday or on a combination of a Moola Nakshatra day and a new moon day falling during Tamil month Margazhi (14 Dec - 13 Jan).
Some recommend that devotees perform Tail Puja. What is Tail Puja? Tail Puja is one of the other important Hindu rituals. It is the offering of sandalwood paste and kumkum / sindoor to the tail of Shri Hanuman's image for 48 days.

Quick Tips:
  • Shri Hanuman is understood as great jnani, yogi and a brahmachari (bachelor).
  • The blessings of Siva, Vishnu, Brahma, Surya, Indra, and Vayu made Shri Hanuman invincible.
  • Hanuman Chalisa praises the selfless service, courage, humble disposition, and foremost devotion shown by Shri Hanuman towards Shri Rama.

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