A Mystical Interpretation of the Hanuman Chalisa
By Swami Jyotirmayananda
Introduction by Ram-Giri
The Ramayana is one of the greatest stories ever told. In this fantastic tale of the adventures of Gods and demons, humans, monkeys and bears, the fertile mind of India takes us into a journey to our own liberation.
The tale engrosses the heart and mind because it is infinitely deeper than its surface narrative. It is a story told by the enlightened mind to enlighten us. It gives us a master key, a highly sophisticated psychology of the Higher Self, which transforms the reader on levels much deeper than the thinking mind.
Here is a simplified summary of the mystical significance of the major elements of the Ramayana, following Swami Jyotirmayananda’s lucid interpretation. The whole story is told with fascinating detail in Swamiji’s “Mysticism of the Ramayana,” available at yrf.org.
Rama symbolizes the Supreme Self, the Ultimate Reality, the Brahman of the Upanishads. His brothers stand for sat-chit-ananda, the divine attributes—existence, consciousness, and bliss. Sita is the Divine Mother, who, through the Cosmic Mind, is the cause of the multiplicity of life. She is inseparable from Brahman.
On the level of our relative existence the protagonists represent the aspects of our lives: Rama stands for the soul in the process of awakening. Lakshmana is the power of will in us. Shatrughna represents reason, and Bharata is the emotional aspect of the personality, which is channeled into devotion. Sita is the intellect (buddhi) that finds its divine origin.
King Dasharatha stands for the human personality. His three queens are the positive aspects of the three gunas (modes of nature): Kausaliya is Sattva (harmony, balance, light and intelligence; our higher spiritual potential), Sumitra is Rajas (the power of action, energy, movement and change), and Kaikeyi is Tamas (darkness, inertia, dullness, unconsciousness).
Rama—the soul—breaks Shiva’s bow, which is symbolic of breaking the spell of ego, the spell of ignorance, and of embarking on the spiritual quest. This wins him the hand of Sita, which means the higher, spiritual intelligence (buddhi) comes alive in us, leading us to enlightenment.
But Sita, the intellect, is kidnapped by the demonic force (Ravana—avidia or ignorance) and imprisoned in Lanka, the depth of the unconscious mind. In order to find her and free her, Rama meets sages and saints (seeks satsang or spiritual company). He befriends monkeys and bears, which means the soul integrates the energies of the senses. Then he sends Hanuman (the sadhana shakti, power of spiritual practice) to find Sita. Hanuman burns Lanka (he overhauls the unconscious) and brings the news of Sita to Rama. This means the soul and higher intelligence are connected through insight into the practice of meditation and Samadhi.
Rama then builds a bridge across the ocean to Lanka. This bridge is the mystical connection into the unconscious, built with the rocks of shubha samskaras (pure impressions, the cultivation of a pure mind). Rama, the soul, then enters the kingdom of the demons (the recesses of the unconscious mind where the roots of ignorance, egoism and evil dwell).
The demon brothers Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhishana, represent the negative aspects of the three gunas that keep the soul in bondage. Vibhishana is sattva, Ravana is rajas, and Kumbhakarna is Tamas. Vibhishana switches allegiance to Rama, which allows Rama to destroy the demons. In this way the soul, after developing sattva, is able to overcome the power of the rajasic and tamasic forces. In this process the light of the soul dissolves the darkness of the unconscious and allows the unconscious to be ruled by sattva. When the war has come to an end, Rama installs Vibhishana to be the ruler of Lanka – the sattva guna rules the unconscios.
Rama is then reunited with Sita, after she undergoes the fire ordeal. This means that the soul and buddhi (the higher mind) are joined, after the mind has been purified in the fire of spiritual practice and becomes intuitive. Rama and Sita (the union of soul and pure intellect) then return to Ayodya and establish Rama Rajya on earth, a life of divine glory, free of fear and suffering, which symbolizes jivan mukti, the state of enlightenment.
Hanuman, the monkey God, is a central hero of the Ramayana. Widely worshipped in India, he represents devotion and the faith that can move mountains. His fame is extolled in the Hanuman Chalisa, a song of 40 verses.
(Adorations to Lord Hanuman)
Atulita bala-dhaamam hema-shailaabha-deham,
Raghupati-priya-bhaktam vaata-jaatam namaami.
I offer adorations to Lord Hanuman, who is the very abode of strength, whose body shines like the Golden Mountain (Mt. Sumeru), who is like fire for consuming the forest of the demons (forces of darkness), the foremost among the wise, the abode of all divine qualities, the ruler of all monkeys (the mind and senses), the dearest devotee of Lord Rama, the son of the Wind God!
Sita-raama guba-graama punya-aranya vihaarinau.
Vande vishuddha vijnaanau kaveeshara kapeeshwarau.
Adorations to Sri Hanuman, the lord of monkeys, the lord of Divine poets, the very embodiment of pure wisdom, who delightfully sports in the forests of the Divine glories of Sita and Rama!
Om Sri Hanumate Namah!
(Adorations to Lord Hanuman!)
Introduction to Hanuman Chaleesa
Lord Hanuman is the embodiment of Divine Faith. He is invoked and worshipped by the Hanuman Chaaleesa—the glorification of Lord Hanuman in forty verses composed by Saint Tulsi Das. For centuries, the Hindus in India have recited this Hanuman chaleesa for facing the baffling problems of life, for finding peace and solace in adverse conditions, for spiritual enrichment, for success in every walk of life and for attaining the goal of life—Bhakti and Mukti (devotion to God and Liberation).
The mind is like a monkey, ever restless, full of distractions. However, when shraddha (faith) in an aspirant is touched by Rama (Ishwar bhakti), it begins to grow like a mystic tree. Faith leads to veerya (spiritual strength), which in turn promotes smriti (spiritual memory). Instead of vishaya chintan, (moving outward into the world of multiplicity and distraction), the mind turns to Ishwar chintan moving towards God in a progressive manner. This results in experiencing samadhi (super-consciousness) in a gradual ascent. The intellect in an aspirant passes through shraddha, veerya, smriti and samadhi and finally turns into prajna (intuitive wisdom that reveals, “I am Brahman.” A liberated sage is called Sthita Prajna—established in intuitive wisdom. (See Raja Yoga Sutras 1/20)
Countless devotees from ancient times have derived immense benefits from this glorious text. Thus, the Hanuman Chaleesa has gathered immense spiritual potency. For warding off fears and insecurities, for fighting against the forces of darkness, for healing dreadful diseases, and for gaining the choicest blessings of God, the Hanuman Chaleesa is a glorious prayer book for all times and for all humanity.
Shree Hanuman Chaleesa
(Forty Verses for invoking the Grace of Lord Hanuman)
Shree Guru charan saroj-raja nija manu-mukuru sudhaari
Baranaun raghubar bimal jasu, jo daayaku phala-chaari.
Buddhi-heen tanu jaanike, sumiraun pavan-kumaar
Bal buddhi-vidyaa dehu mohin, harahu kales vikaar.
Having cleansed the mirror of my mind with the dust from the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva, I commence to describe the glory of Lord Rama, which is the giver of the four purposes or values of life: dharma (ethical), artha (material), kama (vital), and Moksha (spiritual). Knowing myself to be lacking in wisdom, I invoke Lord Hanuman, the son of the Wind God. May He give me strength, sharp intellect, and knowledge, and may He free me of all afflictions and impurities.
Attaining Liberation or Moksha through Rama-bhakti (Divine Love) is the goal of life. To reach this goal, an aspirant must approach a Guru. “Applying the dust of His lotus feet” implies that he should practice Integral Yoga—a rhythmic blend of Serve, Love, Meditate, and Realize under Guru’s guidance. This will result in purity of the heart (chitta shuddhi).
Humility is the starting point. One must understand that whatever he knows is little. All intellectual knowledge is little. The knowledge that leads one to attain God-realization is possible only if one has installed Hanuman (Divine Faith) in his heart, and has come under His gracious guidance.
Bala: Spiritual strength to face the obstacles.
Budhi (Buddhi): Insight into the removal of obstacles.
Vidyaa: Two types of Knowledge (indirect or theoretical, and direct or intuitional knowledge).
Kales (Kleshas) or afflictions: Avidya (ignorance), asmita (egoism), raga (attachment), dwesha (hatred) and abhinivesha (clinging to life, or fear of death). These kleshas exist in the form of subtle impressions in the unconscious. They create distractions (vikshepa) in the mind and become the cause of vikaras or impurities (mala).
There are six major vikaras: kama (lust), krodha (anger), lobha (greed), moha (delusion), mada (pride), matsarya (jealousy).
1. Jaya Hanuman jnaan gun saagar,
jai kapeesh tihun-lok ujaagar
Glory to Lord Hanuman who is the ocean of wisdom and virtue! Glory to Him who is the illuminer of the three worlds.
Lord Hanuman helps one to develop jnana guna—the cultivation of divine virtues that serve as indications of one’s progress on the spiritual path. These include humility, surrender to God, absence of violence, truthfulness and other related virtues. With a prayerful mind one must invoke the presence of Hanuman within the heart in the form of faith. Such an entry is the fountain source of all that is true, good and sublime in the three worlds—in the physical, mental and causal planes of one’s existence. Thus, Hanuman is the illuminer of the three worlds.
2. Rama-doot atulit bal-dhaamaa,
Anjani-putra pavan-sut naamaa
You are the messenger of Rama, the embodiment of incomparable strength. You are known as the son of Mother Anjani, and the son of the Wind God.
In the Ramayana, Hanuman is the son of the monkey hero Kesari (Lion-like resolve), and mother Anjani (beautifying collyrium—the Divine ungent of pure feeling applied to the vision of the soul). God in the form of Cosmic Prana (an aspect of the Cosmic Mind) is the Divine Father. In fact, Hanuman is a ray of Lord Shiva (Brahman). The emergence of faith in the heart of an aspirant is the result of all these mystical elements.
3. Mahaa-veer vikram vajarangee,
kumati nivaar sumati ke sangee
O Great Hero, your valor is like a thunderbolt. You are the destroyer of wrong knowledge, and the giver of right understanding.
Valor or Strength in an aspirant expresses itself in three planes—physical-vital (bhuh), mental (bhuvah) and causal (swah). Physical-vital valor is needed for handling the practical realities and responsibilities of daily life. Mental valor enables one to practice reflection and meditation, enriching oneself with positive impressions. Spiritual valor enables one to develop viveka, the discerning vision that separates the Self from the not-self, and thus lifts the veil of avidya (ignorance).
Keeping this in view, Hanuman’s movement is like a thunderbolt for removing obstacles in life, for correcting wrong knowledge (misunderstanding) and its disastrous effects, and for promoting the knowledge that enables the soul to realize, “I am That Rama—the Absolute Self.”
4. Kanchan baran biraaj subeshaa,
Kaanan kundal kunchit keshaa
Your complexion shines like gold. You are beautifully adorned with earrings and curly hair.
Gold (the shining splendor of Hanuman) is the mystic symbol of Hiranyagarbha (Cosmic or intuitive mind). Ears adorned with earrings implies He finds delight in listening to the glory of Rama. It is believed that wherever and whenever the Ramayana is read, Hanuman (in an invisible form) presents himself with wistful ears adorned with mystic earrings, craving more and more to listen to the delightful narratives of Lord Rama. Curly hair symbolizes the constant thrill of devotion that sweeps over Him.
5. Haath bajra au dhwajaa biraajai,
Kaandhe moonj janeu saajai
You hold in Your hands a thunderbolt and a banner. Your shoulder is decked with a sacred thread made of Munja grass.
He destroys the obstacles like a thunderbolt of lightning splitting up mighty trees, and His banner blesses the devotee with spiritual victory. The sacred thread with Munja grass is symbolic of Divine resolutions (maha vratas or great vows of non-violence, truthfulness, purity, etc. blended with vairagya or dispassion).
6. Shankar suvan kesaree nandan,
Tej prataap mahaa jag vandam
You are the son of Lord Shiva, also known as the son of Kesari. Endowed with immense valor and effulgence, You are adored by the whole world.
He is a ray (an incarnation) of Lord Shiva blended with the vital aspect of being the son of the monkey leader, Kesari. Thus, He is the very embodiment of a mystic blend of grace (Lord Shiva) and self-effort (symbolized by Kesari).
7. Bidyaavaan gunee ati chaatur,
Raam kaaj karibe ko aatur
You are endowed with immense knowledge, virtue, and profound skill. You are ever ready to carry out the will of Lord Rama.
Lord Hanuman is the ideal to be emulated by an aspirant. These four qualities abide in Lord Hanuman in full measure:
- Vidyavan—Means Absolute knowledge: “Ayam Atma Brahman”—“This innermost Self is the Absolute Brahman or Rama).
- Guni—Indicates virtuous qualities such as humility, compassion, generosity, tenacity, etc.
- Ati-chatur—One who is supremely skillful. Skill in life expresses itself in two stages. Developing skill for intensifying one’s virtuous karmas (pravritti); and developing profound skill for turning away from the world of pravritti (cycle of birth and death) and pursuing the path of nivritti (renunciation) that leads to Bhakti and Mukti.
When these qualities are developed, the spirit of Hanuman blossoms in an aspirant. He is ever ready to live and act according to the Divine Will of Rama.
8. Prabhu charitra sunibe ko rasiyaa,
Raam lakhan seetaa man basiyaa
Ever immersed in listening to the glorious exploits of Lord Rama,You abide in the very heart of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.
It is believed that whenever and wherever the Ramayana is recited, or a divine satsanga is conducted, Lord Hanuman presents Himself in an invisible manner. He delights in listening to the glories of Rama and does not miss even the slightest opportunity to do so. Therefore, He abides in the heart of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, forever!
This is the allegorical presentation of Divine Perfection: Abiding in the heart of Sita (Vidya-devi) is to delight the world, like the Spring season delighting a forest. Abiding in the heart of Lakshmana is to be in tune with the Will of God. Abiding in the heart of Rama is to be One with Rama.
9. Sookshma-roop dhari siyahin dikhaavaa,
Bikat roop dhari lank jaraavaa
You appeared before Sri Sita Devi in a minute form, but having assumed a colossal form you burned down the demoniac city of Lanka.
Sita Devi is the embodiment of Pure Buddhi or Intellect. The Ramayana highlights the story of the soul from the state of bondage to the glorious state of Liberation. The soul (Rama), having broken Shiva’s bow (the illusion of pravritti), weds Sita (buddhi). Sita is held captive in Lanka (unconscious mind) by the Demon of Ignorance (Ravana) and its demoniac forces.
Rama sends Hanuman to discover Sita and prepare for fighting against Ravana and his demonic forces.
Hanuman approaches Sita in a subtle form as faith rises to the state of constant Ishwar smaran (remembrance of God). The subtle form relates to glimpses of samadhi (superconsciousness). Sukshma roop (the subtle form) is the power of ichha shakti (willpower), while vikat-roop (unimaginable form) relates to the overhauling of the unconscious impressions. The ashubha samskaras (the impure impressions) are destroyed, paving the way for Rama’s movement to Victory.
10. Bheem roop dhari asur sanhaare,
Raam-chandra ke kaaj sanvaare
You destroyed demons by assuming a terrible form. Thus You fulfilled the mission of Your Lord–Sri Ramachandra.
Bheem-roop (terrible form) is the manifestation of kriya shakti, or the mystic energy that handles the vikaras (impurities) of the mind—lust, anger, greed, infatuation, pride and jealousy.
An aspirant on the path of sadhana experiences the manifestation of three forms of energy—jnana, ichha, and kriya—represented by kundalini shakti passing through Manipura, Anahata and Ajna Chakras. Hanuman (the spirit of shraddha) assumes these forms to enable the soul to regain its essential nature (Rama’s mission).
11. Laay sajeevan lakhan jiyaaye,
shree raghubeer harashi ur laaye
Having brought Sanjivani Buti (the potent herb that revives one who is mortally wounded), you brought Lakshmana to life. Immensely pleased, Lord Rama enfolded You in His arms.
Lakshmana is the embodiment of willpower. The affliction of ego-sense (asmita-klesha) is represented by the terrible demon Megh-naad (one who roars like a thundering cloud).
It is the demoniac ego-sense that resounds through one’s rajasic and tamasic samskaras (impressions) and vasanas (subtle desires), shutting out the melody of the mystic Presence of God. (Samskaras or deep rooted impressions are like seeds, while subtle inclinations or vasanas are like sprouts.)
If the mind is dominated by ego, it is as if dominated by ego’s terrible sounds. Megh-naad is also known as Indra-jeet (he who conquered Indra). Indra is symbolic of swarga (relative heaven) acquired by dharma (virtuous karmas). The evil role of Megh-naad (ego-sense) threatens even the enjoyment of that relative heaven, since the soul that has attained swarga without rooting out ego must eventually incarnate again and again in the cycle of birth and death.
However, the Will in an aspirant must be directed to the attainment of nivritti—a mystic movement leading the soul to conquer egoism and dissolve the very sense of individuality, like a river entering the ocean.
There are times when the will of an aspirant appears to be terribly wounded. During this baffling predicament, Hanuman (faith that has become the servant of Rama—God) accomplishes a miraculous feat of spiritual valor. Overcoming all obstacles, Hanuman brings Sanjivani Buti (the healing power of Divine Grace) from the Himalayas (the lofty heights of spiritual Consciousness). Thus, Lakshmana is revived (Will apparently about to die is brought back to life). Fully healed and blessed by Rama, Lakshmana destroys Megh-naad (asmita klesha or the source of egoism) and paves the way for Rama’s victory over Ravana (the way to Liberation). Therefore, Rama enfolded Hanuman in His arms, showering His immense Love.
12. Raghupati keenhee bahut barhaayee,
Tuma mama priya bharatahi sam bhaaie
Rama, the Lord of the Raghu’s clan, showered abundant praises on You. “You are as dear to me as my brother Bharata,” said Rama.
Rama’s love for Bharata is immense. Bharata is the embodiment of Para Bhakti (supreme devotion). In Bharata, bhavana (feeling of the heart) rises to the highest level. Whoever ascends the ladder of bhakti comes closer and closer to God. It is Hanuman who leads one to the goal of Supreme Devotion. Therefore, devotion to Hanuman is the surest way of securing the Love of Rama (God).
13. Sahas badan tumharo jas gaavain,
Us kahi shree-pati kanth lagaavain
“The thousand-hooded Shesha Naga, the mystical serpent who holds the universe on his thousand hoods, and is symbolic of the Cosmic Mind, sings of Your Glory through His thousand tongues.” Thus saying, Lord Rama enfolded You in His Arms.
Shesha Naga is symbolic of the Cosmic Mind. The entire universe is sustained by the thought-waves (hoods) of the Cosmic Mind (Shesha Serpent). There isn’t even a particle of the universe that does not express the glory of Hanuman (Divine faith).
There are two stages in spiritual ascent: 1. The world sings the glory of the devotee. Basant-vat loka hite charantah—A devotee moves in the world like the Spring season in a rich forest, decking the forest with beauteous blossoms and delicious fruits. 2. The devotee merges in God as God enfolds him in His infinite love.
14. Sanakaadik brahmaadi muneesaa,
Naarad saarad sahit aneesaa
Rishis (Sages) such as Sanaka and others, Brahma (the Creator) and the best of Munis (Saints), Narada, Goddess Saraswati, and the Lord of Serpents (Shesha Naga)…
While the world is sustained by the glory of God in general, the enlightened beings are profoundly immersed in singing the glory of God by praising Lord Hanuman. While the sun creates a general illumination everywhere, it creates a special splendor in sheets that are made of gold and silver.
15. Jama kuber dig-paal jahaan te,
Kavi kovida kahi sake kahaan te
Yama (the god of death), Kubera (the god of wealth), Dik-palas (the deities presiding over the directions), Vedic scholars, and spiritual poets—all of them are unable to express Your limitless glory.
It is the glory of God that sustains the cosmic functions performed by Yama (god of death), Kubera (god of wealth), as well as all the Divine poets (sages-saints) and inspired beings of the past, present and future. All their inspired actions and eloquent expressions are unable to encompass the boundless glory of Hanuman.
16. Tum upakaar sugreevahin keenha,
Raam milaaya raaj pada deenhaa
You did a great good to Sugriva. You made him befriend Rama, and thus enabled him to regain his kingdom.
In the mystic story of the Ramayana, it is with the help of Hanuman that Lord Rama is able to destroy Bali (the lower self), and enthrone Sugriva (the higher self). Bali represents the lower self, while Sugriva is the higher self.
17. Tumharo mantra vibheeshan maanaa,
Lankesvar bhaye sab jag jaanaa
Vibhishana followed Your counsel, and consequently he became the ruler of Lanka. This is known throughout the world.
Under Hanuman’s guidance Vibhishana (the quality of sattwa) was able to abandon Ravana (the dominion of ignorance). This facilitated Rama’s project of destroying Ravana.
This gives you a glimpse into the state of Enlightenment. As faith (Hanuman) progresses in an aspirant, sattwa in him (Vibhishana) is led to rise beyond the pull of rajas (Ravana) and tamas (Kumbhakarna) That sattwa (Vibhishana) becomes increasingly potent for aiding Rama (the soul) in the eventual destruction of Ravana (ignorance and the forces of darkness).
18. Juga sahasra jojan par bhaanoo,
Leelyo taahi madhur phal jaanoo
(As a child) imagining the rising Sun to be a sweet fruit, you bounded into the sky, traversing a region of thousands of miles to swallow it.
In this context, the sun is the symbol of the highest attainment in this relative world. Swarga or heaven is the goal of sakamya karma or pravritti marga (the path of enjoying fruits of karma). Hanuman enables the aspirant to develop aspiration for nivritti or Liberation.
It is interesting to note the mystical implication of an episode in Hanuman’s childhood. Even as a child, He bounced towards the sun, believing it to be a shining fruit in the sky and then placed the sun in his mouth. To save the world from utter darkness, Indra, the Lord of heavenly gods, struck him with his thunderbolt (the force of pravritti). This broke the chin of Hanuman (removal of pride). Thus, the very name Hanuman (broken chin) beckons the mind of the aspirant to humility, an unmistakable devotional quality that leads the devotee to the highest goal.
19. Prabhu mudrikaa meli mukh maaheen,
Jaladhi laanghi gaye acharaj naaheen
Holding Lord Rama’s ring in Your mouth (to be given to Sita to prove Your identity), you crossed over the vast ocean. And there was nothing surprising about it (since You can help your devotee to cross over the ocean of the world-process in an effortless manner).
Keeping the ring of Lord Rama in the mouth implies being profoundly involved in japa (repetition of the Divine Name). Once the Name (Rama) has appeared on the lips, it begins to work wonders. It becomes like a lamp placed at the threshold of a house that illumines the inner world (the mind and heart) as well as the external world (the world of practical reality). Therefore, a devotee carrying the ring (Divine Name) crosses over the ocean of the world-process and finds Sita (intuitive intellect), thus paving the way to Rama-Rajya (Bhakti and Mukti).
20. Durgam kaaj jagat ke jete
Sugam anugrah tumhare tete
Any tasks that are difficult or apparently impossible become easy to attain by Your Gentle Grace.
By securing the grace of Hanuman (the growth and blossoming of faith), an aspirant is able to connect himself with God within his heart. Grace blended with self-effort is the formula for amazing success in all perplexing and confounding situations of life.
21. Raam duvaare tum rakhavaare
Hota na aajnaa binu paisaare
You are the gatekeeper (sentinel) at the Palace of Lord Rama. No one can enter that Palace without Your consent.
Without securing the Grace of Hanuman (faith and its progressive growth), no one can become a true devotee of God. It is Hanuman (faith) who guards the Royal Gate of Rama (Liberation). He paves the way to Enlightenment.
22. Sub sukh lahai tumhaaree saranaa
Tum rachhak kaahoo ko dar naa
Those who have taken refuge in You enjoy all forms of happiness. Having You as their Protector, no one needs to be afraid of anything in this world.
By taking refuge in Hanuman, the devotee is given guaranteed protection against all dark and demoniac forces of the world. In addition, he is led to attain Rama (God-realization), Who destroys all fear.
23. Aapana teja samhaaro aapai
Teenon loka haanka ten kaanpai
You alone can restrain Your terrible force. These three worlds are trembling before Your might.
Just as the dazzling sun fills the world with effulgence, in the same way, Hanuman’s presence shines through every name and form. All the planes of existence—bhuh (physical), bhuvah (mental) and swah (intellect and deep unconscious)—are under the control of Lord Hanuman. He strikes terror in the heart of the demonic forces.
24. Bhoot pisaach nikat nahin aavai
Mahaabeer jab naam sunaavai
Ghosts and pishachas (demonic spirits) dare not approach the devotee who utters Your Name, by saying, “O Mahabir, O Hanuman, the Great Hero!”
The utterance of the Divine Name of Hanuman has amazing potency. The Name invokes His Divine Presence, and consequently, ghosts and evil spirits are rendered void; they are unable to touch the devotee.
From an advanced point of view, the worries and anxieties pertaining to past and future keep one’s mind extremely afflicted. They are the bhutas and pishachas that are dispelled by the japa of Hanuman’s Name.
25. Naasai roag harai sab peeraa
Japat nirantar hanumat beeraa
By constant repetition of the Name “Hanuman–Mahabir, the Great Hero” one becomes free of all diseases, and is relieved of all forms of pain.
By constant japa of the Name of Hanuman, one’s soul becomes intent on attaining Rama (God-realization). The nectar of Ishwar-chintan (remembrance of God) enables the aspirant to be free of all fears, diseases and troubles.
The root disease is ignorance (avidya), which keeps the soul confined to the cycle of birth and death. Ignorance, in turn, gives rise to mental diseases (adhis) in the form of egoism, greed, delusion, grief, anxiety, stress, negative thoughts and feelings. Mental diseases impact upon the vital forces that maintain physical health. This brings about imbalance in the three humors—vata (rheumatic), pitta (bilious), and kapha (phlegmatic). As a result, physical diseases manifest in the body. As you invoke Lord Hanuman in your heart, you are paving the way to the removal of adhis, vyadhis (mental and physical diseases) along with the moola adhi (ignorance).
26. Sankat te hanuman chhurhaavai
Mana kram bachan dhyaan jo lavai
Anyone who meditates on Lord Hanuman by his thought, word and deed is relieved of all that is dangerous and dreadful.
Japa is intensified by meditation or devotional feeling (bhavana). One must begin repeating the mantra vocally– holding the Name on his tongue. Gradually the spirit of devotion must permeate all his actions, allowing his mind to be immersed in Rama at all times.
27. Sab par raam tapasvee raajaa,
Tinake kaaj sakal tum saajaa
Lord Rama, the Lord of Ascetics, is the Ruler of all beings. And it is by You that all His divine works were accomplished.
Lord Rama (Brahman) is the Lord of all those who practice tapasya or austerity. The highest form of tapasya is to focus the mind on Brahman (Rama—the Absolute Self). Hanuman (shraddha or faith) paves the way to the attainment of Rama. Therefore, devotion to Hanuman accomplishes all that is needed by an aspirant for attaining Rama.
28. Aur manorath jo koy laavai,
Soy amit jeevan phal paavai
Whatever wish or desire is cherished by a devotee, Lord Hanuman grants that to him. Even more, He bestows upon him the very nectarine fruit of human existence—God-realization.
God-ward movement of the mind is the bestower of bhoga (enjoyments of the world) as well as Moksha (Liberation). Movement to Moksha requires chitta shuddhi (purity of the heart). Even while an aspirant is struggling in the world of transient goals, Hanuman’s grace bestows upon him all that he desires: removal of obstacles, attainment of objects, improvement in human relations, relief from maladies of body and mind, prosperity and success of all kinds. His blessings have no limits.
29. Chaaron jug parataap tumhaaraa,
Hai parasiddha jagat ujiyaaraa
Your Valor has been acclaimed throughout the four yugas (time-cycles). In fact, this world is illumined by Your glory.
The importance of faith (Hanuman) in spiritual movement is timeless. From a practical point of view, the yugas are experienced in the daily life of every individual. When sattwa predominates, you are in Satya Yuga. You are able to think clearly and feel qualitatively. When sattwa is overpowered by rajas, you are in Treta Yuga. The intellect—Sita Devi—has been kidnapped by the distracted mind (the ten-headed Ravana). When sattwa is further thwarted by rajas and tamas, you are in Dwapar Yuga (Refer to battle of the Pandavas and Kauravas—forces of light against the dark forces). When rajas-tamas reduces sattwa to a minimum, when you are overpowered by stress, dullness, and delusion, you experience Kali Yuga. The role of faith (Hanuman) is the center and support in all these yugas.
30. Saadhu sant ke tum rakhavaare,
Asur nikandan raam dulaare
You are the protector of saints and sages. You are the destroyer of demons, and You are the beloved devotee of Lord Rama.
God incarnates for establishing dharma (righteous order), destroying the forces of darkness, assisting spiritual seekers, protecting saints and sages and doing immense good to the world. Hanuman (the spirit of faith) assists Rama (the avatara movement) in all His Divine activities.
31. Ashta siddhi nava nidhi ke daataa,
Asa bar deen jaanakee maataa
“May You be the bestower of eight siddhis (psychic powers) and nine nidhis (treasures or minor psychic powers)”—This boon was granted to You by Mother Janaki (Sita Devi).
A devotee of Hanuman draws the grace of Rama and Sita (the Father and Mother of the Universe). As a result Hanuman becomes the bestower of all the eight siddhis and nine nidhis.
The ashta siddhis (the eight major psychic powers) include: anima (becoming small), laghima (becoming light in weight), mahima (becoming large), praapti (attaining whatever one desires), praakaamya (unobstructed fulfillment), vashitva (control of five elements and physical objects), ishitritva (ability to create and destroy objects), yatra-kaama-asaayitva (infallible will—ability to turn poison into nectar).
The nava nidhis (nine treasures of Kubera, the God of Wealth) appear in the form of celestial women who attend on Kubera. They are Padma (lotus), Maha-padma (great lotus), Shankha (conch), Makara (crocodile), Kachhapa (tortoise), Mukuda (divine lotus), Kunda (special lotus), Neela (blue jewel) and Barchh (aromatic plant). All these are symbolic of wealth in different forms. However, He does not allow His devotees to be deluded by these psychic powers and treasures.
32. Raama rasaayana tumhare paasaa,
Sadaa raho raghupati ke daasaa
You possess the potent remedy—the Divine Name of Rama—(for destroying the disease of the world-process). You are forever the Servant of Rama.
In the Ramayana, there is an interesting episode. Lord Rama asks Hanuman, “How are you related to me?” To this, Hanuman replies: “Deha-budhyaa tu daasoham, Jiva buddhya twadanshakah, Atma budhyaa tavaivaaham, esha me trividhaa matih.”—“From the point of view of the body, I am a slave and You are the Master. From the point of view of the individual soul, I am a fraction (just a ray), while You are the Whole (the Sun). But from the point of view of the innermost Self, I am You! Thus, in my view we have a three-fold relationship.”
33. Tumhare bhajan raam ko paavai,
Janam janam ke dukh bisaraavai
By chanting Your Name, one attains Rama (God-realization), and thus becomes free of all miseries.
The japa of Rama enables an aspirant to become a dynamic Karma Yogi (a servant of Rama), and a profound devotee (a ray of the Divine Sun—Rama). Leading him through the royal path of meditation and intuitive knowledge, the japa of Rama enables him to realize, “I am That Absolute Self!” The spiritual journey commences with “Daasoham”—“I am a slave of Rama” and culminates in the realization, “So’ham”—“I am That Rama!” The miseries of the world-process (the cycles of birth and death) terminate in God-realization.
34. Anta kaal raghubar pur jaayee,
Jahaan janma hari-bhakta kahaayee
After death, Your devotee dwells in the Heavenly City of Lord Rama. Being born in that City, he is called the Devotee of Rama. (He attains eternal proximity with the Divine Self).
During the time of death, the soul of the devotee is led to the City of Rama (lofty state of consciousness), where he becomes steeped in Rama-bhakti (Para-Bhakti). Moksha and Para-Bhakti are one and the same.
35. Aur devataa chitta na dharayee,
Hanumat seyi sarva sukha karayee
Without being distracted by many gods, one who worships Hanuman with a one-pointed mind attains all the happiness (of here and hereafter).
An aspirant must worship his Ishta Devata with the help of his Ishta mantra (Rama) with the insight that all Gods and Goddesses are different aspects of Rama (THE God). As long as the mind is restricted by desires (sakamya), it cannot grasp the Non-duality of the Self. An aspirant who lacks purity of heart turns to God for transient attainments. In so doing, he is worshipping “other gods.” Since Hanuman is the gateway to Rama, a devotee should develop unwavering devotion to Him. This is the secret of attaining the boundless ocean of Divine Bliss. This insight echoes in the saying of Lord Jesus: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven (God). All else shall be added unto thee.”
36. Sankat katai mitai sab peeraa,
Jo sumirai hanumat bala-beeraa
All the troubles of life terminate and all sufferings cease for one whose mind dwells on Lord Hanuman constantly.
By letting the mind dwell on Lord Hanuman—by repeating the Mantra, “Om Sri Hanumate Namah!” (or any Ishta Mantra), blended with divine feeling and the act of surrender, all adversities are overcome, all miseries come to an end. This is the goal of Hanuman-smaran, constant remembrance of Lord Hanuman, Who is the boundless source of spiritual strength.
37. Jai jai jai hanumaan gosaayeen,
Kripaa karahu guru dev kee naayeen
Glory, glory to Lord Hanuman! Shower Your Grace on me, even like a compassionate Guru.
Divine Grace appears in four forms: Ishwar Kripa (Grace of God), Guru Kripa (Grace of Guru), Shastra Kripa (Grace of scriptures) and Atma-Kripa (Grace of one’s own self). By adoring Hanuman (Divine faith) an aspirant becomes the recipient of all the four forms of Grace.
38. Jo sat baar paath kar koyee,
Chhootahin bandi mahaa sukh hoyee
Whoever recites this Hanuman Chaleesa (the forty verses in praise of Lord Hanuman) a hundred times, becomes free of all types of bondage and enjoys supreme Bliss.
Since the Hanuman Chaleesa has been recited by countless devotees from ancient times, it has gained immense mantra-related potency. Recitation of a mantra can be done in three ways: vaikhari (verbal), upanshu (semi-verbal or whispering), and mahasik (mental). As devotional feeling deepens, the japa becomes increasingly mental. Reciting “a hundred times” simply implies sustained practice of japa until the goal is reached.
39. Jo yah parhai hanumaan chaaleesaa,
Hoy siddhi saakhee gaureesaa
“Whoever studies this Hanuman Chaleesa will attain success in whatever project he undertakes. He will attain the highest perfection. May Lord Shiva be the witness to my statement.” Thus says Saint Tulsidas.
Not a single recitation of the Hanuman Chaleesa goes in vain. A devotee continues to be enriched spiritually until he becomes free of the bondage of the world-process and attains the supreme bliss of Liberation. This is the firm declaration made by Saint Tulsidas in the name of Lord Shiva.
40.Tulsee-daas sadaa hari cheraa,
keejai naath hridaya mahan deraa
Pavan-tanay sankat haran mangal moorati roop,
Raam lakhan seetaa sahit hriday basahu sur bhoop.
Saint Tulsidas says, “You are the eternal servant of Lord Rama. May You abide in my heart forever! O Son of the Wind God, destroyer of all troubles, the very embodiment of auspiciousness, may You dwell within my heart along with Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Sita!
During spiritual movement, a transformation occurs in the heart of the devotee. In the sadhana state, the state of spiritual discipline, Lord Hanuman (shraddha or faith) holds Rama (the goal of life—God-realization) and Lakshmana (purity of heart) on His shoulders. Turning the mind to Hanuman invokes the presence of Rama accompanied by Lakshmana (purity of mind) and Sita (intuitive Intellect).
In the siddhi state (the state of perfection), Rama and Sita are seated on the throne. Lakshmana and his brothers Bharata and Shatrughna (Cosmic Mind in all its glory) attend on Rama, while Hanuman (the spirit of Divine Love) continues to adore the Lotus Feet of Rama forever! This is an allegorical setting of Para Bhakti (Supreme Devotion) or Moksha (Liberation). This is the cherished goal of Saint Tulsidas, the composer of Hanuman Chaleesa.
Om Sri Hanumate Namah!