The divine power within the Hanuman Chalisa instils bhakti in us and the desire to be righteous in our daily pursuits.
Aarkesh is a BTech and MTech Dual Degree holder in the field of Mechanical Engineering. He loves to travel, engage with new people and read up on subjects such as history, physics and maths. He is enthusiast about the depth of Indic knowledge systems and has a special interest in Indian Architecture and Philosophy
In the Indic tradition, god is said to be the great pure soul who resides within all of us. The different Darshanas/Margas are just ways in which this reality can be understood by living beings. The reason for the existence of such varied Darshanas/Margas is to be able to customize systems to manage the traumatic experiences faced by the soul over many lifetimes, as claimed in an article by Dr Madhulika Sargam . The concept of the Ishta Devata, as Dr Sargam further states, is a way of creating a personalized trauma management response. I further view it as a way of getting a role model who you can follow to assuage your multiple traumatic experiences across lifetimes. One such popular Ishta Devata is Bhagwan Hanuman. And one of his most popular hymns is the Hanuman Chalisa. The Hanuman Chalisa is a mantra (despite being in Awadhi) and has been composed by one of the foremost Bhakti Saints, Goswami Tulsidas ji. During this write-up, I shall be talking about the different verses of the Hanuman Chalisa and how they teach you different qualities of Bhagwan Hanuman. This is not a literary analysis of the Chalisa but a mere set of observations rooted in personal experience.
The Hanuman Chalisa
The Hanuman Chalisa consists of forty dohas (couplets) along with two introductory and one concluding couplet. In the introductory couplets, we pray to our Guru and ask Bhagwan Hanuman to give us the smarts and power to recite and internalize the Hanuman Chalisa. Further, in the main part of the shloka, Goswami Tulsidas ji talks about the various attributes and conquests of the incomparable Bhagwan. He also conveys through these shlokas the reason why Bhagwan Hanuman should be worshipped and how worshipping him will save us from multiple difficulties while making us stronger. In the last doha, he requests Bhagwan Hanuman to enter our hearts (conscious) and stay there, thus purifying us. Hence, the Chalisa lets us know about the powers of our Ishta Devata, the ways in which He protects us and finally allows us to invoke Him into our hearts. The continuous chanting of this mantra (with or without understanding the meaning) helps us imbibe the characteristics of Bhagwan Hanuman while also lighting the flame of his presence in our heart.
In this section, I shall mention a few shlokas of the Chalisa and the personalized meanings I associate with them. These meanings are not the only correct meaning in many instances, and I would love to understand different perspectives. I would like to reiterate that this is not an academic exercise, but a result of love and personal experience.
The very first Shloka of the main body of the Chalisa is –
Jai Hanuman Gyaan Guna Sgar||
Jai Kapeesh Tihulok Ujagar||1||
It roughly translates  to –
Hail Hanuman, the ocean of knowledge and good qualities
Hail the Vanara God (Hanuman), the one who enlightens the three worlds
This Shloka very clearly tells us to inculcate good qualities and knowledge to enlighten the three worlds and our inner conscience. Goswami Tulsidas ji is praising Bhagwan Hanuman as an enlightened soul with the best of qualities, thus imploring us to seek the same. What these qualities are, is something that is explained through the course of the Chalisa. I don’t consider myself the competent authority to elaborate on these qualities, but a constant reading of the Chalisa under the guidance of an enlightened Guru can help one understand its meaning better. Sometimes total submission at the feet of Bhagwan Hanuman can help one, as by submitting your ego to Him you make Him your Guru and guiding light.
Another Shloka of note in the Chalisa is –
Prabhu Charitra Sunibe Ko Rasiya ||
Ram Lakhan Sita Man Basiya ||8||
It roughly translates  to –
Eager to listen to the story of the Lord (Ram)
One who seeks Lord Ram, Lord Lakshman and Mata Sita in his heart
This couplet has enormous significance according to me. It is the couplet where Goswami Tulsidas Ji connects the chanter to Bhagwan Ram for the first time. In this couplet, Bhagwan Hanuman is praised as the one who is eager to listen to the story of Bhagwan Ram while having Him (Bhagwan Ram) in His (Bhagwan Hanuman’s) heart. In the last Shloka (41st Shloka), Goswami Tulsidas ji connects us to Bhagwan Hanuman by requesting him to enter our hearts with Bhagwan Ram, Bhagwan Lakshman and Mata Sita in His heart. This sets up the unbroken chain of Bhakti. Further, it indirectly teaches us about the oneness of Lord Hanuman and Lord Ram. By extension telling us the convergence of all Margas that deal with channelling the soul to light the fire of the Supreme within.
There are also multiple Shlokas that tell us about the ways in which Bhagwan Hanuman protects the noble people from all kinds of obstacles. These shlokas act to dispel the fear that is a by-product of traumas faced by the soul over multiple lifetimes. They also urge us to follow righteous paths like those of the Sadhus or Sants, guaranteeing us protection in these paths.
Thus, the Hanuman Chalisa encourages us to seek enlightenment, links us to the Bhakti parampara of Lord Ram, encourages us to lead a righteous life and gives the confidence to do so. The many other verses of this unparalleled Mantra make us understand the other good qualities of Bhagwan Hanuman and the amount of knowledge he possesses. This helps us have a role model to follow while also giving us a sense of security. Further, the belief that Hanuman ji still lives in this world and goes to every place where the name of Bhagwan Ram is chanted gives us tremendous confidence to engage in dharmic acts. And it is this confidence that helps us overcome our traumas and unite with the cosmos. It also helps us lead a sustainable, righteous, happy, prosperous and peaceful life.
Many other such mantras consecrated with the powers of other divine beings helps one address the trauma at a personal, familial and societal level as explained by Dr Sargam. Meditated upon with devotion, these Mantras have the power to transform one’s heart and lead us towards the path of enlightenment.
Note – As important as it is to consecrate the Divine in our hearts, it is equally important to create energy centres in the physical world that help people access the divine. Our Temples have served as these energy centres for ages, but the modern state doesn’t view them this way. Hence, I urge one and all to contribute to the campaign of freeing temples from government control.
 Handling Personal Trauma and Civilizational Violence: Systems in Ancient India (https://www.indictoday.com/long-reads/violence-and-the-civilizational-trauma-learning-systems-of-india-kula/)
 Hanuman Chalisa with Tamil Meaning (Giri Trading)