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Hanuman's TaleThe Messages of a Divine Monkey$

Philip Lutgendorf

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195309225

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309225.001.0001

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(p.397) Appendix

(p.397) Appendix

Two Poems in Praise of Hanuman (Attributed to Tulsidas)

Hanuman's Tale
Oxford University Press

Hanumān Cālīsā (Forty Verses to Hanuman)

(invocatory couplets)

Having polished, with the dust of my master's feet, the mirror of  my heart,

I narrate the pure fame of Raghupati, which bestows life's four  fruits.1

Knowing this body to be void of intelligence, I recall the Son of the  Wind.

Grant me strength, intelligence, wisdom, and remove my afflictions  and shortcomings.


  • 1. Victory to Hanuman, ocean of wisdom and virtue,
  • Hail monkey lord, illuminator of the three worlds.
  • 2. Rama's emissary, abode of matchless power,
  • Anjani's son, named “Son of the Wind.”
  • 3. Great hero, mighty as a thunderbolt,
  • remover of bad thoughts and companion to good.
  • 4. Golden‐hued and splendidly adorned,
  • with heavy earrings and curly locks.
  • 5. In your hands shine mace and banner,
  • a thread of munja grass adorns your shoulder.
  • 6. Shiva's son and Kesari's joy,
  • your glory is sung throughout the world.
  • 7. Supremely wise, virtuous, and clever,
  • you are ever intent on Rama's tasks.
  • 8. You relish hearing the Lord's deeds,
  • Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita dwell in your heart.
  • 9. Taking tiny form you showed yourself to Sita,
  • assuming awesome form you burned Lanka.
  • 10. Taking terrible form you slew demons
  • and completed Ramachandra's mission.
  • 11. Bringing the healing herb, you revived Lakshmana,
  • and Rama, overjoyed, clasped you to his breast.
  • 12. Greatly did the Raghu Lord praise you:
  • “Brother, you're as dear to me as Bharat!
  • 13. May the thousand‐mouthed serpent sing your fame!”
  • So saying, Shri's Lord held you in his embrace.
  • 14. Sanaka and the sages, Brahma and the gods, great saints,
  • Narada, Sarasvati, and the king of snakes,
  • 15. Yama, Kubera, and the directional guardians,
  • poets, and pandits—none can express your glory.
  • 16. You rendered great service to Sugriva,
  • presented him to Rama, and gave him kingship.
  • 17. Vibhishana heeded your counsel
  • and became Lord of Lanka, as the whole world knows.
  • 18. The sun is two thousand leagues away,
  • yet you swallowed it, thinking it a sweet fruit.
  • 19. With the Lord's ring in your mouth,
  • you leapt the sea—what wonder in that?
  • 20. Every arduous task in this world
  • becomes easy by your grace.
  • 21. You are the guardian of Rama's door,
  • none enters without your leave.
  • 22. Sheltered by you, one gains all delight,
  • protected by you, one fears no one.
  • 23. You alone can contain your glory,
  • the three worlds tremble at your roar.
  • 24. Ghosts and spirits cannot come near,
  • Great Hero, when your name is uttered.
  • 25. Disease is destroyed and all pain removed,
  • brave Hanuman, by constantly repeating your name.
  • 26. Hanuman releases from affliction
  • those who focus on him in thought, word, and deed.
  • 27. Rama the renunciant reigns above all,
  • you carry out all his work.
  • 28. Whoever brings any yearning to you
  • obtains the fruit of immortal life.2
  • 29. Your splendor fills the four ages,
  • your fame shines throughout the world.
  • 30. You are the guardian of saints and sages,
  • the destroyer of demons, the darling of Rama.
  • 31. You grant the eight powers and nine treasures,
  • such was the boon given by Mother Janaki.
  • 32. You possess the elixir of Rama
  • and remain eternally his servant.
  • 33. Singing your praise, one finds Rama
  • and forgets the sorrows of countless lives.
  • 34. At death, one goes to Rama's realm
  • or is born on earth as his devotee.
  • 35. Pay no heed to any other deity,
  • serving Hanuman, one obtains all delight.
  • 36. All affliction ceases, all pain is erased,
  • when one recalls the mighty hero, Hanuman.
  • 37. Victory, victory, victory to Lord Hanuman!
  • Be merciful even as is the Master.
  • 38. Whoever recites this a hundred times
  • is released from bondage and gains bliss.
  • 39. One who reads this Hanuman Chalisa
  • gains success—Gauri's Lord is witness.
  • 40. Says Tulsidas, Hari's constant servant,
  • “Lord, make your abode in my heart.”
  • (benedictory couplet)
  • Son of the Wind, banisher of affliction, embodiment of auspiciousness,
  • dwell in my heart, King of Gods, together with Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita.

SaṅkaṬ Mocan AṣṬak (Eight Stanzas to Sankat Mochan Hanuman)

  • 1. In childhood you devoured the sun
  • and the three worlds became dark.
  • At this, the whole creation was terrified,
  • (p.400)
  • for who could undo this calamity?
  • Then the gods came and entreated you
  • and you released the sun and averted the crisis.
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?
  • 2. In dread of Bali, the monkey lord lived on a hill,
  • and saw the Great Lord coming on the path.
  • Surprised, the great sage then pronounced a curse,
  • How could the poor fellow think of what to do?3
  • Assuming Brahman form you brought the Lord
  • And so banished the servant's [Sugriva's] sorrow.
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?
  • 3. When you went with Angad in search of Sita
  • the king of monkeys made this declaration:
  • “No one will escape me alive, who
  • sets foot here without bringing tidings.”
  • When everyone was staring at the sea, exhausted,
  • you brought news of Sita and saved their lives.
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?
  • 4. When Ravana was tormenting Sita
  • and telling the rakshasis to bring her around,
  • just then, Great Lord Hanuman,
  • you went there, slaying mighty demons.
  • When Sita asked the ashoka tree for an ember
  • you gave the Lord's ring and removed her grief.4
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?
  • 5. When the arrow pierced Lakshmana's breast
  • his vital breath departed, struck by Ravana's son.
  • You brought physician Sushena along with his house,
  • then, Hero, you transported the Drona mountain
  • and came, giving the sañjīvana herb with your own hand,5
  • thus you saved Lakshmana's life.
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?
  • 6. When Ravana, battling fiercely
  • threw the serpent noose over everyone's heads,
  • the Raghu Lord and his entire army
  • became senseless in this awful affliction.
  • Hanuman brought the lord of birds [Garuda],
  • cut their bonds, and averted this calamity.
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?
  • 7. When Ahiravana carried the Raghu prince
  • along with his brother, to the netherworld,
  • he conceived the favored stratagem of making them
  • choice sacrifices to the goddess.
  • Just then you went there as savior
  • and slew Ahiravana with his whole army.
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?
  • 8. You've done great work for the gods,
  • Great hero, so look here and consider this:
  • What troubles afflict a poor wretch like me
  • that can't be removed by you?
  • Quickly dispel, O Great Lord Hanuman,
  • Whatever afflictions are mine.
  • Who in the world doesn't know, Monkey,
  • that your name is Sankat Mochan?


(1) . This dohā immediately follows the Sanskrit benedictory verses that open Book 2 (Ayodhyā kāṇḅ) of the Rāmcaritmānas. The traditional “four fruits” or goals of life are righteousness (dharma), prosperity (artha), pleasure (kāma), and spiritual liberation (mokṣa).

(2) . Some Hindi commentators interpret this as “obtains immortal fruit in this life.”

(3) . The meaning of these two lines is unclear, as Sugriva is neither a “great sage” nor does he utter a curse on seeing Rama. The allusion may be to the curse of sage Matanga, which prevented Sugriva's brother Vali (Bali) from setting foot on the hill on which the former was staying, although this makes no sense in the context. Evidently, I am not the only one to be confused; the two Hindi prose glosses on the poem in my possession simply skip these lines.

(4) . The reference is to Sita's desperate decision, in the Rāmcaritmānas, to end the pain caused by her separation from Rama by immolating herself. Lacking a source of fire, she first requests a star to fall to earth, and then asks the ashoka tree, whose shoots have a reddish tinge, to release a “burning coal.” It is at this moment that Hanuman, sitting on a branch above her, drops Rama's signet ring (which is sometimes thought to be studded with rubies, and hence resembles an ember); see Rāmcaritmānas 5.12.7–12, 5.12.

(5) . The name of the herb more commonly appears as sañjīvanī.