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Fwd: Hanuman Chalisa Talks - 1

From: Shree (shree_at_usa.net)
Date: Sun Jan 18 1998 - 06:40:17 PST

> Dear Satsanghis,
> 
> I am sending the first days' talk on Hanuman Chalisa by Swami
> Swaroopaananda.These talks were in Hindi and were held at the  Bahrain
> Temple HAll between 6th and 13th of Jan. I would be very happy to get
> your invaluable feedback which can be incorporated to the other talks.
> For those of you who would like more info on Hanuman Chaalisa, there is
> a
> very good site at
> http://www.hanuman.com/
> 
> with very nice Real audio versions of the Hanuman Chalisa.
> 
> Regards
> 
> Sowmya
> ____________________________________________________________________________
> 
> Sowmya
> The Bhagavad Gita homepage
> http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/5294/
> email: soms@geocities.com or ramkumar@batelco.com.bh


Secret of Success through the Hanuman Chaaliisa 

In a man's heart there are many desires and so, he acts in many ways to
satisfy these desires. If the desires are satisfied, he becomes very
happy, otherwise he becomes sad. Sometimes, our actions yield the
intended results, but in certain cases, we feel that we are not capable
enough. We feel that we do not possess the power to satisfy our wishes.
When we feel that something is beyond our capabilities, we seek a higher
help. A little boy who finds it difficult to do his homework on his own,
will seek help from his father or mother. Similarly when a man is not
able to do something, he seeks help from God. The way to become one with
God, is to unite the mind with God. This unison is called "yoga". There
are many ways or Sadhanas that are practiced by different people to
achieve this oneness with the Lord. The easiest of these is prayer.

We often hear people say "Pray and you can achieve anything". But we
feel that even though we pray as much as is possible, we do not get what
we want. Quite often people mistake prayer to be a "shopping list" that
is extended to the Lord. They simply ask Him for a list of things that
they want and regard this as prayer. Then, there are others who use
prayer as a "Charge sheet" and complain to God about all their problems
and blame Him too!! True prayer, quite contrary to all these, is
offering one's mind at the Lord's feet so that the mind is able to
reflect the divinity. When we offer our minds to the Lord, then He
chooses to express Himself through our minds. It is said, "Prayer might
not change things for you, but it would change you for the things". We
are able to unite the human mind with the divine which then acts through
us. We thus get the power to complete actions through prayer.

The Hanuman Chaaliisa is a beautiful example of powerful  prayer. Siddha
mantra is defined as that mantra, which when chanted can bestow siddhis
or powers. Similarly we have siddha granthas or books which have the
power to grant our desires or siddhis. One such Siddha grantha is Sant
Tulsidas's Ram Charitra Manas. 

Sant Tulsidas was born in a Brahmin household. When his mother was
pregnant, he was not born until 12 months of pregnancy. The great saints
usually are reluctant to be born again into this world of miseries.
Maybe, because of this Sant Tulsidas was born only after 12 months in 
his mother's womb. When he was born, he was bigger than usual. He also
had a mouth full of teeth. In those days of superstition, he was
regarded as an evil spirit and the people in the household decided not
to have him. So the mother was forced to give up the child to her
servant maid. The servant maid too was forced by her husband to abandon
the child and so the baby was thrown in the gutter. It is said that the
Lord Shiva himself took care of the infant and Parvati devi nourished
him with her own milk. Is it any surprise then that he would later write
in such sweet language, as he had partaken of nectar itself.

The infant was then taken care of by saints in a hermitage. When he grew
up, he went to Benares to complete his studies. He decided to return to
his family and came back to the village. But there was no body there.
Aristotle said, "Man must marry in life. If he has a good wife, he will
be very happy. If he has a bad wife, he will be a philosopher". Sant
Tulsidas too, decided to get married. Since Sant Tulsidas had never
known family life, he was so enamored by his wife that he never wanted
to leave her for even a little while. He became extremely attached to
her and spent all his time with her. 

One day, when Sant Tulsidas was away, his wife got an urgent message
from her parents, summoning her. She hurriedly left to her father's
house which was in a different village. When Tulsidas returned and could
not find her, he became very restless. He immediately wanted to be with
her and he decided to go and see her at once. It was raining heavily and
the Ganges was flooded. Tulsidas decided to go unmindful of the rain.
Since he could not find a boat nor swim, he caught hold of a floating
corpse and crossed the river, holding on to it. He then reached his
wife's house. It was very late in the night and the house was locked. He
did not want to wake up anyone else and so decided to climb inside
stealthily. He scaled the wall and climbed up the roof. Then he tried to
enter his wife's room. He caught hold of what looked like a rope to
swing down. The rope slithered and moved away, because it was a snake!
Tulsidas fell down into his wife's room, his shirt was torn, he was wet
and still stinking from the corpse. His wife was awakened and screamed
"Chor, Chor! (Thief)". Tulsidas told her "Mein Chor nahin, tera chitchor
hoon (I am not any thief, I am the thief of your heart). When he met his
wife in this fashion, unlike a girl of these days, who might open her
eyes wide and exclaim "you did all this for "ME"!!", she was simply
disgusted. She said, "Are you this attached to a woman that you cannot
bear to leave her even for a night? If you have even half of this
attachment to the Lord Shri Ram, you would have reached him ages ago!"

It is said, "Behind every successful man is a woman" - to make or break
his heart! This incident opened Sant Tulsidas's eyes. He then started
chanting the Lord's name and giving discourses on the Lord. With Lord
Shiva's blessings, he also started composing the Ramayana. As he was
writing the Ramayana, he used to find that every night the manuscript
that he had been keeping was disappearing. The person who stealing this
was no ordinary thief, but Lord Shiva himself. Lord Shiva also appeared
in his dream and told him that he need not write in the Sanskrit
language, which, till then, was the only language that all such books
were written in. The Lord told him to write in his own language "awadhi"
(now Hindi), so that even the uneducated people  would be able to
understand the book. 

The people loved the book, but the scholars were angered and they said
that such books cannot be written in any language and that it should be
written only in the language of the Gods (Sanskrit). Great saints are
those who do not blindly adhere to rules, but those who gladly bend or
break the rules if it would benefit people! However, Sant Tulsidas was
slandered and his Ramayana was burnt. It was however, becoming more and
more popular with the masses and then it was sent to a great scholar
"Madhusudhan Saraswathi". After reading the book, he was so impressed,
he said, "This book is a tree planted by Tulsidas, under which Shri Ram
himself is a traveler who is taking rest".

Meanwhile, in the Kashi Vishwanath temple another interesting incident
happened. In the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, this manuscript had
been placed in the bottom while all other holy books like the vedas and
upanishads had been  kept on top. The next morning, the Ram Charit manas
by Sant Tulsidas was on the top of all the books and Lord Shiva's own
hand impression was there on the book. It is hence only natural that
this is one of the most popular and widely read books in India.

Such is the greatness of Sant Tulsidas and his Rama Charitra manas is
hence regarded as a siddha grantha. It is regarded that people who read
it will be able to get all their desires fulfilled. However the Rama
Charitra manas may be too long for some people to read on a regular
basis and so it is considered that even reading the "Sundara kaanda" of
the Ramayana will be equal to reading the entire Ramayana. For those who
may find it difficult to read even the Sundara kaanda in its entirety,
Sant Tulsidas has offered the essence of sunadara kaanda in 40 beautiful
verses called the Hanuman Chaaliisa (40 verses about Hanumanji). The
Hanuman Chaaliisa is also considered a Siddha grantha and Lord Shiva
himself has said that anyone who chants the Hanuman Chaaliisa with
reverence and faith will get all his desires satisfied.

The Hanuman Chaaliisa teaches us how we can purify our lives and be
successful in all our efforts just as Hanumanji was successful. Just
chanting these verses can give us success. So how much more, one can
get, if we concentrate and understand these verses.

The very first secret of success is "Bowing to the teacher - showing
respect to the teacher". In the Sundara kaanda, Hanumanji before
embarking on his treacherous journey in the quest of Sita devi, bows to
Shri Ram, his Gurus and elders. It is always important that all of us
should try and get the love of all the people who are smaller than us,
the best wishes of all those equal to us and the blessing of all those
superior to us. In line with this thought, the very first verse of the 
Hanuman Chaaliisa is  a prayer to the Guru. In doing this, the poison of
ego is removed from our hearts.

shriiguru charan saroja raja, nija manu mukuru sudhaari .
baranauuM raghubara bimala jasu, jo daayaku phala chaari ..1..

With the dust of my Guru's lotus feet, I first clean the mirror of my
heart and then narrate the greatness of Shri Hanumanji, (the supreme
among the Raghu dynasty), who is the giver of the four goals in life.

In this verse Sant Tulsidas has equated his mind to a mukur - mirror.
Everyone knows a mirror - why many people spend most of their life time
in front of one! In sanskrit a mirror is called darpaN. The word darpa
means ego and a mirror is one which shows one's ego! A mirror's function
is to reflect the beauty in front of it. If it is covered with dust ,
then it cannot reflect. Similarly, the mind is a mirror which should
reflect the God within who is an embodiment of bliss and happiness. If
there is dust covering this mirror, it cannot reflect. Nowadays,
youngsters don't dress up, because it is "cool" to look rough. If there
is little dust, it can be blown away and if it is little more than
normal it can be wiped clean with a moist cloth. But, the youth of
today, need tough detergents (like windex) for a thorough clean. The
mind is like a mirror which has not been cleaned for generations. So the
Lord's light from within does not reflect on this. No detergents can be
used for this. However even one atom of  dust from the Guru's feet can
clean this. 

The term shriiguru charan saroja raja, means dust (raja) from the lotus
feet (charan saroja) of the guru (shriiguru). Swamiji in a lighter vein
said, "Don't take your Guru and tilt him upside down to take the dust
off his feet!!". The right attitude is to fall at the feet of the Guru
and get his blessings. Who is a Guru? gu stands for gufaa or ignorance
ru stands for roshnii or light A Guru is one who removes the darkness of
ignorance with the light of knowledge. A person's mother is his first
guru. His father comes next followed by the school teacher who teaches
to read and write. These days every single field has a Guru, even bad
habits are taught by Gurus. Guru has been adapted by the English
language to refer to a person who is accorded the highest status in a
particular field such as the Gurus of management, Gurus of computers
etc. One who masters himself and teaches others is a Guru. The path of
God, the adhyaatmic path also needs a Guru. It could be one's own
parents or relatives or anyone who inspires a person to follow the path
of righteousness. There are many types of Gurus. One is a "diikshaa"
guru, who tells how to study, what methods to follow etc. A shriiguru is
one who teaches aatmaGYaan or the knowledge of the God within oneself. 
"anekajanma sampraapta karma bandhair vimuchyate aatma GYaana
pradhaanena, tasmai shrii gurave namaH". There are many bonds that are
caused by the karmas of millions of births. A shriiguru helps to free
oneself from these bonds, by imparting the knowledge of the God within
oneself. This is the guru whose is mentioned in this couplet.

The Guru's feet are compared to a saroj or lotus not because its is soft
or pinky pinky like a lotus!!. A lotus is that flower which is born in
dirty water and yet it beautifies the water by its very presence. In
this aspect, it is like the  paramaatma which in spite of being inside
the body, does not get dirtied by it. It makes this "shava" (body which
is nothing but a  corpse) into shiva (God). Guru is established in truth
and so, his feet can take us to this truth. True knowledge is one which
gives us humility, as said in the following sloka,

vidhyaa dadaati vinayaM, vinayaat.h yaati paatrathaaM.
Paatratvaat.h dhanamaapnoti, dhanaat.h dharmaM tataH sukham.h ..

(Knowledge gives rise to humility, which then gives all other virtues.
Wealth and righteousness and ultimate happiness all follow when
knowledge and humility are present together)

The term "raghubara bimala jasu" The purest and the most prized
possession of the clan of Raghus. In this verse, raghubara refers to
Hanumanji. In the Ramaayana,  raghubara has been used to refer to shrii
Raam, to the king Dasaratha as well as to Bharatha in various places.
The word itself means "the most prized possession of the clan of
raghus". The sanskrit word putraH is defined as "puM naama narakaat.h
traayate" which means a son is one who saves his parents from hell.
Nowadays a son is one who sends his parents to hell, or gives them
living hell!! There can be no greater son for Shrii Raama and Sita than
Hanumanji, because he saved mother Sita from misery. The mother Sita
herself called Hanumanji her own son and what greater proof is required
that the Hanumanji was the raghubara! The terms vimala jasu mean without
any impurity or blemish. Most often we incur sin by some action of ours.
Even when we think that we have acted in the right manner, we may still
be slandered by people. Even when we see a sannyaasi who may be
righteous, we may still doubt Him, thanks to Ravana who took on the garb
of a sannyaasi to abduct Sita. It is hence very difficult to live in
this world without any blemish. Even shrii raama and mother sita were
slandered. In Hanumanji's life alone, there is no blemish. It is very
difficult to live in this manner and we should try and emulate
Hanumanji.

People are fond of summaries and hence everything is summarized. All the
goals in life are summarized under four headings (referred to here as
phala chaari). These four are dharma, artha, kaama and moksha. Some
people seek to get wealth (artha)  in this world. Others have various
desires (kaama). As they wish to live happily in the next life they do
some dharma. Still Others want moksha or liberation. Hanumanji's
blessings can give all the four goals - wealth, desires, righteousness
and liberation.


buddhihiina tanu jaanike, sumirau pavana kumaara .
bala budhi bidhyaa dehu mohi, harahu kalesa bikaara ..2..

Oh Son of the wind, understand that I am ignorant and give me strength,
intelligence and right knowledge. Steal my anxieties and imperfections.

People pray but do not get the results because they often do not know
how to pray. They go to the temple, offer flowers, break coconuts, but
all these rituals are of no use,  when they do not know how to pray, in
the first place. This doha teaches us the secret of successful prayer,
as well as success in any field. Success in the material world and peace
at heart.

How should a person pray? If we cannot get something, we can ask only
God for it, because He is the only person who can give it to us, with
abundant love. People have so many desires and yet they say, "I don't
ask the Lord for anything". Swami Tejomayaananda used to say, "If you
want something, you have to ask only God for it. Don't ask the world,
ask the Lord.God is the only giver in this world." Gurunanak used to say
that he had learnt from his Guru that Lord is the only giver.

Once a beggar went to the palace of King Akbar, hoping to get something
in alms. He saw Akbar praying to the Lord. After observing for sometime,
he started going back. Meanwhile, Akbar completed his prayers and was
surprised to see the beggar walking away from the palace without
accepting or asking for anything. He called for the beggar and asked him
why he had gone away without asking for anything. The beggar said, "I
had come to beg from you, but when I saw you begging the Lord for so
many things, I decided that I need  not beg from a beggar when I can beg
from the Lord Himself".

How should a person ask the Lord for the things he wants? 

The term buddhihiina tanu jaanike means understanding oneself (tanu
jaanike) as buddhi hiina (without intelligence). When a person
understands that he is ignorant, it means that  he has abandoned his
ego. We are all proud about our wealth, intellect, beauty etc. The most
dangerous of these is the ego about one's intellect. People with money
will lose their ego when they lose their money. Similarly, beauty is
also impermanent and so the ego can be removed. On the other hand, the
ego about one's intellect is dangerous because it is the most difficult
to overcome. In this sloka, Sant Tulsidas refers to the term "my" using
the word "tanu" which means the "body". When a person understands that
even the body does not belong to him and does not have the slightest
attachment even to his body, it means that he has given up his ego about
all the possessions of this material world.  

The first ladder of prayer is humility. One should not demand what one
wants. People show so much humility even when they want a loan from a
banker. As long as a person is in the receiving end, it is only natural
that he remains humble. So too, when praying to the Lord, humility is
the first requirement. The first step of prayer is therefor "naman.h" or
bowing to the Lord.

Once the mughal emperor Akbar sent a huge golden umbrella to the
jwalamukhi temple situated near the Himalayas. It was called thus
because the temple had flames coming out of it. Akbar's gift was sent
with pride and arrogance and not with humility. As soon as the umbrella
reached the temple, in an instant it was turned to dust. Even today
there stands a mound of shining gold in the temple. When touched
however, one can realize that it is nothing but dust. Therefore,
humility is of foremost importance in prayer. This is why this doha
begins with the humble acceptance "buddhihiina tanu jaanike " - Oh Lord,
please understand that I am ignorant.

The second step is smaran.h or concentration. Smaran.h means thinking
about and remembering the Lord.  In this doha, we say, "sumirau pavana
kumaara" ."sumirau" means think about. Think about whom?  Pavana kumaara
means son of the wind God. There is no one who is more humble than
Hanumanji himself. We are all arrogant about the smallest things.
Humility is when a person does something and no one knows about it.
Earth, water, fire are all very valuable no doubt, but there is a charge
on all these. One has to pay a land tax. Water has to be bought in many
places - the mineral water bottles have become ubiquitous!! We cannot
think of cooking without buying cooking gas. But there is one force of
nature which is still free. We breathe air day in and day out, but there
is no tax on Air!! Air does so much service to us day in and day out,
but we hardly notice it (except someone who is asthmatic!). Hanumanji is
the son of such a humble wind God and so it is only natural that he is
also humble. This is the  third step of prayer which is kiirtan.h or
singing the praises of the Lord. By referring to Hanumanji as pavana
kumar, Tulsi das is indirectly praising Hanuman's humility.

  


-- 
Regards,
Shree
-----------------------------------------------------------
email:    shree@usa.net
satsangh: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8891/
bhajans:  http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/4637/