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We all are aware of Hanuman Chalisa. Some even read it either everyday or on Tuesdays and Saturdays. But like many things we’ve grown up with, we seldom bother to find out the Hanuman Chalisa meaning. I’m penning down the original text of Hanuman Chalisa in Hindi, followed by English transliteration and the meaning of all its couplets.

For starters, Hanuman Chalisa was composed by Goswami Tulsidas, who also composed Ramcharitmanas and Ek Shloki Ramayana. It is made of 40 rhyming couplets and is hence known as chaalisa (chaalis means 40 in Hindi).

Hanuman Chalisa Meaning and Text
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श्रीगुरु चरण् सरोज रज, निज मन मुकुर सुधार । बरणौ रघुबर बिमल यश, जो दायक फलचार ॥
Shree-Guru Charan Saroja-Raja, Nija-Mana-Mukura Sudhaara | Baranau Raghu-Bara Bimala Yasha, Jo Daayaka Phala-Chaar ||


With the dust of the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva, I clean the mirror of my mind/heart
I narrate the sacred glory of Shri Rama, who provide me with the four fruits of life (Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha)

बुद्धिहीन तनु जानिके, सुमिरौं पवन कुमार । बल बुद्धिविद्या देहु मोहिं, हरहु कलेश विकार ॥
Buddhi-Heen Tanu Jaanike, Sumirau Pavan Kumaar | Bala Buddhi-Vidyaa Dehu Mohi, Harahu Kalesh Vikaar ||

Meaning:
Considering myself ignorant, I think of you, O Pavan Kumar (son of air)
Empower me with strength, knowledge and wisdom and take away my miseries and ails

Couplet  1
जय हनुमान ज्ञान गुण सागर । जै कपीस तिहुँलोक उजागर ॥
Jai Hanumaan gyaan Gun Saagar | Jai Kapees tihu-lok ujaagar ||

Victory to You, O Hanuman, Who is the Ocean of Wisdom and Virtue,
Victory to the Lord of the Monkeys, Who Enlightens the Three Worlds (earth, heavens and netherworld)

Couplet 2
रामदूत अतुलित बलधामा । अंजनि-पुत्र पवन-सुत नामा ॥
Ram doot atulit Bala dhaama | Anjani-putra Pavan-sut Naama ||

You’re the messenger of Ram and powerhouse of Strength
The son of Anjani, you are also known as son of son of Pavan (wind)

Couplet  3
महाबीर बिक्रम बजरंगी । कुमति निवार सुमति के संगी ॥
Maha-veer bikram bajarangii | Kumati nivaar sumati ke sangee ||

You are a great warrior,  very valiant and your body is strong as a rock
You thwart evil mind/thoughts and accompany positive mind and wisdom

Couplet  4
कंचन बरण बिराज सुबेशा । कानन कुंडल कुंचित केशा ॥
Kanchan baran biraaj subeshaa | Kaanan kunddala kunchita keshaa ||

Your hue is golden and you are impeccably dressed,
You are bedecked with earrings and have curly hair

Couplet  5
हाथ बज्र औ ध्वजा बिराजै । काँधे मूँज जनेऊ साजै ॥
Haath bajra au dhvajaa biraaje | kaandhe mooj janeuu Saaje ||

In your hands rest the thunderbolt (weapon of lightning or Mase) and flag
You don the Janeu (sacred thread) across your shoulder

Couplet  6
शंकर-सुवन केशरी-नन्दन । तेज प्रताप महा जग-वंदन ॥
Shankar-Suvan Keshari-Nandan | Teja Prataap Maha Jag-Vandan ||

O incarnation of Shiva and son of Kesari,
your might and glory are sung my the whole world

Couplet  7
विद्यावान गुणी अति चातुर । राम काज करिबे को आतुर ॥
Vidyaavaan gunee ati chaatur | Raam kaaj karibe ko aatur ||

You are learned, skilled and very intelligent,
Always eager to do the chores of Ram

Couplet  8
प्रभु चरित्र सुनिबे को रसिया । रामलषण सीता मन बसिया ॥
Prabhu charitra sunibe ko rasiya | Ram-Lakhan-Sita man basiya ||

You rejoice listening to glories and deeds of prabhu (Ram)
Ram, Lakshman and Sita dwell in your heart

Couplet  9
सूक्ष्म रूपधरि सियहिं दिखावा । विकट रूप धरि लंक जरावा ॥
Sukshma roop dhari siyahi dikhava | Vikat roop dhari lanka jarava ||

(while) you made a miniscule (humble) appearance before Sita (in Lanka),
you took a tremendous form while setting Lanka on fire

Couplet  10
भीम रूप धरि असुर सँहारे । रामचन्द्र के काज सँवारे ॥
Bheem roop dhari asur sanharey | Ram Chandra ke kaaj sanwaarey ||

You (then) assumed a colossal form and destroyed the demons (of Lanka)
and thus accomplished the chores of Ram

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Couplet  11
लाय सजीवन लखन जियाये । श्री रघुबीर हरषि उर लाये ॥
Laay sajiivan Lakhan jiyaaye | Shri Raghubiir harashi ur laaye ||

You brought Sanjeevani booty (herb) and revived the life of Lakshman
And this made Ram embrace you with joy

Couplet  12
रघुपति कीन्ही बहुत बडाई । तुम मम प्रिय भरतहि सम भाई ॥
Raghupati keenhi bahut badaai | Tum mam priya bharatahi sam bhai ||

Ragupati (Ram) praised you significantly, (and said)
You are a dear brother to me like Bharat

Couplet  13
सहस बदन तुम्हरो यश गावैं । अस कहि श्रीपति कण्ठ लगावैं ॥
Sahas badan tumhro yash gaavey | As kahi Shreepati Kantth Lagavaey ||

The thousand bodied (shesh-naag) sings of your glory
said shri-pati (Ram) to you and embraced you (to his throat)

Couplet  14
सनकादिक ब्रह्मादि मुनीशा । नारद शारद सहित अहीशा ॥
Sanakaadik brahmaadi muni-eshaa | Naarad shaarad sahit aheesha ||

Sanaka, Brahma, other sages and gods,
Narada, saraswati(devi) and Sheshnag …

Couplet  15
यम कुबेर दिगपाल जहाँ ते । कवि कोविद कहि सकैं कहाँ ते ॥
Yam Kuber Digapaal Jahaate | Kavi Kovid Kahi Sakai Kahaate ||

…Yama (deaths’ God), Kuber (wealth’s God ), Digpals (guardian deities),
poets and scholars are unable to describe your glories in entirety

Couplet  16
तुम उपकार सुग्रीवहिं कीन्हा । राम मिलाय राजपद दीन्हा ॥
Tum upakaar Sugrivahi keenha | Ram milaye raajpad Deenha ||

You did great help/service to Sugriva
(because you) introduced him to Ram and restored him his Kingdom

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Couplet  17
तुम्हरो मंत्र विभीषण माना । लंकेश्वर भये सब जग जाना ॥
Tumharo mantra Vibhisha maana | Lankeshvar bhay sab jag jaana ||

Vibhishan took your advice (and thus),
became the king of Lanka, the whole world knows this

Couplet  18
युग सहस्र योजन पर भानू । लील्यो ताहि मधुर फल जानू ॥
Yuga sahasra yojan par bhanu | Leelyo taahi madhura phala jaanu ||

Sun, which was sixteen thousand miles away,
You swallowed it, thinking of it as a sweet fruit

Couplet  19
प्रभु मुद्रिका मेलि मुख माहीं । जलधि लाँधि गये अचरज नाहीं ॥
Prabhu mudrika meli mukh maahi | jaladhi langhi gaye acharaj nahi ||

With Ram’s ring in your mouth,
You crossed the ocean, not to much surprise

Couplet  20
दुर्गम काज जगत के जेते ।सुगम अनुग्रह तुम्हरे तेते ॥
Durgam kaaj jagat ke jete | sugam anugrah tumhre tete ||

All the difficult tasks of the world,
Are achievable by the virtue of your glory

Couplet  21
राम दुआरे तुम रखवारे । होत न आज्ञा बिन पैसारे ॥
Raam duaare tum rakhavaare | hoat na aagya bin paisaare ||

Thou art the sentinel of Ram’s kingdom
in which once can’t enter without your permission/blessings

Couplet  22
सब सुख लहै तुम्हारी सरना । तुम रक्षक काहू को डरना ॥
Sab sukha lahai tumhari sarana | Tum Rakshak kaahu ko Darna ||

Everyone takes refuge in you (and)
What’s there to fear when you are the guardian?

Couplet  23
आपन तेज सम्हारो आपै । तीनों लोक हाँकते काँपै ॥
Aapan tej samhaaro aapai | Teeno lok haakate kaape ||

Please hold your energy and might unto yourself
(because) the three worlds tremble with your roar

Couplet  24
भूत पिशाच निकट नहिं आवै । महाबीर जब नाम सुनावै ॥
Bhoot pishaach nikat nahi aavey | Mahaveer jab naam sunaavey ||

Demons and ghosts will not come anywhere near,
when one utters (to them) the name of Mahaveer

Couplet  25
नाशौ रोग हरै सब पीरा । जपत निरन्तर हनुमत बीरा ॥
Naashey rog harey sab peera | Japat nirantar hanumat beera ||

You end ailments and take away suffering
(When one) continuously recites your name

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Couplet  26
संकट से हनुमान छुडावै । मन क्रम बचन ध्यान जो लावै ॥
Sankat se Hanuman chuddaavey | Man kram bachan dhyaan jo laavey ||

Hanuman Frees (one) from adversities,
When one meditates on him with mind, actions and words

Couplet  27
सब पर राम तपस्वी राजा । तिनके काज सकल तुम साजा ॥
Sab par Ram tapasvi raja | Tinkey kaaj sakal tum Saaja ||

Ram is above everyone (and is) the king of ascetics
And you accomplish his tasks as a caretaker

Couplet  28
और मनोरथ जो कोइ लावै । सोइ अमित जीवन फल पावै ॥
Aur manorath jo koi laavey | Soi amit jeevan fal paavey ||

Devotees with any other desires,
Will ultimately get the highest fruit of life.

Couplet  29
चारों युग परताप तुम्हारा । है परसिद्ध जगत उजियारा ॥
Chaaron yug partaap tuharaa | Hai parsiddh jagat ujiyara ||

Your glory exists across four eons (i.e. Dwapar, Treta, Sat and Kal Yuga),
and your radiant fame prevails across the world.

Couplet  30
साधु संत के तुम रखवारे । असुर निकंदन राम दुलारे ॥
Saadhu sant ke tum rakhwaare (rakhwaale) | Asur nikandan Ram dulaarey ||

You are the saviour of saints and ascetics,
and vanquisher of demons and devils, O’ Ram’s dear.

Couplet  31
अष्टसिद्धि नव निधि के दाता । अस बर दीन जानकी माता ॥ 
Asht siddhi nav nidhi ke daata | As var deen jaankee maata ||

You are the owner of 8 powers (siddhis) and 9 devotions (nidhis),
So you’ve been blessed mother Sita through her boon.

Couplet  32
राम रसायन तुम्हरे पासा । सदा रहो रघुपति के दासा ॥
Ram rasaayan tumhrey paasa | Sada raho raghupati ke daasa ||

You have the essence of devotion to Shree Ram,
And must always remain his devotee.

Couplet  33
तुम्हरे भजन रामको पावै । जन्म जन्म के दुख बिसरावै ॥
Tumhre bhajan ram ko paave | Janam janam ke dukh bisraawe ||

The songs sung in your glory ultimately please Lord Ram,
Thereby making the devotee forget/overcome the sorrows of life and rebirths,

Couplet  34
अन्त काल रघुपति पुर जाई । जहाँ जन्म हरिभक्त कहाई ॥
Ant kaal raghupati pur jaayee | Jahaan janam haribhakt kahaaye ||

The devotee on leaving the earth joins the abode of Lord Ram,
And wherever he takes a rebirth, he’s a confirmed devotee of Hari (Vishnu/Ram).

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Couplet  35
और देवता चित्त न धरई । हनुमत सेइ सर्व सुख करई ॥
Aur devta chitt na dharayeein | Hanumat sei sarv sukh karayeein ||

Even if one doesn’t worship any other deity,
A person gets all pleasures by revering Lord Hanuman.

Couplet  36
संकट हरै मिटै सब पीरा । जो सुमिरै हनुमत बल बीरा ॥
Sankat kate mite sab peera | Jo sumirey hanumat bal beera ||

All the crises disappear and pains vanish,
For those who worship the mighty Hanuman

Couplet  37
जै जै जै हनुमान गोसाई । कृपा करहु गुरुदेव की नाई ॥
Jai jai jai hanuman gosain | Kripa karahon gurudev ki naai ||

hail hail hail o my master Hanuman,
Bestow upon me your grace, as does  my Guru.

Couplet  38
जो शत बार पाठ कर जोई । छुटहि बन्दि महासुख होई ॥
Jo Shat baar paath kar joi | Chutahi bandhi maha sukh hoi ||

One who recites (hanuman chalisa) a thousand times,
Gets beyond the worldly bonds and receives eternal happiness.

Couplet  39
जो यह पढै हनुमान चालीसा । होय सिद्धि साखी गौरीसा ॥
Jo yeh pade hanuman chalisa | Hoye siddhi saakhi gaurisa ||

Those who read Hanuman Chalisa,
Will become perfect and complete, (and Lord Shiva) Gauri’s husband is the witness to this fact.

Couplet  40
तुलसीदास सदा हरि चेरा । कीजै नाथ हृदय महँ डेरा ॥
Tulsidas sada hari chera | Keejey naath hriday mah deraa ||

(The author) Tulsidas who always remains a disciple of Hari (whose manifestation Ram is),
Prays the lord to reside in his heart.

Closing Chaupaai
पवनतनय संकट हरन, मंगल मूरति रूप । राम लखन सीता सहित, हृदय बसहु सुरभूप॥
Pavan tanay sankat haran, mangal moorati roop | Ram Lakhan Seeta sahit, hriday basahu surbhoop ||

(O Hanuman) The son of Pavan (Air) and remover of dangers and an embodiment of goodness…
Dwell in my heart with Ram, Lakshman, and Sita.

End of Hanuman Chalisa.

Some people like to replace the name of Tulsidas with their own name in the 40th couplet. The idea is that when we recite it to revere Hanuman, they should put their own name, as Tulsidas put his name the first time. Hanuman Chalisa is often read with Hanuman Aarti and Bajrang Baan. We shall cover their meaning and translation in the future posts.

Author’s Appeal

You might read Hanuman Chalisa 100 times a day and not have any improvement. Similarly, we might just say OM once in the morning and feel that a higher power is watching over us. The idea is to a) offer prayers with devotion, and not as a routine or formality and b) To be mindful of your karma. There’s no point of praying if you shout at your family members or are jealous of your colleague’s achievement or disrespect your cook or maid or cleaner. Remember,

नर सेवा ही नारायण सेवा
Serving the man is serving the divine

Peace.

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