Hanuman Chalisa

nameHanuman Chalisa
title_origShubham Krishnatray
languageAwadhi language
genreBhakti literature (Devotional poetry)

The Hanuman Chalisa (Forty chaupais) on Hanuman) is a Hindu devotional hymn (stotra) in praise of Hanuman. It was authored by Tulsidas in the Awadhi language, and is his best known text apart from the Ramcharitmanas. Apart from Awadhi, the Hanuman Chalisa is also available in various languages including Sanskrit, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Punjabi and Bengali. The word “chālīsā” is derived from “chālīs”, which means the number forty in Hindi, as the Hanuman Chalisa has 40 verses (excluding the couplets at the beginning and at the end).

Hanuman is a devotee of Rama and one of the central characters of the Ramayana. According to the Shaiva tradition, the deity Hanuman is also an incarnation of Shiva. Folktales acclaim the powers of Hanuman. The qualities of the god Hanuman – his strength, courage, wisdom, celibacy (brahmacharya), his devotion to Rama and the many names by which he is known – are detailed in the Hanuman Chalisa. Recitation or chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa is a common religious practice. The Hanuman Chalisa is the most popular hymn in praise of Hanuman, and is recited by millions of Hindus every day.


The authorship of the Hanuman Chalisa is attributed to Tulsidas, a poet-saint who lived in the 16th century CE. He mentions his name in the last verse of the hymn. It is said in the 39th verse of the Hanuman Chalisa that whoever chants it with full devotion to Hanuman, will have Hanuman’s grace. Among Hindus worldwide, it is a very popular belief that chanting the Chalisa invokes Hanuman’s divine intervention in grave problems.


Goswami Tulsidas Awadhi Hindi Poet|||The most common picture of [Tulsidas](./Tulsidas) Tulsi Das Home from the Ganga River near Hanuman Ghat, Varanasi|||Home of Tulsidas on the banks of River Ganga [Tulsi Ghat](./Tulsi_Ghat) Varanasi where Hanuman Chalisa was written, a small temple is also located at this site Tulsidas (1497/1532–1623) was a Hindu poet-saint, reformer and philosopher renowned for his devotion for Rama. A composer of several popular works, he is best known for being the author of the epic Ramcharitmanas, a retelling of the Ramayana in the vernacular Awadhi language. Tulsidas was acclaimed in his lifetime to be a reincarnation of Valmiki, the composer of the original Ramayana in Sanskrit. Tulsidas lived in the city of Varanasi until his death. The Tulsi Ghat in Varnasi is named after him. He founded the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple dedicated to Hanuman in Varanasi, believed to stand at the place where he had the sight of Hanuman. Tulsidas started the Ramlila plays, a folk-theatre adaption of the Ramayana. He has been acclaimed as one of the greatest poets in Hindi, Indian, and World literature. The impact of Tulsidas and his works on the art, culture and society in India is widespread and is seen to date in vernacular language, Ramlila plays, Hindustani classical music, popular music, and television series.


There are 2 couplets in the beginning and one couplet at the ending between the 40 verses of Hanuman Chalisa. The Chalisa detail in the order of his knowledge, devotion to Rama and man without any desire. As with the case of devotional literature, Tulsidas starts the poem with two couplets praising his guru (teacher). The language of Chalisa is in the Awadhi language.


The Hindu deity to whom the prayer is addressed is Hanuman, an ardent devotee of Rama (the seventh avatar of Vishnu) and a central character in the Ramayana. A general among the vanaras, Hanuman was a warrior of Rama in the war against the rakshasa king Ravana. Hanuman’s exploits are much celebrated in a variety of religious and cultural traditions, particularly in Hinduism, to the extent that he is often the object of worship according to some bhakti traditions, and is the prime deity in many temples known as Hanuman Mandirs. He is one of the seven chiranjivis (immortals). Hanuman also appears in the Mahabharata on Arjuna’s chariot as his dhvaja (flag).


The work consists of forty-three verses – two introductory dohas), forty Chaupais), and one doha in the end. The first introductory doha begins with the word shrī, which refers to Shiva, who is considered the guru of Hanuman. The auspicious form, knowledge, virtues, powers and bravery of Hanuman are described in the first ten Chaupais. Chaupais eleven to twenty describe the acts of Hanuman in his service to Rama, with the eleventh to fifteenth Chaupais describing the role of Hanuman in bringing back Lakshmana to consciousness. From the twenty-first Chaupai, Tulsidas describes the need of Hanuman’s kripa). At the end, Tulsidas greets Hanuman with subtle devotion and requests him to reside in his heart and in the heart of devotees. The concluding doha again requests Hanuman to reside in the heart, along with Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita.

The translation below follows the English and Hindi translations by Gita Press, Rao, Mehta and Rambhadracharya.

Introductory dohas

    1. The four Puruṣārthas – Dharma, Artha, Kāma, Mokṣa
    1. The four types of Mukti – Sālokya, Sāmīpya, Sāyujya, Sārūpya
    1. Dharma, Jñāna, Yoga, Japa *Cleansing the mirror in the form of my mind with the pollen of the lotus-feet of the guru, I describe the unblemished glory of Rama, which bestows the four fruits: Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values) and *moksha (liberation, spiritual values).

Gita Press translation interprets the four fruits as the four Puruṣārthas – Dharma, Artha, Kāma, and Mokṣa. Rambhadracharya comments that the four fruits refer to any of the following

‘‘Knowing my body to be devoid of intelligence, I remember Hanuman, the son of Vāyu. Give me strength, intelligence and knowledge and remove all ailments (kalesa) and impurities (bikāra).’’

The Gita Press interprets kalesa as bodily ailments and bikāra as mental maladies. Rambhadracharya comments that kalesa (Sanskrit kleśa) refers to the five afflictions (Avidyā, Asmitā, Rāga, Dveṣa, and Abhiniveśa) as described in the Yoga Sutras, and bikāra (Sanskrit vikāra) refers to the six impurities of the mind (Kāma, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada, and Mātsarya). Rambhadracharya adds that these five afflictions and six impurities are the eleven enemies, and Hanuman is capable of removing them as he is the incarnation of the eleven Rudras.

Hanuman Chalisa

!Hanuman fetches the herb-bearing mountain, in a print from the Ravi Varma Press, 1910’s|||left !Raja Ravi Varma, Bharat Milap (Lithographic Print)|||Depiction of Bharata (Rama’s Youngest Brother) meeting Rama watched by Hanuman, Sita and Lakshmana…. From Left – Hanuman, Bharata, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana.jpg?width=300)

    1. Hanuman is endowed with special progression of sādhanā (penance).
    1. Hanuman is endowed with the special action of going over or across, i.e. the crossing of the ocean
    1. The flag signifying the victory of Rama shines forth in Hanuman’s Vajra-like powerful hand
    1. The Vajra-like powerful Gadā) and the victory flag of Rama shine forth in Hanuman’s hands
    1. shankara svayam which is explained as Hanuman is Shiva himself, as Vāyu carried the power of Shiva himself in Anjana’s womb from which Hanuman was born. Tulsidas mentions Hanuman as an Avatar of Shiva in the Vinayapatrika.
    1. shankara suvana which is explained as Hanuman is the son of Vāyu, who is one of the eight manifestations of Shiva as per Kalidasa. An alternate explanation is that the word suvana is used in the sense of Aṃśa as per the Puranic narrative of Vāyu carrying Shivas power to Anjana’s womb.
    1. The treasure of love (bhakti) towards Rama, with rasa meaning devotion and āyana meaning repository
    1. The abode of devotion to Rama (i.e. Ramāyana), with rasa meaning devotion and āyana meaning a house or edifice
    1. O Hanuman, the lord of vanaras, you are always in the service of Hari (Rama), may you reside in the heart of Tulsidas.
    1. Tulsidas says O Hanuman, may you ever reside in the heart of the devotees who serve Hari (Rama).
    1. Tulsidas is ever the servant of Hari (Hanuman, as Hari also means vanara in Sanskrit), may you reside in my heart. ‘‘O Hanuman, the ocean of knowledge and virtues, may you be victorious. O the chief amongst vanaras famous across the three lokas (Pātāla, Prithvi (earth) and Svarga), may you be victorious.’’

Rambhadracharya comments that Hanuman is called ocean of knowledge by Tulsidas as the Valmiki Ramayana describes him as one who knows the three Vedas (Ṛigveda, Yajurveda, and Sāmaveda) and Vyākaraṇa.

‘‘You are the trusted messenger of Rama and you are the abode of incomparable strength. You are known by the names of Anjaniputra (son of Anjana) and Pavanasuta (son of Vāyu).’’

Hanuman is called Anjaniputra as he was born from the womb of Anjana, who was an Apsara with the name Puñjikasthalā and was born as a vanara by the curse of Agastya. Hanuman is called Pavanasuta since he is the divine son of Vāyu, and since the Valmiki Ramayana calls Hanuman as Vāyu’s own son (mārutasyaurasaḥ putraḥ).

‘‘You are the great hero, you are endowed with valour, your body is as strong as Indra’s Vajra. You are the destroyer of vile intellect, and you are the companion of one whose intellect is pure.’’

Rambhadracharya explains the word bajarangī to come from Sanskrit Vajrāṅgī and gives two meanings of the word bikrama based on the root kram in Sanskrit and usage of the verb form vikramasva in Valmiki Ramayana –

‘‘Your complexion is that of molten gold, and you are resplendent in your handsome form. You wear Kundalas (small earrings worn in old times by Hindus) in your ears and your hair is curly.’’

Noting that in the Ramcharitmanas Tulsidas calls Hanuman as Subeṣa (one with a handsome form), Rambhadracharya comments that this verse describes the form of Hanuman when he took the appearance of a Brahmin, which happens three times in the Ramcharitmanas.

You have the Vajra and the flag in your hands, and the sacred-thread (Yajnopavita) made of the Munja grass adorns your shoulder.

Rambhadracharya gives two meanings for the first half of the verse – He also gives the variant reading chhājai (छाजै) instead of sājai (साजै) in the second half.

O embodiment of Shiva (or son of Vāyu carrying the power of Shiva), the delighter of Kesari, your aura and majesty is great and is revered by the whole world.

Rao and Mehta explain the first half as Hanuman is the son of Kesari) and Shiva. Rambhadracharya gives two variant readings for the first part– Rambhadracharya explains kesarī nandana as the kṣetraja son of Kesari, which is one of the twelve kinds of offspring recognized in the ancient Hindu law.

You are the praiseworthy abode of the eighteen types of Vidyā) (knowledge), all virtues reside in you, and you are exceedingly clever. You are ever eager to perform tasks for Rama.

You delight in listening to the acts of Rama (Ramayana). Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita reside in your mind. Alternately, you reside in the minds of Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita [owing to their affection towards you].

‘‘You assumed an extremely minute form and appeared to Sita in the Ashoka Vatika. You assumed a very large and scary form and burnt the city of Lanka.’’

‘‘You assumed a frightening form and destroyed the demons [in the army of Ravana]. You carried out all the tasks of Rama.’’

Rambhadracharya comments that the word bhīma is an allusion to the event in the Mahabharata when Hanuman showed the same frightening form to Bhima.

‘‘You brought the Sanjivini, the life saving herb from Dronagiri in Himalayas, and revitalized Lakshmana. Out of elation, Rama embraced you.’’

Rama, the chief among Raghu’s descendants, praised you profusely saying “You are dear to me like my brother Bharata).

Rambhadracharya associates the term bhāī with bharata. In contrast, Rao and Mehta interpret the second half as Rama said that you (Hanuman) are my dear brother, like Bharata.

Rao and Mehta’s translation – Rama also added that a thousand people will praise Hanuman’s glory and embraced him again.

Rambhadracharya interprets sahasa badana as the thousand-hooded serpent Shesha. His translation is The serpent Shesha, who has a thousand mouths, sings and will sing your glory, saying thus Rama embraces Hanuman again and again.

Rao and Mehta translate the two verses: ‘‘Sanaka, Brahma, Munisa, Narada, Sarada, Sahita, and Ahisa have blessed Hanuman; Yama (god of death), Kubera (god of wealth), dikpala (Gods of eight directions), kavis (poets), kovidas (folk singers) cannot describe Hanuman’s reputation.* Rambhadracharya associates the verb gāvai in verse 13 with verse 14 and first half of verse 15 also, interprets ahīsā as standing for both Shiva and Vishnu, and *kovida’’ as one who knows Vedas. His translation reads ‘‘The celibate rishis like Sanaka, the devatas like Brahma, Narada the best among munis (sages), Saraswati with Shiva and Vishnu, the eight Dikpalas including Yama and Kubera – all these will sing your glory. To what extent can the mortal poets and scholars of Vedas speak about your infinite glory?’’

You did Sugriva a great favour by making him meet Rama and bestowing on him the kingdom of Kishkindha.

Your Mantra was accepted by Vibhishana, as a result of which he became the king of Lanka. The whole world knows this.

On your own you dashed upon the sun, Surya, which is thousands of yojanas away, thinking it to be a sweet fruit.

O Lord, placing the ring given by Rama in your mouth, you leaped across the ocean – there is no wonder here.

All the unattainable tasks in the world become easily attainable with your grace.

‘‘You are the doorkeeper and protector of the door to Rama’s court. Without your command, nobody can enter the abode of Rama.’’

Rambhadracharya explains paisāre as the Tadbhava form of Sanskrit padasāra.

‘‘Once in your refuge, a Sādhaka obtains all the pleasures. You are the protector, and there is nothing to be afraid of.’’

When you roar, after remembering your powers, the three worlds tremble with fear.

Rambhadracharya comments that this verse refers to the narrative of Jambavan reminding Hanuman of his powers in the Kishkindha Kanda of Ramayana.

Evil spirits (bhūta) and meat-eating ghosts (pishācha) do not come near those chant the Mahāvira name of yours.

The brave Hanuman, when invoked incessantly by the means of Japa, destroys all ailments and removes all sufferings.

Hanuman extricates those from all adversities who remember him (or contemplate upon him) in their heart, by their actions and by their words.

Rama is the supreme god and a king with Tapas), and yet you executed all his tasks.

Rambhadracharya explains that the word saba para is from Sanskrit sarvapara, meaning supreme. A variant reading of this verse is sabapara rāma rāya siratājā, on which Rambhadracharya’s commentary says Rama is the supreme god and king of kings.

And whoever comes to you with any wish, that wish is fulfilled beyond limits (literally, “they obtain the unlimited fruit of the wish”) in this very birth.

A variant reading is soī amita jīvana phala pāvai.

Your glory is famous in all the four yugas, and illuminates the whole world.

Rambharacharya adds that this verse refers to the immortality and glory of Hanuman in all the four yugas.

‘‘You are the protector of Sadhus (good people or ascetics) and Sants) (saints). You are the destroyer of demons and dear as a son to Rama.’’

Rambhadracharya interprets the word sādhu as Bhaktas who are performing sādhanā and the word santa as Bhaktas whose sādhanā is complete.

*You are the bestower the eight *Siddhis (supernatural powers named Aṇimā, Garimā, Mahimā, Laghimā, Prāpti, Prākāmya, Īśitva, and Vaśitva) and the nine Nidhis (divine treasures named Mahāpadma, Padma, Śaṅkha, Makara, Kacchapa, Mukunda, Kunda, Nīla and Kharva). Mother Sita, the daughter of Janaka, has granted you this boon.’’

*You have the treasure of Rama’s bhakti (*rāma rasāyana’’) with you. Oh, respectfully, the servant of Raghupati (Rama).''

Rambhadracharya explains the term rāma rasāyana in two ways – The second half has variant readings including sadā raho and sādara tuma instead of sādara ho

Singing of you (Hanuman), a Bhakta obtains Rama and forgets the adversities and afflictions of many births.

Rambhadracharya explains using verses from Ramcharitmanas and Kavitavali, that as per Tulsidas Jñāna and Vairāgya are the two means to obtain Rama, and Hanuman is both Jñāna and Vairāgya incarnate. Hence serving Hanuman leads to Rama.

As a result of devotion to you, a Bhakta goes to Sāketa Loka (raghubara pura’’) at the time of their end (physical death). Once the Bhakta reaches Sāketa, wherever they take birth, they are known as the Bhaktas of Hari.''

Rambhadracharya interprets this verse to mean that the Bhakta, even discards the blissful moksha to take birth again in this world as a devotee of Hari, as Tulsidas says in the fourth book of Ramcharitmanas.

Even one who does not contemplate on any other devatas in their mind and only serves Hanuman, achieves all favourable bliss in this world and the next.

Rambhadracharya explains that as per Bhagavad Gita, only devatas can grant the desired results of actions, but even if one serves Hanuman and no other deity, they obtain all worldly and other-worldly bliss.

Whoever remembers the brave and mighty Hanuman gets free of all adversities and relief from all pains.

‘‘O Hanuman, the master of senses, may you be victorious, may you be victorious, may you be victorious. May you shower your grace lovingly, as a guru does, and reveal to me the knowledge of devotion to Rama.’’

Rambhadracharya interprets the three utterances of jaya to mean that Hanuman is sat-cit-ānanda.

*One who recites *Hanuman Chalisa a hundred times (or for hundred days) is released from bondage and obtains great bliss”.

Rambhadracharya interprets shata as standing for the number 108 and bāra (Sanskrit vāra) to mean a day. He explains the words to mean that one who recites the Hanuman Chalisa 108 times daily for 108 days will be released from the bondages of this world and the next, and will obtain great bliss.

*One who reads this *Hanuman Chalisa’’ obtains Siddhi (accomplishment or liberation). Shiva himself bears witness to this statement.''

Rao and Mehta explain this as “One who reads Hanuman Chalisa attains siddhis of god Shiva and becomes his friend.”

‘‘Tulsidas is always a devotee of Hari. O Lord, make my heart your abode.’’

Rambhadracharya offers three explanations for this verse in accordance with three different Anvayas (connection of words) –

Concluding doha

O Son of Vāyu, remover of adversities, one with an auspicious form, and the chief among all Devas, may you reside in our hearts along with Rama, Lakshmana, and Sita.

Rambhadracharya explains that Tulsidas addresses Hanuman with four adjectives in this final verse to indicate that Hanuman helps cleanse the mind (Manas), intellect (Buddhi), heart (Citta) and ego (Ahaṅkāra), and by asking him to reside in the heart of the devotee, Tulsidas ends the work by implying that the refuge of Hanuman is the supreme pursuit.


Before the 1980s, no commentary had been composed on the Hanuman Chalisa, which Rambhadracharya attributes to the work not being included in printed editions of collected works of Tulsidas. Indubhushan Ramayani authored the first brief commentary on Hanuman Chalisa. Rambhadracharya’s Mahaviri commentary in Hindi, authored in 1983, was called the best commentary on Hanuman Chalisa by Rama Chandra Prasad.


Swami Karpatri considered Hanuman Chalisa to be a supreme pramana, omnipotent and capable of fulfilling all wishes, like the Vedic mantras. Rambhadracharya called it full of auspiciousness and a “jewel amongst stotras”, and said that he had witnessed and heard of many instances where the wishes of people reciting the Chalisa with faith were granted.

The Hanuman Chalisa is recited by millions of Hindus every day, and most practising Hindus in India know its text by heart. The work is known to be popular among people from diverse educational, social, linguistic, musical, and geographical groups.

Classical and folk music

The Hanuman Chalisa is one of the best selling Hindu religious books and has been sung by many popular bhajan, classical and folk singers. The rendition of Hanuman Chalisa by Hari Om Sharan, originally released in 1974 by the Gramophone Company of India and re-released in 1995 by Super Cassettes Industries, is one of the most popular, and is regularly played at temples and homes across Northern India. This rendition is based on traditional melodies in the Mishra Khamaj, a raga belonging to the Khamaj That), with the base note taken at the second black key (kali do) of the harmonium. A recording based on the same traditional melodies was released in 1992 by Super Cassettes Industries, with Hariharan) as the singer and Gulshan Kumar as the artiste.

Other notable renditions include those by bhajan singers Anup Jalota and Ravindra Jain, Hindustani vocalists Pandit Jasraj and Rajan and Sajan Mishra, and the Carnatic vocalist M.S. Subbulakshmi. The renditions by Unni Krishnan, Nithyasree Mahadevan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji and Morari Bapu are also popular.

Among western singers Krishna Das) has performed the Hanuman Chalisa in both slow and fast formats.

In the Hindi movie 1920) (directed by Vikram Bhatt), Hanuman Chalisa is frequently used in different scenes. One of the scenes show the protagonist Arjun Singh Rathod (played by Rajneesh Duggal), reciting the Hanuman Chalisa in full. It is used in an important sequence in Bajrangi Bhaijaan, when the protagonist fights back against child traffickers and rescues a little girl from them.

An animation movie named Shri Hanuman Chalisa directed by Charuvi Agarwal and designed by Charuvi Design Labs is a film on Hanuman.

Popular singers who have sung the Hanuman Chalisa include Carnatic singer M. S. Subbulakshmi, as well as Lata Mangeshkar, Mahendra Kapoor, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Shankar Mahadevan, Anuradha Paudwal, Kailash Kher, Sukhwinder Singh, and Udit Narayan.

The Hanuman Chalisa was sung by Amitabh Bachchan in chorus with twenty other singers. This recording was released as a part of the Shri Hanuman Chalisa album in 2011 and received an unprecedented response by the releasing music label during November 2011.

A rendition of Hanuman Chalisa sung by Gulshan Kumar and Hariharan) became the first devotional song and first on YouTube to cross 2 billion views in November 2021. It is also currently the most viewed Indian music video on YouTube.

See also

  • Shri Ramachandra Kripalu
  • Thumak Chalat Rama Chandra