Originally I was going to record this version of the Chalisa for myself to help learn the words. Then some friends joined to create a beautiful recording of the Hanuman Chalisa in English for everyone to enjoy.
Introduction to the Hanuman Chalisa in English
The Hanuman Chalisa is a 40-verse beloved Hindu prayer written by Tulsi Das and chanted all over the world as part of a daily practice or in times of stress to help overcome life’s obstacles. Hanuman is a unique model of love and spiritual service. It is said: “With the singing of the Hanuman Chalisa the impossible is made possible.” To learn more about the Chalisa, go here for a great interview with Krishna Das.
This English translation of the Hanuman Chalisa was done by Sadhu Ramdas Lamb in 1971 at the request of Neem Karoli Baba also know as Maharaj-ji (from Ram Dass’ Be Here Now) while at the Hanuman Temple in Vrindavan, India. Maharaj-ji wanted the Westerners to know the meaning of the chant they were practicing.
Ramdas said that he finished it very quickly and he only changed a few words. He uses a lot of English words and phrases that can be found in the Gita Press version of Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas like “valiant”, “minute form”, “thought, word, and deed,” “storehouse of knowledge” and “son of the wind God” etc. so it’s quite congruent with this commonly accepted text. As a special boon with this translation is that he wrote it so any melody the Chalisa is sung in Hindi, can also be used now to chant in English. Today Ramdas Lamb Ph.D is a professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Hawaii.
In November of 2019, I got a chance to sit down with him to discuss his process for translating the Hanuman Chalisa, as well as Dr. Lamb’s story as he shares about his life, time in India as a wandering monk, in the Ramananda Order, a sadhu lifestyle and meeting Neem Karoli Baba and his lifelong passion for practical and solid applications of spirituality with heart. Listen to the audio below:
Sadhu Ramdas translation and interpretation of the Hanuman Chalisa into English
The radiant form of the son of the wind eliminates all cause of afflictions.
With pollen of the Guru’s lotus feet, I cleanse the mirror of my heart,
and sing the pure virtues of Lord Raghuvir, the bestower of life’s four fruits.
Knowing this body to be lacking in wisdom, I meditate on the Wind God’s son.
Give me strength, wisdom, and intelligence, remove my faults and afflictions.
Hail the refuge of the feet of Sita and Ram
1) Hail Hanuman, ocean of wisdom and virtue, awakener of three worlds, monkey lord hail to you.
2) Unmatched in power, messenger of Ram, Anjani’s offspring, the Wind God’s son.
3) Valiant Mahavir, body like lightning, dispeller of ignorance, inspires good thinking.
4) Golden colored body, clothing so fair, with rings in your ears, and very curly hair.
5) Lightning bolt in one hand, banner in the other, sacred grass thread worn across your shoulder.
6) Avatar of Shiva, Kesari’s delighter, your radiant glory is adored the world over.
7) Storehouse of knowledge, virtuous and clever, absorbed in Ram’s work, tiring never.
8) Ever immersed in the stories of Sri Ram, you’re present in the heart of Sita, Ram, Lakshman.
9) Donning a minute form, you appeared to Sita, then in giant form you burned down Lanka.
10) Mightily destroying demons everyone, ever fulfilling the work of Lord Ram.
11) Bringing sacred herb to revive Lakshman, you received a joyous embrace from mighty Sri Ram.
12) Raghupati lovingly extolled your merit, saying, “You’re as dear to me as brother Bharat.”
13) It would take a thousand mouths to sing your praises, saying so Lord Ram held you in his embrace.
14) Sanaka, all sages, and even Lord Brahma, Narada, Sarada, along with Ahisha.
15) Yama, Kubera and others try to praise you. How can a poet ever hope to describe you?
16) Doing for Sugriva a very great thing, you brought Ram to him who made him a king.
17) Vibhishan listened closely to your word, became Lord of Lanka, known throughout the world.
18) Traveling many miles, you went to the sun, thinking it a fruit to eat when you were young.
19) Holding in your mouth Lord Ram’s precious ring, you sailed across the sea which is not at all surprising.
20) Difficult work wherever it may be, by your kind blessings is done so easily.
21) At the door of Ram, you are the guardsman, no one can enter without your permission.
22) All joy is gained by those in your shelter. What is there to fear when you are protector?
23) Such is your power only you can handle, hearing your roar the three worlds tremble.
24) Ghosts & evil spirits can never come near, to one who repeats the name of Mahavir.
25) All illness is dispelled, and suffering gone, by constant repetition of thy name, Hanuman.
26) By Hanuman’s grace from all troubles freed, for those who remember you in thought, word, and deed.
27) Greatest of all is Ascetic King Ram. All of whose works you have easily done.
28) Whoever comes to you with any desire, receives the highest fruit of eternal nectar.
29) In all four ages your glory is sung. Your fame enlightens the whole of creation.
30) For Saints and Sages, you are protector, beloved of Ram, demon’s destroyer.
31) You can bestow all perfections and power; the boon was given you by Janaki Mother.
32) You know the essence of devotion to Ram; in his service you will ever remain.
33) By devotion to you the Lord is attained, freedom from lifetimes of suffering is gained.
34) At the time of death, the Lord’s abode is won, any rebirth will be of pure devotion.
35) Remembering any other deity is needless, devotion to Hanuman brings all joy and bliss.
36) Sufferings are dispelled, rebirth cycle cut, for those who remember almighty Hanumat.
37) Lord of my senses, Hanuman hail to you! Bestow thy grace as does the Guru.
38) For those who sing this, one hundred times, all bonds are broken, the highest joy they find.
39) For those who read the Hanuman Chalisa, perfection is attained, the witness is Shiva.
40) Tulsidas, eternal servant of the Lord, prays, “Make my heart, Lord, thy abode.”
Son of the Wind God, dispeller of distress, most auspicious in form,
with Sita, Ram, and Lakshman, please make my heart into your home.
Hail the refuge of the feet of Sita-Ram.
The Hanuman Chalisa in Hindi, A Few Recordings I Have Made.
Ambika Elizabeth, from Brooklyn Kirtan Collective joins me singing this sweet melody.
This last video is a 3:30 fast version of the Hanuman Chalisa with a BlueGrass kick.
Hanuman Chalisa by Tulsi Das in Hindi.
Shree Gu-ru cha-ra-na sa-ro-ja ra-ja
Ni-ja ma-nu mu-ku-ru sud-haa-ri
Ba-ra-naun Rag-hu-ba-ra bi-ma-la ja-su
Jo daa-ya-ku pha-la chaa-ri
Bud-hi hee-na ta-nu jaa-ni-ke
Su-mi-raun pa-va-na ku-maa-ra
Ba-la bud-hi vid-yaa de-hu mo-hin
Ha-ra-hu ka-le-sa bi-kaa-ra
Si-yaa va-ra Raa-ma-chan-dra pa-da jai sha-ra-nam
1. Ja-ya Ha-nu-maa-na gyaa-na gu-na saa-ga-ra
Ja-ya Ka-pee-sha ti-hun lo-ka u-jaa-ga-ra
2. Raa-ma doo-ta a-tu-li-ta ba-la dhaa-maa
An-ja-ni pu-tra Pa-va-na-su-ta naa-maa
3. Ma-haa-bee-ra bi-kra-ma ba-ja-ran-gee
Ku-ma-ti ni-vaa-ra su-ma-ti ke san-gee
4. Kan-cha-na ba-ra-na bi-raa-ja su-be-saa
Kaa-na-na kun-da-la kun-chi-ta ke-saa
5. Haa-tha baj-ra au-ra dva-jaa bi-raa-jai
Kaan-dhe moon-ja ja-neu saa-jai
6. Shan-ka-ra su-va-na Ke-sa-ree nan-da-na
Te-ja pra-taa-pa ma-haa ja-ga ban-da-na
7. Vi-dyaa vaa-na gun-ee at-i chaa-tu-ra
Raa-ma kaa-ja ka-ri-be ko aa-tu-ra
8. Prab-hu cha-ri-tra su-ni-be ko ra-si-yaa
Raa-ma Lak-ha-na See-taa ma-na ba-si-yaa
9. Sooksh-ma roo-pa dha-ri Si-ya-hin di-khaa-vaa
Bi-ka-ta roo-pa dha-ri Lan-ka ja-raa-waa
10. Bhee-ma roo-pa dha-ri a-su-ra san-ghaa-re
Raa-ma-chan-dra ke kaa-ja san-vaa-re
11. Laa-ya sa-jee-va-na Lak-ha-na ji-yaa-ye
Shree Rag-hu-bee-ra ha-ra-shi u-ra laa-ye
12. Rag-hu-pa-ti keen-hee ba-hu-ta ba-raa-i
Tu-ma ma-ma pri-ya Bha-ra-ta-hi sa-ma bhaa-i
13. Sa-ha-sa ba-da-na tum-ha-ro ja-sa gaa-vai
A-sa ka-hi Shree-pa-ti kan-tha la-gaa-vai
14. Sa-na-kaa-di-ka Brah-maa-di mu-nee-saa
Naa-ra-da Saa-ra-da sa-hi-ta A-hee-saa
15. Ya-ma Ku-be-ra di-ga-paa-la ja-haan-te
Ka-bi ko-bi-da ka-hi sa-ke ka-haan-te
16. Tu-ma u-pa-kaa-ra Su-gree-va-hin keen-haa
Raa-ma mi-laa-ya raa-ja pa-da deen-haa
17. Tum-ha-ro man-tra Vi-bhee-sha-na maa-naa
Lan-ke-sh-va-ra bha-ye sa-ba ja-ga jaa-naa
18. Yu-ga sa-ha-sra yo-ja-na pa-ra bhaa-nu
Leel-yo taa-hi ma-dhu-ra pha-la jaa-nu
19. Prab-hu mu-dri-kaa me-li muk-ha maa-heen
Ja-lad-hi laan-ghi ga-ye a-cha-ra-ja naa-heen
20. Dur-ga-ma kaa-ja ja-ga-ta ke je-te
Su-ga-ma a-nu-gra-ha tum-ha-re te-te
21. Raa-ma du-aa-re tu-ma rak-ha-vaa-re
Ho-ta na aa-gyaa bi-nu pai-saa-re
22. Sa-ba suk-ha la-hai tum-haa-ree sha-ra-naa
Tu-ma rak-sha-ka kaa-hu ko da-ra-naa
23. Aa-pa-na te-ja sam-haa-rau aa-pai
Tee-non lo-ka haan-ka ten kaan-pai
24. Bhoo-ta pis-haa-cha ni-ka-ta na-hin aa-vai
Ma-haa-bee-ra ja-ba naa-ma su-naa-vai
25. Naa-sai ro-ga ha-re sa-ba pee-raa
Ja-pa-ta ni-ran-ta-ra Ha-nu-mat-a bee-raa
26. San-ka-ta ten Ha-nu-maa-na chu-raa-vai
Ma-na kra-ma ba-cha-na dhyaa-na jo laa-vai
27. Sab pa-ra Raa-ma ta-pas-vee raa-jaa
Ti-na ke kaa-ja sa-ka-la tu-ma saa-jaa
28. Au-ra ma-no-ra-tha jo ko-ee laa-ve
So-ee a-mi-ta jee-va-na pha-la paa-ve
29. Chaa-ron yu-ga pa-ra-taa-pa tum-haa-raa
Hai pa-ra-sid-ha ja-ga-ta u-ji-yaa-raa
30. Saa-dhu san-ta ke tu-ma rak-ha-vaa-re
A-su-ra ni-kan-da-na Raa-ma du-laa-re
31. Ash-ta sid-hi nau nid-hi ke daa-taa
As-a ba-ra dee-na Jaa-na-kee Maa-taa
32. Raa-ma ra-saa-ya-na toom-ha-re paa-saa
Sa-daa ra-ho Ra-ghu-pa-ti ke daa-saa
33. Tum-ha-re bha-ja-na Raa-ma ko paa-vai
Ja-na-ma ja-na-ma ke duk-ha bi-sa-ra-vai
34. An-ta kaa-la Rag-hu-ba-ra pu-ra jaa-ee
Ja-haan jan-ma Ha-ri bhak-ta ka-haa-ee
35. Au-ra de-va-taa chi-ta na dha-ra-ee
Ha-nu-ma-ta se-ee sar-va suk-ha ka-ra-ee
36. San-ka-ta ka-tai mi-te sa-ba pee-raa
Jo su-mi-re Ha-nu-ma-ta ba-la bee-raa
37. Jai Jai Jai Ha-nu-maa-na Go-saa-ee
Kri-paa ka-ra-hu gu-ru-de-va kee naa-ee
38. Jo sa-ta baa-ra paa-ta ka-ra ko-ee
Choo ta-hi ban-di ma-haa suk-ha ho-ee
39. Jo ya-ha pa-rai Ha-nu-maa-na chaa-lee-saa
Ho ya sid-hi saa-khee Gau-ree-saa
40. Tu-la-see-daa-sa sa-daa Ha-ri che-raa
Kee je naa -ta hri-da-ya ma-han de-raa
Pa-va-na ta-na-ya san-ka-ta ha-ra-na
Man-ga-la moo-ra-ti roo-pa
Raa-ma Lak-kha-na See-taa sa-hi-ta
Hri-da-ya ba-sa-hu su-ra bhoo-pa
Si-yaa va-ra Raa-ma-chan-dra pa-da jai sha-ra-nam