The Shri Hanuman Chalisa is a significant part of the Hanuman Bhakti tradition.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 14 in English with Meaning & Analysis
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 14 Brahma and his Mind-born Sons
ब्रह्मादि मुनीसा ।
सहित अहीसा ॥
Brahma, and other sages.
alongwith the lord of serpents.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 14 Meaning in English
In the previous verse, Ram who is Vishnu praises Hanuman. In this verse, praise is being showered by Brahma and the sages. Brahma is the creator-god of Hinduism, but never worshipped. The Creator in Hinduism is not a creator of material things, but the creator of self-identity (aham) and seeker of divine identity (atma). This creation happens on the canvas that is nature.
In nature, there are non-living things (a-jiva) and living organisms (sa-jiva). The living have awareness of death, and hence yearning for life, hunger for food and fear of becoming food. In humans, this hunger and fear is amplified. We imagine a world where there is ample food and no threats.
Failure to get this world creates sorrow. We feel like victims, and are filled with self-pity. The creator of these emotions is not worshipped in Hinduism. The destroyer of these emotions is worshipped in Hinduism. The creator of aham brings sorrow (dukkha). The destoyer of aham, the embodiment of atma, brings joy (ananda).
Happiness comes from knowledge, embodied as the goddess known as Saraswati, here referred to as Sharada. The sages (muni), including Sanaka and Narada, mark the struggle to acquire this knowledge. They worship Hanuman, as they recognize that Hanuman has this knowledge.
Hanuman has this knowledge because he has genuinely seen Ram, recognized him as Vishnu, the embodiment of dharma, who has outgrown his own hunger and fear, and empathizes with other people’s hunger and fear, and so is always in a state of ananda, despite huge calamities.
The first of Brahma’s sons were the Sanat-kumars. They have various names such as Sana, Sanaka, Sanata, Sananda. Typically, they are visualized as four prepubescent boys. In the Puranas, sexual activity must not be taken literally: the male form represents the mind and the female form represents matter. The attraction of a sage for a nymph is a metaphor for the response of the mind to sensory stimuli.
Prepubescent boys do not have the wherewithal to engage with the world, or even desire it. They wander everywhere seeking the wisdom that will bring happiness. As long as they don’t grow up, and engage with the world, the knowledge will elude them. But they don’t know that and so wander through space and time, never growing up or old.
Narada, born after the Sanat-kumars, is an adult, capable of engaging and desiring the world. However, he chooses not to be part of the material world, and goes around telling all living creatures that living in the material world is full of hunger and fear and suffering, and has no meaning, until he is cursed by Brahma that he will never escape the material world unless he gets everyone to engage with it. For unless one engages with the world, experiences hunger and fear, one will never outgrow hunger or fear, never gain empathy or find meaning. In other words, without the material, there can be nothing spiritual.
Saraswati is called Sharada because Sharada was the name of a popular script in India about a thousand years ago, used to write the Vedas, before the Devanagari script became popular. Brahma wants to possess her, and when he does that, she runs away from him, and Shiva beheads Brahma.
Knowledge has to be internalized, transformed into wisdom, not memorized. Brahma is beheaded because he chooses the path of the brahmin (crumpled mind that seeks to dominate others using his knowledge and position) rather than the path of the brahmana (expanded mind that internalizes the Vedas and so feels no urge to dominate).
The Aheesha mentioned in this verse refers to the lord of serpents (naga), just as Kapish mentioned in the first chaupai refers to the lord of monkeys. It can refer to Vasuki, king of serpents, who rules the nether regions. It could refer to AdiAnanta-Sesha, on whose hoods rests the earth.
Or it could refer to the serpent Kundalini, coiled at the base of our spine, embodying our primal survival instincts, which can rise up and stir the flowering of wisdom in our mind, turn knowledge into wisdom. In wisdom, we see the world for what it is, rather than trying to control the world like Brahma and his children and being trapped in hunger and fear and meaninglessness, we become like Ram and Hanuman.
When Hanuman was a child, he did not know his strengths. He picked up boulders and mountains, trees and elephants, as if they were toys and hurled them around. So the sages declared that Hanuman would lose all memory of his great strength.
It would reveal itself as needed. Every time Hanuman faced a crisis, or needed to solve a problem, he became aware of his hidden strengths and talents. In other words, the serpent of wisdom slowly rose up his spine, making him increasingly aware of the world, and the context, so that he could decide wisely how to make use of his incredible natural strength.
Eventually, his great strength enabled him to leap across the oceans and carry mountains across land. But thanks to his teacher Surya, and thanks to his experience of Ram, he was able to transform knowledge into wisdom, use Saraswati not to cling to wealth (which is a mark of hunger) or dominate others (which is a mark of fear), but to outgrow his hunger and fear. This is why everyone adores him-Brahma, and his sons, the sages, even the goddess of knowledge and the serpent of wisdom.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 14 Analysis in English
sanakadika brahmadi munlsa
narada sarada sahita ahlsa ll14 ll
Sanak and the great sages, Lord Brahma,
and the holy saints,
Along with Narada, Sarasvati,
and the King of Serpents. (14)
Right since childhood, Hanuman was helplessly attracted to saints. They appeared to him as loving and gentle as his father. But though he loved being around them, as a child he had no idea how he could benefit from their company. Little Hanuman could never understand why they were angry with him when he was simply imitating them in meditation.
Nor could he understand why they got annoyed when he sat on their laps during yagya. They looked so fatherly that their lap was the best place to cuddle. Though his intention was to associate with them lovingly, he did not realize he ended up harassing them.
While most people stay away from sages fearing their wrath, Hanuman ventured close to them without any fear whatsoever. He had so much power rippling through his muscles, but no knowledge of how best to channelize it. Unfortunately for the sages, he found them as the best associates.
Without being welcomed, he invited himself to their hermitages and harassed them beyond limits. When he saw the sages meditating, he would run up to them and pull their beards. When he saw them bathing in the river, he would swim inside the water and pull their legs.
Sometimes he would make huge holes in their clothes while they bathed. At other times, he would hang their clothes on the topmost branches of trees, making it impossible for them to retrieve them. When the sages came out of the river, freshly bathed, he would fill up his mouth with water and spray it on them, making it necessary for them to go back and bathe again.
As soon as they came out after another bath, Hanuman would spit on them yet again. He would catch hold of one sage and harass him for hours and hours together, repeating this act in a loop. He would love to enter a hermitage in the middle of a serious discussion by the sages. Then climb a tree under which the sages sat and jump on the branches.
Invariably, the branches would crack under his weight and come crashing onto the ground, right on top of the sages, causing them to reel in shock. Though the sages hated him for his mischief, they also couldn’t help feeling great love for the little monkey child. He somehow tugged at their hearts in a way they just could not comprehend.
There was one particular sage that he harassed the most, beyond his tolerance capacity. His name was Trinabandhu. One early morning when the sage was leaving his house to answer nature’s call, he got the biggest shock of his life. As soon as he opened his door, a tiger roared at him. Someone had tied a tiger at his doorstep.
He just couldn’t step out of his house through the front door now. But his tummy was churning and he had to go out to answer nature’s call, which was getting more intense by the minute. He opened the back door to rush out. He got a much bigger shock, as outside the back door was tied a wild elephant with massive tusks.
He couldn’t fathom who had done this. Who had the strength and the guts to manhandle these wild beasts and tie them to his door posts? Just as he was struggling with the turmoil in his body and mind, he looked through the window of his house and spotted a little monkey boy rolling on the ground, laughing away at his predicament. What was an intense suffering for him was a hilarious joke for Hanuman!
This prank was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The sage couldn’t handle it anymore and he hurled a curse at Hanuman. Though it was a curse, it was actually aimed at saving Hanuman from any further damage and curses. He cursed that the monkey child would forget all his powers till someone reminded him of them.
Even when the sage was cursing Hanuman, he could feel immense love for him. There was no anger but just compassion and a fatherly feeling of protecting him from messing around with more powerful sages who could potentially get really angry and curse him to condemnation, sanakadika brahmadi murilsa.
This was the day Hanuman decided to step away from the outer world and focus on his inner world. He wanted some private time for himself. While he was seated on the edge of a cliff, meditating deeply on Lord Rama, he felt a nudge on his shoulders. Just when he was getting deeper into his meditation, someone was disturbing him.
He opened his eyes and turned around to find out who it was. He was surprised to see Vali, the prince of Kishkinda, standing with a wicked grin on his face. He signalled Hanuman for a fight. But Hanuman was in the mood of praying and not fighting. Realizing that he was disinterested, Vali began to heap insults on Hanuman.
Hanuman ignored his insults and humbly requested him to chant the holy names of Rama. Instead of heeding Hanuman’s advice, Vali fired a volley of abuses for Rama. That really drove Hanuman mad; he immediately got up and accepted Vali’s challenge. They mutually decided to fight a duel the next morning that would be witnessed by the whole kingdom.
The next morning as Hanuman was making his way to the wrestling arena, Lord Brahma appeared and made a request. He appealed to Hanuman to use only one-tenth of his energy in the fight against Vali. If he used anymore of his strength, Vali would surely die. Acceding to Brahmaji’s request, Hanuman made his way into the wrestling arena. Vali, with great pride in his heart, used the mystic jewel necklace that he had in his possession to suck half the energy of Hanuman.
But to his horror, he was unable to handle even half of Hanuman’s energy. His veins burst open and he began to bleed all over. He felt that he was going to blow up. At that crucial moment, Lord Brahma appeared and instructed Vali to immediately release the energy he had sucked in and run away from the wrestling arena. Realizing his condition was critical, Vali released the energy and staggered away from the presence of Hanuman.
A little distance away, Vali collapsed and fainted. When he regained consciousness, he found Lord Brahma seated in front of him. Vali asked him why he was unable to absorb the power of Hanuman. Lord Brahma explained that although Hanuman was operating at one-tenth his regular power under his instructions, it was still too much for him because Hanuman was an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
As an incarnation, his powers were unlimitedly greater than that of Vali who was ultimately an ordinary living entity with ordinary powers. Glorifying the greatness of Hanuman, Lord Brahma explained to Vali how Hanuman had been blessed profusely by every god in existence, including him.
sanakadika brahmadi music Hanuman’s favourite childhood pastime was to play with tigers. He always chose the most dangerous ones to play with because he found the regular tigers very boring. Pouncing on the tigers effortlessly, Hanuman took great pleasure in doing that.
The tigers would usually tire out after being pounced upon and pounded with Hanuman’s extraordinary energy. They had no option but to surrender and give Hanuman a free ride to any destination of his choice.
When Hanuman was on one such joy ride, a strange looking hunter approached him, dressed in tiger skin and adorned with a necklace of tiger claws. Little Hanuman smiled at the hunter. The hunter asked him if he wasn’t afraid of hunters who could potentially be monkey catchers. Hanuman declared boldly that he was afraid of no one.
Impressed with his fearless attitude, the hunter offered to teach Hanuman many novel skills. Hanuman’s interest was aroused and he took the hunter to meet his parents. When Kesari and Anjana saw the rustic hunter, they were horrified at the idea of leaving their adorable child with the hunter for long durations. Moreover, what could a wild nomad teach their child? But to add to their misery, Hanuman was very keen on having him as his guru.
When Kesari called him uncultured, the hunter challenged him to a duel. As soon as the fight began, Kesari was flat on the ground. No matter how much he tried, the hunter floored him in seconds. Anjana had seen Kesari engage in numerous fights with powerful demons, but he had never been defeated so effortlessly.
She closed her eyes and meditated on the Lord within her heart and when she opened her eyes, she found the same Lord Shiva standing in front of her in the dress of a hunter. Immediately plucking some flowers, she walked up to the hunter and offered the flowers at his feet and offered her respects to him. Imitating his mother, Hanuman also gathered some flowers and offered them at the lotus feet of Lord Shiva, his new teacher. Kesari, having understood his folly, followed suit and begged forgiveness for his transgression.
As soon as Lord Shiva was officially accepted to tutor Hanuman, he touched the child’s tongue with his ring and magically, the child began to recite eloquent prayers in praise of the Lord. Shiva then whispered the secret pranava mantra into the child’s right ear and thus Hanuman became a fully enlightened being. Lord Shiva then told Hanuman that very soon Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning, would bestow unlimited intelligence upon him, and would facilitate proficiency in music when the right time came.
In due course of time, Hanuman’s intelligence and learning capabilities grew to an unbelievable proportion. He desired to learn anything and everything possible. When the right age came, Goddess Saraswati inspired Narada Muni to visit Kishkinda. As soon as Hanuman heard Narada sing and play his veena, he was inspired to learn singing and playing musical instruments. The eagerness of Hanuman incited Narada to teach him immediately all his musical skills and everything he knew about music. Soon Hanuman was an expert singer, composer, percussionist, flutist, and player of all possible musical instruments.
After a while, Narada decided to test his student. He requested Hanuman to sing his favourite song in the best possible way. Hanuman sat down obediently and immediately began to sing in the most beautiful manner. His voice itself was so melodious that Narada could hardly believe that it was just recently that he had become his student.
The astounding impact of Hanuman’s singing was not only visible on Narada, but on all aspects of creation. In fact, all moving entities froze in joy and all non-moving entities began to move and flow. Narada too was stunned and frozen like a statue, completely immersed in the singing of his disciple.
The stones began to melt and flow. Hanuman was completely oblivious to the impact of his singing on the world around him. He continued singing with great intensity and absorption. Meanwhile, Narada was so absorbed that he lost all connection with the material world and his veena slipped off his hand and fell into a puddle.
It was a puddle of melted rock created by Hanuman’s intense singing and the veena fell right into it. In a short while, when Hanuman stopped singing and came out of his concentration, the melted stones began to harden once again and the stunned Narada recovered his movement. As soon as Narada returned to external consciousness, he noticed that his veena had fallen down. He bent to pick it up only to realize that it was stuck in the re-hardened rock.
Grasping the fact that the rock had first melted due to Hanuman’s singing and then hardened once he stopped singing, Narada requested Hanuman to sing once again, only to release his veena. When Narada made that request, Hanuman sported a naughty smile on his face. He flatly refused to sing again. Narada was flabbergasted at Hanuman’s blatant refusal. How could he refuse to sing? This was the only veena Narada had. It was his only possession. He loved it dearly.
He began to beg Hanuman to sing. Contrary to expectation, Hanuman began to walk away from Narada and then ran away from the scene. Narada had no option but to chase Hanuman who was running all over the city of Kishkinda. It was a comical sight what with Hanuman running and Narada chasing. Finally Hanuman got back to the exact spot where they had begun. Narada caught up with him panting heavily. Hanuman then sang, abiding by his guru’s request. Sure enough, the rock melted and the veena was released.
Once he got his veena back, Narada had only one question in his mind. Why did Hanuman make him run so much if he was finally going to sing and release the veena? Hanuman answered with a sweet smile that he wanted the dust of the lotus feet of his guru Narada Muni to fall all over the land of Kishkinda.
He could find no other way to do it other than making him run all over. Narada was spellbound by that answer. What an unconventional way of showing his devotion and dedication to his guru! Narada was highly impressed with Hanuman’s humility and creative thinking. narada sarada sahita ahisa.