Devotees believe that the Shri Hanuman Chalisa has the power to fulfill sincere prayers.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 23 in English with Meaning & Analysis
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 23 Three Worlds
सम्हारो आपै ।
हाँक तें काँपै ।
hank te kanpai
You alone can contain.
The three worlds
Tremble when you roar.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 23 Meaning in English
This verse refers to the glory of Hanuman manifesting as his radiance and his roar. No one can contain his radiance and no one can withstand his roar. Yet, despite this great power, Hanuman does not seek to dominate the three worlds, which distinguishes him from other powerful people. His power is balanced by his immersion in the idea of Ram.
The quest for power (siddhi) from the divine is the central theme of Tantra, while the quest for immersion in the divine (samadhi) is the central theme of Vedanta. These two arms of Hinduism complement each other. In Tantra, the world is power (shakti); in Vedanta, the world is delusion (maya). Tantra seeks control over nature; Vedanta seeks transcendence.
Tantra binds us to the earth and the world below, while Vedanta elevates from the earth to the world above. Hanuman’s tales span the dark regions below the earth to the bright regions above the sky. In other words, he features across Tantrik as well as the Vedantic landscapes, adored by followers of Tantra and Vedanta, who would otherwise be rivals. Between these two antagonistic worlds is the world of Bhakti, the emotional highway between devotee and deity, the self and the other.
The concept of three worlds is found in the Vedas and the Puranas, but is very different in both. In the Vedas, the three worlds are the earth, the sky and the atmosphere in between. Indra separates the earth and sky and creates the three worlds. His younger brother, Vishnu, can traverse it in three steps and is hence known as Trivikrama, conqueror of the three worlds. The Vedic gods are classified as those who live on earth (fire, for example), those who live in the sky (the sun, for example) and those who live in between (wind, for example).
In the Puranas, on the other hand, the three worlds refer to earth, the celestial regions (Swarga), home to the devas, and the nether regions (Patala), home to nagas and asuras. Initially, there was not anything negative about the nether world. The two were just different. But gradually, perhaps under the influence of Christianity, or Islam, as society became increasingly linear in its worldview, the devas came to be seen as forces of good, while the asuras came to be seen as forces of evil. Devas started being associated with Vedanta, while asuras were linked with Tantra.
Patala was equated with hell (Naraka) and Swarga with heaven. There are two Adbhut Ramayanas, both written roughly 500 years ago, one in Assamese and one in Sankrit, which reveal the different ways in which Patala was seen. In both, Hanuman plays an important role. In the Assamese Adbhut Ramayana, Hanuman enters the kingdom of serpents, Naga-loka, located under the earth, to rescue Luv and Kush, abducted by Vasuki, king of serpents, on the instructions of Sita, who misses her children.
The story comes from a local retelling of the final chapter of the Ramayana where gossip in the streets of Ayodhya about Sita’s relationship with Ravana leads to Ram casting her away in the forest while she is pregnant, an episode that bothers most devotees of Ram. Sita raises her two children, the twins Luv and Kush, on her own and lets them go back to their father, but refuses to return to Ayodhya herself, choosing instead to descend into the earth, for she is the daughter of the earth.
But then she misses her children and wants Vasuki to bring them from Bhu-loka to Naga-loka. In the war that follows, a compromise is reached. The children return to earth and Sita promises to visit them and their father in secret. Thus the royal family of Ayodhya is reconciled thanks to Hanuman.
The idea of Hanuman watching over Sita and her children when she was in the forest is a theme found in many folk retellings of the final chapter of the Ramayana. He takes the form of a monkey and plays with Luv and Kush, watching over them, providing them food and revealing to them the secrets of the forest. Only Sita knows what Hanuman is up to.
In the Sanskrit Adbhut Ramayana, also based on regional stories from the eastern part of India that is renowned for its Tantra followers, Hanuman goes to Patala where he encounters not nagas, but asuras, demons and ghouls who worship Kali, perform human sacrifices and practice sorcery.
In this work, Ravana invokes his sorcerer brother, Mahiravana, who abducts Ram and Lakshman and takes them to Patala to offer them as sacrifices to Kali or Bhairavi. In the previous verses, we learnt of Hanuman as a doorkeeper and a guardian and provider of shelter. In the Adbhuta Ramayana, Hanuman uses his tail to create a fortress in which Ram and Lakshman can be safe. He lets no one in. Still, Mahiravana is able to outwit him and abduct the two brothers and take them to a place below the earth where there is no sun or wind.
At the entrance of Patala, Hanuman meets a doorkeeper, who is part monkey and part fish, who refuses to let him in. In the duel that follows, Hanuman realizes he has met his match. ‘Who are you?’ he asks. The doorkeeper identifies himself as the son of Hanuman. How is that possible, wonders Hanuman, for he is a celibate ascetic.
The warrior explains that he was born when a fish in the sea consumed a drop of Hanuman’s sweat that fell as he was flying across to Lanka. When Hanuman reveals his identity, his son bows to him, and lets him pass, revealing to him the many secrets of the subterranean region.
Hanuman enters Patala, defeats the demons and ghouls there and outwits Mahiravana who he eventually beheads, thus pleasing Kali and asking her to never demand human sacrifice again. Kali places the condition that Hanuman should serve her, after Ram leaves the earth. Hanuman agrees.
In one of the many plots of this story, Hanuman has to simultaneously extinguish five lamps located in five different directions to kill Mahiravana’s son, Ahiravana, which he is able to accomplish by sprouting four extra heads-that of an eagle, horse, lion and wild boar. This form of Hanuman with five heads transforms him from a god who is part of Ram’s entourage, to an independent god in his own right.
In other words, this story transforms Hanuman from being dependent on Ram to becoming dependable for Ram, from devata to bhagavan, from Ram-das to Maha-bali, from karya-karta to karta, for he takes initiative and decisions on his own, and not instructions from Ram.
The Hanuman who went to Patala, or Patali Hanuman, is a special form of Hanuman invoked, for protection from sorcery. Patali Hanuman’s temples are often located close to temples of the Goddess. Near Indore in Madhya Pradesh there is a temple to Ulte (upside down) Hanuman, for it is believed that everything in Patala is upside down.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 23 Analysis in English
apana teja samharo apai
tinau loka haka te kapai ||23||
You alone can face your radiant strength,
The three worlds tremble in fear when you roar. (23)
Even before Hanuman was born, his parents Kesari and Anjana had received a boon for him. Sages had blessed their marriage with a child who would rock the three worlds! Anjana was meditating in a cave on top of a secluded mountain. Her eyes were shut in deep meditation, but she felt like she was being watched – intensely. When she opened her eyes, in front of her was a sight so grotesque that she backed off with a startle and hit the wall of the cave inside which she was seated.
Standing a few metres away from her, blocking the entrance of the cave was this intensely ugly, extremely frightening, gigantic rakshasa. There was no escape from the demon’s cruel intent to ravish her then and there. She stood up, pushed him and rushed out of the cave. Her shove was so intense that the rakshasa tripped. The few moments he took to recover from the shove were enough for her to make her escape toward the closest village. An intense chase began. She used every ounce of her energy to save her life. She had heard of a wise sage who lived somewhere in this village.
His fame rested on the fact that he had answers to the most complex problems that existed. Right now, what could be more complex than this demon? She barged in, crashing down at the feet of the saint who was seated inside with his eyes closed in deep absorption. The sage looked at the distraught girl and said, “This is a powerful asura, Sambasadhana.
No one can do anything to stop him from achieving what he seeks to achieve. He is indestructible. It appears as if Lord Shiva himself has empowered him to destroy everything in this universe. As far as I know, barring the monkey-hero Kesari, no one has the power to destroy him. I have no idea where he could be at this time and how to even convince him to come to your aid.”
Suddenly Sambasadhana broke open the hermitage and the two were exposed to his gruesome stare. As he took the next step toward her in an attempt to grab her, he was hit by something so hard that his ears began to ring loudly and he felt torturously deafened by a relentless buzzing. Unable to bear the pain any longer, he collapsed on his knees. He turned around to see a strong vanara standing with his hands on his hips and a grin on his face. “Kesari!” the sage exclaimed. The girl opened her eyes with a smile. Miraculously Kesari had appeared there just in the nick of time.
Sambasadhana, unable to bear the insult, lunged at the standing monkey. Although he was massive, Kesari’s power was formidable and matched his. The two of them pounded each other’s bodies ferociously. When fists were not enough, they uprooted trees to attack each other. The entire village including all the sages assembled to see this close-quarter fight.
Just then something unimaginable happened. Sambasadhana transformed into a giant elephant. He was now ten times his original size and appeared to be ten times stronger. He began demolishing everything within his reach, razing the entire village to the ground. Not one house was left standing. To the horror of the villagers and sages, even Kesari seemed clueless.
But the next moment Kesari did something that surprised all of the onlookers. He shrank himself down to a tiny size, jumped onto the elephant and began pounding him on the forehead with his tightly clenched fist. Although he was tiny, Kesari’s blows were powerful enough to hurt Sambasadhana the elephant. Kesari was relentless with his punches, knowing well that the forehead was an elephant’s weakest spot.
Soon Sambasadhana was bleeding profusely, his blood dripping all over the village as he ran amok shaking his head violently, trying to throw Kesari off-. No matter how much he bled, Sambasadhana wasn’t dying. Anjana knew that the answer to all problems lies in prayers. She began to pray intensely to Lord Shiva for direction and in her inner voice she heard “Blood!”
She got up and started running toward where Kesari had initially appeared. There she found what she was looking for, his quiver of arrows and his bow. She quickly picked up the bow and an arrow and rushed to the combat area. She stopped at a particular spot and crouched onto her knees. She carefully dipped the tip of the arrow in the puddle of blood that had dripped from the demon’s body.
Despite being at each other’s throats, both Kesari and Sambasadhana noticed the girl’s action. But Kesari also caught the fleeting moment of panic in Sambasadhana’s eyes. Pulling himself away from the demon, Kesari ran toward the girl who stood arms outstretched with the bow and arrow. In one swift move, he grabbed the bow from her hand, nocked the arrow, and in an instant released it straight into Sambasadhana’s chest. As soon as the arrow hit the demon, he fell dead!
The sages and the villagers jumped up in joy hailing their saviour Kesari. They lifted him on their shoulders and began to dance around. The girl’s eyes brimmed with tears-tears of joy and gratitude. The sages sat Kesari down in front of her. Kesari was just as grateful to her as she was to him. The sages proposed that it was apt that Kesari accept Anjana as his wife.
The two stole glances at each other and smiled in agreement. The sages thus blessed the happy couple, saying, “Through this marriage will be born a historic figure that will create a revolution in the world of devotion! His splendour will be so intense that the three worlds will tremble seeing his prowess.”
Thus Hanuman was born, blessed with such power even before his birth, apana teja samharo apai/tinau loka haka te kapai Hanuman’s ‘teja’ continued even as he was at a ripe old age. A much older Hanuman was once meditating on the shore of the ocean. It was the same ocean that had been the site of many adventures that he had had with Lord Rama.
This was not just an ordinary ocean for Hanuman but rather a very important place of worship. Every time he visited this place, he would go on a mental journey back into the past and relive all his adventures. Soon he was totally immersed in his internal ecstasies. He was so immersed that he didn’t even feel the touch on his arms. Only when that touch became a nudge did he even feel it. But when that nudge became a shove, he opened his eyes and saw a threatening figure looming over him. Hanuman chose not to react in his meditative mood.
But the dark figure began to provoke Hanuman, demanding a fight. Least bothered, Hanuman waved him off. He had dealt with enough arrogant people in his younger days and couldn’t care less for one more. Introducing himself as Shani, the dark figure began to challenge Hanuman for a fight for establishing supremacy. Hanuman straightaway refused, declaring that he had better things to focus on. Shani then went on to tease him harshly.
Calling him a foolish monkey, Shani announced that his time was up and his days were up. Kali yuga was his era where Hanuman had no say and no control. Though Hanuman had rescued him from Ravana’s clutches in Treta yuga and he was grateful for that, that was old history that had no relevance today. Shani began to push Hanuman with great force.
The next moment something unexpected happened. Shani was suddenly flying in the air, held tightly in the grip of Hanuman’s tail. Hanuman took him straight into the ocean and began to bang him hard on all the rocks and stones of the ocean.
Badly bruised and swollen all over, Shani was totally dazed. It happened so fast he didn’t even have time to react. After the bang, Hanuman asked him if he still wanted to have a fight. Shani was, of course, hurt physically and experiencing great amount of pain but his ego, that was seething for revenge and self-establishment, was in a greater pain.
Shani arrogantly proclaimed that Hanuman may be stronger physically but he was much stronger mentally. There was no way Hanuman could defeat him in a mental game. If only he entered Hanuman’s mind, then he could wreak havoc there till Hanuman submitted. He had been given the authority to influence every human being on earth for seven and half years every twenty-two and half years.
Not wanting to continue this discussion, Hanuman told Shani that he wasn’t a normal human being and was considered amongst the celestials. But Shani was not ready to agree. He argued that anyone who had lived on the earthly realms was under his jurisdiction.
Just to irritate Hanuman a bit more, he added that his favourite targets were old people who were closer to death. That statement really broke the straw. Hanuman was extremely put off by his snobbish interaction. He asked Shani to demonstrate how he influenced people’s minds.
Jumping at the chance, Shani immediately leaped into Hanuman’s head, giving him an intense headache. Hanuman walked towards a nearby mountain and picked it up placing it on his head. Though the mountain was so huge, Hanuman didn’t even feel its weight on his head. But deep inside Hanuman’s head Shani could experience the whole weight of the mountain on his back. He suddenly realized that he was in big trouble.
The headache hadn’t decreased. So Hanuman picked up another mountain and placed it on top of the first one. The pressure on Shani’s back grew exponentially and he began to scream aloud. But Hanuman wasn’t satisfied with even two mountains stationed on his head. He placed a third one and then a fourth one.
When he was about to stack a fifth mountain over his head, Shani broke out, wailing loudly. He begged Hanuman to let him go. Hanuman feigned surprise. Shani began to plead helplessly. He was ready for a compromise now. He promised that he wouldn’t stay that long in the body of Hanuman but rather only stay for two and half days instead of seven and half years.
Hanuman didn’t care for his promises and proceeded to pick up the fifth mountain. Shani became hysterical and declared that he would never ever even think of entering into Hanuman’s mind and not only that he would not even trouble anybody who chanted Hanuman’s name.
He begged for relief from his suffering. Hanuman dropped the mountains one by one. Finally Shani flew out of Hanuman’s head and fell on the ground writhing in great pain. He literally begged Hanuman for some oil to massage every sore limb of his body.
Hanuman being a recluse, had no access to oils and other luxuries. He advised him to beg for oil from those people whom he troubles. From that day onwards, everyone who visits the temple of Shani offers a little oil to soothe his pains.
Of course, Shani’s temples are almost always near Hanuman temples just to commemorate this story and connection. Also to remind Shani of the splendour and valour of Hanuman which is famous all over the world, apana teja samharo apai / tinau loka haka te kapai.