Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 37 Meaning in English

Each verse of the Hanuman Chalisa narrates an aspect of Hanuman’s divine qualities.

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 37 in English with Meaning & Analysis

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 37 Guru and Gosain

जै जै जै
हनुमान गोसांई ।
कृपा करहु
गुरुदेव की नाईई ॥

Jai Jai Jai
Hanuman Gosain.
Kripa karahu
gurudev ki nyahin

Hail, Hail, Hail
Hanuman, lord of senses.
Be as kind
As the master.

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 37 Meaning in English

In this chaupai, Hanuman is identified as gosain and is being asked to be as kind as his guru. So Hanuman, who in previous verses is being asked to solve material problems and relieve material pain, has here been sought to grant spiritual wisdom that will liberate us from material bondage. The word gosain, or go-swami, is a Vedic metaphor. Ancient Hindus were aware that our understanding of the world begins with sensory awareness of the world around us.

The five sensory organs (gyan-indriya) carry information to our mind (manas) and provoke emotions (chitta) and finally get our intellect (buddhi) to take decisions that are manifested through the five action organs (karma-indriya). Our intelligence is controlled by our ego (aham) and only a guru’s guidance can help us break free from ego, and discover our soul (atma), our true self, that fears no death, is neither hungry nor insecure, and so can empathize with the other (para-jiva).

The indriyas that continuously engaged with the world of sensory stimulations were metaphorically described as cows (go) grazing (chara) in a pasture. The one who had complete control over them was the go-swami, or gosain, master of the sense-cows. Gosain, thus, is a word for yogi commonly used by Vaishnavas and followers of Krishna. It was a title bestowed on students by their gurus.

If Hanuman is the gosain, who is Hanuman’s teacher? Is it Surya, the sun god? Is it Ram, lord of the solar dynasty? Or is it Sita, the shakti of Ram? Maybe all three. This difference between guru and gosain reflects the difference between Jehovah and Jesus in Christianity, Allah and Prophet Muhammad in Islam, and the Buddha and Bodhisattva in Buddhism.

In religious traditions around the world, there is invariably a medium between the spiritual and the material, between the deity and the devotee, between the transcendental and the phenomenal. That is the role being attributed to Hanuman, the gosain of the guru. The Hanuman Chalisa was composed in times when the Mughals established their authority over the Gangetic plains.

The locals were very familiar with Islamic ideas of God and prophet, that had entered India five centuries prior to Tulsidas, that is, almost a thousand years ago from today. For local Hindus, the guru became the Hindu equivalent of the Islamic prophet, one who shows you the path to God. If Muslims had a paigambar for Allah, then Hindus had a Ram-doot for Ram.

The similarity was convenient but deceptive. Convenient because it helped establish a connection between the two faiths and faciliate dialogue, in the spirit of plurality. And deceptive because Hindu ideas of God and teacher are very different from the Islamic idea of God and messenger.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 37 Meaning in English 1
God in Islam is formless and firmly located outside space and time, while his prophet has form and is located in history and geography. God in Hinduism is simultaneously formless and has form (Shiva, Vishnu), is simultaneously outside space and time (Vishnu) and inside history and geography (Ram and Krishna). The guru can be a real person located outside (Shankara-acharya, Ramanuja-acharya, Madhwa-acharya, Ramananda, Tulsidas), or a deity (Hanuman), or a voice inside our heart and head.

In the Bhagavat Purana, the primal teacher (adi guru) Dattatreya describes nature as his guru. In Tantra, Shiva is Shakti’s guru, Shakti is Shiva’s guru. Thus in Hinduism, guru is gosain and gosain is guru, and guru is God and God is guru. The message and the messenger mingle and merge.

Time, space and people are simultaneously outside and inside, literal and metaphorical, immanent and transcendent, objective and subjective, physical and psychological. This fluid aspect of Hinduism is most confounding to the outsider, as confounding as the Indian headshake

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 37 Analysis in English

jaya jaya jaya hanumana gosal
kripa karahu guradeva ki nai ||37||

Victory, victory, victory to Lord Hanuman
Please shower your mercy as
would a divine master, (37)

Hanuman was once on a mission of obtaining the ashta siddhis or the eight mystical powers. On the way, he suddenly felt hunger pangs. He looked around to find something to satiate his hunger with but what he found was an opposite effect. It made him forget his hunger. What a strange sight it was! An austere woman crying while performing a fire sacrifice.

From her radiance he could guess that she had spent a lifetime in austerities. But why was she crying? It made no sense at all. Who would cry during a yagya? When he approached her he also saw that her ears were bleeding profusely. The mystery was getting complicated. He asked her, “Mother, are you in any pain? Please tell me what is troubling you.”

“I am doing a yagya and evoking my death because I have no purpose left in life,” she replied, sobbing and wiping her tears with her shoulders as her hands were engaged in giving offerings in the yagya. On further encouragement by Hanuman, she narrated her woes. “After a long and tough period of austerities, I was blessed with a pair of divine earrings. Such was their blessing that wearing them gave me the power to obtain anything I wanted, go anywhere I desired, and take any boon from any demigod at any time.”

Hanuman gasped at the powers she had. He anticipated what happened next and said sympathetically, “And now are they stolen?” She nodded her head sadly. “They were snatched from me by dacoits. But I’m not concerned about the fact that they got stolen. What worries me is that they will fall in the wrong hands and be misused and exploited. It could be used to harass innocent people. All because of me.”

Hanuman, who always did his best to help everyone, could not leave without helping her. After learning that the dacoits had headed towards the jungle, Hanuman too took off to find them. He followed the footprints left by the horses, which easily led him to them. But another surprise awaited him there. The dacoits were dead. All but one. He was on the verge of dying too. Answering Hanuman’s queries, he revealed before dying, “We were bitten by Nagaraj so that he could take the earrings away from us.”

Hanuman followed the trail of Nagaraj and reached the ocean. Since the Nagaloka was located inside the ocean, Hanuman dived deep down. On reaching the gates of Nagaloka, he punched the guards and entered. There he met Nagaraj Kartak and asked him to return the precious earrings. Of course, the Nagaraj refused and laughed at Hanuman’s suggestion. Instead he bit him because that’s what he did best. But naturally, Hanuman, being a Rudra avatar did not get affected by these trivial bites.

He gave him a good thrashing and defeated all the nagas and took away the earrings. But to his horror, the minute he picked up the earrings in his hand, all the nagas fell lifeless. Was there a connection between the two? To confirm, he put the earrings back again and to his amazement, the snakes sprang back to life! The earring belonged to an ascetic woman; how could it have a life and death impact on the naga clan underwater? This was truly bewildering for Hanuman.

Nagaraj Kartak explained, “These divine earrings are a source of our power. This is actually unnatural but unfortunately some days back, our nagamani was stolen. When I went to retrieve it, I found some dacoits who possessed this pair of earring. And this pair of earring gave us the same strength as we had from the nagamani. So I abandoned my search for the mani and carried these earrings back to Nagaloka. Now if you take them away, we will die.” Hanuman was in a catch-22 situation.

If he took the earrings back, the innocent nagas would die. If he didn’t, the ascetic woman would give up her life. The naga king folded his hands humbly and said, “We will abide by your decision.” Hanuman did not want to choose one over the other. He had to save everyone without any discrimination. He had to find a third way out.

He asked Nagaraj, “What if I bring back the nagamani for you? Will you return the earrings then?” Nagaraj had no objection to this. In fact he appreciated Hanuman’s thoughtfulness, his sensitivity and his compassion for them. No one had ever shown any sympathy to their lot. They were always looked down upon with hatred and vengeance by the entire world. With tears in his eyes, he thanked Hanuman for his concern for them.

Hanuman now had to think like a detective. “Where did you lose the mani?” he enquired.
“On Shivaratri, we had gone to Lord Shiva’s abode to participate in the celebration. That’s where it was stolen. And since then we have been lifeless.”
“Do you suspect anyone? Is there any clue to find it?”
“Whoever has stolen the mani will naturally hide it. But he will have no option but to take it out on every full moon day or Pumima because the moon is the source of nourishment for it.”

This was sufficient information for Hanuman. He waited for the arrival of Pumima. On that full moon night, he began his hunt for the mani. His keen observation made him realize that all the moonlight was being pulled to one spot on earth. He quickly reached that spot, an obscure village not far from Nagaloka. But the thief was intelligent and knowing it was risky to expose the nagamani for too long, had tucked the mani away much before daylight. When Hanuman reached, he could no longer find the trail of the mani.

Since he was sure the mani was in that village itself, he roamed around looking for clues. He came across a huge crowd where a rich man was donating wealth to the villagers. He overheard a few comments about how this man had become wealthy overnight. Hanuman was now certain he had found the thief. He kept an eye on the man and followed him home. The man appeared very nervous and restless. Something was surely bothering him. He told his servants he was going hunting to find some peace of mind.

Hanuman followed him to the forest. The forest was a breeding ground for tigers and the foolish man had gone all alone. He was soon attacked by a hungry tiger. Had it not been for Hanuman, he would have lost his life. Hanuman had stopped the tiger and carried the man in his arms to a safer part of the forest. The man was so grateful that he agreed to hand over the mani to him. He confided in Hanuman that stealing the mani had been the worst mistake of his life. It had brought him nothing but misery and misfortune.

A relieved Hanuman took the naga mani and returned it to Nagaraj. An elated Nagaraj returned the divine earrings to Hanuman who in turn handed them back to its rightful owner. The ascetic mother was so pleased with Hanuman that she wanted to give him a blessing of his choice.“Please bless me that I reach Siddhiloka at the earliest, without any obstacles. That is my destination.” The woman not only blessed him but also gave him the earrings. Hanuman was quite stunned with the gift and he did not know what to do with it.

“Because you are always ready to help others in distress, and because your heart is full of compassion, you rightly deserve the divine earrings.” She instructed the earrings to accept Hanuman as their master. “Use them in your welfare work. Your merciful nature will win many hearts. You will be hailed as a guru and a hero worldwide for all your good work.”

jaya jaya jaya hanumana gossip kripa karahu gurudeva kl not When things are going smoothly in life, we can easily experience the mercy of God. If we are happy, satisfied, and get what we desired, then we tell others that Lord is very merciful. But if things are not going as per plan, we experience bouts of doubts during sadhana. This is the time we need to have faith.

Lord’s mercy can come in many different ways, and to see mercy in difficult situations, we need eyes like Hanuman’s. Rama sent Hanuman to find Sita (bhakti) only because he could see God’s mercy in favourable and unfavourable conditions. So while in search of bhakti, if you can feel faith and mercy in dark situations, only then you can successfully find her even in a place like Lanka.

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