People often chant the Hanuman Chalisa in English to seek strength, courage, and protection.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 4 in English with Meaning & Analysis
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 4 Darshan
बिराज सुबेसा ।
कुंचित केसा ॥
seated with elegant adornments.
Rings in the ears
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 4 Meaning in English
If the previous verse described the prowess of Hanuman, this verse focuses on his physical form: his golden complexion, his curly hair and his fine clothes, including the earrings. The golden complexion reminds us that Hanuman is a monkey, with golden fur. But his earrings and curly hair draw attention to his humanity, as only humans wear ornaments and have hair on the head.
In some stories, Hanuman was born with earrings. The story goes that Vali, the king of monkeys, had heard that Kesari’s wife Anjani was pregnant with a child who would be more powerful than him. So he cast a missile to hurt this child. However, instead of getting hurt, Vayu ensured the missile transformed into Hanuman’s earrings, a symbol of Vali’s, hence Indra’s, defeat.
Earrings have a special significance in Hinduism. Piercing the ears of a child is a rite of passage (samskara). By piercing the ear, one creates a passage for sunlight through the body, making the body auspicious. Traditionally, men and women both wore earrings. So Vishnu is famous for his dolphin (makara) shaped earrings and Shiva is famous for wearing serpent (naga) shaped earrings.
Hanuman’s earrings connect him to fierce warrior her mits known as Nath-yogi, of the ear-split (kan-phata) order (sampradaya), who were identified by their special earrings made of rhinoceros skin inserted by splitting the ear cartilage. Their gurus, Matsyendra-nath and Gorakh-nath, wrestled Hanuman and earned his respect.
Hanuman is described as well dressed. In folklore, he was born wearing an adamantine loincloth made of thunder, or diamond (vajra-kaupina), to reaffirm his celibacy, and his association with orders of ash-smeared, trident-bearing, warrior-hermits.
This association with warrior-hermit orders starts only around a thousand years ago, following the institutionalization of the Hindu monastic orders, on one hand by wandering Tantrik mendicant jogis of the Nath order (such as Matsyendra-nath), and on the other hand by Vedantic acharyas such as Adi Shankaraacharya who established Hindu abbeys (mathas).
That the verse describes how Hanuman looks and what he wears indicates that we are gazing upon the deity. This is darshan, an integral ritual in Hinduism. The whole purpose of going into a temple is to see the deity and be seen by the deity, who invariably has large, shapely eyes that captivate the visitor even from afar. The devotee describes the deity’s beauty, and hopes the deity will reciprocate, identify the devotee’s needs and wants, and give them what they deserve and desire.
A Christian church, a Muslim mosque, a Buddhist monastery or a Sikh gurudwara are spaces designed to bring the community together and focus on a common goal-confess sins, reaffirm submission, awaken to desires and delusions and learn from the songs of the sages, as the case may be. But a Hindu temple is the house of a deity.
We go to see them and be seen by them, no different from visiting a relative’s or friend’s house, or going to a king’s court, with a petition. The practice of invoking and adoring a deity and then petitioning him for material benefits informed the ancient Vedic ritual known as yagna. It continued to inform the later temple rituals known as puja.
What makes puja different from yagna, however, is the value placed on darshan. The word ‘darshan’ has a double meaning: view as well as world view, sight as well as insight. It is simultaneously about doing and thinking, action and introspection. It seeks to counter the purely intellectual approach of Buddhism where greater value is given to dhyan (meditation) wherein eyes are shut.
It also seeks to appeal to the masses who are not interested in introspection. Deities in Buddhism are just tools to enable better meditation, while Hindu deities have elaborate form, their images, charged with hymn and ritual, are capable of responding to the prayers of the devotee. Darshan acknowledges the value of relationship, between deity and devotee, between self and other – in contrast to the isolation and individualism that informs Buddhist practices, and even Hindu monastic orders.
We prove that we have truly seen the deity on the basis of what offering we make. Every deity is unique and so seeks unique offerings. For Vishnu, there are tulsi leaves, for Shiva, there are bilva leaves. Hanuman is typically offered items sought by wrestlers and bodybuilders: til (sesame) oil, rai (mustard) oil, and urad (black gram) seeds, which build up muscle mass, and are traditionally considered ‘hot’ ingredients, firing up the body with energy rituals known as puja.
What makes puja different from yagna, however, is the value placed on darshan. The word ‘darshan’ has a double meaning: view as well as worldview, sight as well as insight. It is simultaneously about doing and thinking, action and introspection. It seeks to counter the purely intellectual approach of Buddhism where greater value is given to dhyan (meditation) wherein eyes are shut. It also seeks to appeal to the masses who are not interested in introspection.
Deities in Buddhism are just tools to enable better meditation, while Hindu deities have elaborate form, their images, charged with hymn and ritual, are capable of responding to the prayers of the devotee. Darshan acknowledges the value of relationship, between deity and devotee, between self and other-in contrast to the isolation and individualism that informs Buddhist practices, and even Hindu monastic orders
We prove that we have truly seen the deity on the basis of what offering we make. Every deity is unique and so seeks unique offerings. For Vishnu, there are tulsi leaves, for Shiva, there are bilva leaves. Hanuman is typically offered items sought by wrestlers and bodybuilders: til (sesame) oil, rai (mustard) oil, and urad (black gram) seeds, which build up muscle mass, and are traditionally considered ‘hot’ ingredients, firing up the body with energy.
Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 4 Analysis in English
kanchana barana biraja subesa
kanana kundala kunchita kesa ||4||
Golden-coloured and handsomely dressed,
With earrings and curly locks. (4)
When Hanuman was born, his mother Anjana named him Sundar, or beautiful. From an external point of view, the vanara species may not be the most beautiful. But Anjana naming her child Sundar was more because she wanted her child to be internally beautiful. External beauty wanes with time but internal beauty does not.
By virtue of being in proximity of the sun (both during infancy in his attempt to swallow the sun and later in his childhood while he was being educated by Surya who became his teacher), sunshine had a great influence on Hanuman’s body. His body had a golden tinge, akin to the sun glow which is known as kanchana barana. That golden tinge only enhanced when he began his journey to the south in search of Mother Sita.
When Lord Rama handed over his ring to Hanuman to show it to Sita as proof of being a messenger of Rama, there was confusion in Hanuman’s mind. He began to wonder where to keep that special, invaluable, and extremely potent ring, in the course of his arduous journey. He wanted to keep it in a place that was respectful and yet secure. He definitely could not wear the ring on his finger since it belonged to Lord Rama. That would be arrogance.
He couldn’t find any place in his clothes that would be safe enough. The long journey and tough encounters on the way would make it impossible to retain it within the folds of his clothes. Especially in a fight or flight situation, when his clothes were sure to get dishevelled. He couldn’t tie it onto his sacred thread as it would be too visible and also too susceptible to the risk of falling off or accidentally snapping off the thread during the journey.
He possibly couldn’t keep it in his hands as it could fall off during a careless moment or even when he would have to use his hands to climb or fight. Hanuman finally got his answer when he saw the name of Rama inscribed on the ring. There was only one place where the holy name of Lord Rama really belonged. And that was the tongue.
The tongue should ideally reverberate the holy names of Rama constantly. Presence of the ring in his mouth was symbolic of the holy name of Lord Rama being constantly on his tongue. Moreover, it would act as a constant reminder to him to absorb his mind in the holy names.
As soon as Hanuman placed the ring in his mouth, his entire body began to radiate a special kind of effulgence. Every pore of his body began to glow with euphoria. The ring illuminated the body of Hanuman in such a way that it dispelled the darkness of the night and more importantly, the darkness of ignorance. Thus Hanuman became the guiding force for the monkey army that scouted the southern region, searching for Sita. This explains his kanchana barana or golden-hued body.
When Hanuman entered Ravana’s palace in Lanka, he searched all over and finally entered what seemed to be the royal bedroom. In the sea of ordinary beds, Hanuman spotted an opulent stone-studded gigantic golden bed with a white umbrella canopy, bang in the middle of the room. It had a soft sheepskin and silk bedspread, and in place of bedposts were four women waving large silk fans that helped circulate the fragrance from celestial incenses.
Fast asleep on the bed amongst hundreds of women was the person of interest the mighty Ravana, the Supremo of Lanka. The bright light from the golden lamps next to the bed lent a golden glow to his lustrous body. Ravana resembled the moon among a sky full of stars.
Hanuman spotted another well-decorated cot with an angelic woman sleeping on it. She seemed to be of divine origin, quite different from the women he had seen thus far in Lanka. He could see a pure and divine aura around her. Could this be Sita? Hanuman froze! He immediately began a mental comparison between the woman on the cot and Lord Rama’s description of Sita.
It was an absolute match. Finally! Hanuman was ecstatic having found Sita. He began to prance around kissing his tail, jumping, laughing, and singing. Suddenly he stopped. Something didn’t seem quite right. Hanuman regained his composure and now admonished himself for even thinking that she could be Sita.
He went over the description and cross-questioned himself on the gross error in his judgment. How could Sita sleep in Ravana’s bedroom? How could she sleep so peacefully in the absence of Rama? How could she be so decked up despite being away from Rama? When those connected to Rama never falter, how could he even imagine that his wife would?
Even if gods like Indra or Kubera were to come, she wasn’t the one to bend, so why would she even succumb to a demon like Ravana? Had she not rejected all the demigods and chosen Lord Rama, so why would she care to accept Ravana? Hanuman was now convinced that it could not be Sita. He resumed his search.
Hanuman intensified his search and walked in and out of all the rooms he could. Everywhere be looked, he saw women in various stages of undressing and sleep. He had to closely observe every woman he came across to ensure none of them was Sita. It was his job to find her from among all the women in Lanka. This was not something the celibate Hanuman wanted to do, but the job had to be done. Hanuman had scoured the entire palace and still not found Sita.
He had observed more than 12,000 women, and none happened to be Sita. He began to question the righteousness of having to peep into homes and looking at other people’s wives. But his steady and pure mind justified his actions as having been carried out with no impure intent.
He was still not convinced, heavily in conflict about whether this went against his dharma. So he began to chant the name of Rama to calm his disturbed mind. As the names of Rama permeated his being, a state of calmness spread all over his body. Clarity returned.
No, I have not come here with the intent of admiring Ravana’s women. My goal is to find Sita among the women in Lanka. How can I search for a woman amongst deer? Besides, these women have not spotted me observing them and my mind has been steady and pure throughout this search, thought Hanuman.
Hanuman is said to be biraja subesa, splendidly clad or it could also mean clean clothes. Here the reference is not just to his external clothes. But it is rather to being clothed with the right intentions. There may be many that are clothed wonderfully but their intentions are dirty. Hanuman always clothed himself with the purest intentions, making sure his intentions remained pure by constantly questioning them and always aligning them towards the service of Lord Rama based on the principles of dharma.
kanchana barana biraja subesa From the time Narada left Kishkinda, Vali had become miserable. Just when he thought he was the happiest living being alive, the news delivered by Narada destroyed his peace. It was less of news and more of a prophecy. A prophecy that could ruin Vali’s name, fame, reputation, and control for good. If the sage’s words were to come true, then in a few years, no one in Kishkinda would remember either Vali’s name or his rule.
Whilst Vali paced back and forth in great anxiety, a sinister idea struck his evil mind. Wringing his hands, he headed for his chamber to immediately execute the plan that was brewing in his head. The next hour saw him extremely busy implementing what he had envisioned in his mind. He was in know of a secret recipe which he always thought would be useful someday.
He grinned at the bowl of piping-hot liquid that was in his hands. It was golden brown in hue, like a tasty soup of exotic vegetables. But in truth, it was the most deadly poison. Interestingly, this poison wasn’t designed to kill the person who consumed it, but the embryo of the one who consumed it. The amalgam was a combination of five deadly metals melted and then mixed together into a tasty looking gel.
With this most deadly liquid weapon in his hand, Vali walked out of his chamber. Calling his most trusted maid, he handed over the liquid to her with the instruction to feed it to the pregnant Anjana who was a vanara woman and the wife of Kesari, the chief of a section of the vanara army.
The maid walked into the bedroom of Anjana and with great confidence, offered the poison to the pregnant lady, assuring her that it was all for the health and accelerated growth of the child within her womb. With gratitude, Anjana accepted the liquid. The maid waited till Anjana had consumed the entire potion. Only when she had herself seen the lady consume the liquid did she leave with the empty vessel.
Vali couldn’t contain his happiness at how smoothly his plan had worked out. He was pacing around in excitement, this time waiting for the news of the miscarriage. But nothing came. Maybe the effect will be seen the next day, he concluded. When nothing happened the next day either, Vali was bewildered. Maybe he needed to be more patient. Days passed and still nothing. While Vali kept wondering what had gone wrong, Anjana gave birth to a son. That news came as a shocker for Vali.
He ran to the palace of Kesari and Anjana to see the child that was born despite his mother being fed a quantity of poison that could abort a hundred pregnancies. His jaw dropped when he saw the new born! The vanara child was born with earrings adorning both his ears. But that was not all. Those earrings were made of the five metals that Vali had fed his mother.
The metal amalgam had been transformed into beautiful earrings that adorned the child’s ears. From then on, the child Hanuman was famous for many qualities, but the one that was really special among those was his mystical earrings, kanana kundala kunchita kesa.
After their victory in the Mahabharata war and winning back their kingdom from the Kauravas, Narada Muni visited the Pandavas and informed them that their father, who now resided in the heavens, was sad. The reason being that he had always wanted to perform the Rajasuya sacrifice during his lifetime on earth-but could not do so. Now he desired that his sons fulfil that desire. Yudhishthir decided to take up the mission of performing the Rajasuya – yagya immediately, to realize their father’s long-standing yearning.
In order to perform such an elaborate and complicated sacrifice, they needed the expertise of Rishi Purusha Mriga. The task of finding and getting the elusive sage was given to Bhima. As Bhima set out to find the sage, Lord Krishna warned him that it was not going to be an easy task.
The sage was half deer and half human. Furthermore, the sage was extraordinarily powerful and moved at the speed of mind. If Bhima could not match the speed of the sage, then the sage would finish him off. Now that warning really worried Bhima but he was any way going ahead with the mission.
When Bhima reached the Himalayan Mountains, he came across Hanuman. Hanuman saw the worried look on Bhima’s face and offered to help. On learning of Bhima’s difficult task, Hanuman gave him a few strands of hair from his body and asked him to drop one when he needed the sage to slow down. Hanuman explained that as soon as he dropped one strand of his hair, thousands of shivalingas would appear immediately. Knowing the sage well, Hanuman predicted that Purusha Mriga would not move ahead without aptly worshipping each shivalinga carefully. That would give Bhima ample time to cover a considerable distance.
In great excitement, Bhima finally reached the sage and invited him to perform the Rajasuya yagya. The sage warned Bhima that there was a pre-condition. He would follow Bhima and if he managed to catch him, then he would devour him. However, if Bhima reached the palace before the sage, then he would perform the yagya there.
Agreeing to the condition, Bhima took off at great speed. Every time the sage got closer, Bhima dropped a strand of hair given to him by Hanuman and thousands of shivalingas would sprout all over the place. While Rishi Purusha Mriga busied himself worshipping the shivalingas, Bhima would dash ahead.
Outwitting the sage in this way, Bhima managed to reach the doors of the palace of Hastinapur. He had almost entered the palace with one foot inside and was about to place the second foot in when Rishi Purusha Mriga caught his second leg. Now he claimed that Bhima hadn’t reached inside the palace completely and therefore, he had won. But when Yudhishthir and Krishna walked in, the sage stepped back and allowed the just Yudhishthir to make the decision.
Yudhishthir analysed the facts and concluded that since Bhima’s entire body and one leg was already inside, the sage only deserved to devour the second leg of Bhima, sparing Bhima’s body. The sage was very impressed with Yudhishthir’s sense of justice and decided to forgive Bhima.
He also offered to perform the yagya on behalf of Yudhishthir. Bhima silently offered a prayer to Hanuman’s curly hair, each of which had unlimited powers and were as potent as thousands of shivalingas. kanana kundala kunchita kesa.