Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 5 Meaning in English

The recitation of Shri Hanuman Chalisa is believed to ward off evil and negativity.

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 5 in English with Meaning & Analysis

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 5 Warrior, Servant, and Sage

हाथ बज्र
औ ध्वजा बिराजै ।
काँधे मूँज
जनेऊ साजै ||

Hath bajra
aur dhvaja biraje.
Kaandhe moonj
janehu sajai.

You bold a thunderbolt club
and a flag in your hands.
And have the sacred thread
on your shoulder.

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 5 Meaning in English

In the previous verse, the focus was on what Hanuman was born with-his complexion, his hair, even his earrings. This verse focuses on what he holds in his hands and bears on his body: a mace, a flag and a sacred thread (janehu) made of sabai grass (munja) on his shoulder. These are instruments (yantra) that embellish the icon (svarupa) of Hanuman and help refine our understanding of him.

The common word used for mace is gada, but the word used here is vajra, or the thunderbolt, which is Indra’s weapon. In the Vedas, Indra is the greatest of gods, one who battles demons like Vritra, and releases the waters held by clouds. He is the patron of kings. Yet, in the Puranas, his role is reduced.

He is the lord of Paradise (Swarga), leader of devas, who lives in celestial regions and enjoys worldly pleasures, but lacks wisdom. He needs the help of Vishnu to fight the demons (asuras) who lay siege to Paradise and declare war relentlessly. This shift in status indicates a shift from the older more materialistic Vedic way to the later Vedic (Upanishadic) way where greater value was placed on the mind (on meaning) than on riches and power.

In the Puranas, every deity has a flag (dhvaja) of his own-Vishnu has a flag with the image of a hawk known as garudadhvaja, and Shiva has a flag with the image of a bull known as vrishabha-dhvaja-but Hanuman’s dhvaja belongs to Ram, in keeping with his role as Ram’s messenger and commander of his armies. Hanuman holds both Indra’s weapon and Ram’s flag, which endorses his status as mightier than the old Vedic celestial god-king, but serving the latter Puranic earthbound god-king.

Hanuman’s janchu makes him a twice born (dvija). Hindus believe that we have two births: first there is physical birth and then there is the psychological birth. Physically, we are born out of the mother’s womb into human culture. Our navel reminds us of our origin in the mother’s womb. In Hindu culture, pierced carlobes are indicators of human culture, similar to the practice of tattooing, or tooth-filing, in other cultures.

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 5 Meaning in English 1

Our psychological birth takes place when we accept a guru who reveals to us the secrets of the Vedas. The mark of psychological birth is the sacred thread made of munja grass that hangs over the left shoulder. This thread has three strings representative of the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shakti. It also reminds us that while animals have only one body (physical), humans have three (physical, psychological and social).

Hanuman accessed Vedic wisdom through Surya, the sun god, who also revealed Vedic secrets to Yagnavalkya, the sage whose words are captured in many Upanishads. Vedic secrets include knowledge of karma and dharma, of aham (our identity based on hunger and fear) and atma (our identity independent of hunger and fear).

Hanuman being given the janehu, despite being a servant of Ram and a wild forest creature, is not highlighted in the Valmiki Ramayana but becomes prominent in later texts, especially regional Ramayanas written in vernacular languages in the last five centuries, when caste excesses had peaked. People were asking: what makes a real Brahmin, effort or birth? Hanuman becomes Brahmin by effort and education, while Ravana is the son of a Brahmin named Vaishrava, who married a rakshasa woman, Kaikesi.

The Vedas turn Hanuman from beast to human, giving him the wisdom and compassion to unconditionally help a man find his lost wife. By contrast, Ravana although human, and despite his Vedic knowledge, behaves like a brute, grabbing another man’s wife for his own pleasure.

That Hanuman holds a weapon in his hand establishes him as a warrior (Kshatriya). That he holds Ram’s flag establishes him as a servant (dasa, Shudra). That he has the sacred thread across his chest establishes him as a Brahmin, one who has accessed the Vedas. Thus the highest and the lowest stations of Vedic society (varna) are accommodated in Hanuman, a creature of the forest.

Hanuman Chalisa Chaupai 5 Analysis in English

hatha bajra au dhvaja biraja
kadhe munja janeu sajain ||5||

Your hands hold a divine mace and
a victory banner,
A sacred thread of munja grass
adorns your shoulder. (5)

Mother Anjana had to return to her celestial abode a few years after she gave birth to Hanuman as the stipulated duration of her curse was completed. Hanuman desperately wanted his mother back. Aware that his mother has gone to the heavens, Hanuman proceeded to Swargaloka to try to get his mother back.

Meanwhile, Kesari was also despondent on seeing his wife missing from his palace. When he realized that their son Hanuman had ventured out to get his mother back, Kesari decided to try something from his side too. He approached a powerful sage named Matanga Rishi to help him. After many requests, Matanga Rishi began a yagya that would transport Kesari into the heavens through yogic means.

Meanwhile, Hanuman had reached the heavens where he met Urvashi. She explained to him that it was impossible to take his mother back, who by then had acquired her original form as Punjakasthali. But Hanuman would hear nothing of that so Urvashi suggested that the only person who could help him was Durvasa Muni who had cursed her to begin with. Hanuman immediately set out to meet Durvasa Muni who was held captive in Yakshaloka

The king of Yakshaloka was a great friend of Ravana’s and Kubera’s bitter enemy. He was always eyeing Kubera’s position, aspiring to be the treasurer of the demigods. With the help of Yaksharaj, Ravana had planned kidnapping Durvasa Muni knowing well that Hanuman would be coming there for him. The plan was to eliminate Hanuman when he reached Yakshaloka.

But exactly the opposite happened. Instead of Yaksharaj capturing Hanuman, Hanuman captured him. The release of Durvasa Muni from the clutches of the Yakshas brought great fame to Hanuman in the heavenly realms. Not only were the demigods grateful but even the powerful Saptarishis expressed their gratitude. Durvasa Muni was so grateful to Hanuman that he agreed to allow Punjakasthali to return with him in vanara form as Anjana.

Indra himself decided to accompany Hanuman and his mother on their return journey to Kishkinda on the earthly realms. While the three of them were on their way, they were attacked by a demon named Vidyutsura who was sent by Ravana. He was one of the most powerful demons at Ravana’s disposal. Indra advised Hanuman to proceed ahead with his mother while he would take care of that demon. But Hanuman was in no mood of turning his back on a good fight.

Moreover, it was his moral duty to stand by Indra during a crisis. Vidyutsura attacked Indra faster than anticipated and as a result Indra’s weapon slipped off his hand. The extremely alert Hanuman jumped to grab the vajra weapon. Vidyutsura turned around to face Hanuman who had by now steadied himself for a fight while his entire rakshasa army attacked Indra.

While Indra busied himself destroying the Rakshasa army, Hanuman jumped high to land himself on Vidyutsura’s shoulders. With a single swift move of his right hand, Hanuman slit Vidyutsura’s throat with the razor-sharp thunderbolt weapon. In a short while, all that was left of the demons was a pile of bodies. Hanuman held out the vajra to return it to Indra.

When Indra extended his hand to take it back, a loud celestial announcement boomed declaring that the vajra now belonged to Hanuman who had saved Swargaloka from the demons and Indra should let him keep it. Indra gladly gifted the thunderbolt weapon to Hanuman along with a victory flag and blessed him to be ever victorious in every battle in life.

Indra also declared that from that day Hanuman would be known as Vajradhari (the carrier of vajra weapon) and Dhvajadhari (the heralder of the victory flag). hatha bajra au dhvaja birajai The literal translation is that Hanuman carries the vajra and a dhvaja in his hands. Vajra means thunderbolt, a weapon of Lord Indra, and dhvaja means flag.

Vajra and dhvaja also refer to lines on the palm of Hanuman’s hands rather than just physical objects which he carried. Lines of vajra and dhvaja on his palms signify immense power and fame respectively. Hanuman’s palms predicted great power and fame in his life. hatha bajra au dhvaja birajai

During their exile, the Pandavas travelled through many forests and met many sages. These were times of great sadness, having lost all their wealth and being greatly insulted. During such despondent times, the Pandava brothers sought wisdom from sages to help them deal with their pain. The sages narrated various histories about kings in the past who had dealt with challenges in life with dignity.

One such time, Arjuna conversed with the great sage Markendeya who was blessed with longevity. Markendeya Rishi narrated the story of Lord Rama and how he took the help of an army of monkeys to build a bridge across the ocean to rescue his wife from the demon king Ravana.

While the story of Rama’s struggle and determination helped Arjuna, a doubt plagued him. Though he didn’t ask Markendeya Rishi, he kept mulling over it. Later, when he was standing next to a lake, pondering about his doubt as to why Rama being such a powerful archer needed to use an army of monkeys to build a bridge which could have easily been made using arrows, an old monkey came and stood next to him.

As if continuing the trail of Aijuna’s thoughts, the monkey said that it would have been impossible for a bridge of arrows to withstand the weight of an army of monkeys. Arjuna begged to differ and argued that an expert archer could achieve any goal with his arrows. In fact, he boasted, that even a small time archer like himself could achieve that feat easily.

The old monkey dared Arjuna to build a bridge of arrows across the lake that could handle his own frail weight. Within a minute, Arjuna created a bridge of arrows. He challenged that if this bridge collapsed with the monkey’s weight, he would end his life.

The monkey didn’t even bother to step on it, but only dropped his tail on it and the bridge collapsed.The old monkey urged Arjuna to try again with greater focus. Arjuna made a sturdier bridge and this time it stood the weight of the monkey.

But when the monkey reached the middle, it collapsed. Disappointed, Arjuna was ready to end his life. Just then, an old brahmana appeared and stopped him from jumping into a pyre. He told the two of them that any conflict between two people needed a neutral witness. The brahmana agreed to become the witness if they tried once more.

Yet again, Arjuna created a bridge with greater concentration. The monkey walked on it but nothing happened. He jumped on it and still nothing happened. The old monkey gave up his disguise and took on his original form of Hanuman. Expanding himself to a massive size, he began to jump on the bridge, still nothing happened. Both of them were shocked.

How could the bridge take so much weight? Then it dawned on them that the old brahmana was none other than their worshipable Lord. Arjuna saw him as Krishna and Hanuman saw him as Rama. Both fell at the Lord’s feet promising never to be proud of their powers.

The Lord then blessed both his devotees and expressed his desire that they both unite for the upcoming war against the Kauravas. The Lord instructed Hanuman to sit on the flag of Arjuna’s chariot. The presence of Hanuman on Arjuna’s flag would herald auspiciousness and serve as a declaration of their imminent victory. Since Hanuman was the one who held the victory flag of Lord Rama in the war against Ravana, his presence on the flag of Arjuna would indicate certain victory.

Hanuman sits on the flag of the chariot of every devotee of the Lord, signalling their victory against illusory forces. Thus Hanuman is dhvaja viraje, one who sits on the victory flag or the one who upholds the victory flag. The practice of keeping Hanuman on war chariot was set by Lord Sri Rama during the war in Treta yuga, when Indra sent a chariot to Sri Rama.

Sri Rama circumambulated the chariot to honour it, and then got Hanuman seated along the banner post as his own personal assistant as well as an alternative war chariot (as an emergency provision), hatha bajra au dhvaja birajai Most people stop learning beyond school.

But Hanuman considered himself an eternal student. As many opportunities as he got to learn from great teachers, he grabbed them eagerly. Every teacher that walked into his life taught him different skills. And he leamt each skill to perfection and thus became multi-talented.

First he was placed under the tutelage of Angavahan Rishi. After a short while of learning there, his father Kesari felt that he would do better if he was given greater exposure and after consultation with the wind god, chose to send Hanuman to learn from Surya dev, the sun god.

While he was under Surya’s tutelage, Lord Rama was under the tutelage of Sage Vashishta. One day something interesting happened. Hanuman was learning archery on the sun planet and Rama was learning archery on earth in the ashram of Vashishta. Hanuman shot an arrow towards the earth and Rama shot an arrow skywards. Both arrows collided in mid-air and created a tumultuous sound that reverberated all over the universe. This was their first connection through the medium of learning.

Hanuman then shifted to the tutelage of Narada Muni to gain music skills. Narada Muni taught him singing and playing musical instruments. Hanuman became so proficient at everything he leamt that even his teachers were highly impressed with him. To test his learning, once Narada Muniasked him to sing a particular song. Hanuman sang it so melodiously that it melted Narada Muni’s heart.

Mesmerized by Hanuman, Narada Muni closed his eyes and did not even realize when his veena (stringed instrument) fell off his hands onto the ground. Amazingly, Hanuman’s singing did not just have this effect on sentient beings but also on inanimate objects like stones and rocks. Hard stones melted in the ecstasy of the song. Narada Muni’s veena also happened to fall on one of those melted stones.

When Hanuman stopped singing, everything assumed its original shape and the melted stones regained their rigidity. Unfortunately, the veena got stuck in the now rigid stone. Narada Muni requested Hanuman to sing again to get his veena released. Hanuman refused to comply and ran all over the place. The helpless Narada Muni ran behind, trying to catch the naughty boy.

After running around considerably, Hanuman returned to the original spot and sang. Soon the veena was released and in Narada Muni’s hands again. When he asked Hanuman why he’d troubled him, Hanuman gave a very interesting answer. He disclosed that he wanted the dust of the feet of his guru to fall all over the place and sanctify it. This was Hanuman’s style of making that happen.

Janeu, a sacred thread worn by brahmanas, represents knowledge of Vedic scriptures. Wearing the sacred thread is an indicator of being a student. Hanuman remained an eternal student, always absorbed in hearing and learning from many teachers. Thus a sacred thread always dons his shoulders, declaring his eternal role as a student who is always eager to leam. kadhe munja janeu sajai The janeu on Hanuman’s shoulder also implies that Hanuman was well-versed in scriptures, because the sacred thread ceremony initiates a person into formal study of Vedic literature.

Once Rama himself had explained the secrets of Brahma Vidya to Hanuman. Sri Rama Rahasya Upanishad states that great sages and seers like Sanak, Sanandan, Sanatan, and Sanat Kumar had learnt the hidden secrets of Rama Tattva from Hanuman. Other sages like Prahlad were his disciples. Janeu saaje describes the thread as Hanuman’s ornament that was his wealth of knowledge, kadhe munja janeu sajai.

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