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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Spiritual Questions & Answers > Pre-2007 QnA Swami Gaurangapada > Hanuman Chalisa

Title: Hanuman Chalisa

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2006-04-03 08:22:00



Pranam and dandavat.

Dear Shri Gaurangapada, Gurudev,

Q.I used to sing the Hanuman Chalisa daily some years ago. Is it an acceptablepractice for an aspiring servant of the Vaishnavas?

I do understand(well..partially) the tremendious and divine benefits of chanting theMantrarajas. I am asking this question regarding the Hanuman Chalisa as also anexample of practices/sadhanas @on the side@ of GD

(ex: others bona fidemantra repetitions, mixing Christian/Buddhist/e.t.c (-name it!-) practices,hatha-yoga, Reiki, ......).Can someone benefits from suchpractices?While speaking to GD devotees online, I had a very littlerealization concerning this matter. A bhaktin and friend of mine began danceclasses. We discussed and she told me how if improved her spiritual life. Nowshe dances while chanting and it makes her enter into deep ecstacy of the HolyNames. My conclusion is that all practices that are done/learned in a karunaspirit (compassionate for all sentient beings) and that are awakening love forthe Supreme Personality of Godhead can be used to build a strong foundation forGauranga-Nityananda Yoga.Am I correct on this?Thank you very much ShrilaGurudeva, our Gaurangapada.

My eternal pranam to you.

Haribol! Jaya Lord Nityananda! Jaya Lord Gauranga!


It is a very indirect way and too much mixing of so many practices fromdifferent places may not yield beneficial results because it is very difficultto identify whether those practices are authentic or not.

My conclusion is that all practices that are done/learned in a karuna spirit(compassionate for all sentient beings) and that are awakening love for theSupreme Personality of Godhead can be used to build a strong foundation forGauranga-Nityananda Yoga.Am I correct onthis?


Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:

You are right but since there is a very thin line between compassion andsentimentalism, so we have be very careful with interfaith practices.

I would like to recount the pastime of Mukunda and Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhuin this regard:


Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata Madhya Khanda 10.173-265:


Text 173

Smiling and smiling, Lord Gauranga, who makes true His devotees'words, granted every boon.

Text 174

All this while Mukunda was outside,hiding behind a curtain. Mukunda did not have the power to come before LordGauranga.

Text 175

The great devotee Mukunda was dear to everyone.Everyone thought well of him.

Text 176

When he sang in kirtana, LordGauranga always listened. Why was he being punished by the Lord? No oneknew.

Text 177

The Lord did not call for him, so he had no power to come.When the devotees saw this, sadness was born in their hearts.


Shrivasha said, "O master of the universes, please listen. How did Mukundaoffend You?

Text 179

"Mukunda is dear to You. To us, he is our life andsoul. Who, hearing Mukunda's singing, does not melt?

Text 180

"He isdiligent in devotional service. He is respectful to all. Without seeing anoffense in him, You have put him in disgrace..

Text 181

"If he hascommitted an offense, then punish him. Why do You reject Your servant and sendhim far away?

Text 182

"If You do not call for him, he cannot come beforeYou. O Lord, please allow him to see You. Please say that he haspermission."

Text 183

Then Lord Gauranga said, "Never speak like that toMe. Don't plead that wretched person's case to Me.

Text 184

"The words youhave heard, `Sometimes he takes up a blade of grass, and sometimes he takes upan iron mace,' apply to Mukunda. You don't know the truth about him.


"One moment he has a blade of grass between his teeth, and the nextmoment he attacks Me with an iron mace. I will not look at that fellow holding ablade of grass and an iron mace."

Text 186

Very eloquent Shrivasa againsaid, "Who is qualified to understand Your powers?

Text 187

"We did notsee any fault in Mukunda. The fact that Your lotus feet made him fearless is awitness that testifies in his favor."

Text 188

Then Lord Gauranga said,"Wherever he goes, that wretch talks like the people he meets.


"When he is with the impersonalists, he talks the imp"ersonal philosophyof Vasistha. When he is with the devotees, he places a blade of grass betweenhis teeth and he sings and dances.

Text 190

"When he is with people ofother sampradayas he does not glorify devotional service. In this way again andagain he attacks Me with an iron mace.

Text 191

"To these people he says,`There is something better than devotional service.' In this way again and againhe attacks Me with an iron mace.

Text 192

"He has committed an offense todevotional service. Therefore he cannot see Me."

Text 193

Staying outside,Mukunda heard everything. He heard the words, "He cannot see Me".


Previously, by his guru's order, Mukunda did not think highly ofdevotional service. Lord Gauranga knew all this. That is Lord Gauranga's greatpower.

Text 195

The great devotee Mukunda thought in his heart, "It is notright for me to keep this body alive.

Text 196

"I should at once leavethis offensive body. When will I see the Lord again? I don't know."


Then Mukunda openly said, "Listen, O Shrivasa Thakura. Please ask the Lordwhen I will see Him again."

Text 198

Again and again Mukunda shed tearsfrom his eyes. Because of Mukunda's suffering, all the devotees wept.


Lord Gauranga said, "After ten million births he will see Me again. Ofthis there is no doubt."

Text 200

Hearing these words from the Lord'smouth, Mukunda became splashed with bliss.

Text 201

Calling out, "I will!I will!", he danced wildly. Mukunda, a true servant of the Lord, was overcomewith love.

Text 202

With his ears hearing the words, "He will see",Mukunda danced in bliss.

Text 203

Seeing Mukunda, Lord Gauranga laughedand said, "Bring Mukunda at once."

Text 204

All the Vaishnavas called out,"Bring Mukunda!" Overcome with bliss, Mukunda was not aware of anything.


The Lord said, "Mukunda, your offense is now destroyed. Come. Look at Me.Take My mercy."

Text 206

By the Lord's order everyone went, picked upMukunda and carried him there. Seeing the Lord, Mukunda at once fell down beforeHim.

Text 207

The Lord said, "Rise. Rise, Mukunda. You do not have evenhalf a sesame seed worth of an offense to Me.

Text 208

"Your fault ofassociating with bad people is now destroyed. Now you have conquered Me.


"When I said the words, `After ten million births he will see Me again',in half a sesame seed's worth of time you destroyed all your offenses.


"You had full faith in My words. By that faith you have made Me eternallya prisoner in your heart.

Text 211

"You are My singer. Stay in Myassociation. I enjoy talking and joking with you.

Text 212

"Even if youcommit ten million offenses, those offenses are not really offenses, for you arevery dear to Me.

Text 213

"Your body is filled with devotional service.You are My servant. I always stay on your tongue."

Text 214

Hearing thesereassuring words from the Lord, Mukunda wept. He rebuked himself. He describedhimself as a fool.

Text 215

He said, "I have no faith in devotionalservice. I am worthless like a pile of ashes. I am completely empty of devotion.Why is it, then, that when I gaze at Your face I become filled withbliss?

Text 216

"Duryodhana saw Your universal form, which scholars searchthe Vedas to see.

Text 217

"Although he saw Your universal form,Duryodhana and his family all perished. He did not find happiness, for he had nodevotion to You.

Text 218

"Like him, I have no faith in devotionalservice. I am worthless like a pile of ashes. Why is it, then, that when I gazeat Your face I become filled with bliss and love?

Text 219

"When You wentto kidnap Rukmini, all the kings saw You flying on Garuda.

Text 220

"Atthe time of the abhisheka named Raja-rajeshvara all the kings saw Your effulgentform.

Text 221

"The form You directly manifested in the city of Vidarbha,Brahma and all the demigods yearn to see.

Text 222

"When they saw Yourform, all the kings perished. They did not attain happiness, for they had nodevotion to You.

Text 223

"Assuming the form of a boar whose limbs weremade of the Vedi yajnas, You appeared from the waters.

Text 224

"Then You,the limitless Lord, picked up the earth in Your tusks. All the demigods yearnedto see this form of Yours.

Text 225

"The demon Hiranyaksha saw thiswonderful form. Still, he did not attain happiness, for he had no devotion toYou.

Text 226

"Hiranyaksha's brother also saw a very confidential form ofYours, and form whose chest is the resting-placed of Goddess Lakshmi.


"The three worlds call this wonderful form `Nrisimha'.Even though he sawthis form, Hiranyaksha's brother perished, for he had no devotion to You.


"I am worthless like a pile of ashes. I have no faith in devotionalservice. It is a great wonder, then, that my head has not already been severedand fallen to the ground.

Text 229

"How is it that Kubja, theyajna-patnis, the women of Mathura, and the garland-maker were able to seeYou?

Text 230

"They attained You because they engaged in devotionalservice. At the same time Kamsa saw You and perished.

Text 231

"I amworthless like a pile of ashes. I have no faith in devotional service. Still Youare merciful and You protect me.

Text 232

"By the power of His devotionalservice, very powerful Lord Ananta Shesha happily holds up the countlessuniverses.

Text 233

"Passionately chanting Your glories, He is not evenaware of the universes, which rest like a single drop on one of His thousandhoods.

Text 234

"Although He does not rest on anything, everything restson Him. It is by the power of His ldevotional service that He is able to supporteverything.

Text 235

"I am a sinner. I have no faith in devotionalservice. For endless births my future will not be good.

Text 236

"Becausehe engaged in devotional service Lord Shiva became the giver of auspiciousness. Because he engaged in devotional service, Narada became the best of the sages.

Text 237

"Vyasadeva compiled many scriptures describing the religion ofthe Vedas. Still, he did not feel even half a sesame seed worth of satisfactionin His heart.

238-Text 239

"When He briefly explained the secrets ofdevotional service, all the offenses in His heart perished.

Text 240

"OnNarada's order, He explained devotional service in detail. Then the sadness inHis heart fled. Then He transcended the world of birth and death.


"I am a worm who has no faith in devotional service. How did I get thepower to see You?"

Text 242

Raising his arms, the great devotee Mukundawept. His body trembled. He sighed.

Text 243

By his nature he was a puredevotee of the Lord. What more can I say? He was one of Lord Gauranga's personalassociates.

Text 244

Seeing Mukunda's unhappiness, Lord Gauranga becameembarrassed and said,

Text 245

"Mukunda, your devotion is very pleasing toMe. Whenever you sing, I will at once come to that place.

Text 246

"Whatyou have said is the truth. Without engaging in devotional service, no one cansee Me.

247-Text 248

"What I say is the truth: You are very dear to Me.Who has the power to destroy what I have spoken, through the Veda's mouth, aboutpious deeds and about returning to the spiritual world?

Text 249

"Only Ihave the power to these rules. Only I.

Text 250

"I placed the truth inyour mouth. ,No action is auspicious if it is not devotional service toMe.

Text 251

"When someone has no faith in devotional service, that bringspain to My heart. My pain destroys any happiness they might feel by seeingMe.

Text 252

"A washerman saw Me. I even asked something of him. But hewas cheated, for he had no love for Me.

Text 253<