All about the Hanuman Chalisa
Over the centuries, Hindu saints have produced a multitude of devotional compositions, all of which have brought some level of love and joy to the hearts of countless who have basked in the stirring strains of their divine lyrics.
Yet, there’s something about the 40-verse ode to Hanuman that especially resonates with devotees, as so vividly conveyed in Hinduism Today’s account of Trinidad and Tobago’s elated crowd of chanters.
Echoing the voices of their ancestors, who found solace in the Chalisa when they were first brought to the island to toil in subhuman conditions under an oppressive system of indentureship, you can imagine how they must have sounded in that moment, a moment that can only be described as a most unique and powerful expression of Hindu spirituality.
To fully understand the depth of this moment, one must understand the Chalisa, and to properly understand the Chalisa, one must learn of its author — the famed Hindu poet, Tulsidas — and how he came to write it.
Born roughly 500 years ago in India’s Gangetic plains, Tulsidas himself was no stranger to hardship. While he is said to have miraculously uttered the words “Rama, Rama!,” at the time of his birth, as if declaring to the world the auspiciousness of his ultimate life’s purpose, his parents abandoned him anyway, when his horoscope revealed he would be a harbinger of misfortune.
Though raised thereafter by a family nurse, she died when he was just a child, an event that spurred him to look for his parents with hopes they would take him back. Discovering, however, that they too had already died, he was left to fend for himself, and so began living as a wandering beggar.
Read More at https://www.hinduamerican.org/blog/all-about-the-hanuman-chalisa