Amritasya Narmada: Divine Nectar For The Soul

When this beautiful book was given to me, I was told, “You will enjoy the beauty of Amritlal Vegad’s writing and his lovely sketches. Try if you can translate this one.”

Hindi and I, are like ahem, not so friendly neighbours. We exist side by side, because there is no other alternative for either of us.

For instance, Mother Hindi  shudders with hurt sensitivity when I say that ‘motorbike aaya.’ My  indignant  ten year old tells me, ‘Amma  please do not speak such wrong Hindi- motorbike is a lady! Motorbike aayi.’

I am another bewildered Mother. I see a scooter and happily recalling my lessons, say, ‘Scooter aayi!’ When I look around for approval, my little one frowns formidably, as if I were a lost cause! ‘ Oho, Ma! Scooter is a male! Scooter aaya!Don’t you ever get it?’

Jeez! I will never get it, sorry! There is no human logic behind that sort of stuff! Then I realise that many times, my staff  members are struggling to contain their smiles, because I mess up the genders of common nouns. Why the heck do the non living things have  a gender at all, eh?  And who decides? Well, well…

*

So, back to Vegadji. Amritlal Vegad, is a much acclaimed writer,a gifted and awarded artist and an environmental activist.He made travel writing, a supreme art form in  Hindi and Gujarati literature.

Narmada, as per Hindu lores, is the only divine river whose parikrama is spiritually deemed precious to Hindus: walking along her shores from origin  at Amarkantak, to the final merger with the Arabian Sea. She is called Narmada- the Giver of Joy, Reva- the One who Leaps, and is the only river in North India that flows west, flowing majestically between the Vindhya and Satpura ranges. She is one of the seven rivers praised in our daily prayers:

Gange Cha Yamune Chaiva

Godavary, Saraswathy

Narmada Sindhu Kavery,

Jalesmin Sannidham Kuru

The journey, as attempted by many  sadhus, walking barefoot through the shores, by seeking bhiksha or alms from the places they reach, is supposed to take 3 years, 3 months and 13 days. The parikammavasi, has to cover 2624 kilometres, covering both shores of this revered river.

Amritlal Vegad covered the southern shore, walking 1800 kilometres in the period of 1977-1988.

He wrote ‘ Saundarya Ki Nadi Narmada’-Narmada: The River of Beauty, based on his travels.  His wit, sharp observations, benign philosophy, the strange personalities he met, the description of the mighty river and her flow- are inimitable and considered supreme literature. His beautiful sketches of the various travellers and villagers, especially the Bhils  and Gonds who habitate the Dandakaranya regions of the river, are legendary.

In the period of 1996-1999, Vegadji travelled by foot again, through the  northern shores of Narmada. On 3rd October 1997, he turned 70. In twenty days he covered 230 kilometres by foot- through jungles, weathering rain and wind, sun and tough soil, meeting many pilgrims, in the never ending adventure of a spiritual sojourn.

In his own words in ‘ Amritasya Narmada'( Narmada, the Divine Nectar), ‘Main abhi jeern-sheern nahin hua/ Adhva, jeern to ho gaya hun, par sheern nahi hua/ Chust bhale hi na raha, par durust to hu!’

I am yet to turn decrepit! Or in other words, I am weather beaten, still not yet weak! I might not be smart, yet I am decently able bodied!

*

I am an eccentric reader- I start from the comments section sometimes. I first read Vegadji’s wife’s article: My Husband (Mere Pati), and tried to understand the man himself. I read about the thrill of readers as expressed in their letters to the editor, as they explored his travelogues often serialised in Dharmayug, in Sakshatkar, in Vagarth- all literary magazines of great repute!

‘ Aapke lekh kya hai, mano sanskriti ke virat bhitti chitra hai’, writes a reader from Hapud.

‘ What can I say of your writing- they are like the majestic cave paintings of our culture!’

(We have to remember that the Bhimbetka cave paintings, dating to more than 20,000 years ago, were discovered on the shores of Narmada. )

‘Viswa prasiddh Nobel puraskar vijeyta Russi upanyaskar Mikhail Sholokov Ki anthyatam kriti ‘Dhire Baho Don’ ki yaad  dila  di…’ writes some other erudite reader.

‘ Your writing reminded me of the  world famous, Nobel prize winning Russian novelist Mikhail Sholokov’s book: And  Quiet Flows The Don!’

***

I sit amazed, humbled, and totally awed by the book in my hand. I turn the pages reverentially. This is like the pure water of Narmada herself. I ask my little daughter to give me her pencil; there are so many words that I do not comprehend. I need to research their meanings. Yet, it is a joy to read. His sense of humour, his perfect understanding of the human destiny amidst the majestic flow of the river, his quirky turn of phrase – are simply amazing.

I open a random chapter: ‘ Maunimata ke ashram se Karaundi (From MauniMata’s hermitage to Karaundi), and start reading…

Then, I thank God that Hindi and I are not adversarial neighbours. I am genuinely getting to like her a lot!

***

Carrying The Words Across

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The New Year ushers in a  special new book : one in which I have played the translator’s role, translating from Malayalam to English.

If you read quotes about the art of translation, you will find intriguing opinions. From Paul Aster to Umberto Eco, Borges to Rabassa, they all have their views on this mirroring technique. Frost, of course, told us all about what is lost in translation.( But I  seriously disliked that Coppola movie.)

I enjoy translating from one language to another. But my enjoyment need not translate ( forgive the pun) to another’s rating of its quality.Luckily, being a bureaucrat has its advantages- like Eeyore the donkey, we are always prepared for the worst. Nothing really cheers you up. Nothing actually gets you down. We just carry on with the job at hand.

The adventure of getting inside the head of another, checking every jot and tittle(that is from the great Rabassa himself!), being comprehensible, being dispassionate, willingly detached, letting go…the closest analogy would be a spiritual experience.

Here’s wishing more such experiences in the beautiful new year! May we all love what we do. May we all get to do what we love. May we all make our loved ones proud. May we all gain energy from the Nay-Sayers and sceptics. May we all read and grow everyday.

👍😀

 

 

Wrestling With Nay-Sayers!

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When I sat down with my little girl to watch Dangal, I only knew that it was about girl empowerment. That it would empower me as a parent, I realised  soon afterwards.

I watched a father battle against all odds, not the least being the self -limiting thoughts of his daughters themselves,  to make them international champions in an arena considered taboo for girls. I felt immense pride and  a sense of strength on watching the Phogat Sisters!

Actions speak louder than words.We have heard this sentence so often enough that we have started devaluing its merits, like a cliche.

More than any speech or seminar on girl empowerment, this movie- love in action veritably- has  communicated the message of human potential being gender neutral and the skies to which souls can rise, if guided properly.

What does it take to withstand mockery?

Courage and self confidence!

What does it take to excel in life?

Courage and self confidence and support!

What does it take to make a mark for yourself?

Courage and self confidence and support and unflinching faith!

***

We have a conversation : My little girl and I.

“Amma, there is a girl in my class. She says girls should study just enough to manage home. Men are the bread winners, so the property should go to them. If women go out to work, who will take care of the home? ”

Ahhhh! That age old devil in a new generation mouth- indoctrinated right from childhood, about what she can be/should be/will be. That  old crone of  misogyny. You  have destroyed many lives, millions, all across the world, through the ages.

“She must have heard all this stuff at her home, eh?” I comment, as I eat my food.

“Yup! She says her father and mother agree on this- so they must be right. Family is always right, she says.”

“So what did your friends say? All agreed?”

“No! We all laughed at her,” she says, drinking her milk.

Lovely reaction.

“I told her that all our teachers were women. They also take care of the homes, Amma. You too work, don’t you? Chechi topped  and Saloni di topped the school!”

“Have you heard of Rosalind Franklin?”

“Nope!”

“Denied Nobel prize? She should have got it with Watson and Crick for contribution to the discovery of DNA structure. She died early and was not recognised for her great work for a long time.”

“Huh?!”

“Marie Curie did not have it easy either. Did you know that? Women in Science had a very tough time to be recognised on their own merit. People sort of believed that they could not be Professors or do research or win Nobels.”

“Bad!”

“Is it not?”

A pause.

“So what do you think of those lady wrestling champs?” I ask her.

“Their father…said they will become champions.”

“Family must be right, eh?”

She smiles.

“For every family which says girls cannot study, or become anything, there is another family which says they can! Question is, what do you tell yourself?”

“Amma, may be I will practise badminton now!” she says.

This time, I smile.

Thank you Amir Khan! In this world, we can always do with  more lights that show the way.

*

Oliver Twist, Fagin, And Others

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I was fortunate to attend a seminar on child friendly policing initiatives, with other stakeholders working on the issue.

The seminar started with a theatrical performance.The group of young boys who performed  a powerful play about caring for every child, were erstwhile juvenile delinquents who had been successfully rehabilitated.

They were orphans who had been forced into  petty crime for survival- lucky enough to have met good police officers, good NGOs, good human beings…The results were before us. One was the school topper, another the swimming champion, the next was going to give a TeD Talk! The play itself, all song and emotion- was a cry to help others like them out there; without prejudice.

I thought then of pampered children, over cosseted and over adored, brought up to believe that they were so entitled in life that the world existed to serve them. We read of them often enough in newspapers- for the wrong reasons.

Both are children- the first  lot  who are denied chances totally- pushed into labour and crime for survival,  and lucky if there is an escape route like the young performers; the second lot that I see daily, overwhelmed with life’s best opportunities yet brought up to seek only self centred pleasures.

Of course, the system perpetuates itself -invariably leading to the creation of more children of the first lot. The cycle continues, smirking malignantly.

**

I heard about a young child, porn addict at the age of twelve, his parents terrified of him. He has four servants at his service and his poor mother is terrorised by him .Whatever they are trying to do to help him, is only serving to keep his devilish side happy. He throws tantrums if anyone touches his iPad.He hits people.He gets away with it all.

So early in life, he has decided that he is  very much entitled to be bad. Bad means, all perversions and pleasures are obtained! Not bad, eh?

Furious, I asked the acquaintance, of why the parents had not sought professional help and got rid of the instruments of addiction. Apparently, they were scared .

Scared of being found out? Scared that in the eyes of society, they have a child who requires to be corrected with discipline? Scared of their own child? So scared that they were buying silence by overindulging a budding criminal?

**

“Certain situations are like facing snakes unexpectedly,” said the speaker, “snakes are scary because humankind has not mastered the art of taming them.” As we gazed with wonderment, he continued, “A dog, even if potentially more dangerous, we are not afraid of, because we have a history of taming their kind.”

“If the situation triggers an inherent repulsion-unless we learn to think beyond the obvious reactions, we will not be able to adopt new approaches. Fear will paralyse us- prevent us from taking any step for bettering the existing circumstances.”

It made sense, of course. I thought of the kind police officer, sensitive enough to trust, and see a potential school topper in the shivering child who stood in front of him.  He sees the innocent Oliver Twist, used by a ruthless Fagin.

The first words of kindness are uttered , paving way for  a change. The counsellor who guides, the NGO who helps, the school which enrolls him…the network of good acts to empower and help the child trust his own potential.

I wonder then on the cure for over indulgence. The loving nurture of budding criminals in many homes- over cosseted, over loved, over protected, allowed freely to be self indulgent, to be self centred, to seek riches and pleasures  and to broadcast it all- with exclusive focus!

We reap what we sow. The season for planting and pruning and watering and adding fertiliser is so short and precious. Done the right way, even the most dried up and deprived plants thrive to be fruitful. And if overdone, the most promising young plant will degrade, decay and stink fast. ‘Lilies that fester, smell far worse than weeds.’

Charity, indeed, begins at home.

*

 

 

 

 

Pick Up A Book

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Why do we read? So many brilliant scholars have debated on that topic; from the time that humans started reading. In a couple of interesting articles in Arts and Letters Daily, the topic has been visited yet again.

To recognise oneself ( self understanding), pleasure, to be enchanted ( lost in an imaginary world) were a few reasons. There were articles on how the souls were no longer part of the reading experience since the minds were benumbed by cynical, reductionist critical reading !

(Wow! Now I understand why I had always hated those erudite essays that tore to bits a nice novel by linking it up with Derrida and Defoe and Confucius and Faust- all in four consecutive sentences.)

There were such interesting comments in the readers’ section of an article by Julian Barnes on how he has started liking E M Forster in his er, evening years! The article was witty, the readers were more so!

All of which led me to ponder on why I read…whatever it is that I manage to read…when I can do it.

1. It gives me immense joy

2. I forget my breathing problems in winter, when I have a book to bury that red nose into. Even the wheezing stops until I return to earth. Then it hits back with full vengeance, making me burrow back again!

3. It increases my self esteem that I know meanings of Bildungsroman ( he he!), exiguous, plangent and camply. (Yeah, it is not comply and Julian Barnes himself used it, so there! )

4. It is the best baby sitter around. If you want to watch an old sixty flick with hardly a groan emanating  from near vicinity, try giving a dog eared copy of ‘Upper Fourth At Malory Towers’ to a  little busybody!

I really do not care of what they say Blyton does to little children’s cerebrum and cerebellum along with their multi cultural sensitivities; I think she is great fun! Besides kids get to read words like pensive and candid, melancholy and malicious!

5. I remind myself of the vast universe of books unread in multiple languages;the thoughts, wisdom and laughter hidden from me . It is like getting a momentary glimpse of one’s utter ‘smallness’- so to say- of where one stands,in the vastness of the scheme of things.

Ozymandias comes to mind! That leads me to..

6. I feel great when I can relate or recollect a poem or a novel or a story and interconnect it with a picture or film or music or another book. Yay! Serious pleasure, totally self centred, by the way.

7. It improves my endurance capacity in the routine of daily living. To know that even when one is in a boring meeting or a crowded place, one can, forgive the analogy, like Hannibal Lecter, escape into the archives of memory and entertain oneself with some thing read in the past! Serious!

8. Knowing that in the most totalitarian of regimes, what they silenced first were reading and writing among women, I enjoy and toast the sheer power and freedom to enjoy the most fundamental of my human rights!

9. It teaches me, that there is a world beyond myself, my face, my body, my aspirations,  my wants, my dresses, my likes, my selfies. A lesson which helps me, whenever ‘I’ become too much for me.

10. The giddy  promise  I have made to myself that in case God asks me for an option for my after death assignment, I might get to work in his divine library. Even dusting around the Books would be so worth it! I might end up seeing Dahl!

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( The Twits: Roald Dahl)

APPEARANCES

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“Appearances to the mind are of four kinds.

Things either are what they appear to be;

or they neither are, nor appear to be;

or they are, and do not appear to be;

or they are not, and yet appear to be.

Rightly to aim in all these cases is the wise man’s task.”
Epictetus

APPEARANCES : (A SKIT)

There are four chairs on the lounge. The audience sees four people(gender irrelevant)- identified by four different coloured dresses.

DUMB :Is good, appears to be good.

DON’TCARE: Is not good, does not appear as good

OUTCAST: Is good, does not appear as good

SMART: Is not good , appears to be good

****

DUMB: I really have some problems! People call me Dumb! They say that I am transparent and trust easily. I mean what I say! What do I do to make myself more attractive?

OUTCAST: Ha! I question it all! I am the devil’s advocate! I burn when I see unfairness and foul play.

DON’TCARE: I don’t give a damn!

SMART: Learn from me! I have people eating out of my hands all the time!

(Bursts into song)

“Didn’t you notice the  little boy who copied your homework, (DUMBO!)

And took  credit from the teacher with a smirk?

That was me!

Didn’t you see the man who pledged eternal love to one, (OUTCAST!)

And was gallivanting with three others, one by day, two by night, having fun?

That was me!

Didn’t you see the old man who stole others’ money by hook and crook, (DON’TCARE!)

And went to his graveyard,  with golden  teeth, and a beaming look?

That was me!

So popular with the girls, bad me, looking so good!

(Psst- Some fell for it, should have run if they could! )

So loved by one and all, buying drinks, toasting my kids!

(Psst- I do not know their ages, must be dead or alive somewhere, by all bids!)

I  always said Yes, when I should have said No!

I was loved by bosses who never got to reproach- Oh!

I acted, pretended, attended, gallivanted-

Inveigled, soothed, seduced, never wanted!

Oh, learn from me-DUMBO!

Show the world, what it wants to see, no Mumbo Jumbo!

Oh, pick up a lesson, OUTCAST!

Pretense is the way to scale the ladder, fast!

Oh, don’t be a darn fool, DON’TCARE!

Everyone cares to be popular, even you do, silly bear!

Be bad, be proud to be bad, but never  should you showwwwww!”

(Puffs a cigar!)

DUMBO: I will get indigestion if I do all that, pal!

OUTCAST: I forgive her now, but not you!

DON’T CARE: You are so damn stupid, smart! Golden teeth inside a graveyard, hmmm, that is an interesting news!

*

Lights dim out. The trees collapse, waves rise, volcanoes explode, animal figures run around the stage in panic!

A voice is heard :

Attention!

To the inhabitants of this planet, where they have let SMART people run the show!

Your planet is a big mess! Everything is topsy turvy! You have poisoned your resources! Everything is now a big show and dance- too many flash lights and too less introspection! In this race to be  SMART, to feel SMART, to act  SMART, to live and breathe and die SMART-All you are left with is- gold and teeth!

Please click a selfie when the planet collapses under all the accumulated lies of living! We will frame it and bury it with the last golden teeth.

We-

The escapees:

Of the bloodlines of DUMB, OUTCAST and a few DON’TCARE who reneged!

*****

( Note: Inspired by daily life)

 

 

Hanuman Chalisa (Translation Into English)

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Sri Hanuman Chalisa: Goswami Tulsi Dasji

*

Shri Guru Charan Saroj Raj, Nij Manu Mukur Sudhary/

Barnau Raghuvar Vimal Jesu, Jo Dayaku Bhal Chary//

Buddhiheen Tanu Jaanike, Sumirau Pavan Kumar/

Bal Buddhi Vidya Dehu Mohi, Harhu Kalesh Vikar//

The dust on the lotus feet of my Guru, I apply on my mind’s mirror for betterment( thus enabling me)

To praise SreeRam the Pure, which brings in the four fruits of life( Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha)

Knowing that my body is without true intelligence, I remember the Son of the Wind

Please bestow on me – strength, intelligence, knowledge; remove all afflictions of emotions

*

1.

Jai Hanuman Gyan Gun Sagar/

Jai Kapees Tihu Lok Ujagar//

Victory to Hanuman, the ocean of wisdom and supreme qualities!

Victory to the Leader of Vanaras, who brightens the three worlds!

2.

Ramdoot Atulit Baldhama/

Anjani Putra Pavansut Nama//

The Messenger of Lord Ram,  the incomparable epitome of strength!

The son of Anjana, known as the child of Wind!

3.

Mahavir Vikram Bajrangi/

Kumati Nivar Sumati Ke Sangi//

The great warrior, full of valour, Bajrangi!

Removes wrong ways( of the intelligence), always accompanies the true ways( the good path)

4.

Kanchan Varan Biraj Suvesa/

Kanan Kundal Kunchit Kesa//

Golden hued, brilliantly dressed!

With earrings, and curly hair!

5.

Haath Bajra Au Dhwaja Birajai/

Kandhe Mooj Janeyu Sajai//

In His hands- his vajra like mace, and a flag radiant

Across his shoulder,  he wears the  sacred thread!

6.

Shankar Suvan Kesari Nandan/

Tej Pratap Maha Jag Vandan//

From the  illustrious line of Shankar, the son of Kesari

Greatly radiant, worshipped by the whole world!

7.

Vidyavan Guni Ati Chatur/

Ram Kaaj Karibe Ko Atur//

Scholar extraordinary, full of finest qualities, extremely intelligent

Always eager to carry out the tasks assigned by SreeRamji!

8.

Prabhu Charitra Sunibe Ko Rasiya/

Ram Lakhan Sita Mann Basiya//

Very ardent fan of the stories of Lord Ram

Residing verily in the hearts of Ram, Lakshman and Sita!

9.

Sukshma Roop Dhari Siyahim Dikhava/

Vikat Roop Dhari Lank Jarava//

Showing up in a minuscule form before Janaki

Assuming a gigantic form to burn down Lanka!

10.

Bhim Roop Dhari Asur Samhare/

Ramchandra Ke Kaaj Samvare//

In enormous form, you killed off the Rakshasas

And accomplished the tasks given by  Sree Ramji!

11.

Layi Sanjeevani Lakhan Jiyaye/

Shri Raghubeer Harashy Ur Laye//

Bringing Sanjeevani herb, you gave new life to Lakshman

In utter joy, SreeRamji hugged you close to his heart!

12.

Raghupathy Keenhi Bahut Badayi/

Tum Mam Priya Bharat Sam Bhayi//

Raghupathy praised you so very much-

He said,’ You are a brother to me, like my beloved Bharat!’

13.

Sahas Badan Tumharo Jas Gaavai/

As Kahi Sreepathi Kand Lagavai//

May a thousand tongues praise your glories,

Saying thus, the Lord( husband of Lakshmi, avatar of Vishnu, SreeRam), embraced you close!

14.

Sanakadik Brahmadi Muneesa/

Narad Sarad Sahit Aheesa//

Sages like Sanaka, Brahma himself

Narad, Sarada( Saraswati), Aheesa( sing your praises!)

15.

Yam Kuber Digpal Jaham Te/

Kavi Kobid Kahi Sake Kaham Te//

Yama( Lord of Death), Kuber( Lord of Wealth), all the eight keepers of the Directions ( Ashtadigpal)

( When all of them  are singing  your praises-)

How can a  ( mere ) poet, ever explain your glories in a befitting manner?

16.

Tum Upkar Sugreevahim Keenha/

Ram Milaay Rajpad Deenha//

You were so benevolent towards Sugreev-

Made him meet SreeRam, gave him his kingdom!

17.

Tumharo Mantra Vibheeshan Maana/

Lankeshwar Bhaye Sab Jag Jaana//

Vibheeshan listened to your counsel

He became the Lord of Lanka,  and acclaimed in the whole world!

18.

Jugg Sahasra Yojan Par Bhanu/

Leelyo Taahi Madhur Bhal Janu//

(Aeons) Innumerable , thousands of yojanas away was the Sun

In your childish play, you mistook it as a sweet fruit!

19.

Prabhu Mudrika Meli Mukh Mahim/

Jaladhi Laanghi Gaye Achraj Nahim//

Keeping the Lord’s Signet Ring in your mouth

You jumped across the ocean- no wonder!

20.

Durgam Kaaj Jagat Ke Jete/

Sugam Anugrah Tumhare Tete//

Any impossible task, can be accomplished with Your Grace!

You bestow  great ease and blessings!

21.

Ram Duware Tum Rakhware

Hot Na Aagya Binu Paisare//

At the Door of SreeRam, You stand as sentry!

Without your permission, none can enter the Lord’s abode!

22.

Sab Sukh Lahai Tumhari Sarna/

Tum Rakshak Kahu Ko Darna//

Your refuge means, all joys are given to the seeker

When you are the protector, what is there to fear?

23.

Aapan Tej Samharo Aapai/

Teenom Lok Haak Tem Kaapai//

Only you can contain( restrain)  your glorious powers

The three worlds stand petrified at your majesty!

24.

Bhoot Pisach Nikat Nahim Aavai/

Mahabir Jab Naam Sunavai//

The ghosts, evil spirits- will never come near

When they hear the Name of The Great Warrior( Hanuman)

25.

Nasai Rog Harai Sab Peera/

Japat Nirantar Hanumat Beera//

All diseases are vanquished, all afflictions removed

When one recites  regularly the name of Hanuman!

26.

Sankat Te Hanuman Chudavai/

Mann Kram, Vachan, Dhyan Jo Lavai//

Hanuman will release you from all agonies

If  your mind, actions and words are in  consonance (with-)

27.

Sab Par Ram Tapasvi Raja/

Tin Ke Kaaj Sakal Tum Saja//

(In consonance with)The Lord of Renunciation- SreeRam,

(If so)All your desires, even the smallest, will be brought to fruition!

28.

Aur Manoradh Jo Koyi Lavai/

Soyi Amit Jeevan Bhal Paavai//

Any of your wishes brought to Hanuman’s threshold

Will be blessed with the true fruits of life!

29.

Charom Jug Partap Tumhara/

Hai Parsiddhi Jagat Ujiyara//

Your glory is spread across the Four Yugas(Sat, Dwapara, Treta,Kali)

The worlds are illuminated by your fame!

30.

Sadhu Sant Ke Tumh Rakhware/

Asur Nikandan Ram Dulare//

You are the protector of sages and saints

The one who kills Asuras, beloved of SreeRam!

31.

Asht Siddhi Nau Nidhi Ke Data/

As Var Deen Janaki Mata//

You endow the seeker with eight siddhis and the nine treasures

That was the boon given to you by Mother Sita!

32.

Ram Rasayan Tumhare Pasa/

Sada Raho Raghupathy Ke Dasa//

 

The essence of devotion to SreeRam is known to you,

May you remain forever devoted to Raghunathji!

33.

Tumhare Bhajan Ram Ko Paavai/

Janam Janam Ke Dukh Bisravai//

Meditating on you, will help the devotee to attain SreeRam himself

The pains of rebirths can thus be stopped!

34.

Anth Kaal Raghuvar Pur Jaayi/

Jaham Janma Hari Bhakt Kahayi//

One can thus enter the world of Lord Ram after  death

Become a Hari Bhakt for eternity( Be born as a devotee of Hari)

35.

Aur Devata Chitt Na Dharayi/

Hanumat Seyi Sarv Sukh Karayi//

There is no need to propitiate other Gods

You can attain all wishes by praying to Hanuman alone!

36.

Sankat Katai Mitai Sab Peera/

Jo Sumirai Hanumat Balbeera//

All unhappiness get removed, all agonies are assuaged

For the one who meditates on the valiant Hanuman!

37.

Jai Jai Jai Hanuman Gosayi/

Kripa Karahu Gurudev Ki Nayi//

May there be victory to the One who has conquered all senses!

Have compassion on us, like a Master (Guru)

38.

Jo Sat Baar Pad Kar Koyi/

Chootahim Bandi Maha Sukh Hoyi//

The one who recites this prayer a hundred times

Shall be freed of materialistic ties of the world- and shall attain  great joy

39.

Jo Yeh Padai Hanuman Chalisa/

Hoyi Siddhi Sakhi Gaurisa//

The one who reads the Hanuman Chalisa

Will be blessed,   This truth being spoken in front of Lord Shiv Himself!

40.

Tulsi Das Sara Hari Chera/

Keejai Nadh Hriday Mah Dera//

Tulsi Das is the devoted servant of Hari

Please, My Lord, Come and reside in my heart forever!

Doha:

Pavantanay Sankat Haran Mangal Moorati Roop/

Ram Lakhan Sita Sahit, Hriday Basahu Sur Bhoop//

Son of Vayu, remover of agonies, the One with the

auspicious form-

Along with Ram, Lakshman and Sita, come and reside in my heart in all your glory!

*

I heard the Hanuman Chalisa for the first time after I joined my civil services work in Uttar Pradesh.

The simple Awadhi, the rhyming phrases, the easy to understand nuances- all make it a great favourite among the ordinary devotees of this land.

And truly can I vouch for the lines:

Bhoot Pisach Nikat Nahi Aavai

Mahabir Jab Naam Sunavai//

*

In Mathura, in the main temple, is a statue of Hanuman opposite SreeRamji- slightly bent, eyes flowing with tears of devotion! One gets electrified by the sight of Hanumanji!

Jai Hanuman!