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Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

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Old 02 July 2012, 06:42 AM
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Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

OM!

Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasidas is an Exceptional song. Its has become one of the most common daily prayers. As such Hanuman represents a repository of immense strength. A prayer to Hanuman is a way to invoke that Strength within ourselves. When I speak of invoking that strength within , this strength is not the strength to give a blow ... but to remain cheerful in all circumstances and in all situations. The strength to face the situations of life boldly. Swami Vivekananda says "Stand up, be bold, be strong!" and thats that kind of strength or resolve that we need to invoke within. As we study this simple, yet powerful text, we shall clearly see how we can really invoke this strength within and live it up.

Swami Tejomayananda ji has written a very nice commentary on this text. This is a meditative study of Swami Tejomayananda ji's explanation on Hanuman Chalisa.

What ever understanding I gain from my guru Swami Tattvavidananda sarswati ji [by listening to his teachings on Gita and Upanishads], I will freely use it without mentioning his name everywhere, because his blessings are infinite and there may be my own mistakes that pop up here and there for which, obviously, I alone am to be found fault with. The idea is to bring in the understanding of vedanta and see how we can use this simple prayer to make ourselves better. Wherever needed we will also explore how we can really transform our lives and how such prayers can aid us in doing so.

Face The Situations of Life:

Its very important to Face the situations of life with openness and boldness. We should not entertain any kind of meekness. And in order for us to be able to do so, we need to first of all know ourselves as we are. If we look at ourselves as puny people who are always at some or the other danger then life is obviously going to be miserable. If on the other hand I look at myself as a fulfilled person who remains fulfilled no matter what happens in life, I remain a satisfied and happy person. Its just a matter of the correct outlook towards life. What really matters is how do I look at myself and how I look at myself makes the world for me!

In this endeavour we need to have the grit and the strength to face the situations in life and never run away from them. We need an attitude that I will face what ever situation arises in my life bravely ... that is when we have invoked Sri Hanuman within. Because thats the attitude that Hanuman represents. We often see people seeking the aid of astrology and saying "My starts are not in auspecious position" etc. And they keep fearing what might happen in future. There is no harm in going to an astrologer. But the problem is in the meekness that they entertain. Even as we pray to Hanuman and seek his grace, the first and the foremost attitude should be "I Will face what ever situations arise in my life and not give in to meekness". Meekness is not religion. One needs Strength of mind, strength to go through the toughtest of the situations in life with a smile.


Bhakti is Not Just an Emotion:

Friends, Hanuman chalisa is all about Bhakti, pure Love of God. But Love of God is really not an emotion. Somehow novices generally take love of God to be an emotion. All emotions are transitory, they come and they go. During the emotion one feels as if one is totally free and may cry, jump etc but eventually that passes away. What does not pass away is not an emotion. The common misconception is that Jnana is "Dry", Bhakti is full of "Rasa/Essence". This is an idea that people gather due to lack of both Jnana and Bhakti. True Jnana is Bhakti, there is no difference between the two. One cannot say Ramana was a jnani while Ramakrishna was a Bhakta. Ramana was what Ramakrishna was, no difference what so ever. The confusion is only due to different lifestyles. Ramana was always seated at one place, totally aloof while Ramakrishna was singing and dancing in the praise of God. If we read Aksharamanimalai of Sri Ramana, we will understand his expression of Bhakti and if we see Ramakrishna immersed in Self, we see the True essence of jnana. The point is that Bhakti is not really about being emotional or speaking emotionally about God.

Vivekam is a fundamental quality of mind thats required. Without vivekam one can neither be a jnani nor a bhakta. Thats why Vivekam is a fundamental quality. Vivekam necessarily involves dropping off all thats mithya, all the superimpositions have to be seen as superimpositions. When the superimpositions and wrong identifications are dropped, one stands automatically resolved in the embrace of God and that dissolution is Bhakti. Bhakti is when I know that long before I asked for God has already consumed me ; swallowed me! Sri Krishna is said to have shown the whole universe in his mouth to Mother Yashoda. So where are we ? We are already consumed, whether we know it or not.

Surrender is NOT "giving everything to God". Because, if i have to give a to God, I should possess that thing! There is really nothing thats mine! Infact there is no "me" also. This recognition itself is the highest Bhakti, because here there is no possibility of arrogating that i have offered everything to God. One has to simply recognize that one is already swallowed by God and there is no one to really "Reach" God.

However I do not advocate "No Sadhana Theory". Sadhana is a must, because we do not see this "God at all"! We do not see does not mean that God will appear with a flute or cross. What I mean is, that we do not need a new and exotic experience, because if what Scriptures state is to be believed, we are already in the embrace of God. So what we need is not a new experience, but some way to recognize the presence of God thats here and now. That "Eye" or that "Vision" which allows us to see God in every experience [and by "See" I do not mean God will appear in physical form, even though he may appear] is what a sadhaka has to "develop". This requires a pure mind and pure mind means: Viveka and Vairagya are well developed. This Viveka requires the ability to differentiate and some times that requires logic [but not kutarkam or wrong reasoning]. And it also requires some amount of dispassion born of basic experiences of life. One has to build upon these and see the Truth eventually.

Getting Emotional might create a temporary high which will not last, because its temporary high only -- thats what is an emotion. if it is not a temporayr high , its not an emotion at all! So what we need is not an emotion, not a vague idea, but clarity and total resolution of ego in the Self. Can teaching help in this ? Yes, if the student is prepared and if the student is not prepared enough , teaching with sadhana is essential.

Prayer is a wonderful sadhana thats available to one and all. Through the prayer the attempt is to recognize our true nature and dissolve the ego once and for all. Prayer is not a temporary dissolution. For half an hour the person has totally forgotten himself and then when he is back to business the ego returns. That type of devotion will not work. A more deeper devotion where it wont change or wont vanish is required. That kind of devotion can only be born of understanding. This is an attempt to meditate on the meaning of this text so that we may be able to remain in the presence of the Lord.

The Whole:

When we speak of Hanuman or Anjaneya, its not the name of one diety. Though the story is of a particular diety, the prayer we offer to Hanuman is really to the Ishvara or God or Paramatman -- through the diety. The deity becomes a means to worship the ultimate Truth. When a doctor wants to test our blood, what do we do ? We give them a sample of our blood. The sample is tested by the laboratories. The laboratories do not drain out the whole blood from our system. We just need a sample. Similarly Everything that is seen , unseen ; everything that moves and does not move ; everything is God alone! If a snake is imagined on a rope, which part of the snake is rope ? The truth of any portion of the snake is only the rope. One can see God in any portion of the snake, the Truth of that very portion will be Rope alone. And as such the snake itself is only imaginay and truely not there at all. When we worship The Lord, any form can be taken up for meditation. The Idea is , though those forms we should be able to see the Truth and then the forms themselves become less important -- the Truth is the ultimate reality.
Thats why in our scriptures we have prayers addressed to Ganapathi, Vishnu, Vayuh, Surya [Sun] etc. In all those prayers , the ultimate reality is praised through those pratikas [or limited adjuncts].

How Do Prayers Get Answered ?
This body & mind equipment is really an adjunct or an upadi. To explain what an upadi is, imagine a column of water in a glass tube. Let the glass tube be coloured red, blue, green etc at different places. And what we see is the water appears red, blue , green at those places. Really speaking water is colorless and yet when present "near" the colored portions of the glass tube, it appears as if it has taken a color. That is an upadhi. when near an upadhi, brahman appears to have taken some attributes of the upadhi while in reality Brahman is changeless and attributeless. God is Brahman with one upadhi and we are with a limited upadhi of our own. In truth both God and me are just one Brahman. Upadhis change and upadhis are mithya, unreal. Thats why Bhagavan Ramana says "isha jiva yor veshadi bidhah svasvabhavatah vastu kevalam" ... between isah and jiva there is only a difference in the vesha [the form] their true nature is the same.

Now, God is said to have maya under his control and using that maya he created this world. How did he create through maya ? By imagining, through Thought. So What ever we see here is really like a dream of God. Suppose I am dreaming and then , I see two people myself and my friend. How many people are there in reality ? One.
Then, is the dream me that One or the dream friend that One ?
Both and neither . What does that mean ? both the dream Me and Dream Friend are really mithya, non-existent as form. But as Consciousness, both connect to the Same One Consciousness. Both are like two waves in the same ocean of consciousness ... and as the "form" of a wave, they appear distinct - as the ocean itself, there are one.

A more important point to understand is, the dream me and the dream friend seem to have two different minds . There is really one Mind : both of them are a part of it. When I pray, its like seeking guidance and energy from the one Whole Mind, in whose dream all of us are. My mind is a part of the Whole Mind. As even, everything here is a part of the whole mind. Really there are no two minds at all ! There is only one Mind whose projection is all this. Thats precisely the reason why prayers get answered. Because a prayer in my mind creates a ripple in the Whole Mind. Thats how the prayer manifests in reality. If the prayer is meek, it fails to create a ripple in the Whole Mind , no results manifest.


When individuality is totally absent, the mind is one with the Whole.


We therefore study Hanuman chalisa and Hanuman represents the Whole Mind. We can as such take any form , but the form and the story of Hanuman really aid us meditate on the Ultimate Truth and also dissolve our limited individuality. Hence Hanuman chalisa is a wonderful prayer.


Hanuman stands for enormous strength and sincerity of purpose. We need such strength and dedication in all our endeavours, be it spiritual or worldly. When we speak of strength its not just about the strength to hit someone. Thats not strength at all. Much greater strength is in absorbing someone else's insult without a ripple in mind ! So the strength that we talk of with reference to Hanuman is not just physical strength but the strength to remain totally independent of everything. No meekness , no dependence on anything, no attachment what so ever. Thats the kind of strength Hanuman represents. And thats the strength we call God.


And then Hanuman's search for Sita Matha is a perfect example of sincere , dedicated and consistent effort. Hanuman does not get diverted by anything along the way and he does not fear any hurdle. Faces them all with boldness, openess and straight. Thats the kind of attitude we need in facing spiritual hurdles as well.


shriiguru caraN sarojaraja nijamanamukura sudhaara |
baraNau raghubara bimala yasha jo daayaka phalacaara ||


श्रीगुरु चरण् सरोजरज निजमनमुकुर सुधार
बरणौ रघुबर् बिमल यश जो दायक फलचार


Having cleansed the mirror of my mind with the dust of the lotus feet of Sri Gurudev, I now proceed to describe the spotless glory of Sri Rama, the most excellent of Raghu's, which bestows the four fruits.

Who Is A Guru ?

Guru is someone who aids us see ourselves. He is the one who removes the ignorance in our hearts and aids us recognize our true nature. If I have to know some physical object, I have to have its name , its form and then I will associate the name with its form. And then gather more attributes and properties about that object. And in relative sense I have known it. For example if someone asks Do you know a rose ? and I say No!, he then brings one rose and shows it to me and says This is a rose!. Now I know it. The name is properly associated with the form and some properties like its colour , smell etc are gathered. Thats what is learning in the relative sense.
But how do I know about Myself ? When I try to know about the physical object knowing the name, form etc works fine. But this Self is a little bit different. Its not reachable my senses, mind etc ! Then how can it be revealed ? Guru has to reveal it, thats when he is a guru . Suppose a guru says "ok, ill show you God" ... but then God is not reachable with "eyes", how will he do that? It means what ever the guru shows is really a mental image and not God!! So there should be something deeper in that.


Also, some others say "Ok, Self cannot be reached by mind, so ill not study scriptures etc". Here again is a mistake. Because, the body being jada or lifeless does not need to find the Truth. The Self itself does not seek the Truth. So what is left is really the mind . So something has to be clearly done with the mind alone.
So when the student is taught Scriptures, lot of words are fed into the mind. Usually any word gives us some idea, some object associated with it. For example: Rose. When I say this, an associated object "occurs" in our minds and we say "Ah! I know". Thats knowing. But when scriptures use the words, if again we get some other objects in mind that is really not going to work. If scriptural words and teachings also work to create mental images about ourselves, that means they are failing. The teacher is failing. Because Self cannot be a mental image. So the purpose of the scriptural words and scriptures is to resolve all mental images and conditionings and leave us as we are! When scriptures are unfolded, the idea is : those words should resolve all names and forms in the mind and give us a darshan of the nameless and formless reality. For example the world "OM". OM is not going to create one more object in mind, it simply dissolves all the mental images and leaves us as the Self. [Infact to know the ocean , the waves need not subside .]. When a student chants OM, mind is at once resolved, but it returns. So in order to totally vanquish that mind, the meaning of OM is also taught for meditation. That meditation aids in resolving the mind totally. This is the job of Guru to unfold the teachings in such a way as to leave the student resolved and not create newer conditionings.
Our scriptures are called Darshana Shastras : Meaning they give us Darshana. Darshan means vision. Vision of what ? Our True Nature. But unfortunately when we read the scriptures, no Darshan happens. Thats why, when we read Ramana's gospel, we are a lot transformed. But if we start with Ashtavakra Gita, we would not understand or appreciate!! Basically that is because Asthavakra Gita is a Darshana Shastra that explains something which needs to be handled only by someone who has himself got that Darshana. Only a person who has the Vision can share it with others. Its almost the same with upadesha saram. If i straight away get upadesha saram and read it, i would understand nothing. After reading a lot of Ramana literature, I can probably understand that better. So there is always a requirement to go to someone who can present that Darshan or Vision well for us.
Basically scriptrues have the darshana available for us. But only some one who had that darshana can unfold it to us. So a Guru is such a person. So when the guru unfolds that knowledge, it gives us the darshan of God and thereby we can stand resolved.

That said, often its also very important that the student should be very sincere. Thats when the teacher can be found . Dattatreya is said to have 24 gurus. A bird was holding onto a fish and a flock of eagles started chasing it for that fish. Wherever the bird flew, the eagles would also follow until the bird finally drops the fish and lo! the eagles also left the bird and went after the fish. The bird then sat on a tree. Dattatreya saw this and said to himself "Ah! When one leaves the longing for the objects of senses thus, one is free and relaxed"
and that bird became his guru !!

And when dattatreya recognized this fact, that very moment the mind is automatically cleansed of all its attachments. Such a cleansed mind alone can do prayer, because puja means purnat jyayate iti puja... that which is born of inner completeness. Thats the meaning of puja. So, until that inner completeness is developed, the prayer is merely a ritual.
Dattatreya's guru -- the bird -- itself remained unenlightened, but Dattatreya got the understanding! In spirituality, its always the disciple's sincerity thats important. The disciple has to be sincere and he or she should be clear as to what he wants to learn. If the student is not stuck at exotic experiences and feelings etc -- there is a possibility of getting to the Truth. Always the disciple's sincerity is as important as the guru's understanding. If I am not sincere, I might go to a guru like Sri Ramana and come back saying "He does not speak a word, what can I get from him?"
If the disciple is sincere, as we saw in the above story, he or she might learn from a bird, an animal or anything. Dattatreya was clear that what he wanted was "Absolute Bliss" and not temporary sense pleasures. Thats why when he saw that bird incident everything became clear at once.

And therefore a sincere student with a Guru who has himself seen the Truth is a super combination. That definitely works. By saying that I clean my mind with the dust of the gurus feet , we are really invoking a mental state which is receptive and open. This means we are transforming ourselves to sincere students.

What Is The Dust At The Feet of Guru ?

The feet of a guru represent that basis upon which the guru stands firmly rooted. First the student has to get into the learning mode.
Typically Sciptural teachings, Vedanta, aids spiritual development a lot. If the student does not develop ego that he has learnt a lot of scriptures, every scripture is like a bomb that can destroy the ignorance. So the student, when he is sincere, would go to a guru who can teach him scriptures. And then God sends him to the right kind of teacher. The learning from that teacher is like dust that can clean our minds. That is why Brahma sutras etc say "athato brahma jijnasu", they do not say brahma jnana. Only jijnasa --- its merely an inquiry where the student is a jijnasu and the teacher simply guides him with that jijnasa. That jijnasa itself will take him to the Truth that He Himself IS.



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Old 02 July 2012, 06:43 AM
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Re: Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

What is a Pure Mind ?

The teaching should purify the mind. Mind is like an ocean of consciousness in which every perception is like a wave. Every thought is like a wave. When we say pure mind, we mean a mind in which there is no I, a mind which is calm, still Pure Awareness.
Now, the teaching which guru gives: the dust from the feet of the guru, is supposed to create such a mind. If I become arrogant that I have learnt a lot of things, that means the teaching has failed. Either because of my own error or sometimes the teacher may create such ideas. So its important to make sure that the mind is resolved, calm and relaxed yet Absolutely Alert. Thats a pure mind. Calm Relaxed and yet Completely Alert .
Now The Prayer ...

Having learnt the Truth from the teacher, the student has now understood his true nature to be SAT-CIT-ANANDA. Using this understanding he clears the mind off all its identifications and sits down alert and totally calm. This is the best way to pray. With a mind thats alert and calm.

We can make this a practise. Whenever we pray, before doing it ... we can remember the teaching and relax ourselves and also calm ourselves. The first verse of this prayer acts as the pattern setter. It sets the correct mental state to chant Rama's name.

Now I am going to chant Rama's Glory, therefore may the mind be purified by teacher's grace. So we salute the Teacher and the teaching and remain Relaxed and very awareful and start the prayer.

The prayer is basically chanting the Glory of Sri Rama. Why chanting the glory of Sri Rama ? Because Sri Rama is not someone else but the Self within our own hearts. So When we chant the story of Sri Rama or Sri Hanuman, the story itself may be different, but the inner Self is the same with both of us. We are invoking the grace and attitude of Sri Rama / Hanuman as we chant these simple verses. We are invoking that Presence of the Lord within our own hearts. The story is chanted because the story acts as a reminder, it sets the mental state correctly to appreciate the presence of the Lord in our hearts.

This is called Sri Rama's glory. What ever we appreciate in Hanuman is really sri Rama's glory. So this chant is sri Rama's Glory and that Sri Rama is within all our hearts. He is our True Nature. Infact He alone IS, here. There is no one else.

But for the purpose of prayer, we may imagine in our hearts Sri Rama or Sri Hanuman ... and a small Bhakta , who some times dissolves in that Self which is Hanuman . So this Bhakta , when he is present chants these verses and when he dissolves there remains only One - SAT. Aham Asmi.
The Four Fruits

All our scriptures teach us that "We are Purnam, Complete". We are Total Bliss. There is no sense of incompleteness really. However we all need a graded approach. Even as a child who is afraid of ghosts needs to be told that there are no ghosts, but at the same time he needs to be taught how he can slowly get over the fear of the ghosts. If the child loses the fear of ghosts the moment he is told that there are no ghosts, then, no other support or training is required. But this is rarely the case. [Note: I am not arguing on whether there are ghosts or not . I really dont know.].

So now, though we are told that we are complete, we remain wanting people. We have desires. So how then do we handle ? Because if the desires are supressed totally thats not correct. And if we indulge in them , that too is going to not solve the problem. So how do we handle these ?
Firstly there are desires which are categorized as adharmic. One should totally drop them. Sternly reject them.
then there are still some dharmic desires that are there. These include desires, which are called kama and then there are securities like house, money etc we seek ... these are called artha.
artha and kama when dharmic can be satisfied.

thus reducing the desires to dharmic ones makes sure that the fire of the desire does not go wild and remains controlled.

but for a spiritual seeker the dharmic desires are to be eventually undone. since all those desires are signs of ignorance. they are signs that i think that i am unfulfilled and by satisfying those desires i will get fulfilled.
so how to handle these? this is where sadhana and spiritual learning comes into picture. so eventually even the dharmic desires are undone and one naturally remains totally filfilled and owns up the liberation.

This is why there are 4 purusharthas: dhama, artha, kama and moksha.
these can be got through surrender to the Lord. Hence this prayer is really to gain these. To fulfill the valid and dharmic desires and eventually find liberation. Thats the objective with which this prayer is chanted.





बुद्धिहीन तनु जानिके, सुमिरौं पवन कुमार ।
बल बुद्धिविद्या देहु मोहिं, हरहु कलेश विकार ॥
Buddhi-Hiina Tanu Jaanike, Sumirau Pavan Kumaar |
Bala Buddhi-Vidyaa Dehu Mohi, Harahu Kalesha Vikaar ||


Having understood the weakness of my intellect, I meditate on you , oh Son of Vayuh
Grant me Strength,intelligence and knowledge and may the knots of my heart be destroyed.


God is called Harih, the one who "Takes away" or "Removes" . Here we recognize the limitations of our intellect and our ability to understand and seek Lord's grace. We are requesting God to grant us Strength --- the strength here is not the strength to give a blow. Its the strength to bear a blow and still remain calm and composed. This is the strength that makes us remain totally independent of all material possessions and still remain calm, relaxed and totally untouched. To develop such a stability, one definitely needs grace of God.


An Experience is As Good As My Interpretation Of It:


Vidhya is knowledge. We often think that experience is very important. While this is true, an experience is always as good as my interpretation of it. Someone comes to me and says "you are really intelligent". If i interpret it as a compliment, thats one experience. If I interpret that he is mocking my intelligence, then I have a totally different experience.


So when an event happens, I interpret it based on my intelligence and my understanding. Here we are requesting God to grant us the knowledge and the understanding to be able to see things clearly as they are. We need that ability to see things as they are with out coloring them with our ideas and perceptions. To just see things as they are, requires knowledge and intelligence.


Strength:


And then we are seeking strength. Bala is strength. Not the kind of strength that can be used to beat someone or give a blow. This is the kind of strength to be able to remain happy and satisfied , no matter what remains with us and what does not remain with us. If we see Bhaktas, most often, they are not physically very strong. A Ramana or Ramakrishna is not strong physically. But their strength is not in the muscles. Ramana had no possessions. He wore just a lion cloth and yet he was always smiling. Thats the strength thats being talked about.


Sri Adi Shankaracharya says in kaupina panchakam:
Kaupinavantah kalu bhagyavantah!!


A person with just a lion cloth is fortunate indeed.


one may ask, whats there in possessing just a lion cloth ? Everyone has it. Whats fortunate in it ?
He is fortunate not coz of the possessions, but because despite not possessing any materials, he possesses the Love of God. He is ever in the presence of God, 24 7 he revels in pure Bliss. The poem goes ...


Bikshanna matrena tustimantah
[he is satisfied by what he gets in Biksha]


Biksha is begging, or just in charity... what ever comes his way, without his seeking ... he is totally satisfied with it! Just imagine the kind of state he revels. He does not seek anything and what ever comes his way, he is totally satisfied. He neither rejects a thing, nor seeks anything. He revels in that total self satisfaction.


Vedanta vakyeshu sada ramantah
[he is ever reveling in the teachings of Vedanta]
The teachings of vedanta are that we are the source of Pure Bliss. Not knowing this we seek the bliss in petty things of the world. But here this person is totally reveling in that Bliss 24 7. He does not seek anything.


That kind of strength is what we seek from Lord. From the lord we are to seek only the best. Anything less than the best is not really worth seeking from lord! So here we seek the kind of Strength that makes us Pure Bliss... a Bliss that cannot be taken away. Such a person does not care what happens ! He simply revels in that Bliss.


There is a story that when Alexader the great was going around, he once met a sadhu. The sadhu was just roaming with hardly any dress on him. He possessed nothing and yet he did not even bow to the emperor. He got really furious and then went to him and said, if you do not bow to me ill kill you. And the monk laughed loudly and said "This is the most foolish thing you have ever said" [meaning no one can take away another person's life. When prarabdha expires the body leaves. what is there to brood over that ? ]
This kind of strength is what we seek from the Lord.


Smaranam of Lord's Deeds:



This kind of strength and intelligence is really the best thing to ask for. And we not only seek these from the Lord and in order to get these we do a smaran or remembrance of the Lord's life. When we remember the lord's life and deeds, we need to be able to see them in such a way as to develop the kind of strength and intelligence in ourselves. Because, does the lord really care if we praise him or not ? We praise him to discover that Truth within our own hearts. If we do not discover that Truth in our own hearts, whats the point in praising the Lord ? To look at Hanuman as merely a super hero is a childish way of looking at him. Hanuman is to be worshiped in such a way that we discover him within our hearts as the Lord seated there. This discovery requires some intelligence. Smaran is not just getting emotional for a few moments. Thats easy to do. Most people just get emotional, they shed tears, horripulate and then the emotions subside, the feelings subside and they remain the same old people. There is calmness for some time and then accompanying that calmness there is also a feeling that i am superior to the others as i "could" shed tears at lord's name. Thats not true Bhakti.. ITs true that a Bhakta sheds tears, but thats not all about Bhakti. True Bhakti is about reveling in the presence of the Lord 24 7. Its not just an emotional outburst. Please see this.


To revel in the presence of the Lord 24 7 is really to be able to remain as Bliss. He is ever Blissful. Its atonce full of "Rasa" or "Joy" . There are no momentary ups and downs.


To revel in the presence of the Lord continuously means that the Lord has to be "me". IF the Lord is still a thought, i will not be able to hold onto it continuously. If Lord becomes me , there is no option but to remain with Him. This is how one remains in the presence of the Lord always. This kind of reveling as Lord is explained by Ramana using a simple story.


There used to be a devotee of God who used to see panduranga every day. And One day there was a gathering of some devotees and just for fun one of them took a small stick and started to hit each person on the head. He said "All of you are pots. by hitting thus, ill find out which of you are not well baked". he kept doing that and when he hit this devotee, he shouted back at him "How dare you do this ?" and everyone laughed : "here is the unbaked pot"
He got really angry. How can they say like that ? I see God every day, how can they call me unbaked. So the next day he asked Panduranga. Panduranga says "You are too friendly with me. you play with me, you dance with me ... so you will not listen if i say. do one thing. go to that fakir who sits in smashan and talk to him. he will tell you".


So he goes to smashan and finds this person seated under a tree and his foot was on a Shiva Linga! He gets furious and starts shouting at him. The fakir says, "Oh! Sorry! I did not see that my foot was on shiva linga, please remove it from there and place it at a place where shiva linga is not there". But to his surprise, wherever he places his feet there itself a shiva linga started to grow out. Finally, he gets frustrated and places his feet on his own head and lo! He himself transforms into a Siva Linga.


Thats the kind of Smaran we need to do. We need to discover that Siva Linga within ourselves. So much so that it would be impossible to remain anything else! That kind of continuous reveling is what is True Smaranam. The deeds of the Lord are important as they guide us to discover this Truth within ourselves. Thats True Bhakti, where the devotee cannot be separated from the Lord. There is really no possibility of getting even the least separated from the lord. That kind of Smaranam is what we need to do.




So this smaranam of Pavan Kumara is only to discover that Self or Lord within as our own Selves. Lets see how we can find the lord within, through such simple chant.




Klesha Afflictions:
Klesha means afflictions of the heart. Afflictions of the heart include ego, pride, attachments and aversions, ignorance etc. We are also requesting Hanuman to eliminate the afflictions of the heart. How ? But giving us Knowledge, Vidhya. Thats the only way the knots of the heart can be cleared and one would see things as they are.
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Old 02 July 2012, 06:48 AM
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Re: Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

जय हनुमान ज्ञान गुण सागर ।
जै कपीस तिहुँलोक उजागर
॥Jay Hanumaan Jnaan Gunn Saagar |
Jai Kapiis Tihu-Lok Ujaagar ||

Salutations to Hanuman who is the Ocean of wisdom
Salutation to the Lord of Monkeys who lightens the three lokhas

Jaya literally means "victory", its like saying "victory to hanuman". Its a form of salutation to the Lord. We salute him as he is an ocean of Knowledge and good qualities. gunas are good qualities. Basically it means that Hanuman has such a lot of knowledge and that knowledge was not unbaked knowledge -- it was wisdom. so he remained a treasurehouse of good qualities as well.


Friends, as I said, bhakti is not merely an emotional feeling. We need to spend time to understand. When one understands that one is already embraced by God, because God is to the left, right up , above , below ... in and outside us ... when one understands this much, it leaves no place for oneself to remain ! One is already resolved in the God. Therefore where else to go and what else to do ? One is already in the lap of God. In that recognition one remains resolved and thats true Bhakti. To remai n resolved in the presence of God is Bhakti. Its not just getting emotional for a few moments. And its not as if we do not have the experience of God. I have already explained how an experience is as good as our interpretation of it. So we interpret all our experiences. We really do not need any other experience. Because if it is true that God is all around is, it means we are already experiencing God. So what new is needed ? Every experience is an experience of God ... and yet we miss it, coz we do not have the ability to recognize. We interpret these experiences that way. Thus we miss God. So what we need is not yet another experience. We need an ability to recognize the experiences we are already having. Thats why understanding is important. The understanding I present is not at all something that will create emotional feelings. Emotional feelings will remain for a few moments and go away. Emotional builtup is not my aim. There are cults that do it.


The understanding or analysis of these posts is to be used carefully to look within and one can then discover the Hanuman within -- in each of us. Then there is no need to get emotional: one remains in that joy eternally.


Lets delve a little deeper into this. suppose I see a rose. The rose Is, and I know that the rose is there. How do I know that the rose is there ? Because the eyes see it. If the eyes do not perceive I would not know. And when we say the eyes perceive, the eyes are simply instruments, its the mind that perceives.


So what exactly is mind ? When the light from the object falls on the retina, a few neurons fire. And these neurons in their turn fire a few more neurons. and this process goes on ... the whole network of neuron's eventually converges to a stable state and then we recognize its a flower. That state of the neural networks is the flower itself. This is what happens in the brain.


What happens in the mind ? The mind takes the form of the flower. When I see a flower, the neural shape is exactly the form of the flower. the mind does not "See" the flower, it takes the form of the flower.


In vedantic terms mind is simply an ocean of Awarness. Every perception is "Vritti" a form or a wave in that ocean. Awareness is changeless while it appears to have waves etc due to maya. So whenever i see an object mind takes that form -- rather it appears to take that form. That form is in the ocean --- the pure ocean of Awareness that is Hanuman.


If I know something, its in the presence of awareness. IF i do not know something, that means I know that i do not know about an object and that too is in the presence of an awareness. That ocean of Awareness is Hanuman - Changeless Presence: Pure changeless Awareness.


He is Jnana Sagara, as he is the potential awareness. What ever is known anywhere , its in the presence of Awareness. He makes all knowing possible, as he is the ocean of Awareness. Thus he is Jnana Sagara -- the ocean of knowledge.


So where can Hanuman be found? Inside us as Pure Awareness! The Awareness that makes us see all this is God - Hanuman. When the awareness is reflected in the mind, the mind functions. Superimposing the changes of mind on the reflected consciousness, thoughts etc are associated with the awareness. So there is one mind, in which is reflected Awareness. When the reflected awareness "Seems" to take the form of thoughts, ideas etc its called manas or mind. When the reflected awareness takes the form of past ideas or memories, its called memory, cittam. When the reflected consciousness takes the form of "I" its called ego. And when the reflected consciousness takes a decision, its intellect or Buddhi.


The awareness reflected in buddhi is jiva. The awarness as it is, is Brahman or changeless Self.


So the direct vision of God is Awareness. Being Awareness is being resolved in the presence of Lord. The whole vedanta is saying "You are Awarness". Awareness is not "Located" in the body. The body is located in the Awareness ! thats the vedantic vision.


Hanuman, as Awareness, also shines the Three lokhas. The three lokhas are waking, dream and deep sleep. ITs the light of Awareness alone, that shines all these worlds. In the presence of Awarness alone can we see now, do we see in the dream and in deep sleep we experience bliss also in the presence of the same awareness. Hanuman is that Awareness and hence is shines the three worlds.


So what is a vision of Hanuman ? The vision of changeless Awareness within. This awareness does not change. Thats God. The way we look at the world is, i live in the world and i carry my awareness "in" me. As this body moves, it carries "its awareness". This outlook is like "I am the body and the body has a mind and in the mind there is awareness". Vedantic model is totally opposite. This world is no different from a dream. in a dream, all bodies are in mind. And mind is in awareness. And all are mere appearances. So Hanuman is that mind in which all these objects are imagiend up or created by maya. That mind which is the whole mind. This is all the dream of Lord. We appear and disappear as per the imaginations in that total Mind. This is the vision of Vedanta.

Why Do I Salute God or Praise God ?


The god really does not require our praise. We may think we are glorifying God, but thats nothing really! The one who is in an through everything, to take a simple act like lifting a mountain on little finger and talking about it, is that praise really ? If we see it carefully, God is omnipresent and omnipotent, so what ever power or ability we associate with him is like a small cup of water taken from the ocean. So then, firstly what we consider as praise of God is hardly a praise ! Secondly, why praise him? Is God like a politician who when praised feels elated and grants special boons ?


So this needs to be carefully appreciated. Any prayer to God is not really for God. Its for ourselves. We pray so that we can discover the God within ourselves. If the discovery does not happen, the prayer has gone waste. When we said Hanuman is jnana guna sagar, the point is to recognize that within ourselves. We need to recognize ourselves as jnana , guna sagar. Now when we say this, there is a real paradox. We may say Hanuman is jnana sagar, coz his knowledge is really very vast. But we are really limited in knowledge. And then we may call Hanuman as guna sagara coz he has all good qualities, but we have our limitations there as well. So how to discover Hanuman within ourselves ? What do we mean we are that ?


Basically when we speak of limitations, we are basically talking about a particular form or a particular name! That is essentially like a wave in an ocean. Let me explain. I am space-wise limited, it means i have taken myself to be this body. The body is limited in space. I am time wise limited, mentally and physically as well. Now, does the body say its limited in space ? Does the body say, "Ok, these are my limits ? "
The body simply flows on. Body does not differentiate itself from the rest of the universe.
When I said this, a friend once said "How can you say that ? If antibodies enter you, your body will resist "
Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi says "Deho na janati", the body does not know.
The reason he says is, we recognize that this is body, this is anti body and this body is rejecting that anti body ...
the body simply is working by a law... like water flowing down. the water does not know!


So deho na janati, body does not know. so , the body has no division, "this is my limit, and beyond this its not me". Then, who places a "restriction or limitation" on the body ?


Its the ego - I.


Thus, when we disassociate ourselves with all the "limited" identities ... we remain reveling as "Pure Awareness", which is limitless ocean of knowledge, coz any "Knowing" happens in Presence of Awareness, hence Awareness is the ocean in which a ripple of knowledge takes place.


Awareness is the ocean in which all gunas exist, hence Awareness is the ocean of Gunas.
That recognition that "I am that Pure Awareness" is the purpose of this simple prayer.

रामदूत अतुलित बलधामा ।
अंजनि-पुत्र पवन-सुत नामा
॥Raama-Duut Atulit Bala-Dhaamaa |
Anjani-Putra Pavan-Sut Naamaa ||
The Messenger of Lord Rama, The Source of Infinite Strength. the son of Anjani and known as the son of Vayuh


As mentioned earlier, The idea is to recognize this within ourselves. Rama duta, is one who comes from Rama. Ramyate iti Rama. The one who is the source of Happiness is Rama. Hanuman comes from Rama meaning he shows us our true nature as Awareness/Bliss. This is what Rama duta means. A true prayer to Hanuman is therefore to revel in Rama, which is to revel in that pure bliss of our own being. This bliss is object independent. So that kind of reveling is true recognition is true prayer to Rama duuta.


Hanuman is also source of Incomparable Strength. The strength is uncomparable, coz its Atman, Awareness and therefore it cannot be cut, burnt, etc. Because awareness is untouched by anything. The usual way of describing strenght is if i can bear a blow then i am strong. now, if i am the body... someone can hit me and i may fall. if i am not the body, even when the body falls, i remain changeless! thats a strength in which no matter what happens to the body i remain untouched. this is incomparable, coz no object can really touch me.


Hanuman's mother is "Anjani", which , according to swami Tejomayananda ji, is Pure intellect. Hanuman is born of Pure intellect and hence he is Rama Duta, he introduces us to that Rama. When mind is pure, Hanuman is that jnana, or knowledge, which is born of pure intellect and which gives us a Darshan of Lord Sri Rama who is Awareness within. Darshan of Awareness means, we "Remain" as Awareness
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Old 02 July 2012, 06:49 AM
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Re: Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

Thats one meaning. Swami Tejomayananda ji also says that Anjana means the beautifying paste one applies on eyes. This too may be sybolic. We look at the world and everything we see is interpreted. We interpret things as per our "Knowledge". We see everything with the color of our interpretation. What ever is seen is seen in the light of awareness. So a philosopher sees a flower and things "Our life is like this flower it soon passes away and the fragnance is gone". And a lover sees the same flower and things "i wish i could give it to my girl friend". So both saw the same object ... but the perception is based on their intellect.


Hanuman is that Jnana through which every experience of life becomes an Experience of Sri Rama, an Experience of pure Bliss. This is the coloring paste that is applied to the eyes ... the paste of knowledge. So thats another way of looking at this.


And then Hanuman is known as Pavana Putra, Pavana is the Vayuh God, or the god of Air. Its property is freedom, its free. And its present everywhere. So Hanuman is said to be born of Freedom or Omnipresence . He himself is that Omnipresence or Freedom and hence he is known by that name. He inherits that quality of Freedom.


This as we pray to Lord, we have to see ourselves with the coloring paste of jnana and revel in the Bliss thats called Rama.

महाबीर बिक्रम बजरंगी ।
कुमति निवार सुमति के संगी
॥Mahaa-biir Bikrama Bajarangii |
Kumati Nivaar Sumati Ke Sangii ||


(Salutations to) the Valorous one whose body is as strong as thunderbolt
Salutations to the one who eradicates impurities of mind and is a companion of pure mind.



Bajarani is actually vajra-angi, one whose body or body parts are as strong as the thunderbolt. Actually it means infinitely strong. Because the body of Lord is not physical at all. Physical body has its limitations. The body that is not physical at all... its Awareness ... it cannot be touched. So its the strongest, coz it cannot be hurt by anything !


Hanuman is Bajrani and he is a great Vira, meaning a person of great valor. Swami Tejomayananda ji, in his commentary on Hanuman Chalisa, gives the following 5 kinds of heroism:




1. Tyagavirah or dharmavirah : Valor in vairagya / sacrifice. A person who is a tyagi, he does not hold onto anything at all. There is no dependence on anything, what so ever. So such a person is very valorous because if everything is taken away from him, yet he remains with a cheerful smile.

Gutama Buddha was going in a forest and Angulimal, the bandit shouted at him "Stop!" and Buddha continued as if he did not hear. He become furious and started following him. He was shouting as he ran. Buddha continued his walk totally untouched by what was happening. His pace neither increased nor decreased. As he took a breath, he knew he was taking the breath , such was the calmness and mindfulness with which he was walking. And this person ran to him and stopped him. He shouted "I told you to stop and you did not stop! How dare you do that !" and Buddha looked straight into his eyes and without any trace of fear said "I stopped much earlier. Its you who have not stopped " ! That attitude and the fearlessness transformed Angulimal once and for ever!


That kind of fearlessness and total non-dependence on anything, what so ever ... is Valor indeed. And this is what we need to discover within. Our true essence, as Hanuman, is that. Awareness is ever independent of everything ! Such is our true nature. Hanuman is a Tyaga vira.



2. Dayavirah : Valor in compassion. Hanuman is said to be very compassionate too. If ever a person just repeats Lord's name, he is there to save them. Thats a unique feature of Hanuman. Compassion is born of depth & unselfishness. When we develop the attitude of non-dependence with respect to all objects and when we see things with understanding, there is compassion. Understanding here means simply seeing things from a depth. To be able to "Feel" as others feel and yet remain far far beyond that. Thats compassion.


3. Vidyavirah: One who has great knowledge and learning. Hanuman, in the very introduction in kiskindakanda, is said to be very knowledgeable. Yet he was not at all arrogant. Arrogance would have made him Vidyavirah, but not Dayavirah. But Hanuman was both, he had knowledge and yet that knowledge did not make him arrogant. instead that knowledge made him understand that All power is Sri Rama's alone. That we are just like puppets in the Lord's hands. Thus he was vidhyavirah and yet not the least trace of arrogance.

4. Danavirah: One who is very charitable. Hanuman is always known to be bestower of Bhakti and thats given free. And he being compassionate and unselfish ... charitable nature automatically follows.

5. Ranavirah: one who is valorous in a battle.


Getting Killed In the Hands Of Hanuman Was Moksha for Rakshashas:

Hanuman has a very interesting feature. When he speaks, he speaks about lord. When he is silent, he is merged in the Lord and every movement of his is as if indicating Lord. Technically its called abhinaya pramanam. When we see a statue of Lord with hand expressing "Abhayam" [Dont Fear, I am there], the statue may not speak and yet it conveys that "I shall protect you". This means of conveying is called Abhinaya pramanam. That is through body language convey . Hanuman's body language also displays Sri Rama. Something in his movement and the way he does things ... shows pure Awareness as his nature. Someone who is really with a subtle mind can see how established he remained in Sri Rama who is nothing but Pure Awareness. When a person is Rakshasha, he or she has a very ego-centered nature. They cannot clearly recognize from simple movements of Hanuman. So in battle, when Hanuman strikes them, they lose the egoistic nature for a few mometns and in that moment, they suddenly will be able to recognize the Truth revealed through Hanuman's simple gestures and body language. Thus, being absorbed in Self, while dying those Rakshashas found moksha!! Such was Hanuman's compassion and valor. So Even the killing was really not just physical destruction, its awarding Moksha for everyone ! Thus Hanuman's compassion knew no bounds.


The Body as Temple:

कंचन बरण बिराज सुबेशा ।
कानन कुंडल कुंचित केशा
॥Kancan Barann Biraaj Subeshaa |
Kaanan Kunddala Kuncita Keshaa ||
Salutation to you who are Golden in complextion and seated well dressed,
with golden earrings and matter/curly hair.


As I mentioned earlier, the body language also conveys Truth. Hanuman's golden hue, is symbolic of the shine of Awareness. For a devotee, this body is really a temple. Its decorated like a temple, with good attention, but no where does one show any attachment towards it. The temple is maintained well, but it remains different from one's Self always. its always an object of perception, never me. The Lord in the temple is really the Self. The body is kept well and neat. As even the mind is kept well and neat.


The ear rings are very interesting, as Hanuman sits in total silence, the earrings remain absolutely Still -- as one with his body. The ear rings remain as still and as stationary as the body itself. When Hanuman sings the praise of the Lord, their movement is once again one with the movements of the body. As said earlier, the movements really reflect Lord himself.


Hair is matted and well arranged as we have the temple dome/shikara.


This imagery is invoked so that we ourselves remain thus, the body should be motionless , still, relaxed and a smile radiating the peace of Awareness from within. That smile is the golden hue. The asana should be such that there is no pressure or tension anywhere. To remain thus is really expressing this Hanuman from within. The meditation on Hanuman seated thus is really to see our own body as a temple -- an object thats well kept, but totally distinct from the Awareness within thats our true nature.

Even as we move about in the world, this position remains the same. This body should remain as a carrier for the Lord and the Self , which is pure Awareness, is expressed through it. When we see Siva temples, we some times see the bull, Nandi seated turned towards Lord. Here its an example of a devotee who has turned totally inwards and is established in the Lord, with no attention towards the external world. Having thus remained, when the devotee merges his ego totally in lord and then comes out, that body and mind become simple vehicles for the Lord. Inside is Lord Alone and outside there is this body as the vehicle. So through the body, what ever expresses itself is really the Lord! So the movements of the body are the movements of the Lord. The speach is the spoken by the Lord Alone! Thats the imagery. Having established oneself in Awareness, when one moves about ego-lessly, one becomes a vehicle of the Lord. So the way one is seated is beautiful, the way one walks, talks etc ... everything is beautiful. Because that body language is the language of the Lord itself.

हाथ बज्र औ ध्वजा बिराजै ।
काँधे मूँज जनेऊ साजै ॥Haath Bajra Au Dhvajaa Biraajai |
Kaandhe Muuj Janeuu Saajai ||
Salutations to Thee who Hold the tunderbolt and the flag in hands
And wears the sacred thread on the shoulders

The imagery of the body of a devotee who has completely merged himself or herself in lord and has now become a simple vehicle for the lord is contined. The devotee is simply seated, just there ... totally. There is a "Flag" of Sri Rama in the hand - symbolic meaning is that The body and the whole person represents God alone, because that body is like a pillow cover alone. inside there is nothing --- lord Sri Rama Shines through it. Like a pot with lot of holes. If a small "deepam" or lamp is placed in such a pot ... the light of the lamp comes out from all the holes. the body of a true devotee who has surrendered completely to the Lord is like that pot. Inside that body is the Light of Awareness which is Lord Rama. And outside what ever movements etc are seen are merely the light getting reflected out from the pores of the body... like in the case of the pot.


The flag is really a symbolic way of saying that Hanuman represented Sri Rama completely, there being none else inside. usually if a room is closed and inside there is someone. suppose i knock the door... the person inside responds. if the same room is closed, but there is no one inside. when there is a knock ... there is really no response. because there is no one to respond. there is just the inner space. A devotee who has completely surrendered to God is like an empty room. inside there is space of Awareness which is God himself . outside there is a body thats jada, lifeless. The body is no more than a log of wood. And there is no one inbetween. So the person becomes a pure witness to everything. There is a smile , the smile that reflects Lord Sri Rama ! Thats Hanuman's state. In the previous verse we saw how hanuman was seated. Like a temple, totally motionless. Like light shining out from the pores of the pot, there is a radiance ... a golden hue. And the body was one with the ear rings. Both the body and the earrings were equally jada, and yet their movements were in all ways indicative of the Sri Rama within. We have seen that meditating on that is a means to invoke a similar state in ourselves. That becomes the Truth Hanumat Darshanam -- the true vision of lord Hanuman.


Now we see that Hanuman has the a flag of Sri Rama [Dvaja virajai], and he has a Gadaa or mace which is compared to thunder bolt. Gadaa also means, according to swami tejomayananda ji, "To Speak". Its a weapon thats used to destroy the enemies. Meaning that the speach of Lord Hanuman would destroy the ignorance of our hearts and lead us to Lord Sri Rama. Thus Hanuman's body , his movements and his speach everything is liberating.


Hanuman also wears a sacred thread made of Munja grass along his shoulders. This is typically worn by people initiated into gayatri mantra which purifies the mind. This is indicative of a student like disposition. The learner in us should never die. One should even remain open and with a beginner's mind as zen philosophers state. So Hanuman's remaining seated wearing the Munja grass is indicative of having a beginner's mind. Beginner's mind is a mind thats open and receptive. its fresh and ready to analyze without biases. Such a simple mind is a must for everyone. This is indicated through the munja grass. Further, Swami Tejomayananda ji mentions that the three threads of the sacred thread represent sattva, rajas, tamo gunas , centered on "Brahman". So Hanuman has all the three gunas totally under control or totally noiseless -- they are calm, as Hanuman remains immersed in the Bliss of the Lord.


We salute to such a lord and as we salute, we look at the Hanuman within. The way to look at Hanuman within is to dissolve what ever is mithya and non-hanuman in us in the Lord. To take the empty room example, when we leave the body as it is and any mental identity picked up is dissolved in the Awareness within... we are essentailly one with Lord Hanuman. Thats meditation, thats true prayer.





(to be continued ...)
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Old 02 July 2012, 11:26 PM
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Re: Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

Namaste Silence Speaks-ji!

I love my Lord Hanuman. And I love this poem, and what you have shared.

Lord Hanuman is my personal Ishta Lord. To me, He is The First Messenger. Just as He brought First Message to Mother Sita that Her Lord Ram is coming to free Her from captivity in the Garden of Ravan Place, so He will come to bring the first message of good tiding or when the words of hope and destiny await every moment of time when it may seem dire. He is The Great Ambassador who you meet on a lonely trail and helps you to go farther. He will be the World's First Messenger when the time comes.
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Old 03 July 2012, 10:49 AM
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Re: Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

Namaste,

That was a truly delightful read, silence_speaks! Beautiful work. Looking forward to more.
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Old 04 July 2012, 02:08 AM
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Re: Hanuman Chalisa of Tulasi das

Friends,
Glad that the article is found useful

Harih om!
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