This post continues the ongoing series on How to Bend Destiny.
Shani – Planet of Challenges and Character
Saturn is the most feared planet of all in the Eastern astrological construct. It is famed for causing long periods of difficulties where people are tested to the limit. Why? I believe it is because God is not interested in where you start or how but how you run the race. The evolution you undergo and the character you build in times of tragedy and difficulty is a key part of life and the true measure of a man or woman.
Saturn has the effect of detachment, spirituality, longevity, foreign travel and also of thieves and robbers. It is the overlord of all spiritual personalities and behaviour.
Effects of Saturn
Shani is the son of the Sun (Surya), mothered by Chaya. Shani is known to be lame (due t0 a prior quarrel with Yama, the God of Death and Afterlife) and the root cause of testing periods in one’s life.
Shani in a positive position within the horoscope gives the aspirant powerful leadership potential,honesty and sense of justice. It also causes spiritual detachment from materiality and wordily behaviours if the aspirant is so inclined.
Boost your spirituality and character!
The Vedic prayer to Saturn is below, followed by the Shani Gayatri.
Vedic prayer to Saturn
“Neelaamjana Samaabhaasam Raviputram Yamagrajam
Chchaaya maarthanda samboothm tham namaami Shanishwaram“
“I bow down to Saturn, the one of a dark-blue complexion like ointment, the slow moving one, the son of Chaya and the brother of Yama.”
“Om Sanischaraya vidmahe
tanno manda prachodayaat“
“We know Shani,
We meditate on the son of the Sun,
May the slow one inspire us”
Mantras to Hanuman
Coming soon: Part 10 – Rahu
Prior parts of the series
Click here for part 1 - Introduction
Click here for part 2 List of Mantras to Planets
Click here for part 3 The Sun + Shiva
Click here for part 4 The Moon + Parvati
Click here for part 5 Mars + Skanda/Hanuman
Click here for part 6 Mercury + Vishnu
Click here for part 7 Jupiter + Dakshinamurthy
Click here for part 8 Venus + Lakshmi
This post continues the series on the Benefits of the Hanuman Chalisa.
The final set of seven benefits
Here are the benefits from the final set of verses:
- Ability to bear physical pain: Verse 25 (Naasai roga harai…)
- Victory over enemies: Verse 30 (Saadhu Santa ke…)
- Siddhis (occult powers) and Wealth: Verse 31 (
- Ethical judgement: Verse 32-35 (Raama rasaayana… to Aura Devataa Chitta…)
- Mental peace: Verse 36 (Sankata katai mitai…)
- The Grace of Hanuman: Verse 37 (Jai Jai Jai Hanumaana…)
The method of sadhana for the Hanuman Chalisa
Aspirants often ask how many times to chant the Chalisa.
It is noted that 1, 3, 9, 11 and 108 times are the most auspicious numbers, although there is no real limitation or wrong way of chanting it! More importantly, dedication, regularity and devotion are key. The most auspicious times and days are during the twilight hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays, although again, this is a stotra one can learn and recite daily.
For those who want to attempt the higher number of repetitions but feel they are unable to get the pronunciation correct, I have updated the Listen to Mantras page on the blog (click here to access it) with a fast version (recited within 3mins). It is therefore possible to finish a full 108 within a few hours.
Sri Rama Jaya Rama Jaya Jaya Rama!
Check my blog frequently to keep up to date with new articles on Hanuman!
This post continues the series on the benefits of the Hanuman Chalisa. We have so far learned that the hymn helps the sadhak with everything from dissolving bad karma to attaining the heights of fame!
The second set of severn verses
Here are the benefits from the next seven verses:
- Restores and improves career/social status: Verses 16-17 (Tuma upakaara Sugreevahin… and Tumharo mantra Vibheeshana…)
- Accomplish difficult tasks, break obstacles: Verse 20 (Durgama kaaja…)
- Protection from malefic effect of planets: Verse 22 (Saba sukha lahai…)
- Protection from Black Magic and spirits: Verse 24 (Bhoota pishaacha…)
- Health: Verse 25 (Naasai roga…)
- Rescue from crisis: Verse 26 (Sankata ten Hanumaana…)
- Fulfilment of desires: Verses 27-28 (Saba para Raama… and (Aura manoratha jo…)
More than a hymn
As discussed in the first post in this series (click here to read it if you missed it or wish to recap), the Hanuman Chalisa is far more powerful than a simple devotional hymn.
Sadhaks have long discovered that there are specific benefits to chanting certain verses.
The benefits were outlined in the prior post. This part looks at the verses behind the first seven benefits, as below.
The first seven verses and benefits
- Removal of bad karma accrued against Guru or fellow devotees: First opening verse (Shree Guru Charana…)
- Wisdom and strength: Second opening verse (Buddhi Heena Tanu…)
- Divine knowledge (Brahmavidya): Verse 1 (Jaya Hanumaana gyaana…)
- Remove bad habits and company: Verse 3 (Mahaaveera Vikrama…)
- Cultivates bhakti: Verses 7 and 8 (Vidyaavaana gunee… and Prabhu charitra…)
- Protection from snakes and bites: Verse 11 (Laaye Sanjeevana…)
- Fame: Verses 13-15 (Sahasa badana…, Sanakaadika Brahmaadi…, Yama Kuber …)
A powerful technology for all-round benefits
The Hanuman Chalisa has benefited millions across generations through its mantra-shakti and ability to incite the deepest devotion in the most intensely troubled sadhak.
But do not think it to be limited to merely improving your state of mind! It is indeed an intensely powerful stotra (hymn) which can endow the saadhak (spiritual aspirant) with real power – physical, metaphysical and spiritual; and both for daily life and also for esoteric purposes.
A quick recap of the basics….
We have already covered the basic benefits of the Chalisa – building character and Ram Bhakti. You can read the prior articles on Hanuman by clicking here and here; they provide a quick refresher on his attributes and the general benefits of Hanuman worship.
…then onto the master class!
The Hanuman Chalisa is a hymn of 40 verses adoring Hanuman and his great achievements in the context of the epic Ramayana. Each verse is also known as a chaupai (4 legged) and consists of a rhyming couplet.
It is the essence of the Sundara Kand of the Ramayana. In fact this is one of the very reasons for its unbelievable power to help any devotee – the Sundara Kand is prescribed to anyone with a strong will to make something happen which is beyond their control – one prominent example is hastening marriage.
There are of course a much broader set of benefits to reading or listening to the Chalisa daily – here is a full list:
- Removes bad karma of unknowingly insulting or harming a Guru or fellow devotee
- Wisdom and strength
- Divine knowledge
- Remove bad habits and company
- Cultivates bhakti
- Protection from snakes and bites
- Restores and improves career/social status
- Protection from malefic effect of planets
- Accomplish difficult tasks, break obstacles
- Rescue from crisis
- Fulfilment of desires
- Protection from Black Magic and spirits
- Ability to bear physical pain
- Victory over enemies
- Siddhis (occult powers)
- Mental peace
- Ethical judgement
- The Grace of Hanuman
This series will highlight which specific verses provide each of the benefits. within the Chalisa can be recited on their own as ‘mini-mantras’ to gain specific benefits.
The demands of Youth!
The idea that any boy of age would want the perfect bride is nothing new. It has persisted since the ancient times.
Whilst then, the fad was to pray for a girl like Sita (of the Ramayana Epic) or a boy like Rama, now the youth of today want the Shahrukhs and the Aishwaryas.
We were young once!
I can recall that a humourous retort from the elders in my community to the demands of such perfection is: “Remember who Sita married! Can you claim you are Rama?”. The answer was invariably a humble: “no!”. Who can compare themselves to the great Ramachandra of the epic? The perfect King?
The point of course is that one deserves that (or someone, in this case) which is fitting of one’s own character. One who is perfect, noble and valourous most times has the right to demand similar qualities in the one they marry.
We can but try
So let’s cut to the chase! How does one develop your character to match the demands and ideals of what you want your husband or wife to be? The solution lies in mantra!
Although fashions and indeed “IT girls” change over time, the concept is identical, and so is the solution – writing or chanting Rama Nama. The name of Rama is a powerful combination of the essence of Narayana and Shiva Themselves – click here to read my prior post on the subject.
Invoke a powerful transformation through your own Sankalpa!
The power of Rama is in his perfection – and it can be manifest in anyone! Just write or chant the name of Rama to slowly condition the mind with the ideals of Rama.
I would also suggest an accompanying English mantra that one can say (or think) over and over to help with this transformation:
“Rama, please help me become more like you and build my character;
Rama, please find me my Sita!”
You can use your own words – in whatever language you prefer – to focus your thoughts and sentiment. This, in effect, is what is known as the Sankalpa (intent of your prayer).
Please do feel free to comment and provide your own experiences and feedback below on writing and chanting Rama Nama.
** This article was published on a Tuesday **
Tuesdays are the most auspicious time to worship Hanuman. The great Hanuman is of course Rama’s fearless, faithful and unbelievably powerful companion, who had mastered both himself and the power of the Ashta Siddhis.
There is nothing that Hanuman would not do (and cannot do) for Rama and his Bhaktas (devotees) ; I would also greatly encourage anyone writing Rama Nama to also listen to or recite the Hanuman Chalisa or any mantra to him as a perfect complement – click here for details.
The repetition and mundane nature of modern living often drives into a rut of boredom! This can hinder our progress toward both material and spiritual benefits in our lives.
Rather than be trapped in a cycle of boredom, regret and depression, here are 5 rousing mantras and stotras to drive your enthusiasm, motivation and inspiration!
Breathe in the fire of passion!
Fire embodies the nature of passion, power and activity – tap into these energies through worshipping the deities associated with fire: Durga, Skanda, Agni and Hanuman!
All of these four have a number of things in common – they are all worshipped on Tuesdays, favour the colour red and are prayed to for greater momentum and impetus in life.
- Clear the path! Ganesha is added to the list as the first point of call in any auspicious effort! A mala (rosary round) of a Ganesha mantra can well clear the obstacles from your life and get you out of a rut. Click here to see the Ganesha Gayatri.
- Fight and slay your inner demons! Durga is the embodiment of the Shakti of the Gods. Praise her using the Gayatri as the Divine Mother to receive help in getting mentally fighting fit to battle your inner demons – ie low tendencies such as procrastination, laziness and a lack of motivation. See the Durga Gayatri here.
- Start a Journey to find your way. Skanda is the son of Shiva and Parvati and the General of the Gods. He is closely associated with travel and closely protecting his devotees; if you are looking to move either career or abroad then worshipping Skanda is an excellent method of making change happen in your life! Hear the Kanda Sashti Kavacham here and learn the Saravanabhava mantra here.
- Allow the Divine light to point the way. Agni is the God of Fire Himself. He is lauded as one of the three most important deities in the Veda (the Ancient Hindus’ sacred texts). He is the messenger of the Gods and carries oblations made into the sacred fire into Heaven. He is the physical representation of light and heat on earth. Pray to Agni by listening to or chanting the Agni Suktam – click here to hear it. Praising the God of Fire will allow your voice to be heard in Heaven and for your path to be lit by Him. In other words, deep contemplation on Agni will allow you to seek your own way through introspection.
- Stay enthusiastic and see God in everything you do! Hanuman is known as the ultimate bhakta or devotee. See my prior posts here on Hanuman and his mantras.
Such a routine can be used in any situation – to add that burst of energy and confidence, or simply as a refreshing mental boost.
One interesting point from these mantras – and particularly for those of Durga and Agni – is that when you begin with great concentration and also as you near the point of mantra siddhi (or complete control of the mantra), you will literally feel a great heat emanating from within your body when you chant the mantra.
The Left Hand of God
Many believe that the use of mantra can be for evil and unholy purposes. There is some truth to this. Just like the mind and your life is malleable under the pressure of karma burn and mantra recitation to yield positive effects, others may seek to exert a negative influence. There are many influences in the Ramayana and the Mahabharat of the forces of evil employing such tactics.
But let’s not get paranoid!
There is no need to turn paranoid and assume that minor negative developments at work, college, events etc are the influence of Black Magic! For the ordinary person, it is highly unlikely you will ever encounter forces so sinister – particularly if living abroad. It is more than likely this is simply the effect of (1) bad karma catching up with you! (2) plain bad luck (3) malefic effects of planetary junctures. All of these have simple cures and specific mantras.
Peace, spiritual development and protection possible with mantras
However, for one’s peace of mind (and incidentally significant spiritual development), three powerful and well documented mantras are presented in this article to counter-act and provide excellent protection.
1. Under attack? Wear Armour!
Since medieval times, mankind has known that the soft and fallible body can be protected by something harder and stronger. Historically, this has evolved from hides and leathers to iron to bronze to kevlar and the latest lightweight bullet-proof vests.
But what about for attacks of the subtle body? One uses a spiritual armour: a kavach! Kavach literally translates to armour. There are stotras (hymns) to every deity under (and including!) the Sun for the purposes of kavach. Just put a deity’s name and the word kavach into a search engine and see what comes up!
I personally prescribe the Kanda Sashti Kavach – a stotra to Lord Skanda - click here for more details on Skanda. It is composed in Tamil; a language as Ancient as Sanskrit. If one does not understand, you can always search for a google translation.
I am told there is a wonderful rendition on YouTube. I will post this to my Online Mantra collection shortly – click here to access it – on my blog.
This stotra has terrific mantra-shakti (ie equivalent power to that of a mantra). It is recommended to recite this 36x in one day to become untouchable. I prefer to listen to it as I am not versed in Tamil. You can too!
2. Pray to Hanuman
Since Ancient times, Hanuman has been known as a powerful deity to ward away evil and black magic. See my prior post by clicking here for mantras to Hanuman. I would also recommend the Hanuman Chalisa. I have posted a link to an excellent rendition on my blog – click here to access it.
3. Pray to Durga at this ideal time of Navaratri!
Durga is the original destroyer of evil. She is a deity invoked by the Gods for the very destruction of all demonic forces which rampaged over heaven and earth in Ancient Times.
Navaratri is the absolute IDEAL time to invoke her to do the same for you.
Do not forget that she is not by any means limited to something so trivial – she will bless you with every positive development in your life hence forth. Indeed, spiritual, physical, mental, psychological, intellectual and social transformations all can happen over night by the praise of Durga over Navaratri.
She will defeat both the demons in the outside world and importantly, those within.
Other key Navaratri articles: