Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 4
This is the fourth and final part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the prior parts of this series, we explored the background and the introduction to the Aditya Hridayam by Agastya, and the benefits of recitation.
The method to chanting the Aditya Hridayam
Given the practical benefits and the philosophical undertones to the Aditya Hridayam, it is suitable for any dedicated aspirant to chant or hear the stotra daily.
It is auspicious to start chanting from a Sunday.
It is ideal to chant the stotra 3x in one sitting. Once a routine has been developed, one may chant the stotra once on Monday-Saturday, then three times on Sunday.
The reverence placed on the Sun by Agastya Rishi should not be taken lightly. Remember that one should be freshly showered wearing freshly washed clothes before one sits down to commence chanting. It is not be recited absent mindedly on the way to work if at all avoidable.
Use the full focus on your concentration to derive the greatest benefit. As you chant, you will notice your worries disappear, a great confidence will be instilled in your mind and you will gain the admiration and respect of others through decisive action throughout your life.
Text and audio
The text of the stotra is available in basic form here.
Click here to listen to the audio of the stotra.
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 3
This is the third part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the first and second parts of this series, we briefly explored the background and the introduction to the Aditya Hridayam by Agastya.
A stotra of incredible power
As outlined by Agastya Rishi himself in the prelude to the stotra, the Aditya Hridayam has immense power.
Just look at the results – Rama himself used it to not only repel Ravana’s attacks but finally and decisively win the battle over insumountable odds and against a semi-divine opponent (Ravana was partly Gandharva, Deva, Brahmin and Rakshasa).
The stotra not only cleared Rama’s mind of doubt but also drove him to action! This is the power of the stotra.
Listening to Agastya’s reverence for the Sun in his introduction helps us understand why – the Sun is adored as the Parambrahman itself.
Given these points – when the stotra has been tried and tested by Sri Ramachandra himself, what is not possible when one recites the Aditya Hridayam?
Benefits of the Aditya Hridayam
Having extolled the Sun as the very Supreme Being that all aspirants, Devas, Asuras and Rishis strive to know, Maharishi Agastya provides a long list of benefits:
- Destruction of your sins
- Victory in battle/destruction of enemies
- Alleviate worry, anciety and self-doubt
- Instils determination and confidence
- Long life
The Sun is effectively the universal illuminator. When chanted, the Aditya Hridayam illuminates one’s soul (destroys sins), one’s mind (instils clarity of thought), one’s heart (determination and confidence), and one’s body (a long disease free life).
In the next part, the method behind the mantra will be discussed.
Coming soon: Part 4
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 2
This is the second part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
In the first part of this series, the circumstances under which the Aditya Hridayam was imparted to Rama were explored.
Rama was confused and depressed as nothing was going his way on the battle front. Ravana remained alive and elusive to his tactics and weapons.
In the midst of this, Maharishi Agastya appears and begins to initiate Rama into the Aditya Hridayam.
More than the Solar Orb
Agastya’s introduction to the AH is key to understanding the stotra’s main themes. He mentions that the Sun is:
- The Ruler of the worlds and Lord of the universe
- That which is revered by the Devas and Asuras alike
- The embodiment of all the Gods
- The nourisher and energiser
- The embodiment of Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and other key deities
By the end of the description the Sun is effectively extolled as the Parambrahman; there is nothing that the Sun cannot or doesn’t do to regulate the universe.
The point that is conveyed is that when pray to the Sun with the AH, you are in fact praying to the greatest deity.
In the next part we will look at the benefits of chanting the Aditya Hridayam.
Coming soon: Part 3
Secrets of Aditya Hridayam: Part 1
This is the first part of a series on the powerful stotra: the Aditya Hridayam.
You’re on your knees…
There are moments in everyone’s lives where disaster has struck you or your loved ones with such incredible force that nothing is right, your confidence is lost, the odds appear insurmountable and the battle unwinnable.
It is rare to find people who thrive under such conditions. For most of us, the pressure can cause enthusiasm to wane and all hope to fade.
…but all is not lost
One of the most famous incidents in our scripture is the final battle of the Ramayana. Rama had begun the battle with Ravana but after ceaseless combat was unable to even come close to killing him.
At this point, with his physical energy drained, Ramachandra’s thoughts began to wander and the spectre of doubt began to creep into his conscious mind. Doubt is the greatest enemy of any warrior without a second. Once you begin to second-guess your strategies and actions in combat, you are as good as dead.
The Devas noticed. Congregating in the sky above the battle ground they decided to dispatch Maharishi Agastya to his aid – one of the greatest, most pioneering and accomplished of the Saptarishis. The intervention of Agastya was the ‘Game-Changing’ event of the battle.
The light at the end of the tunnel
Rishi Agastya initiated Rama into the profound secrets of Sun worship: he taught Rama the Aditya Hridayam Stotra (the Heart of the Sun Hymn).
In the second part we will further explore the hymn’s secrets and benefits.
Coming soon: Part 2
Diwali occurs on Wednesday 26th October. It signifies Rama’s homecoming and popularly celebrated through the celebration of light and its ability to lead us through the darkness.
Whilst its now a hugely commercialised festival in India and worldwide, it is important to remember it as a powerful time for mantra sadhana.
The mantras for Diwali
The advised method of tapping into the power is to write Rama Nama. Click here for a prior article.
Alternatives include the Vishnu Sahasranama – a stotra (hymn) to Vishnu, extolling Him through his most popular 1,000 names. One may write a treatise on the Vishnu Sahasranama alone, but its power stems from its Divine origin (composed by Veda Vyasa). It was taught to Bhishma, the great Grandfather of the epic Mahabharata, who revealed it to the world in the presence of Sri Krishna, Avatar of Vishnu. Click here to hear it.
Kick off the Financial New Year with a flying start!
Finally, some Hindus also pray to Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth. The reason is that in some calendars, Diwali also coincides with the financial new year. Hence, old accounts are closed and a new year of business begins post Diwali.
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.