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.
Navaratri is over, what next?
Vijayadasami is related to both the victory of the Goddess Durga and the victory of Lord Rama – the incarnation of Vishnu – over Ravana, the 10 headed demon king of Ancient Lanka.
There is a wealth of literature and posts on Rama and the Ramayana out there so let’s skip over the explanation for now.
Ravana had how many heads…?!
- Kama vasana (Lust)
- Krodha (Anger)
- Moha (delusion)
- Lobha (Greed)
- Mada (Over Pride)
- Matsara (Jealousy)
- Manas (Mind)
- Buddhi (Intellect)
- Chitta (will)
- Ahankara (Ego).
Sounds too simple!
It sounds so simple its hard to believe. But the reality is the name “Rama” was the product of 1000s of years of meditation and intense tapas (spiritual penance) by the Rishis of yore before Ramachandra (the actual King and central protagonist of the Ramayana) came to have the name.
One reason why it holds such power is because it is composed of two primal sounds:
- “Ra” – from the Maha Mantra to Vishnu – Om Namo NaRAyanaya. Note that this is incidentally the name of the Egyptians’ Sun God.
- “Ma” – from the Maha Mantra to Shiva – Om NaMA Shivaya
Thus the compression of the mantras of two of the most powerful deities in the Hindu pantheon into one word gives it unbelievable power.
Why write the mantra?
Writing a mantra has been found to have more power than chanting for many people. There are a variety of reasons, such as: the mantra embeds itself in your subconscious mind; it prevents the beginner from fidgeting by concentrating thought and action on one purpose; it provides a finite number of repetitions and a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment at the end when one looks over their sadhana.
- Rids yourself of negative qualities by meditating on the perfection of Rama and the ruin of Ravana
- Builds a strong, courageous and righteous character
- Burns negative Karma given the mantra’s power is drawn from Shiva and Narayana themselves
- I have noted powerful benefits to writing Rama nama in conjunction with the Vishnu Sahasranama and the Hanuman Chalisa. Of course everyone is differently inclined and affected by mantras – you should try it and see if it works for you.
- Links to the audio for these mantras and stotras can be accessed by clicking here.