The Hanuman Chalisa (Hindi pronunciation: [ɦənʊmaːn tʃaːliːsaː]; literally Forty chaupais on Hanuman) is a Hindu devotional hymn (stotra) addressed to God Hanuman. We all chant Hanuman Chalisa without knowing its spiritual and scientific benefits. We even don’t know its Author. The article highlights all these  issues.

The authorship of the Hanuman Chalisa is attributed to Tulsidas, a poet-saint who lived in the 16th century CE. He mentions his name in the last verse of the hymn. It is said in the 39th verse of the Hanuman Chalisa that whoever chants it with full devotion to Hanuman, will have Hanuman’s grace. Among Hindus worldwide, it is a very popular belief that chanting the Chalisa invokes Hanuman’s divine intervention in grave problems.


Tulsidas (1497/1532–1623) was a Hindu poet-saint, reformer and philosopher renowned for his devotion for Rama. A composer of several popular works, he is best known for being the author of the epic Ramcharitmanas, a retelling of the Ramayana in the vernacular Awadhi language. Tulsidas was acclaimed in his lifetime to be a reincarnation of Valmiki, the composer of the original Ramayan in Sanskrit. Tulsidas lived in the city of Varanasi until his death. The Tulsi Ghat in Varnasi is named after him. He founded the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple dedicated to Hanuman in Varanasi, believed to stand at the place where he had the sight of Hanuman. Tulsidas started the Ramlila plays, a folk-theatre adaption of the Ramayan. He has been acclaimed as one of the greatest poets in HindiIndian, and World literature. The impact of Tulsidas and his works on the art, culture and society in India is widespread and is seen to date in vernacular language, Ramlila plays, Hindustani classical music, popular music, and television series.

The power of the words of Hanuman Chalisa has been prevalent since time immemorial. The Hanuman Chalisa has several significant instances other than being a strength symbol. It signifies various purposes of life along with highlighting death rituals according to the Hindu customs.

Historic relation – Story behind Hanuman Chalisa

Once Tulsidas went to meet Aurangzeb. The emperor mocked Tulsidas and challenged him to show the lord to him. The poet ingeniously replied that seeing Rama was not possible without true devotion. As a result, he was imprisoned by Aurangzeb. Tulsi Das is thought to have written the magnificent verses of the Hanuman Chalisa in that prison. It is said that an army of monkeys menaced Delhi as soon as Tulsidas finished his ode and recited the same.

The string of verses in the chant tell the story of devotion and submission of Hanuman to Lord Ram. He believed in a very strong form of worship that lied in serving the Lord. All his acts of such devotion are immortalised in the Chalisa, “Chalis” meaning forty. Several of his acts of selfless service, including the time when Hanuman carries the entire mountain containing “sanjeevanibuti”, the magical herb to cure Lakshman, are mentioned in the verses. He traverses across the oceans in search for Sita to leave a token of the Lord for her. All these acts of bravery and selflessness symbolise the strength that these verses contain.

Hanuman Chalisa is a timeless ode to devotion. Lord Hanuman is known for his devotion to Lord Ram and is considered to be the embodiment of faith, surrender and devotion.

The strength of the Chalisa

Creating the picture of an ideal devotee, the Hanuman Chalisa casts Hanuman as the ideal embodiment of a dedicated devotee. It preaches an eternal feeling of love and sacrifice, holding the God in your heart at all times. Going back to the history of the esteemed Hanuman Chalisa, it is said that whoever chants the Chalisa in undying devotion to Hanuman will acquire his grace & strength and rescue to solve all the troubles. It involves miraculous interventions in everyday problems and those to do with the evil.

According to the Indian history, Hanuman intervened in all the problems Lord Ram faced. The strength that the verses evoke can bring about life changing alterations provided there exists a complete faith and devotion of the great devotee Hanuman.

Where is Lord Hanuman living now?

We have known about his existence since Treta Yuga that saw the emergence of Lord Rama and then in Dwapar Yuga, the era of Krishna. We are now living in Kalyuga. Outside most Hanuman Temples (especially the ancient ones) we will find monkeys.

What are the benefits of Hanuman Chalisa

  • Dedicated recitals of Hanuman Chalisa can one overcome the trauma of bad experiences.
  • Those suffering from stress should read Hanuman Chalisa to feel relaxed and in control of life.
  • For those seeking enlightenment, reading Hanuman Chalisa can help gain wisdom and spiritual knowledge.
  • Reading Hanuman Chalisa every morning helps you de-stress.
  • Hanuman Chalisa helps your mind feel more relaxed.
  • Hanuman Chalisa helps you stay happy all day.
  • It is believed that reading Hanuman Chalisa before any trip prevents any accidents or mishappenings and have a safe trip.
  • It is believed that reciting Hanuman Chalisa can also help in retransformation, may promote positivity and help in keeping bad company away.

 Hanuman Chalisa have astrological significance

  • Hanuman Chalisa has astrological significance as well. It is found to be deeply successful in controlling the malefic impacts of Saturn’s transit or Saturn’s major or minor periods. Those under the negative impact of the planet will discover incredible help and advantage with the regular recitation of the Chalisa 8 times on a Saturday.
  • Those with mangal dosha or are Manglik should recount this Chalisa for beneficial results. Positive characteristics of Mars-like quality, mental fortitude, unstoppable soul and vitality are guzzled through reciting the Chalisa.

It is believed that in one of these verses of Hanuman Chalisa, Tulasidasa had given an accurate calculation of the distance between the Sun and Earth.

The Quest of Astronomers to find the distance of Sun

The Greek Astronomers were known for their contribution to the scientific field in understanding the heavenly bodies.

  • Archimedes, an ancient Greek Mathematician and Philosopher of the 3rd century BC, estimated the distance of Sun from Earth as 10000 times the radius of Earth.
  • Later, Hipparchus (2nd century BC) gave an estimate of 490 times the radius of Earth.
  • Ptolemy considered the distance to be 1210 times the radius of Earth.

However, Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), a German Mathematician and Astronomer realized that these estimates were significantly low. Kepler’s law of Planetary Motion allowed astronomers to calculate the relative distance of the planets from Sun. This was also aided by the invention of telescope in the beginning of the 17th century which helped them to get more accurate measurements.

However, Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), a German Mathematician and Astronomer realized that these estimates were significantly low. Kepler’s law of Planetary Motion allowed astronomers to calculate the relative distance of the planets from Sun. This was also aided by the invention of telescope in the beginning of the 17th century which helped them to get more accurate measurements.

However the most modern calculations in 20th century estimate the distance to be somewhere around 23455 times the radius of Earth (149,431,805 kms assuming radius of Earth to be 6371 kms)

Srila Prabhupada writes in one of his purports

Modern scientific calculations are subject to one change after another, and therefore they are uncertain. We have to accept the calculations of the Vedic literature. These Vedic calculations are steady; the astronomical calculations made long ago and recorded in the Vedic literature are correct even now. Whether the Vedic calculations or modern ones are better may remain a mystery for others, but as far as we are concerned, we accept the Vedic calculations to be correct.

According to modern calculation

Average distance between the Sun and Earth =149 million kms = 92 million miles.

However, the orbit of the Earth is not a perfect circle, but an ellipse. Sometimes the Earth is closer to the Sun and sometimes it is farther.

Shortest distance between Sun and Earth (perihelion) = 91 million miles = 147 million kms (early January)

Longest distance between Sun and Earth (aphelion) = 94.5 million miles = 152 million kms (early July)

It is surprising to note that Tulasidasa who lived in 16th century could give the most accurate estimation that is very close to the estimation by 20th century astronomers.

Shortest distance between Sun and Earth (perihelion) = 91 million miles = 147 million kms (early January)

Longest distance between Sun and Earth (aphelion) = 94.5 million miles = 152 million kms (early July)

 Let us decipher the calculation in Hanuman Chalisa…

Hanuman, in his childhood, assuming the Sun to be a ripe mango, jumped to catch it. Tulasidasa recounts this incident in his Hanuman Chalisa as follows:

yuga-sahasra-yojana para bhanu
leelyo tahi madhura phala janu

Considering the Sun to be a sweet fruit, Hanuman jumped to swallow it.

Here the distance he travelled is mentioned as yuga-sahasra-yojana. Let us try to decipher this.

What is a yuga? According to Bhagavad-gita, one day of Brahma is called kalpa and is equal to 1000 yugas and this is followed by a similar duration of night.

ratrim yuga-sahasrantamte ‘ho-ratra-vidojanah

1 yuga = 4,320,000 years = 12000 divine years

(1 divine year = 360 years according to human calculation)

This is also confirmed in Manu-samhita: etad dvaadasha sahasram devanam yugamuchyate

According to the above verse from Hanuman Chalisa, the distance between Sun and Earth is

yuga-sahasra-yojana = 12000 x 1000 yojanas.

Yojana is a Vedic measure of distance and approximately equals to 8 miles (according to the 14th century scholar Parameshvara, the originator of drgganita system). And 1 mile = 1.60934 kilometers.

According to the calculation presented in Hanuman Chalisa

Distance between Sun and Earth = 12000 x 1000 yojanas = 96 million miles = 153.6 million kms, which is much closer to the calculation of the modern scientists.

The assumptions we have made in the above calculations are as follows:

  1. We assumed yuga to mean the number 12000 based on the time calculation system of Vedic period based on the statement from Bhagavad-gita and Manu Samhita.
  2. We approximated 1 yojana = 8 miles based on what Srila Prabhupada has mentioned in his purports. However there is still disagreement among scholars as to whether it is 5 miles or 8 miles. Some other calculations indicate values ranging from 7.6 miles to 8.5 miles.

But it is astonishing that Tulasidasa mentioned the distance to this level of accuracy as early as in 16th century when the Western astronomers, with the help of telescope, were trying to figure out the distance.

In Hanuman Chalisa,- it is said :
“Yug sahastra yojan per Bhanu!
Leelyo taahi madhur phal janu!!

1 Yug = 12000 years
1 Sahastra = 1000
1 Yojan = 8 Miles

Yug x Sahastra x Yojan = par Bhanu
12000 x 1000 x 8 miles = 96,000,000 miles

1 mile = 1.6kms

96,000,000 miles x 1.6kms = 1,536,000,000 kms / 96,000,000 miles to Sun

NASA has said that, it is the exact distance between Earth and Sun (Bhanu).
Which proves Hanuman Ji did jump to Sun,
thinking it as a sweet fruit (Madhur phal).

It is really interesting how accurate and meaningful our ancient scriptures are.

Unfortunately barely it is recognized, interpreted accurately or realized by any in today’s time.

 Here are some spiritual benefits of the reciting the Hanuman Chalisa:

It is believed among Hindus that reciting Hanuman Chalisa calls upon Hanuman’s involvement in critical problems and helps wards off evil spirits and negative energy.

  1. Recital of the Hanuman Chalisa helps reduce the effects of Sade Sati and helps those suffering due to Saturn if they read Hanuman Chalisa on Saturday for peace and prosperity.
  2. Hanuman Chalisa can help those troubled with nightmares if they place the Chalisa under their pillow before sleeping.
  3. Reading Hanuman Chalisa is beneficial if one wants to get rid of the karmic effects of the bad deeds done in the past.
  4. Reciting Hanuman Chalisa helps people who have been distracted by a bad company. It helps in the reformation of those fallen prey to objectionable habits.
  5. It eliminates disagreements and promotes unanimity and contentment. Reciting Hanuman Chalisa promotes harmony and eliminates unnecessary arguments by making one aware.
  6. Reciting the opening verses of the Hanuman Chalisa helps one get rid of the bad deeds done in the previous and present birth.
  7. The benefits of chanting or listening to Hanuman Chalisa are infinite and incredible. It is believed that if a devotee recites these 40 verses with pure devotion and focus, he or she gets rewarded and all the wishes come true. Regular recitation of the Chalisa bestows you with the Lord’s blessings and grace you with glorious powers.
  8. It also cures small lifestyle ailments such as headache, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression etc.
  9. It kills laziness and procrastination and makes one more efficient.
  10. Daily recitation of Hanuman Chalisa with dedication and devotion eliminate all sorts of disagreements and arguments in a family and promotes unanimity, contentment, happiness and peace in life.
  11. One the verses from Hanuman Chalisa reads as “Bhoot Pichash Nikat nahi aaven, mahavir jab naam sunave” which can be translated to – no evil spirit can affect a person who takes the name of Lord Hanuman and recites Hanuman Chalisa at the top of their voice. It removes all sort of negativity from the mind and soul of the family members and brings peace and harmony within the family.

When to chant Hanuman Chalisa

Hanuman Chalisa can be recited both in the morning and evening. It takes not more than 10 minutes to read this beautiful hymn. It is said that each verse or chaupai has its own significance. If one is unable to read all 40 verses, then one can choose to recite only certain ones to suit their needs.

  • For removal of bad karma- first opening verse
  • Wisdom and strength – second opening verse
  • Attainment of divine knowledge – 1ST verse
  • Removal of bad company and habits – 3rd verse
  • Cultivation of devotion – verses 7 and 8
  • Protection from poisons and snake bites – 11th verse
  • Removes misunderstanding between sons and daughters –

12th verse

  • To gain fame – 13th – 15th verse
  • Recovery of lost status, promotion in jobs- 16th -17th verse
  • Remove obstacles; accomplish difficult tasks – 20th verse
  • Protection from adverse planetary influences – 22nd verse
  • Protection from black magic and evil spirits – 24th verse
  • To achieve good health -25th verse
  • Liberation from crisis – 26th verse
  • Fulfillment of desires – 27th – 28th verses
  • Victory over enemies – 30th verse
  • Occult powers and wealth – 31st verse
  • To follow ethics and have a fulfilling life – 32nd -35th verses,
  • For mental peace – 36th verse
  • For grace of Lord Hanuman – 37th verse

More significantly, when the Chalisa is read at night times, it wards off evil forces from one`s life and removes the sins committed knowingly or unknowingly. It is believed that those who have major tasks to be achieved should recite these verses 1008 times on an auspicious night of Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or on moola star day. One will have all obstacles removed in the way of good life and also get the protection and grace of Hanuman when recited at night. The famous yogi saint of Northern India, Neem Karoli Baba asked his devotees to recite Hanuman Chalisa during difficult times.

………. To be continued