Celebration of the Self: 11 Hanuman Chalisas (plus bonus tracks)

by Damodar Das

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about

Regardless of your belief system, we can all agree that we prefer happiness to unhappiness. However, happiness cannot be lasting if it is dependent on things or circumstances. Circumstances are always temporary, and things never satisfy us for long because there will always be a new thing just out of reach.
This truth seems universal across many spiritual traditions. Radhanath Swami (www.radhanathswami.com) writes, "...all that we hold dear in this world is imperceptibly vanishing. We cannot cling to anything. But if we can appreciate the beauty of the underlying current of truth, we can enjoy a reality deeper than the fickle waves of joy and sorrow." Lola Jones (www.divineopenings.com) who says, "Joy isn't dependent on outer circumstances... it just is." And Jesus himself said “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14)

For lasting happiness, therefore, we need to go deeper to an underlying sense of peace beyond external circumstances, beyond ego, beyond our own preferences and prejudices. But how can we do this? As Christian writer Richard Rohr (www.cac.org) says, “If we try to change our ego with the help of our ego, we only have a better disguised ego!” This principle applies to our spirituality every bit as much as it did for Albert Einstein when he said, "No problem can be solved by the same kind of thinking that created it.”

This CD is entitled "Celebration of the Self" because singing to Hanuman is a celebration of our True Nature, which is eternal. Hanuman symbolizes complete ego-less devotion. Having no ego completely reunites us with the Divine Bliss, or “Raama," as portrayed in the Indian epic, The Ramayana. Hanuman symbolizes this reunification as well as the enormous power that naturally ensues thereafter.

Shibendu Lahiri, holder of the Lahiri family Kriya Yoga lineage (www.kriyayogalahiri.com), writes “…ego was absent in Hanuman... Thus the ancient sages of humanity… felt that Hanuman is the right symbol for devotion as well as divinity, because there is no division and dichotomy in the inner consciousness of Hanuman. In fact, one feels a flow of grace in oneself demolishing vanity and vested interests when one bows to this symbol of humility and strength, of energy and wisdom, of virtue and veracity. Hanuman is the holistic consciousness, shining and void, not separable from the supreme radiance.” A great illustration of this in the Ramayana is when Raama asks Hanuman, "Who are you?" and he replies, "Lord, when I forget who I am, I am your devoted servant. When I remember who I am, you and I are one."

Whether you believe the Ramayana is an historical account or simply a tale is immaterial, because isn't this the same predicament we are in as human beings? The Chalisa is a series of reminders to Hanuman because he had been cursed to only know his true powers when he was reminded of them. Because of our limiting beliefs, we often forget how powerful “we” truly are. Again and again we lose our recollection of our innate Divinity until we are reminded, and we only experience the complete love and perfection of existence when there is no "us" clinging to our identity.

Just hearing the Chalisa is said to be auspicious, and singing it even more so. The original intention was to record 11 Chalisas, which is also said to be an auspicious number (as Hanuman was the 11th incarnation of Shiva). However, with plenty of room left on CD 2, we decided to add a few more tracks from a live Chalisa chanting session in Ithaca, NY.

I have purposefully left off the translation for the chant. I know this may not be to some people's taste, but I find personally that simply immersing myself in the sounds helps give me the opportunity to love and let go without my mind getting in the way. As Meister Eckhart says "God is not attained by a process of addition … but by [one of] subtraction." Besides, there are plenty of online resources for translations if you want them.

This is a complimentary CD, so please feel free to copy and distribute as you wish, even to those who would have never considered purchasing it outright. We would, however, like to ask something in return for those who have something to give, and there is a lot to choose from among the following.

• donating (suggested amount $15) .
• passing this CD along to someone else when you are done with it, or telling your friends a free download is available at www.damodardas.com
• recommending Damodar Das and friends to your local yoga studio or spiritual center for lively and engaging yet heart-centering kirtans, Hanuman Chalisa chanting, or a "chant dance party" hosted by our band Mantra Magic (www.mantramagicband.com)
• referring Damodar Das or “Tabla-ji” Cliff Hackford to other sacred or secular musicians who are looking for accompaniment for a tour or recording. (We are both pro musicians with years of experience. www.denniswinge.com; www.cliffhackford.com)
• referring spiritual recording artists to Park Hill Recording Studio that Cliff owns in Yonkers, NY; or drum or guitar students to Cliff or me, respectively.

Thank you very much!

God Bless/ Jai Hanuman!


Damodar Das


Shree Hanumaan Chaaleesaa


(Mangala moorati maaruta nandana
Sakala amangala moola nikandana)

Shree Guru charana saroja raja
nija manu mukuru sudhaari
Baranaun Raghubara bimala jasu
jo daayaku phala chaari
Buddhi heena tanu jaanike
sumiraun pavana kumaara
Bala buddhi vidyaa dehu mohin
harahu kalesa bikaara

(Siyaa vara Raamachandra
pada jai sharanam)

1. Jaya Hanumaan gyaana guna saagara,
Jaya Kapeesa tihun loka ujaagara

2. Raama doota atulita bala dhaamaa,
Anjani putra Pavanasuta naamaa

3. Mahaabeera bikrama bajarangee,
Kumati nivaara sumati ke sangee

4. Kanchana barana biraaja subesaa,
Kaanana kundala kunchita kesaa

5. Haat-ha bajra aura dvajaa biraajai,
Kaandhe moonja janeu saajai

6. Shankara suvana Kesaree nandana,
Teja prataapa mahaa jaga bandana

7. Vidyaavaana gunee ati chaatura,
Raama kaaja karibe ko aatura

8. Prabhu charitra sunibe ko rasiyaa,
Raama Lakhana Seetaa mana basiyaa

9. Sookshma roopa dhari Siyahin dikhaavaa,
Bikata roopa dhari Lankaa jaraavaa

10. Bheema roopa dhari asura sanghaare,
Raamachandra ke kaaja sanvaare

11. Laaya sajeevana Lakhana jiyaaye,
Shree Raghubeera harashi ura laaye

12. Raghupati keenhee bahuta baraaee,
tuma mama priya Bharatahi sama bhaaee

13. Sahasa badana tumharo jasa gaavain,
asa kahi Shreepati kanta lagaavain

14. Sanakaadika Brahmaadi muneesaa,
Naarada Shaarada sahita Aheesaa

15. Yama Kubera digapaala jahaante,
kabi kobida kahi sake kahaante

16. Tuma upakaara Sugreevahin keenhaa,
Raama milaaya raaja pada deenhaa

17. Tumharo mantra Vibheeshana maanaa,
Lankeshvara bhaye saba jaga jaanaa

18. Yuga sahasra yojana para bhaanu,
leelyo taahi madhura phala jaanu

19. Prabhu mudrikaa meli mukha maaheen,
jaladhi laanghi gaye acharaja naaheen

20. Durgama kaaja jagata ke jete,
sugama anugraha tumhare tete

21. Raama duaare tuma rakhavaare,
hota na aagyaa binu paisaare

22. Saba sukha lahai tumhaaree sharanaa,
tuma rakshaka kaahoo ko dara naa

23. Aapana teja samhaaro aapai,
teenon loka haanka ten kaanpai

24. Bhoota pisaacha nikata nahin aavai,
Mahaabeera jaba naama sunaavai

25. Naasai roga hare saba peeraa,
japata nirantara Hanumata beeraa

26. Sankata ten Hanumaana churaavai,
mana krama bachana dhyaana jo laavai

27. Saba para Raama tapasvee raajaa,
tina ke kaaja sakala tuma saajaa

28. Aura manorat-ha jo koee laavai,
soee amita jeevana phala paavai

29. Chaaron yuga parataapa tumhaaraa,
hai parasidha jagata ujiyaaraa

30. Saadhu santa ke tuma rakhavaare,
asura nikandana Raama dulaare

31. Ashta siddhi nau nidhi ke daataa,
asa bara deena Jaanakee Maataa

32. Raama rasaayana tumhare paasaa,
sadaa raho Raghupati ke daasaa

33. Tumhare bhajana Raama ko paavai,
janama janama ke dukha bisaraavai

34. Anta kaala Raghubara pura jaaee,
jahaan janma Hari bhakta kahaaee

35. Aura devataa chitta na dharaee,
Hanumata se-ee sarva sukha karaee

36. Sankata katai mite saba peeraa,
jo sumirai Hanumata bala beeraa

37. Jai jai jai Hanumaana Gosaaee,
kripaa karahu gurudeva kee naaee

38. Jo sata baara paata kara koee,
chootahi bandi mahaa sukha hoee

39. Jo yaha parai Hanumaana chaaleesaa,
hoya siddhi saakhee Gaureesaa

40. Tulasee Daasa sadaa Hari cheraa,
keejai naat-ha hridaya mahaan deraa

Pavanatanaya sankata harana
mangala moorati roopa
Raama Lakhana Seetaa sahita
hridaya basahu sura bhoopa

(Siyaa vara Raamachandra
pada jai sharanam)

(Mangala moorati maaruta nandana
Sakala amangala moola nikandana)

credits

released August 3, 2014

All music composed and arranged by Damodar Das (www.damodardas.com) copyright 2014. The Hanuman Chalisa is attributed to Tulsidas. Recorded, mixed, and produced by Cliff Hackford at Park Hill Recording (www.parkhillrecording.com).

Musicians:

Damodar Das – voice, guitars, harmonium; Cliff Hackford – tablas, kartals, timsha bells; Tony Tino – bass. Special thanks to our friends who sang on the live tracks: Christopher Grant, Elaine Knapp, Jody Kessler, Kuan Yin, Lynne Jackier, Umaa, and Yael Daphna Saar, as well as to Hawk at Ahimsa Studio for use of the space (www.ithacayoga.org)

Cover artwork by Jennifer Chichester. Thanks to Kuan Yin and Michele Gordon for help editing & proofreading. visit divinewinemusic.com

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Damodar Das Ithaca, New York

Damodar Das sings traditional and non-traditional style Sanskrit chants as part of a complete bhakti (devotional) yoga experience. Drawing on his 11 years as a full-time pro guitarist and his studies with a certified instructor American Sanskrit Institute, Damodar Das delicately balances a spiritual engagement that is deep and heart-opening as well as rhythmically and harmonically fun to sing! ... more

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