jai hanumăn gyăn gun săgar,
jai kapîs tihuń lok ujăgar.
sea of virtue and insight,
who makes the Three Worlds bright.
One of the best-loved deities of the Hindu pantheon, Hanumăn is revered by believers as 'shri guru'—an exalted guide in all matters of the intellect, skill and spirit. As Shri Răm's supreme devotee, Hanumăn guards the gates to his divine kingdom. Since Răm is an incarnation of Vishnu, access to Răm is access to the Preserver, to the Godhead itself. And to reach Răm, one must go through Hanumăn.
The 'Hanumăn Chalisă,' literally 'The Hanumăn Forty' is a song in praise of Hanumăn, composed in the sixteenth century AD in Avadhi (a language that is one of the main roots of Hindi) by the renowned saint-poet Goswămi Tulasi Dăs. Among the most popular of Hindu prayers, the Chălisă is sung and chanted in some hundreds of extant tunes across the villages and towns of North India. In this bilingual text, Parvez Dewan provides the reader with the prayer in Devnagari, a transliteration in Roman script and a fluent and accurate English translation. Staying as close as possible to Tulasi Dăs' original, Dewan supplements the text with detailed notes on usage, pronunciation and mythical references. His book will introduce a classic prayer to a whole new generation of Indians and provide a standard version to those alerady familiar with it.
About the Translator:
Parvez Dewan was educated at St. Stephen's College, Delhi, and the University of Cambridge, UK. An officer in the Indian Administrative Service, he is currently posted in Srinagar. In his first posting as Sub Divisional Magistrate of Basohli, he revived the Basohli school of miniature painting, which had died out over a century before. He has published four books, and three of his libretti have been recorded as rock operas. (Of these, 'The Ramayan,' in English, was telecast on Channel Four in 1989.) His academic work is centred on the oneness of all religions and all people.