Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa as a Bhakti Practice

We will journey together through the Hanuman Chalisa – a 40-verse hymn.
This devotional prayer is chanted widely throughout India and around the world.

This course is for beginners and practitioners alike. Over the three sessions, we will:

  • Discuss the meaning of the prayer
  • Explore how and why we would integrate the practice into our lives
  • Hear stories about the divine beings that appear in this prayer in the larger, context of the Ramayana
  • Receive instruction on pronouncing some of harder avadhi words
  • Chant and sing, and engage in Q&A live on zoom.
Nina Rao
Scott Blossom

In the sacred text of Ramayana or Ramacharitmanasa, Hanuman is revered as the perfect devotee of the divine presence in the form Sri Ram, and an embodiment of intelligence, wisdom, compassion, courage, and surrender.

While we invoke his qualities in this prayer, we remind ourselves that each of us is a reflection of Hanuman and can find these same qualities of perfection in our own hearts. This prayer is considered to be ‘mahamantra’ having the power to transform us from the inside-out so we may overcome the challenges or obscurations of our true nature, which is Love itself. The lyrics for this prayer from the bhakti (devotional) yoga tradition are written in an ancient language similar to Hindi, called Avadhi, and the original script in devanagari.

The Hanuman Chalisa has been a core part of Nina’s practice since she first learned this 40-verse prayer almost 27 years ago. Since she recorded ‘Nina Chalisa’ (her rendition of the Hanuman Chalisa set to music) on Krishna Das’ Flow of Grace album, countless people have been drawn to this practice here in the west. The magnetic quality of the vibration from this devotional hymn is alluring – even if the listener has no idea what the words mean!

This course may be a good choice for you if:

  • You’ve heard the Hanuman Chalisa and want to start to learn how to chant it
  • You’ve been chanting the Hanuman Chalisa but would like some more instruction on how to chant it correctly
  • You want to soak in the powerful compassionate ‘bhav’ or mood of Hanuman!

Course Structure:

Tue April 23, 2024 from 7- 8pm ET with Nina Rao & Scott Blossom

Celebrate Hanuman Jayanti on this 1-hour pre-recorded free video program with Nina Rao and Scott Blossom. Both Nina and Scott learned the Hanuman Chalisa from their teachers and continue to practice this powerful prayer. They plan to talk about how it has benefited their lives.

Mon May 20 & Wed May 22 from 7-9pm ET with Nina Rao

  • You’ll receive transliterations and translations of the Hanuman Chalisa
  • We’ll do a slow review of the verses of the Hanuman Chalisa with instruction on pronunciation
  • We discuss the meaning of the prayer
  • You’ll have the opportunity to ask or submit questions

Learning Objectives:

  • By engaging in the listening-and-repeating process of each line of the Hanuman Chalisa, the practitioner can get comfortable in a new practice or enhance their existing practice of this long-form 40-verse prayer composed in the ancient avadhi language.
  • The participant has a chance to slow down and immerse verse-by-verse, hear what the words sound like when pronounced as close as possible to the transition from India; and ask questions for any clarifications as well.
  • There are many renditions of the Hanuman Chalisa and in these programs you will have a chance to chant together in a learning format of call-and-response, with one of Nina’s melodies live. For many people learning a long-form prayer with a melody makes learning it easier.

Learning Outcomes:

  • For those new to the practice, they will have more confidence about learning and practicing on their own.
  • For experienced practitioners, it’s a chance to dive into the deeper meaning of the prayer, possibly fix some places where recitation has been incorrect.
  • Everyone will gain a community of practitioners and have the opportunity to join a daily recitation practice remotely with Nina as follow-up.