jai hanuman gyan gun sagar, jai kapis tihun lok ujagar. Hail, Hanuman, sea of virtue and insight, Hail, Kapis, who makes the Three Worlds bright. One of the best-loved deities of the Hindu pantheon, Hanuman is revered by believers as shri guru--an exalted guide in all matters of the intellect, skill and spirit. As Shri Ram's supreme devotee, Hanuman guards the gates to his divine kingdom. Since Ram is an incarnation of Vishnu, access to Ram is access to the Preserver, to the Godhead itself. And to reach Ram, one must go through Hanuman. The Hanuman Chalisa, literally 'The Hanuman Forty' is a song in praise of Hanuman, composed in the sixteenth century AD in Avadhi (a language that is one of the main roots of Hindi) by the renowned saint-poet Goswami Tulasi Das. Among the most popular of Hindu prayers, the Chalisa 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 Das' 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.