Friends Talk: The Hanuman Chalisa
Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre
Rothley Street Leicester LE4 6LF
In this talk Nick Sutton will discuss the Hindi text of the Hanuman Chalisa and try to place this well loved work within the wider of context of Tulsidas’s retelling of the Ramayana, noting the ways in which he builds on the earlier work of Valmiki to provide new insights into the significance of the deeds of Rama, Sita, Lakshman and Hanuman. Valmiki shows Rama as a heroic prince who triumphs over the forces of evil but he is less inclined to focus on Rama’s divine identity. In the Ramcharitmanas and Hanuman Chalisa, Tulsidas chooses to write in dialect of Hindi in order to produce a Ramayana for all social classes and he tells the story in such a way that Rama’s divinity is constantly emphasised and devotion to Rama is extolled as the highest form spirituality. In this talk we will consider the background to Tulsidas’s work and look at how his devotional ideas are reflected in the Hanuman Chalisa.