Do You Know What You’re Chanting? Cultivating A Connection To The Divine.



People tend to ask me: “Do you know what you’re chanting? Do you know what it means?”

So I give you my best response, an overly simple take on Hanuman, the monkey god in the Hindu religion, adapted from a talk by Radhanath Swami:

Hanuman’s function, through his compassion, focus, courage and strength, is to be the bridge that makes a leap of faith possible, reuniting the soul’s desire for union with God’s love. The leap over the chasm of egoic distractions and illusion’s pitfalls is fueled by the power of love and entirely dedicated devotion.


Reunion of the soul’s love of God (Sita‘s love) with Ram (God) is thwarted for a bit by Ravana, the power that separates us from our true nature.

It was Hanuman who delivered the love note to Sita and delivered Sita’s message back to Ram, building a bridge across the ocean to reconnect Ram and Sita, fighting the Rakshashas (ego temptations) and assisting Ram in beating Ravana (a devil of sorts).

And after that great war, it was Hanuman, sent by Ram, who brought Sita back to Ram, never taking credit for anything, and giving all credit for his successes to God’s grace and constantly chanting God’s name.

The desire of the soul to be connected to the divine is so powerful. God’s desire to have you awaken might be the most powerful force in nature. You desire each other, you are each other, so what’s with this idea of separation?

Ram sat in the heat and pain of separation from Sita for a long time (months, maybe even years?) while Sita sat in her prison chanting his name incessantly. Ram’s deep desire for her during their separation is where love shows its full potency. It’s in separation that the soul’s desire for union is fully realized.

It is from the darkest and most difficult circumstances that you find your need for God’s help, that you might surrender out of a recognition that salvation is out of your hands.

When everything is lovely and easy, we get complacent. This is how even Maya can serve our awakening.

And Hanuman is the bridge to Krishna… to Ram the Paramatma.




RickFranzRick Franz has been playing and touring with some of the world’s most well known kirtan wallas for many years. He started leading kirtan three years ago during a self-imposed ‘walkabout’ which he continues to this day. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he brings an eclectic, developed musical style, along with a quirky, irreverently reverent sense of humor and a lot of heart. Visit Rick at A Muse In Grace for a taste of Kirtan and his 2015 Tour West dates.


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