Hanuman Chalisa resonates throughout Trinidad
The chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa echoed throughout Trinidad, as indeed around the globe, as Hindus here observed Hanuman Jayanti (birth anniversary of Lord Hanuman) on Friday April 19. The atmosphere was filled with the fragrance of incense and other religious ingredients.
Ironically, Hanuman Jayanti coincided with the Christian observance of Good Friday this year, the day Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. Lord Hanuman plays a pivotal role in the Ramayana as an intermediary between devotees and Lord Ram.
Hindus in all their eagerness kept vigil at homes, temples and other public places where thousands of devotees chanted the Hanuman Chalisa, listened to excerpts from the Ramayana, Bhagavad Gita and other religious texts, all praising and glorifying the spiritual virtues, bravery, wisdom and power of Lord Hanuman.
Hanumanji is considered the greatest bhakt or devotee of Lord Rama. As such, Lord Ram is only accessed through Him.
Pundit Seereeram Maharaj, spiritual leader of the Mt. Kailash Shiva Temple of Santa Phillipa Road, Caparo, Central Trinidad, who hosted a three-night Lord Hanuman Yagna in honour of the observance, called on devotees and people of all religious and ethnic stocks, “to become disciplined devotees and adhere fully to the teachings of Lord Hanuman.”
Pandit Maharaj advised that “we must emulate the teachings and practices of Lord Hanuman as He is the saviour of all mankind. If at all we need Hanumanji in our life, it is now to help us face the economic, social and spiritual challenges.”
Pundit Capildeo, spiritual leader of the Siparia Hindu Temple, called upon the overflowing audience, “to reckon your lives and become strident Hindus in positive and spiritual practices.”
For the past weeks, Hindus who comprise 25 per cent of Trinidad and Tobago’s population of 1.4 million, have abstained from all forms of meats, alcohol and merriment to prepare for this sacred worship.
Former Prime Minister and now Leader of the Opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, called on the people of Trinidad and Tobago “to embody the virtues and widom of Lord Hanuman whose message is one of universal peace, love and justice.”
Since March, Hindus have been observing a seried of religious activities, starting with Shiva Raatri, Nau Raatri, Ram Nauwi and now Hanuman Jayanti.
The Hindu community is sourced from the 145,000 East Indians who were brought here as indentured labourers between 1845 and 1917. Their toil and labour arrested the decaying agricultural economy following emancipation of the slaves in 1838 and restored prosperity to the society.