“The beautiful face of that large-eyed Sita, whose eyes are coppery red, spotless and long, was like that of the moon released from Rahu.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 35.86)
cāru tac ca ānanam tasyāḥ tāmra śukla āyata īkṣaṇam |
aśobhata viśāla akṣyā rāhu mukta iva uḍu rāṭ ||
There are so many aspects to the dedicated servant of Shri Rama known as Hanuman. He is a factual person, not a fictitious creation of an imaginative mind. Though those who lack faith in the impeccable authority and teachings of the Vedas will try to look for only symbolism in the character of Hanuman, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t symbolic aspects to that real-life person. In this verse from the Ramayana, we see that Hanuman is light, among many other things.
Is he the sun? Does he carry an electrical charge with him? Is he like a lamp? Actually, the darkness he dissipates is much stronger. That darkness is like a cloud that turns an otherwise bright day into a dreary one. The darkness removes the hope of reuniting with the eternal friend that is the Supreme Lord. That darkness is so strong that it looks like it will never go away.
Indeed, who hasn’t suffered doom and gloom? It’s difficult to have patience in the tough moments. This is because time can’t change the situation soon enough. The sober minded person realizes that time will operate. It already does so through the changing of bodies. There is boyhood, youth, old age, and then death. These changes are effected through time.
dehino 'smin yathā dehe
kaumāraṁ yauvanaṁ jarā
dhīras tatra na muhyati
“As the embodied soul continually passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. The self-realized soul is not bewildered by such a change.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.13)
Happiness and sadness are like the two sides of a coin. The fate on a certain day depends on where the tossed coin lands. The pair represents duality as well. Happiness for one person may mean sadness for another. With birth there is death. With heat there is cold. With up there is down. Each side is defined in relation to the other. If there were no cold, heat would have no meaning. The definition of death is based on the event known as birth.
In the situation referenced above, the darkness is very strong and it relates to more than just the duality of the material world. This darkness is the influence of the Rakshasas in Lanka preventing Sita Devi from being with her husband, Shri Rama. The king of that city is stopping Sita from serving her beloved. That service wasn’t hurting anyone, either. It was taking place far away, in the forest of Dandaka. Ravana had his own enjoyment available in Lanka. Why did he have to bother Sita?
The darkness of ignorance gets stronger the more a person tries to appease kama, which is material desire or lust. Ravana was fully under the control of his senses, instead of the other way around. That is why he thought he could not live without Sita, a person whose beauty he had heard about from his sister.
We see here that from hearing the words of Hanuman, Sita’s countenance changed. Her face became like the moon just released from Rahu. In Vedic astrology it is the influence of Rahu that causes eclipses. The moon right after the eclipse is very bright. In the same way, Shri Hanuman’s influence has removed the Rahu that was Ravana and the people serving him.
Hanuman carries the light of the Divine. He brings the message of Godhead. He is not God Himself; despite what those who favor him strongly out of sentiment may say. Hanuman is equal to God in the sense that the interest is always the same. Hanuman is never in kama. He is always in bhakti, which is devotion. He uses his amazing potency to help others return to bhakti. He does this by removing the darkness of the negative influence of aggressors like Ravana. He is time’s agent to help the devotee regain the light of devotion.
When to leave this misery of mine?
Can’t move fast enough endurable time.
Like with birth then death a certainty,
Material world full of duality.
The darkness in Lanka even stronger,
Separation from Rama for Sita growing longer.
Hanuman with him carrying a light,
Happiness Sita’s face turned bright.