“Looking sideways, up, down and even below, she then saw that Hanuman of inconceivable intelligence, minister to the lord of monkeys, and the son of the wind-god, looking like the rising sun.” (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara Kand, 31.19)
sā tiryag ūrdhvam ca tathā api adhastān |
nirīkṣamāṇā tam acintya buddhim |
dadarśa pinga adhipateḥ amātyam |
vāta ātmajam sūryam iva udayastham ||
In our youth, one way to show our displeasure at someone is to simply not speak to them.
“That’s it. I’m going to give them the silent treatment. What they did was beyond the limit of tolerable acts. It’s like what England did one time to the colonists in America: the Intolerable Acts. I’m not going to speak with them again.”
This choice has a more dramatic effect when we see the recipient on a regular basis. In adulthood the same tactic usually isn’t so effective. You can be giving someone the silent treatment without them ever knowing about it. Indeed, with every person we know, we are destined at one point to never speak with them again. Regardless the situation, whether happy or sad, whether in sight of the person of interest or not, Shri Hanuman and his words remain like the rising sun to again give us hope.
Think of watching a clock ticking down. Perhaps you’re heating something up in the microwave. You look at the minutes and seconds as they wind down. In that instance the time moves slow, but imagine if you were watching the same countdown for your own life. Indeed, we each have one of these clocks and it starts to tick down as soon as we exit the womb. As Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita, one who takes birth must die. Death is the other end to birth, with the lifetime fitting in between.
jātasya hi dhruvo mṛtyurdhruvaṁ janma mṛtasya catasmād aparihārye ‘rthena tvaṁ śocitum arhasi
“For one who has taken his birth, death is certain; and for one who is dead, birth is certain. Therefore, in the unavoidable discharge of your duty, you should not lament.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.27)
As death is guaranteed, the association of everyone we know will eventually be lost forever. The idea of never speaking to someone again is sure to happen. No matter how wonderful they are, how much they’ve done for us, how dear they remain to us, how long we’ve known them, how good things look at the moment – we are bound to lose their association at some point. Either we will leave first or they will enter the next destination for the soul before us.
Sita Devi appeared to be in a situation where she would never again see her dear husband. She was separated from Him in the Ashoka grove in Lanka. This was not her choice. She did not want to be there. She only thought of when she would see Him again. Her husband, like her, was incredibly sweet, kind, innocent and always attentive to the concerns of others. They were both sinless, and they were undergoing the terrible ordeal of separation due to the wickedness of someone else.
To this blameless lady came Hanuman, who was like a rising sun with his words of nectar. Hanuman was sent by Rama, Sita’s husband, to look for her. He risked everything, including never again seeing his friends in the forest kingdom of Kishkindha. He moved ahead bravely, and from his words directed to Sita we see that his strong familiarity with Rama’s true nature is what guided him. Hanuman knew that work for Rama never goes in vain. He knew that to please Rama and Sita is to make the most of this life.
Hanuman’s words momentarily brought back the association of a loved one. In their earthly pastimes, like everyone else Sita and Rama would eventually have to separate for good. But we know from the Ramayana and other works of Vedic literature that they remain together forever. Rama is God and Sita His eternal consort.
This means that Hanuman can be like the rising sun to anyone. Doing the exact same thing, voicing accurate, beautiful and well-timed words about Rama and His family acts like the rising sun to the living entity otherwise in darkness. Today, tomorrow, or sometime in the future all the attachments we have formed will vanish. This makes our journey through life quite sad, and the only savior is the rising sun of words of the Supreme Lord. He is our friend for this life and beyond. He stays with us as the Supersoul within the heart. He does this whether we ask Him to or not.
In hearing the words that describe Him, we take advantage of that association. That person whom we previously thought to not exist turns out to be our best friend through life. He remains the one to remember at the key moment of death, guaranteeing His association in the next life. And it all happens from words that bring Him to life, words that Hanuman so kindly offered to Sita.
Association we’d like to keep forever,
But destined to see again never.
With Supreme Lord it is not so,
Through sound towards Him we go.
His message to Sita Devi brought,
By Hanuman, after intelligent thought.
With that sound company then to keep,
Fruit of the human existence to reap.
Categories: hanuman describing rama