gyAna sAram 2 – naragum suvargamum

gyAna sAram

Previous pAsuram

                                                                          2nd pAsuram

srImathE satakOpAya nama:
srImathE rAmAnujAya nama:
srImadh varavaramunayE nama:



“நரகும் சுவர்க்கமும் நாண் மலராள் கோனைப் 
பிரிவும் பிரியாமையுமாய்த் – துரிசற்றுச் 
சாதகம் போல் நாதன் தனதருளே பார்த்திருத்தல் 
கோதிலடியார் குணம் “



“naragum suvargamum nAN malarAL kOnai 
piruvum piryAmaiyumAy – thurisatRu 
sAdhagam pOl nAdhan thanadharuLE pArthiruthal 
kOdhiladiyAr guNam”


Phrasal Meaning:

Naragum                                             –                      sufferings (literal meaning is ‘hell’)
suvargamum                                       –                      and happiness (literal meaning is heaven)
pirivum                                                –                      (are respectively when) separated from and
piriyAmaiyumAi                                  –                      united with
nANmalarAL kOnai                            –                      the consort (husband) of srI mahAlakshmI (nAN
malarAL – one who sits on Lotus flower and
her kOn is her ruler).
pol                                                       –                      like / similar to

thurisatRu                                            –                      the unblemished(thurisu is blemish/mistake and
atru is without it)
sAdhagam                                           –                      “sAdhagam” bird that just looks out for rain water
and drinks it directly when the rain pours,(If there is
no rain, it does not drink any other water and
dies off.)
gunam                                                 –                      the character/nature of
kodhiladiyar                                        –                      unblemished devotees
paarthuiruthal                                     –                      is to expect
arulE                                                   –                      compassion (karunai) of ONLY the
naadhan thanadhu                              –                      emperumAn.

Explanation :

Naragum Suvargamum: The phrase “naragum suvargamum” refers to pain/sadness and happiness/pleasure. In thiruvAimozhi 3.10.7 (thunbamum inbamum) too, swAmi nammAzhwAr says “inbamil ven naragAgi iniya nalvAn suvarkkangaLumAi”.Here the vyAkyAnam explains narakam(hell) and suvarkkam (heaven) to mean thunbam (sufferings), and inbam (happiness) in the context of the pAsuram.

With that being said, what constitutes happiness and sadness for those having parabhakthi? This (and the meaning of ‘parabhakthi’) is explained as follows.It is like hell when when such a personis separated from the Lord who is the divine consort of the one who is seated on the lotus flower (sri mahA Lakshmi – periya pirAttiAr). When he is not separated, then that is happiness for such a person. The very substance of parabhakthi is that when one is not able to survive when he is away from emperumAn. When he is in unison with the Lord, he is able to survive. There is an example given to this condition of such a person.

In srIrAmAyaNam, when perumAL (rAma)was leaving the kingdom to go to forest,pirAtti (wife, sIta) wanted to accompany him in the forest. He tried to convince her by explaining about the dangers of the forest and the comforts here,and so he made his point that the going with Him to the forest would be suffering, and staying back in the kingdom would be pleasure/happiness. After listening to such a definition, pirAtti corrected emperumAn. She replied “Happiness and sadness are not defined in the way you explained. It would be different from the perspective of different people.(For me) being with you is happiness, and being separated from you in the palace is sadness; if devareer do not know this true definition please learn it from adiyen; it is not wrong to learn from others about what we do not know; unlike you whose love is limited and measured, adiyen have unlimited love for you”. After carefully listening to her retort, Rama asked her “Ok. You said that you have got an infinite amount of love towards me. What should I do now?” Sita was quick to add “I shall lead, and all You have got to do is just follow me”. This is periyavAchAn piLLai’s vyAkyAnam (explanation/exposition).

There is a Vedanthic question that may be raised here. Sita said that it is happiness when she is with Rama and it is sadness when she is not. This may be acceptable for her situation. But can other people feel the same about the Lord, that is, can somebody go to the Lord (only) and say “If I am being separated from You, it is hell and if I am not, only then it is heaven? The answer is “No” because there is a difference between pirAtti (who incarnated as Sita) and other souls like us. For us, the state of heaven and hell is when we think we are separated from BOTH the Lord and His divine consort pirAtti whereas for pirAtti, the separation limits only to the Lord. She is being referred as “EkAyaNai” and we jIvAthmAs are termed as “midhunAyars”. “EkAyaNai is the one who has only One as her sustainer, whereas “midhunAyars” have both “pirAtti and the Lord” as their sustainer. “Mithunam” refers to perumAn and pirAtti’s togetherness, duality.

naaN malarAL kOnai pirivum piriyAmaiyumAi:  The state of mind when one is separated from Perumal and Pirati, is being referred to as sadness; and when one is not separated from them, then it is happiness for him.iLaiya perumAL (Lakshamana)also said, making himself equal to sItAjust only in the context of not being able to bear the separation, that “Just like how Sita cannot live without You, I cannot also live without You”.

This should not be understood as iLaiya perumAL (Lakshmana)is being similar to Sita whose happiness is to be Only with Rama. It should be understood that for iLaiya perumAL, happiness is being with the togetherness of “Rama and Sita”.That is why when leaving for the forest, iLaiya perumAL (Lakshmana) said “I want to do all the services to You and Sita when you both roam in the valleys of the forest, near the mountains, when you both sleep, and when you both are awake. Please take me with you for this reason only”. So for jIvAthmAs too it is acceptable to do service only to bothpirAtti and emperumAn together, the divine couple.

thurisatRu:Here thurisu -mistake. atRu – not having that (mistake).

Mistake is to use bhakthi as a means of attaining him.The bhakthi here is about suffering when separated from emperumAn and pirAtti, and being happy when being together with them. One should consider this bhakthi as adhikAri visEshaNam – that is, consider bhakthi as making them ready/eligible to receive and enjoy emperumAn’s union. Like how it is important to be hungry in order to eat food, one should have bhakthi in order to enjoy the lord. This bhakthi would not become a means/upAyam. Only bhakthi upaskAs would consider it as a means; saraNagathas would not consider it as a means to attain Him. To consider bhakthi as a means is a mistake/blemish in a person. Thurisu-atRu – refers to those who are Not having the mistake of thinking of their bhakthi as a means.

sAdhagam pOl nAdhan thanadharuLe pArthiruthal:  “chAtaka” is a bird that drinks no water other than the rain water; even if its mouth goes very dry it would keep looking for rain water. Similarly, it is the nature of pure (blemishless) adiyArs to keep looking for His grace/krupai as the means for attaining Him. We can see the same meanings in thirumangai AzhvAr’s: “thuNiyEn ini ninaruL alladhu(periya thirumozhi 11-8-8)”,and in periyAzhvAr’s chenniyOngu padhigam: “nin aruLE purindhirundhEn (periyAzhvAr thirumozhi 5-4-1)”.

kOdhiladiyAr guNam:   adiyAr (devotees) are those who do not have the blemish of using other means and seeking other benefits. A devotee is a true servant who lives with the thought “prApthAvum prApakanum prApthikkugapAnum avanE”(Note: “prApthA” is the One who is to be attained (ultimate objective), “prApakan” is the way/means to attain that ultimate destination; and this act of attaining the desired is known as “prapAthi”. So the srI vachana bhUshaNam phrase says that such a devotee performs with the thought that “My prApathA, prApakan both are same, that is Him, and it is He who would be happy when He gets us”. Since the prapannan is a property (note this english word rhymes with prapathi) of the owner (perumAL), when the Lord’s property reaches Him eventually by way of prapathi, it is the Lord who becomes happy and not vice-versa. As the only Owner of all souls, it is the Lord who enjoys when a prapannan reaches Him. Seeing the happiness on the Lord’s face, a soul can feel happy and there is nothing called a happiness of the soul for itself for us). As we reach Him it is the truth that he is the head/owner of all ofu s. Thus, in the first half of this pAsuram, swAmi aruLALa perumAl emperumAnAr talked that “benefit is none other than perumAL” and in the latter half, he described that “the means is none other than perumaLHimself”. One should realize that this is the nature/state of “kOdhiladiyAr (devotees without blemishes)”.

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