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Satcitānanda, Satchidānanda, or Sat-cit-ānanda (Sanskrit: सच्चिदानन्द)[note 1] "Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss",[1] is a description of the subjective experience of Brahman.[note 2] This sublimely blissful experience of the boundless, pure consciousness is a glimpse of ultimate reality.[5]


The description saccidānanda comprises the three Sanskrit words sat-chit-ananda:

"Sat-Chit-Ananda" or "Saccidānanda" is the Sanskrit compound form of the word,[note 4] which can be translated in various ways:[note 5]

  • "Eternal Consciousness Bliss"[8]
  • "Absolute Consciousness Bliss"[web 2]
  • "Consisting of existence and thought and joy" [web 4]


Vaishnava philosophy[edit]

Main article: Vaishnavism

For the Vaishnava (devotee of Vishnu), saccidānanda is related to Vaikuntha, abode of Vishnu.

Gaudiya Vaishnavism[edit]

Main article: Gaudiya Vaishnavism

Gaudiya Vaishnavism (also known as Hare Krishna) is a Vaishnava religious movement founded by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486–1534) in India in the 16th century. The focus of Gaudiya Vaishnavism is the devotional worship (bhakti) of Radha and Krishna, and their many divine incarnations as the supreme forms of God, Svayam Bhagavan. Most popularly, this worship takes the form of singing Radha and Krishna's holy names, such as "Hare", "Krishna" and "Rama".

The Brahma Samhita is a Sanskrit Pancaratra text, composed of verses of prayer spoken by Brahma glorifying the supreme Lord Krishna or Govinda at the beginning of creation. It is revered within Gaudiya Vaishnavism.[web 5] Sloka 5.1 of the Brahma Samhita states:

Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.[citation needed][note 6]

Tulsidas philosophy[edit]

Main article: Goswami Tulsidas

To Goswami Tulsidas, his Lord Rama was Bhagavan[citation needed], the Supreme Being or Absolute Truth, possessing a personality (a personal God).[web 6] Tulsidas regarded Lord Rama not only as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, but also of Brahm, the supreme world spirit. According to J. M. Macfie, one of the most beautiful expressions of Tulsidas's faith in God and in Ram as the incarnation of God can be found in the following statement[citation needed]:

The Adorable (Bhagavan) is one, passionless, formless, nameless, unborn, existence, thought, joy (sachchidanand) , the supreme abode. He pervades all things. He exists in all forms. He assumes a body and performs many deeds simply for the sake of those devoted to Him. He is supremely merciful and full of love to His children, very affectionate to those who are His own, and in His compassion is not angry with them. He is the restorer of that which is past, the protector of the humble, the sincere and powerful Lord.[9][note 7][note 8]

Vedanta philosophy[edit]

Main article: Vedanta

The Vedantic philosophy understands saccidānanda as a synonym of the three fundamental attributes of Brahman. In the Advaita Vedanta school of Hindu philosophy, a person who fully lives Brahman (24 hours a day) is called a jivanmukta.

Modern Hinduism[edit]

Sri Aurobindo[edit]

Main article: Sri Aurobindo

In Sri Aurobindo's evolutionary vision of the soul and the Universe, of which saccidānanda is the principal term, even though the soul is incarnate in maya and subject to space, matter and time, it maintains an ongoing and eternal oneness with saccidānanda or divinity. This incarnating aspect or dimension of the human being, the spirit-soul, or the 'psychic being' or chaitya purusha, is the staple essence that reincarnates from life to life. This essence is of the energetic quality of saccidānanda.[web 7]

Aurobindo holds that there exists a supreme power, the 'Supermind', which is the first emanation from saccidānanda and can be brought into play through the practice of yoga to yoke life, mind and matter with sublime states of consciousness, being, delight and power and thereby manifest more of our inherent divinity.[web 7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Regardless of spelling, satcitananda is pronounced as sach-chid-ānanda ; [Sat-cit-a·nan·da : suht-chit-ah-nuhn-duh;  IPA: /ˈsʌtˈtʃɪtɑˈnʌndə/],[web 1]
  2. ^ Brahman is "the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world",[2] which "cannot be exactly defined",[3] but is Sat-cit-ānanda (being-consciousness-bliss)[1] and the highest reality.[4]
  3. ^ "Sat is absolute non changing truth." –Maharishi Mahesh Yogi[web 2]
  4. ^ The constituent terms are linked by sandhi
  5. ^ A phenomelogical or evocative translation-interpretation could be "Insight is blissfull living truth"
  6. ^ īśvaraḥ paramah krsnaḥ
    anādir ādir govindaḥ
  7. ^ J. M. Macfie gives the verse number as Bal. 17 (17) 22. The Gita Press version online, gives it in the Chaupai after Doha 12 in Balakanda, that is page 38 in the full version. The version that only goes up to 97 has different pagination.
  8. ^ An alternate translation of this passage, plus the original Hindi text in Romanized and Devanagari alphabets, may be found on page 38 of this file



Published sources[edit]

  • MacFie, J.M. (2004), The Ramayan of Tulsidas or the Bible of Northern India, Kessinger Publishing 
  • Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (1989), Knowledge and the Sacred, New York: State University of New York Press 
  • Potter, Karl H. (2008), The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Advaita Vedānta Up to Śaṃkara and His Pupils, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited 
  • Prabhupada, A.C. Bhaktivedanta ((undated)), Bhagavad-Gita As It Is (Complete Ediiton), New York: The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Puligandla, Ramakrishna (1997), Fundamentals of Indian Philosophy, New Delhi: D.K. Printworld (P) Ltd. 
  • Raju, P. T. (2013), The Philosophical Traditions of India, Routledge, p. 228, ISBN 9781135029425, retrieved 8 June 2015 
  • Sugirtharajah, Sharada (2003), Routledge  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Werner, Karel (1994), A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism, Curzon Press, ISBN 0-7007-1049-3 


  1. ^ sat-cit-ananda. Unabridged. Random House, Inc. (accessed: March 09, 2013).
  2. ^ a b c d e f Maharishi's Teaching, Meaning of the word “Satcitananda” (Sat Chit Ananda)
  3. ^ a b c d Sanskrit dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit, ananda
  4. ^ "saccidānanda". Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  5. ^ A history of the Brahma Samhita (
  6. ^ Who is Krishna?
  7. ^ a b Michael Murphy (2000), Sri Aurobindo's Model of the Soul. In: Survival of Bodily Death: An Esalen Invitational Converence, February 11–16, 2000 (accessed: march 6, 2013)

External links[edit]