Satcitananda

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Satchitananda (IAST: Satcitānanda) or Sacchidananda representing "existence, consciousness, and bliss"[1][2] or "truth, consciousness, bliss",[3] is an epithet and description for the subjective experience of the ultimate, unchanging reality in Hinduism called Brahman.[4][5][note 1]

Etymology[edit]

Satchitananda (Sanskrit: सच्चितानन्द) is a compounded Sanskrit word consisting of "sat", "cit" and "ananda", all three considered as inseparable from the nature of ultimate reality called Brahman in Hinduism.[8] The different forms of spelling is driven by euphonic (sandhi) rules of Sanskrit, useful in different contexts.[8]

  • sat (सत्):[9] According to Monier Monier-Williams, sat means "being, existing", "living, lasting, enduring", "real, actual", "true, good, right", "beautiful, wise, venerable, honest", or "that which really is, existence, essence, true being, really existent, good, true".[9][note 2]
  • cit (चित्):[11] means "to perceive, fix mind on", "to understand, comprehend, know", "to form an idea in the mind, be conscious of, think, reflect upon".[11] Loctefeld and other scholars translate it as "consciousness".[12][13]
  • ānanda (आनन्द):[14] means "happiness, joy, enjoyment, sensual pleasure", "pure happiness, one of three attributes of Atman or Brahman in the Vedanta philosophy".[14] Loctefeld and other scholars translate ananda as "bliss".[15][16]

Satchitananda is therefore translated as "Truth Consciousness Bliss",[3][17][18] "Reality Consciousness Bliss",[19][20] "Existence Consciousness Bliss",[2] or "Consisting of existence and thought and joy".[web 1]

Discussion[edit]

The term is contextually related to "the ultimate reality" in various schools of Hindu traditions.[8] In theistic traditions, sacchidananda is same as God such as Vishnu,[21] Shiva[22] or Goddess in Shakti traditions.[23] In monist traditions, sacchidananda is considered directly inseparable from nirguna (attributeless) Brahman or the "universal wholeness of existence", wherein the Brahman is identical with Atman, the true individual self.[24][5] Satchitananda or Brahman is held to be the source of all reality, source of all conscious thought, and source of all perfection-bliss.[8] It is the ultimate, the complete, the destination of spiritual pursuit in Hinduism.[8][5][25]

Textual references[edit]

The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (c. 800–600 BCE) is among the earliest Hindu texts which links and then discusses Atman (soul), Brahman (ultimate reality), awareness, joy and bliss such as in sections 2.4, 3.9 and 4.3.[26][27][28] The Chandogya Upanishad (~800-600 BCE), in section 3.14 to 3.18, discusses Atman and Brahman, these being identical to "that which shines and glows both inside and outside", "dear", "pure knowing, awareness", "one's innermost being", "highest light", "luminous".[29][30] Other 1st-millennium BCE texts, such as the Taittiriya Upanishad in section 2.1, as well as minor Upanishads, discuss Atman and Brahman in saccidananda-related terminology.[31]

An early mention of the compound word sacchidananda is in verse 3.11 of Tejobindu Upanishad,[32] composed before the 4th-century CE.[33][34] The context of sacchidananda is explained in the Upanishad as follows:[35]

The realization of Atman.

(...) I am of the nature of consciousness.
I am made of consciousness and bliss.
I am nondual, pure in form, absolute knowledge, absolute love.
I am changeless, devoid of desire or anger, I am detached.
I am One Essence, unlimitedness, utter consciousness.
I am boundless Bliss, existence and transcendent Bliss.
I am the Atman, that revels in itself.
I am the Sacchidananda that is eternal, enlightened and pure.

— Tejobindu Upanishad, 3.1-3.12 (Abridged)[35][36]

Vedanta philosophy[edit]

Main article: Vedanta

The Vedantic philosophy understands saccidānanda as a synonym of the three fundamental attributes of Brahman. In Advaita Vedanta, states Werner, it is the sublimely blissful experience of the boundless, pure consciousness and represents the unity of spiritual essence of ultimate reality.[2]

Saccidānanda is an epithet for Brahman, considered indescribable, unitary, ultimate, unchanging reality in Hinduism.[4], [37][38]

Vaishnava philosophy[edit]

Main article: Vaishnavism

Tulsidas considers Rama as Satcitananda.[39][need quotation to verify]

Modern era movements[edit]

According to Maharishi, the term sat can have meanings, such as that "which never changes", the "Truth", or the "Absolute Being"; cit translates to "consciousness"; and ananda means bliss.[web 2] Together, it may be rendered as "Absolute Consciousness Bliss".[web 2]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brahman is "the unchanging reality amidst and beyond the world",[6] which "cannot be exactly defined", but is being-consciousness-bliss.[1] and the highest reality.[7]
  2. ^ Another translation is offered by Sugirtharajah, who suggests a "palpable force of virtue and truth".[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Raju 2013, p. 228.
  2. ^ a b c Werner 2004, p. 88.
  3. ^ a b Gurajada Suryanarayana Murty (2002), Paratattvaganṇitadarśanam, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120818217, page 303
  4. ^ a b Devadutta Kali (2005), Devimahatmyam: In Praise of the Goddess, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120829534, page 365, Quote: "Saccidananda, being-consciousness-bliss, a threefold epithet attempting to describe the unitary, indescribable Brahman".
  5. ^ a b c Jones & Ryan 2006, p. 388.
  6. ^ Puligandla 1997, p. 222.
  7. ^ Potter 2008, p. 6-7.
  8. ^ a b c d e James Lochtefeld (2002), "Sacchidananda" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N-Z, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, page 578
  9. ^ a b Sir Monier Monier-Williams, Sat, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages, Oxford University Press (Reprinted: Motilal Banarsidass), ISBN 978-8120831056, page 1134
  10. ^ Sugirtharajah 2004, p. 115.
  11. ^ a b Sir Monier Monier-Williams, Cit, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages, Oxford University Press (Reprinted: Motilal Banarsidass), ISBN 978-8120831056, page 395
  12. ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), "Ananda" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A-M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, page 35
  13. ^ Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5. 
  14. ^ a b Sir Monier Monier-Williams, Ananda, A Sanskrit-English Dictionary: Etymologically and Philologically Arranged with Special Reference to Cognate Indo-European Languages, Oxford University Press (Reprinted: Motilal Banarsidass), ISBN 978-8120831056, page 139
  15. ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), "Ananda" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A-M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, page 35
  16. ^ Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5. 
  17. ^ Vasant Merchant (2000), Savitri: A Legend & a Symbol-Sri Aurobindo's Modern Epic, International Journal of Humanities and Peace, vol. 16, no. 1, pages 29-34
  18. ^ Jean Holm and John Bowker (1998), Hinduism, in Picturing God, Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-1855671010, page 71
  19. ^ Julian Woods (2001), Destiny and Human Initiative in the Mahabharata, State University of New York, ISBN 978-0791449820, page 201
  20. ^ Adrian Hastings et al (2000), The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0198600244, page 324
  21. ^ Klaus Klostermair (2007), A Survey of Hinduism, 3rd Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791470817, page 246
  22. ^ Hilko Wiardo Schomerus and Humphrey Palmer (2000), Śaiva Siddhānta, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120815698, page 44
  23. ^ Sherma, Rita (1998), Lance E. Nelson, ed., Purifying the Earthly Body of God: Religion and Ecology in Hindu India, State University of New York Press, p. 116, ISBN 978-0791439241 
  24. ^ Holdrege, Barbara (2004). Mittal, S; Thursby, G, eds. The Hindu World. Routledge. pp. 241–242. ISBN 0415215277. Shankara philosophical system is based on a monistic ontology in which brahman, the universal wholeness of existence, is alone declared to be real. In its essential nature as nirguna (without attributes), brahman is pure being (Sat), consciousness (Cit), and bliss (Ananda) and is completely formless, distinctionless, nonchanging, and unbounded. As saguna (with attributes), brahman assumes the form of Ishvara, the lord, [...] Moksha is attained through knowledge (jñåna, vidyå) alone, for when knowledge dawns the individual self awakens to its true nature as Atman, the universal Self, which is identical with Brahman. 
  25. ^ Christopher Key Chapple (2010), The Bhagavad Gita: Twenty-fifth–Anniversary Edition, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-1438428420, page xviii
  26. ^ Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 433-437, 464-475, 484-493
  27. ^ Anantanand Rambachan (2006), The Advaita Worldview: God, World, and Humanity, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791468517, pages 40-43
  28. ^ Mariasusai Dhavamony (2002), Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Theological Soundings and Perspectives, Rodopi, ISBN 978-9042015104, pages 68-70
  29. ^ Paul Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Volume 1, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120814684, pages 110-117
  30. ^ Klaus Witz (1998), The Supreme Wisdom of the Upaniṣads: An Introduction, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120815735, pages 227-228
  31. ^ Dhavamony, Mariasusai (2002). Hindu-Christian Dialogue: Theological Soundings and Perspectives. Rodopi. pp. 68–70. ISBN 9789042015104. 
  32. ^ Hattangadi, Sunder (2015). "तेजोबिन्दु (Tejobindu Upanishad)" (PDF) (in Sanskrit). p. 8. Retrieved 12 January 2016. ; Quote: नित्यशुद्धचिदानन्दसत्तामात्रोऽहमव्ययः । नित्यबुद्धविशुद्धैकसच्चिदानन्दमस्म्यहम् ॥
  33. ^ Mircea Eliade (1970), Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691017646, pages 128-129
  34. ^ Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press, p. 96, ISBN 978-0521438780 
  35. ^ a b Ayyangar, TR Srinivasa (1938). The Yoga Upanishads. The Adyar Library. pp. 42–43. 
  36. ^ Hattangadi, Sunder (2015). "तेजोबिन्दु (Tejobindu Upanishad)" (PDF) (in Sanskrit). pp. 7–8. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  37. ^ Lochtefeld, James G. (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M. The Rosen Publishing Group. pp. 593, 578, 604. ISBN 9780823931798. 
  38. ^ Eliot Deutsch (1980), Advaita Vedanta : A Philosophical Reconstruction, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 978-0824802714, Chapter 1
  39. ^ MacFie 2004, p. 26.

Sources[edit]

Web-sources[edit]

  1. ^ "saccidānanda". Sanskrit Dictionary for Spoken Sanskrit. spokensanskrit.de. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Maharishi's Teaching, Meaning of the word "Satcitananda" (Sat Chit Ananda)

External links[edit]