SAT CHIT ANAND
SWAMI SUDDHANANDA: Your true nature is Sat Chit Ananda
Tiruvannamalai, South India, January 2010
The Vedic scriptures tell you something you don’t know about yourself – you are immortal, eternal. Your true nature is SAT-CHIT-ANANDA.
SAT is absolute existence, eternal, ever existing in all periods of time (past, present, future). It is beyond time, ever present, always remaining as it is, unchanging. It is your Self, your being, the true source of happiness and bliss that is ANANDA.
CHIT is pure consciousness / objectless awareness / knowledge, that is beyond body, brain and mind.
ANANDA is supreme bliss / happiness. Whenever you are with your Self, you are happy – you are the happiness; you are the bliss.
SAT-CHIT-ANANDA is not 3 different things. It is different dimensions of 1 thing. Immortal, eternal and unchanging.
Our first priority in life is to be alive. Everybody has the survival instinct. Nobody wants to die. Your true nature is immortal and alive forever. You think that you will not die. You can’t believe that you will die. This is an expression of your true nature asserting itself. The reality of your Self is ageless, beyond birth and death. Nobody wants or accepts death. Everybody wants to live forever. You want your true nature.
Our second priority is to be happy. Everybody wants happiness. It is instinctual. This instinct is actually the search for our Self, which is the true source of happiness.
Our third priority is for knowledge – Self-knowledge. Vedanta goes straight to this knowledge. That’s why few people are interested. Most people are still involved with the first and second priorities – they want food and fun, not enlightenment! Only once sustenance is there; only when you have searched for happiness but not found what you are looking for – then you become interested in the third quest in life, and you look for Ultimate happiness. You want knowledge. Ultimate knowledge is knowledge of the knower that is your Self.
Everybody wants to live forever. Everybody wants to be happy forever. Everybody wants to know, to be free of ignorance. All three needs find their fulfillment in the Absolute. Go to your Self: I am that. Every form has the same formless content – call it God, Ishwara; Buddha nature; total mind. Everybody is looking for this, even if they don’t know it.
Swamiji swings his mala. There is movement. This movement looks for its center and then becomes still. The struggle, the search will not stop until you find your Self. When you find yourself, the movement stops and there is silence, stillness, peace.
Understanding is needed for self-knowledge. To understand the macrocosm, you must first understand the microcosm. A wave can’t believe it is the ocean, because a wave is so tiny compared to the whole ocean. If you tell the wave: you are the ocean, the wave won’t believe it – the ocean is too vast. But a wave can believe it is water. A wave is made of water. And water makes up the ocean. And the ocean is everywhere. So too is the ocean of consciousness.
Consciousness is all-pervasive, but it is expressing itself through your body and mind. The body is limited – you can only experience through your body and mind. Consciousness itself (like space) is unlimited, but the body is limited. There is no such thing as a personal consciousness, just as there is no such thing as personal space. Consciousness is here, there, everywhere. You are moving in consciousness, just as you are moving in space. Everything is moving in consciousness. The total consciousness – the totality – is called Ishwara.
Water is part of a wave, is part of the ocean. The wave needs to understand this because it feels like a separate part. You are the water and water is everywhere. All water makes up the ocean. A wave is born out of the ocean, is sustained by the ocean, disintegrates and goes back into the ocean. This tiny wave of consciousness (the small I) is part of the totality.
Ishwara / God is all-pervasive, all inclusive. The concept of God in English, in Western religions is not all-pervasive. God is seen as the creator that is separate from the creation. This is not true. In Vedanta, nothing stands apart. There is no separation. Everything is a part of totality.
You are the Truth. Yes, but don’t say you are God. There is a difference between the wave and the ocean – the wave is not the ocean but part of the ocean. God is all-pervasive and unlimited, but this body is limited. The wave continues to exist but as part of the ocean. I am the consciousness. The physical body is like a wave. The macrocosm is the whole of creation.
Swamiji says: Touch the earth. Everybody touches the ground. But are you not part of the earth? If you touch yourself, you are touching the earth, of which you are a part. Nothing stands apart – everything is interconnected. The part is part of the whole and the whole is made of parts. The entire planet and everything on it is part of earth. The whole solar system, the universe, is earth.
Let your mind expand. In the tiniest microcosm, everything is represented. Eternity exists in a moment. The whole universe exists in a particle of dust. Everything is part of the totality. God alone is everything. There is nothing other than this.
Body is a collective word. The whole thing is called body. You cannot separate it into parts. The parts are named for convenience sake. Earth includes everything. Division and names are necessary for convenience and communication. But we lose ourselves in the separate names. God is not anything, but is everything. This is the all-inclusiveness of the Divine. God has no religion. God is existence – call it Truth, consciousness, Buddha, Rama, Krishna, whatever.
Nobody needs division and duality. See the oneness of the universe, but live with the divisions. But remember what is real is one all-pervasive Existence. Nobody stands apart. All is included. You are a cellular universe of which you are presiding deity. All is Divine. Your body is made of cells, and your body is a cell in the universe. Remain individual but don’t forget you are part of the totality.
Ultimate knowledge means knowing: I am one with the Absolute. You continue to play relative roles, but you don’t get lost in them. The immortal is dancing through this mortal body. Be the changeless and live with the changes. Be the limitless and live with the limited. This is SAT-CHIT-ANANDA.
“Thus one should know oneself to be the nature of Absolute – Existence – Knowledge – Bliss.”