Sunday, July 7, 2013
"Atma And Sat-Chit-Anand"
What is the relationship between the Atma and Sat-Chit-Anand? Let us first try to understand what Sat-Chit-Ananda is since we hear and talk about it so often…. Sri Paramhans Yogananda has described it as “the Sanskrit word for God that expresses the essential nature of Spirit as eternal Being or truth (Sat), infinite consciousness (Chit) and ever new Bliss (Ananda)” “Sat” stands for Truth and since the only real truth is God it means the highest level of Cosmic Consciousness which is free from all negativities of ‘raag’, dvesh’ or any faults. There are many other names too like, Being, God the Father (the Christian Bible),Par-Brahman of the Bhagavad Gita and Vedantic philosophy, Paramatama of the Yogis. Para –Purusha and Transcendental Spirit , and Sadhguru. All these names mean the same. Sat is also the supreme pure essence of Cosmic Consciousness “Chit” stands for Consciousness, while “Ananda” is bliss. Consciousness itself needs some further clarification. As we are aware there are three states of Consciousness…..Jagrat, or Conscious, awake or wakeful state, Supta or Subconscious or sleeping state and the Sushupta state, also called the Superconscious state, Krishna Consciousness or Christ Consciousness. According to Swami Jnaneshwar Bharat, the Aum Mantra denotes four levels of Consciousness and three transition levels. Each of the three sounds of the Aum Mantra (A, U and M) symbolize specific states of Consciousness after which there is silence which is the Fourth State and is Consciousness or awareness itself, while in between are the transition states. “A” represents the Waking State and is also called the Conscious, Gross or the Vaishnavara state, followed by the transition stage called Unmani. “U’ represents the Dreaming, Unconscious , Taijasya or the Subtle states, followed by the transition stage called Aladani. “M” is representative of the Subconscious state also called Prajna, and Causal state. This is then followed by the transition stage of Samadhi. Consciousness has also been classified as Conscious, Subconscious and Superconscious which has been subdivided into Individual (Soul) and Universal Superconscious states (God). Bliss is part of the Causal Body. (Our body has three parts, the physical, made of matter, called the Sthula sharer, the Astral or Sukshma shareer (the pranmaya and manomaya koshas are part of this ie prana and mind) and the Causal Body comprises of Intelligence (Vigyanmaya kosha) and Bliss or Anandmaya kosha). If we look at the Nature of Sat we realize that it has no beginning, middle or end, has existed in the past, is present now and will exist in the future, is changeless, is not conditioned by time , space or causation, exists during Jagrat, Swapna or Sushupti, it exists as one homogenous essence (Sada Ekarasa and Sada Ekarupa). All these qualities are present in Atma as well. Hence Atma is Sat (Swami Sivananda). Swami Sivananda further elaborates that ‘Atma is Chit for it shines by itself unaided by any other light and illuminates the whole Universe”. He explains that “this lamp of body filled with oil of Karma, the fire of Atman igniting the wick called mind acquires the name of Jiva and removes the darkness of Ajnana. This power is really in Atman and not in others.” According to him, Atma is Ananda as well! “Ananda is that bliss which is eternal, uncaused and unexcelled” which is the real nature of Atma also. It, therefore, becomes clear that Sat-Chit-Ananda are not three distinct entities and not different from one another either and that Atma is the same as Sat-Chit-Ananda. To achieve a stage of Sat-Chit-Ananda we need to connect with our Atma or the Self. (http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/god-and-i/godselfand-the-connection may be referred to) How do we experience Sat-Chit-Ananda? This can happen only by the opening of our Third Eye, situated a little deep to the centre of our forehead. This is also called the Agya Chakra. The Atma can be appreciated only after the opening of the Third Eye, which opens to the inside and not out as our ordinary eyes do. It is here that the three nadis, namely, “Ida”, “Pingala” and ‘Sushumna’ meet, which is why it is also called “Triveni”. Normally the Sushumna, a part of our astral body, is non functional. It is only when we manage to shift our consciousness from the “outside” to the ‘inside” that out sushumna starts functioning and takes our consciousness to the Agya Chakra. The Agya Chakra controls the manomaya kosha and the intelligence sheaths ie mind and intelligence and its qualities are Sat, Chit and Anand. When we go beyond the mind and intelligence we experience bliss, or , in other words, when the mind and intelligence sheaths are exposed the bliss sheath is visible, which is the same as connection with the atma or the Self. Till such time the Third Eye is not opened our consciousness remains lower down. (According to yoga it is awakening of the kundalani which takes the consciousness upwards). My blog http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/meditation/kundalini-risingwhat-is-the-best-method could be referred to. One need not wait for this to happen, however, if one can learn to connect with the Shabd or Aum as taught by a Realized guru, who after initiation can bring about the opening of the Third Eye directly without taking recourse to the kundalini. As we are aware, the Shabd or Aum is that vibration (comprising of sound and light) which is responsible for the creation of the entire universe and is the direct ‘link’ to God beyond creation. (kindly refer to my blog http://www.speakingtree.in/public/spiritual-blogs/seekers/meditation/aum-and-gayatri-mantrastheir-deeper-meaning for more details) When the Third Eye opens with the appreciation of “Aum”/”Shabd” it results in the appreciation of Sat or God which is associated with a sense of bliss also. The atma then must travels through five stages or Khands……namely dharma khand, karam khand, saram khand, gyan khand, and sach khand for complete merger with Him. Let us all try to achieve a state of Sat-Chit-Ananda and become one with that scintillating brightness which no one has ever been able to describe fully.