sat chit Ananda
satyam jn~Anam anantam is sometimes called as sat chit Ananda in the scriptures.
I am sat, independent existence, which provides existence to all names and forms. This existence is eternal. Just as a wave has no existence apart from water, water is the only existence of all wave forms, so also, I, sat, am the existence of all varied forms. Is-ness of all forms is existence; this unqualified existence am I.
I am awareness, chit. Any thought presupposes this awareness. Mind is rendered capable of generating thoughts due to the mere presence of consciousness. Consciousness gives me objective knowledge when thoughts are generated in the mind. It is present whether one is awake, dreaming or in deep sleep. This consciousness is me.
I am Ananda, nature of happiness. How can ananta and Ananda be the same? Whenever we experience any sensual pleasure, music, or a pleasant sight etc, what happens is, that the demanding, I , the wanting I, is satisfied temporarily; there is no more seeking for some time. That seeking being absent, I actually experience myself as being limitless. This limitlessness is fullness, where there are no inhibitions, no desires. It is my own self and in those rare moments I experience myself as the form of happiness. Happiness should not be taken as something that I experience. The absence of my limitedness is itself the manifestation of my being limitless, in that limitlessness there is no trace of divisions, sadness, etc. This Ananda, infinitude is my nature. I am Ananda.
Why should the Upanishads talk about existence, awareness and limitlessness?
If we analyze, we find that there are three things that make us run; i) The desire to live forever ,ii) the desire to know more and iii) the desire to be happy.
Desire to exist forever: The most inherent and instinctive desire in a human being, or for the matter an animal also, is to continue to be, to exist forever. The reason behind bringing forth progeny also is to continue one’s own existence in form of the next generation, delusively ascribing one’s own existence and attributes to the off spring. If given a choice anyone would want to continue to live. Even those who are stuck in troubles and want to commit suicide would decide against it if given a solution to their problem. What they like is not suicide, what they like is to continue forever happily.
Desire to know: We all want to know and learn. Ignorance is loathed. The social networking sites, newspapers, media etc thrive on this desire of people, to take a peek into other’s lives, into other cities, nations etc. This desire to know, itself drives us to know more about ourselves. Once I know myself to Brahman, then the dependence on knowing finite things is not there. This is called jijn~Asa nivRRiti. One will continue to interact with the world but dependence on the world for happiness is not there.
Desire to be happy: Everyone unequivocally wants to be happy…forever. Sadness is never welcome. All pursuits are in anticipation of a happy result. All endeavors towards entertainment, relationships, sports, arts, shopping are in expectance of keeping oneself happy.
These three desires viz. the desire to live forever (sat) the desire to know (chit) and the desire for happiness (Ananda) are the three perspectives from which we execute our transactions in life. Hence, Vedanta makes use of these three aspects and shows us that the eternity which one seeks (desire to live), the awareness that one wants (desire to know) and the happiness one searches for (desire to be happy) is not elsewhere but one’s own nature. Since it is my nature, I want to be that. If my nature were not Ananda then I would be very comfortable being sad. If my nature were non eternal, then I would want to die now itself. One starts searching outside not knowing that one’s truth is already sat, chit Ananda; it is ignorance that is blocking me from claiming my own nature. The problem is ignorance and hence the solution is knowledge in the form of vedAntik enquiry. We already ARE what we seek. What is needed is introverted vision with proper enquiry, not an introverted nature.