Sat-cit-ānanda / Eternal, Full of Knowledge, and Bliss

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This morning while reading I came across the words sat-cit-ānanda. Many of us, we know what the words mean, but have we realized the meaning yet? Do we truly understand what it means to be eternal, full of knowledge and blissfull? I thought I would do a search on the phrase “sac-cid-ānanda” and see how this was explained by Srila Prabhupada.

Cit means knowledge, sat means eternal, and bliss means full of jubilation, ānanda, pleasure. (from lectures)

Because we are spirit soul, our position is ānandamāyā. Ānandamāyā means always blissful. Because we are part and parcel of God… God is blissful, all-good, sac-cid-ānanda…Sat means eternal, and cit means full of knowledge, and ānanda means full of bliss. So we are part and parcel of God. Kṛṣṇa says, mamaivāṁśo jīva bhūtaḥ: BG 15.7 “All these living entities, they are My part and parcel.” So if Kṛṣṇa is sat-cit-ānanda, then we are also sat-cit-ānanda, because we are part. Just like gold and a gold, small particle. That is also gold.

…Part is never equal to the whole. But quality is the same. Therefore we, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, we are trying to utilize our original constitutional position. This is going on. But we are doing that without Kṛṣṇa at the present moment. Therefore it is not successful. Part must remain with the whole. I have given this example many times, that a small screw of typewriter or any machine, it must remain with the whole machine. Then it has value. If it is out of the machine, there is no value. A small screw in the motorcar, so long it is with the motorcar, it has got value. And as soon as it is thrown out of the motorcar, it has no value. (Lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.9 given Detroit, August 3, 1975, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

It is interesting to note that Srila Prabhupada used this phrase ‘sat cit ananda’, 41 times in Lectures, 5 times in Letters, and can be found is his books. Some of the usage is as follows:

Lectures

Your business is to understand the eternal.” That is called sat. And cit. Cit means knowledge. At the present moment we are all in ignorance. We do not know what is the next step, “Whether I am going to live or to die.” Everything in ignorance. Therefore this body is also not cit. It is full of ignorance. Then sat, cit and ānanda, that we have got experience… Where is ānanda? Ānanda means blissfulness, joyfulness. There cannot be any joyfulness in this body. There are three kinds of miserable condition of material life: adhyātmika, adhibhautika, adhidaivika. So either these three or one or two is always there. Adhyātmika means miserable condition on account of the body and mind. So wherever we go, the body is there. So even if I am very opulent materially with wealth, we are getting experience that even the most rich, richest man in the society, he is committing suicide. Why? He has got every resources to enjoy. (Lecture on BG 2.1-11 — Johannesburg, October 17, 1975)

So this is the education, that we should understand what is our material life and what is our spiritual life. Spiritual life means sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (Bs. 5.1). Sat-cit-ānanda. Sat means eternal, cit means full of knowledge, and bliss means full of jubilation, ānanda, pleasure. This is our constitution. This is God’s constitution. This our constitution. The difference between God and ourself is that God never accepts this material body, but sometimes we, under certain circumstances, we have to accept this material body. But never mind. We have accepted this material body. We can get out of it. And the process for getting out of it is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. (Lecture on BG 2.9 — Auckland, February 21, 1973)

The Vedānta-sūtra says that ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt ( Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12) . Because we are spirit soul, our position is ānandamāyā. Ānandamāyā means always blissful. Because we are part and parcel of God… God is blissful, all-good, sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ. Īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ [Bs. 5.1] . His form… He has got form. He is not formless. But His form is different. That form is sat-cit-ānanda. Sat means eternal, and cit means full of knowledge, and ānanda means full of bliss. So we are part and parcel of God. Kṛṣṇa says, mamaivāṁśo jīva bhūtaḥ: BG 15.7 “All these living entities, they are My part and parcel.” So if Kṛṣṇa is sat-cit-ānanda, then we are also sat-cit-ānanda, because we are part. Just like gold and a gold, small particle. That is also gold. You cannot say it is something else. No. So part or whole, it may be. That is difference. Part is never equal to the whole. But quality is the same. Therefore we, being part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord, we are trying to utilize our original constitutional position. This is going on. But we are doing that without Kṛṣṇa at the present moment. Therefore it is not successful. Part must remain with the whole. I have given this example many times, that a small screw of typewriter or any machine, it must remain with the whole machine. Then it has value. If it is out of the machine, there is no value. A small screw in the motorcar, so long it is with the motorcar, it has got value. And as soon as it is thrown out of the motorcar, it has no value. So similarly, we are part and parcel of God, Kṛṣṇa. If we remain with Kṛṣṇa Just like we are part and parcel of our family, father, mother. And father is opulent. So if we remain with father and mother, we are also opulent. But if we give up the company of father and mother, father and mother, not ordinary father and mother, opulent God is opulent. So then we are also opulent. And if we give up the company of father and mother, want to live independently, then we are in distress. This is our position. (Lecture on the Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.9 given Detroit, August 3, 1975, by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is called sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. The Brahma-saṁhitā begins in this way: īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ/ anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam. “Govinda, Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of all causes. He is the primal cause, and He is the very form of eternity, knowledge and bliss.” Impersonal Brahman realization is the realization of His sat (eternity) feature. Paramātmā realization is the realization of sat-cit (eternal knowledge). But realization of the Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, is realization of all the transcendental features: sat, cit and ānanda (eternity, knowledge, and bliss) in complete vigraha (form). (Bhagavad-gita Introduction)
Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His original form is full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. The spiritual potency in these three portions (sat, cit and ānanda) assumes three different forms.

According to the verdict of all Vedic literature, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the living entity and the illusory energy (this material world) constitute the subject matter of knowledge. Everyone should try to understand the relationship between them. First of all, one should try to understand the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. From the śāstras we understand that the nature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the sum total of eternity, bliss and knowledge. As stated in verse 154 (viṣṇu-śaktiḥ parā proktā (CC Madhya 6.154)), the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of all potencies, and His potencies are all spiritual. (CC Madhya 6.158, Translation and Purport)

“The Supreme Personality of Godhead in His original form is full of eternity, knowledge and bliss. The spiritual potency in these three portions (sat, cit and ānanda) assumes three different forms.” (CC Madhya 6.158, Translation)

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