Ashtottaram 99 OM SAṪĆHIḊĀNANDĀTMĀBHŪMYAI NAMAH: OṀ(AUM)- SAṪ-CHI-ḊAA-NAN-ḊA-AAT-MAA BHOO-MYAI—NA-MA-HA

ॐ सच्चिदानन्दात्मभूम्यै नमः (Sat: Existence; Ćhit: Awareness, consciousness; Ānanda: Bliss; Ātma: Self)
Representative Image.
Representative Image.Devakinanda Pasupuleti

By: Devakinanda Pasupuleti

The two words sat and asat are frequently mentioned and discussed in Indian philosophical and religious works. If sat stands for existence, unchanging reality, and truth or good; asat represents all that is opposed to it, the non-existent, the transient, falsehood, evil and so on.. However, the word asat is sometimes used in the Upanishads in the sense of the un-manifested state before creation (Taittirīa Upanishad), and the word sat to denote its manifested state.

The Sanskrit word chiṫṫa means- 'that through which one knows'. It is also a general name given to the mind in Indian philosophical systems. The word 'manas' is of course more common.  Patanjali (200 BCE) considered chiṫṫa as a physical material made up of the three guṇās of sattva, rajas, and tamas; but with the preponderance of sattva. It is capable of reflecting the power of pure awareness (consciousness) of the puruṣha or the individual soul. It is also capable of modifications. It is the modified chiṫṫa with the pure consciousness (awareness) reflected in it that is responsible for cognition, thinking, doubts and drawing definite conclusions. Hence it is also called anṫahkaraṇa (the internal organ), manas (the mind), and buddhi (the intellect). The modifications themselves are called cittavrittis.

The word ānanda means complete bliss. This term is generally used to indicate unadulterated perfect bliss, got by the realization of God or the Self (Ātman). In fact one of the three basic terms used to indicate the nature of God is ānanda, the other two being sat (existence) and chit (consciousness). The second chapter of the Taittirīya Upanishad designated as Ānanda Vallī shows that brahmānanda or bliss of Brahman is infinitely superior to the greatest joy that a human being ideally situated in life can ever hope to get. This word is also used as a suffix in the name of sanyāsins (monks) as in Dayānanda, Tattavidānanda and Viditātmānanda. Earlier sanyāsins like Shri Śankarāchārya have not used it as suffix.

Brahman, which has several meanings like Vedas, the Absolute and Supreme God and Soul, the One without a second; the sages of the Upanishads called it-Parabrahman, the Absolute Reality is the sum of Sat, Chit, and Ānanda ('satyam jnānam, anantam Brahman'). Brahman is unique and different from all that we know and experience here. This should not mislead us into thinking that it is a non-entity. It has an essential nature of its own: Sat or Being, Chiṫ or consciousness (awareness) and Ānanda or bliss. These are not its characteristics, but are different phrases for the same being: Self-Being, Self-Awareness and Self-Bliss.

Our land, which imparts the knowledge of the Brahman and Āṫman, is 'Satchidānandātma- Bhūmi'.

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