Sanskrit, an ancient language that has existed for approximately 500 years is also called Devavani – the language of gods. It is perhaps the most sacred and the most scientific language in the world, and however lyrical in its expression, its power lies in the refined depth of meaning. From childhood my three sisters and I were taught several Sanskrit chants, some of which I chant even today for their healing powers and for the way they allow my inner world to resonate with the outer world.
One of them is Sat Chit Ananda—Sat, the Absolute Truth; Chit, Consciousness and Ananda, Pure Bliss. The fact is, that it is only now, after years of parroting it without contemplating the meaning, that I made a concerted effort to understand what it means. The deeper I delve into its meaning, the more I realise that these three powerful words give us an entire philosophy of being—a state of Absolute Bliss Consciousness. Of course, understanding it is one thing; experiencing it is another. And I am certainly not there. But what is fascinating is that with Sat Chit Ananda you embark on a journey to understanding the spiritual goodness of sound and consciousness.
Our Vedic literature tells us that the healing vibrations of Sanskrit mantras directly affect the chakras, organs and nervous system. In fact, it is said that the sound itself is so powerful that its vibration and rhythm have the capacity to awaken. However, in a world where we are bombarded by noise pollution and the cacophony of materialism, the transformative energies of Sanskrit chanting can be undermined.
The ancient texts tell us that Sanskrit, which means ‘refined’, is the perfect language to bridge the worlds of physical and metaphysical, the microcosm and the macrocosm of cosmic vibrations. It teaches us that the healing powers of this language lift not only the individual soul but uplift the entire universe when our collective consciousness soars with the healing vibrations of chanting.
Sanskrit, which means ‘refined’, is the perfect language to bridge the worlds of physical and metaphysical, the microcosm and the macrocosm of cosmic vibrations. It teaches us that that the healing powers of this language lift not only the individual soul but uplift the entire universe when our collective consciousness soars with the healing vibrations of chanting.
All over India, from households to temples, the act of collective chanting and singing in Sanskrit was in the form of kirtans. Kirtan is a form of active meditation which, if one delves into it wholeheartedly – without the traps of worldly scepticism, can allow one to resonate to Sat Chit Ananda – Absolute Bliss Consciousness. What a joyous way to calm the mind, detox your mind and get a glimpse of inner freedom!
In the 70s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (who developed the Transcendental Meditation technique) deliberating on the higher states of consciousness at the Humbolt State University, USA, explains this mantra beautifully. “When Sat (absolute) is reflected in its fullness, then that Sat is taken to be having that attribute of Chit – which is Consciousness. Consciousness is with reference to the Self. Consciousness: basis of being conscious. So that consciousness is one with That which is never changing. And by virtue of that attribute, by virtue of the attribute of consciousness, the attribute-less Absolute becomes a living reality… (and) because Absolute is a living reality, it can be equated with Chit, … and Chit equated with Ananda (bliss)”.
And what is the nature of Ananda? Maharishi Mahesh Yogi says Ananda is the basis of life, the sustainer of life, that Ultimate into which everything dissolves. “That ānanda is life. The creation is born out of ānanda, is sustained in ānanda, and will eventually dissolve in ānanda, will evolve from ānanda, will be maintained in ānanda, will dissolve in ānanda.”
This describes the nature of reality embedded in yogic philosophy. It is this profound experience of realising the unity from the molecular to the cosmic, and the cycles of creation and destruction. To be enlightened by Sat Chit Ananda is seen as the pinnacle of any spiritual practise.
I am, of course, nowhere close to this; but I have my mother (looking down from the Moon) to thank for this journey of self-discovery.