What is Sat Chit Ananda?
Sat chit ananda or Sat-cit-ananda is a description of the subjective experience of Brahman. This sublimely blissful experience of the boundless, pure consciousness is a glimpse of ultimate reality.
The Sanskrit term yoga, in fact, is translated to mean ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’ and so is often translated as ‘union’. So what or who are we united with? When we are in a state of yoga, we are in a state of pure consciousness, or self-realization. We are united to the Self. And so what is the nature of the ‘Self’? Our true nature is: Sat-Chit-Ananda (Absolute Bliss Consciousness).
So we can comprise the Self in three elements:
Sat – translated as ‘being’ (or absolute non-changing truth).
Chit – translated as ‘consciousness’.
Ananda – translated as ‘bliss’ or ‘joy’.
In order to experience this state, one must practice. Yoga is not about talking about yoga. It is about doing it. K. Pattabhi Jois (the guru who is responsible for bringing Ashtanga yoga to the Western world) has been quoted often as saying that yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.
In Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary vision of the soul and the Universe, of which saccidananda is the principal term, even though the soul is incarnate in maya and subject to space, matter and time, it maintains an ongoing and eternal oneness with saccidananda or divinity. This incarnating aspect or dimension of the human being, the spirit-soul, or the ‘psychic being’ or chaitya purusha, is the staple essence that reincarnates from life to life. This essence is of the energetic quality of saccidananda.
Sri Aurobindo holds that there exists a supreme power, the ‘Supermind’, which is the first emanation from saccidananda and can be brought into play through the practice of yoga to yoke life, mind, and matter with sublime states of consciousness, being, delight and power and thereby manifest more of our inherent divinity.