Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 21 Jul 2012


How do you justify that God is sat-chit-ananda?

Sat means existence. The only information about the unimaginable God is that God exists. Except this information, no other information regarding His nature or characteristics can be available (Astityeva upalabhdavyah… Veda). This is the meaning of the word Sat. Aum is said to be the name of God (Tasya vaachakah pranavah… Brahma Sutra). The Gita says that the information about God is only that Aum is only the existence (Aum tat sat iti nirdeshah). This means that there is no other information about God except that He exists. When God is unimaginable, what is the proof of His existence? The existence of unimaginable events, called miracles in this world clearly prove the existence of some unimaginable item. You may strike away the miracles interpreting that such miracles are only fraudulent actions called as magic. You do not have sufficient patience to differentiate the magic from a genuine miracle. For you, there is an unimaginable entity constantly standing as the proof here itself. Such proof is the unimaginable boundary of the universe. The infinite cosmos has certainly unimaginable boundary. Therefore, you have to accept the existence of the unimaginable item. In fact, the unimaginable boundary of the universe is God. God is said to be beyond space since God is the generator of space and has no spatial dimensions. If you say that the soil is beyond the ocean, it means that the boundary of the ocean itself is the soil. Similarly, the boundary of this universe is the unimaginable God and hence, we say that the boundary of universe is unimaginable. Hence, the existence of the unimaginable God should be accepted even by the scientists if they think in ground state with balanced mind.

God is said to be chit or awareness. God is also said to be ananda or bliss. Both these statements contradict by speaking that God is unimaginable. Both awareness and bliss are imaginable items. If the nature of God is any imaginable item, God must be imaginable. Now, how to correlate these two statements with the above statement that the only information about the unimaginable God is that God exists (Sat). The contradiction must be removed. There are two states of God.

  1. The first state is the absolute God, who is beyond this creation (Nirguna).
  2. The second state is the relative God, who is in this world.

The same absolute God enters this world in human form to preach the divine knowledge to humanity. The same unimaginable God enters a specific energetic form called Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva etc., in the upper worlds to preach the divine knowledge to the souls existing in energetic bodies. The materialized human body on this earth or the energetic body in the upper world acts as the medium with which God identifies Himself. The electricity existing in metallic wire identifies itself with it so that we call the electrified wire itself as the current. The current can be experienced through the shock anywhere by touching the metallic wire. Due to such identification by non isolation of current from wire, we do not differentiate the electrified wire from the electricity.

The relative God in the second state is characterized by chit and ananda. Actually, the awareness and bliss are the characteristics of medium only. In the human incarnation, God charges a human being. The human being is characterized by the awareness and bliss. Since God is identified with medium, He is also identified with the characteristics of medium. Actually, the awareness is not mentioned in the Veda. In the Veda, there are two statements.

  1. God is true and infinite knowledge (Satyam jnanam anantam Brahma)
  2. the extraordinary excellent knowledge is God (Prajnanam Brahma)

In fact, these two statements give the identity marks for God in human form. Awareness is the causal material of knowledge and also the excellent knowledge. The knowledge is like ordinary design and extraordinary knowledge is like the special design of a golden jewel. For both designs, gold is the causal material. We can call any golden jewel as gold. We hear the statement “how much gold is given to the bride?” Here gold means the golden jewel. Therefore, the ordinary and special knowledge can be indicated by the awareness, which is the causal material. In fact, the word ‘knowledge’ is never used to mean the basic awareness, which is present in all the living beings. The word knowledge in usage (Rudha) is specified only in the intellectual awareness present in the human beings. According to the Veda, the characteristic is neither basic awareness (chit) nor the knowledge of human beings (jnanam). It is the extraordinary knowledge (prajnanam) that characterizes the human incarnation. Since it is not mere awareness, you cannot say that God is present in all the living beings. Since it is not the ordinary knowledge, you cannot say that God is present in all the human beings. It is only the extraordinary knowledge like the Gita and hence, God is present in a specific human being like Krishna.

You can treat the awareness, knowledge and extraordinary knowledge as the three steps of address for relative God. The name of the town, the name of street and the house number are the three gradual steps of gradual precision of the address. The name of the town indicates that the addressee is not in other towns. Similarly, the word awareness (chit) means that God is not in non-living inert materials like statues and photos. The word knowledge (jnanam), which is like the name of the street, means that God is not in other streets of the town. Here it means that God is not in all the living beings but only in human beings (Manushim tanumashritam… Gita). The final step, the extraordinary knowledge (prajnanam), which is like the house number, means that God is not in every house in that street. It means that He is only in a specific house. Here, it means that God is not in every human being but in a specific human being called Krishna. Here, God is addressed as the special knowledge, which means that He is the possessor of special knowledge. The possessor can be addressed by the name of possessed item. God is the special knowledge. It means that God is the possessor of special knowledge. You can understand the address of God precisely only through the sharp analysis. Otherwise, you will be misled to think that God is in all living beings or God is in every human being. The Advaita philosophers are misled here to understand that God is the awareness present in all the living beings. They are misled in two ways.

The first way is that God is awareness because God thinks. The unimaginable God can think even without being the awareness. The worldly logic applied to imaginable items is applied to unimaginable God.

The second way of misunderstanding is that God entered the world as per the Veda (Tadevaanupraavishat…). They thought that God entered this creation as awareness in all the living beings. The word ‘entry’ does not imply all this extra explanation. The word ‘entry’ simply means that God entered in to the world and it can be applicable also to the meaning that God entered the world as human incarnation.

Moreover, awareness is only work like walking, talking etc. It means the process of thinking or knowing. The unimaginable God can do any work due to His unimaginable nature. For doing a work, the specific instrument is not necessary. He can walk without legs and capture without hands as said in the Veda. Similarly, He can think without being the awareness. Therefore, the awareness mentioned here is only the characteristic of the medium (human being) and not the characteristic of the absolute God, who entered the medium. It is only the identification mark of the medium to recognize the human incarnation among the living beings. Suppose there is a group of people wearing red shirts. In that group of hundred people, there are ten, who are wearing intensified red shirts. In the ten, there is one with most intensified red color shirt, which has dazzling radiation of the red color. The awareness indicating the living beings is like the group with red shirts. The ten people in the group are the human beings with intensified red color shirts. Krishna is one in the ten with dazzling red color shirt. For identification, we say that Krishna is that dazzling color red shirt. Here, this means that Krishna is the possessor of such red shirt and this should not mean that such red shirt itself is Krishna.

God is said to be bliss because the human incarnation maintains the uninterrupted happiness by enjoying both sweet and hot scenes in this worldly life. This is possible only for the human incarnation because the absolute God in Him created this world with scenes of happiness and unhappiness and enjoys both the scenes continuously with bliss. Therefore, such bliss is again with the human incarnation only and acts as the identification mark. Again here, bliss is only characteristic of medium and not characteristic of absolute God. Bliss is a quality of awareness only and hence, the absolute unimaginable God can have bliss without being awareness. Again, all the above story should be applied here.

The human being possesses knowledge and the same knowledge becomes extraordinary due to the special knowledge of God entering it. Now, the special knowledge really belongs to the absolute God and does not belong to the human being possessed by God. But, this special knowledge appears to be the characteristic of the human being only due to its awareness. The knowledge actually belongs to the human being, but, the specialty of the knowledge belongs to the absolute God. You cannot isolate the specialty and knowledge since you cannot isolate the unimaginable God and the human being. Therefore, the special knowledge, appearing to be possessed by the human being, can act as the identity mark of the absolute God, identified with the human being in the human incarnation. Here, you should be careful to conclude that the knowledge of the human being is due to the awareness of the human being. But, the special knowledge of the absolute God is due to the unimaginable nature of the unimaginable absolute God, who need not be awareness on that account.