Sat, Chit and Anand

Posted: 14.03.2011
Updated on: 07.04.2011

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The following essay was published in December, 1948 in The Jaina Gazette, Vol. XLV (No. 12), p. 138.


Sat, Chit and Anand

The three words, Sat, Chit and Anand which form the above compound expression Sachchidananda, are expressive of the inherent distinguishing attributes of the pure perfect soul.

The soul is Sat. It is. It exists. It is never non-existent. It was never created. It never came into being for the first time It is eternal. It never had a beginning. It has no end. It ever was. It ever will be. In its pure state it has innumerable attributes. It possesses all the attributes which are ascribed to what is called God, Ishwar, Parmaatma, Allah, the Creator, the Pre­server and the Destroyer, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. The soul has as many names as language has formulated to express the idea of Perfection, Omniscience, Might, Bliss. Soul has been eulogized in a poem with one thousand and eight attributes. The poem is called Ashtā-Sahasra-nām.

The Soul when Pure, free from the slightest tinge or contact with matter is without form or shape or figure. It is intangible. You cannot touch it, or feel it. It has no weight. It cannot be weighed. It cannot be photographed. It has no taste, no smell, no color. But it has existence. It does not occupy space, in the sense in which a particle of matter occupies space.

Numerous souls interpenetrate each other without any obstructing the other. Its extent is said to be a little less than the last physical human body in which it was incorporated, imprisoned, cribbed, cabined, and confined. It is little less, because, the embodied soul extends to every particle of physical body, except the very outermost part which is dead matter, such as the hair shooting out of the pores of the body, the nails growing out of the flesh, the outermost surface of the skin, and the hollow portions inside the body.

It knows All, all animate and inanimate substances, in all their varying forms and conditions, past, present and future, exactly as they are at the moment. It knows with­out effort. It has no will, no mind. The knowledge, to know is the very inherent attribute of the Pure Soul.

Knowing All, it is All-Joy. It has achieved All. It has nothing to attain. It is above want, free from Desire. It is Desire-less. It is All-mighty. It has no weakness, which is an attribute of matter only.

We do not find pure souls in the Universe around us. Samsari or worldly souls have ever existed in close contact with matter, to give an illustration, like a grain of gold mixed with various earthy substances in deep mines. From the lowest condition of existence as a one-sensed living being, like a tiny blade of grass, it progresses by its own inherent effort, without the aid, help or assistance of any outer agency, apart from itself into a two-sensed being like a worm. And the process of Evolution goes on, until the embodied soul acquires a human body, purges itself of all dross and contact with matter, by meditation, introspection, retirement unto the self, self-absorption.

There is however a possibility and very often a probability of a retrogression also, a backward process, a downfall, through carelessness, laziness, inaction.

Embodied souls are infinite in number. Self-effort, self-confidence, unceasing exer­tion towards achieving Perfection and Purity is the key to success, to Emancipation, Liberation, Freedom, Perfection, Godhood.

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The Jaina Gazette

Compiled by PK