Amritanubhav (The Nectar of Mystical Experience)
Chapter Five: Existence, Consciousness, Bliss (Excerpts)
These three attributes, Sat, Chit, and Ananda
(Existence, Consciousness, and Bliss),
Do not actually define Brahman.
A poison is poison to others,
But not to itself.
Camphor is white;
Not only that, it is soft.
And not only that, it is fragrant as well.
Just as these three qualities signify
One object -- camphor, and not three objects;
So the three qualities,
Sat, Chit, and Ananda,
Are contained in one reality.
It is true that the words,
Sat, Chit, and Ananda,
But the three are united in one Bliss.
When water is falling in drops,
We can count them.
But when the water is gathered
In a puddle on the ground,
It is impossible to count the number of drops.
In the same way,
The scriptures describe Reality
As Sat, or Existence,
In order to negate Its non-existence.
They call It Chit, or Consciousness,
In order to negate its unconsciousness.
Which are the very breath of the Lord,
Declare It to be Ananda, or Bliss,
Only in order to negate the possibility
Of pain existing in It.
Thus the word, Satchidananda,
Used to refer to the Self,
Does not really describe Its nature,
But merely signifies
That It is not the opposite of this.
The fact is, if we try to know That,
The knowledge itself is That.
How, then, could the knowledge
And the object of knowledge remain separate?
So the words Sat, Chit, and Ananda
Do not denote That;
They are merely inventions of our thought.
These well-known words, Chit, Sat, and Ananda,
Are popularly used, it is true;
But when the knower becomes
One with That to which they refer,
Then they vanish
Like the clouds that pour down as rain,
Or like rivers which flow into the sea,
Or like a journey when one's destination is reached.
Of course, what exists cannot be said not to exist;
But can such existence be called "Existence?"
There is no feeling of unhappiness;
But can it, for that reason, be called "Bliss?"
Existence vanishes along with non-existence,
Consciousness along with unconsciousness,
And bliss along with misery;
In the end, nothing remains.
Discarding the veil of duality
And all the pairs of opposites,
That alone remains
In Its own blessed state.
If a face does not look into a mirror,
There is neither a face before it
Nor behind it.
Likewise, He is neither happiness nor misery,
But pure Bliss itself.
Even before the sugar cane is planted,
The juice is within it;
But its sweetness is unknown --
Except to itself.
Pure Consciousness is beyond
Both generalizations and particular statements;
It remains ever-content in Itself.
After such a discourse,
That speech is wise
Which drinks deeply of silence.
Truly, there is neither bondage nor freedom;
There is nothing to be accomplished.
There is only the pleasure of expounding.