There is a path to the end of suffering – a slow, careful path of enlightenment and self-improvement, which is described extensively in the Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Here, one develops insight into the true, transient nature of things, allowing one to eliminate greed, delusion, anger and hatred.
It is the Middle Way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism); and it leads to the end of the cycle of rebirth. The latter quality discerns it from other paths which are merely “wandering on the wheel of becoming”, because these do not have a final object.
In Buddhism, the path to the end of suffering can extend over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to karmic conditioning. Craving, ignorance, delusions, and its effects will disappear gradually, as progress is made on the path.
“Now, I came to this idea of bliss because in Sanskrit, which is the great spiritual language of the world, there are three terms that represent the brink, the jumping-off place to the ocean of transcendence: sat-chit-ananda. The word ‘Sat’ means being. ‘Chit’ means consciousness. ‘Ananda’ means bliss or rapture.
I thought, ‘I don’t know whether my consciousness is proper consciousness or not; I don’t know whether what I know of my being is my proper being or not; but I do know where my rapture is. So let me hang on to rapture, and that will bring me both my consciousness and my being.’ I think it worked.”
SAT-CIT-ANANDA is a compound of three Sanskrit words, defined as “Ultimate Being” – “Pure Consciousness” – “Perfect Bliss.” It is a term used in various Hindu traditions referring to the subjective experience of the universal mind, or Brahman.
Experiencing SAT-CIT-ANANDA gives us a glimpse of the Sacred, the ultimate reality beyond this realm of duality. It connects us with the ultimate self or pure consciousness – Brahman, that which is both immanent (everywhere) and transcendent (beyond everything and nothing.
The Hindu philosopher Sri Aurobindo notes that while the soul is manifest in the realm of time and space through our bodies, it nevertheless maintains its connection with the transcendent. So, the concept of SAT-CIT-ANANDA puts us back in touch with our own, true identity, our connection to the sacred.
“Vedic physics states that time is a subtle energy or force which is manifested before the cosmic manifestation. Time moves the unmanifest material energy and controls the movements in the universe. Without the manifestation of time, the unmanifest material energy cannot become active and take form. Only after the time fluctuations agitate the unmanifsted material energy does the cosmic manifestation begin!”
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