Ch. 4, Verses 32 – 42
We are now towards the end of the 4th chapter and we need to repeat 2 or 3 comments, which I have made earlier.
Chapters 4, 5, and 6, are inter–connected, and the inter–connecting point is the theme of Knowledge. Chapters 3 & 4 are inter–connected by the thread of Action and Knowledge. Chapters 2 & 3 are connected by the theme of Knowledge and Action. That is to say, the 2nd Chapter begins with emphasis on Knowledge, enters into the field of action. The 3rd chapter concentrates upon action, preparing way for Knowledge. The 4th chapter concentrates upon action but focuses fully upon Knowledge towards the end of the chapter. And the 5th chapter focuses upon knowledge. And the 6th is only elucidation of the 5th.
Now, this inter–connection is because of the inter–connection between two important powers of the trinity of the Divine. The ultimate Reality is Sat–Chit–Ananda. This is what we have said earlier also at one of another points that the aim of life, aim of all that we are, and what we do, is to get the contact and union with Sat–Chit–Ananda. The solution of all problems is this contact and union: at no other level, at any lower level, is the real solution. All solutions till that time are temporary solutions, provisional solutions, solutions which will give rise to problems, and the solutions of those problems will give rise to other sets of problems, until we arrive at a point were this contact and union with the Divine becomes our central theme, and when that happens, then the problems are resolved. This is you might say the basic teaching of the whole of the Bhagavad Gita. Although the word Satchitananda does not occur in the whole book, but whatever is described as Brahman, as Purusha, Purushottama, as ‘Me’, because Sri Krishna refers to Himself as Me, Myself, I, matparaḥ, one who becomes My, one with Me, matparaḥ: all these words refer to “Satchitananda”.
Out of these three terms Sat, Chit, and Ananda, the most fundamental term is Sat. Although Satchitananda is one, it is one Reality, but this Reality is not simple but complex. There are many teachings, which make Reality simple, without any complexity, like Sankhya, which we had done at one time, where Purusha and Prakriti are supposed to be to separate Realities, in which Purusha, which has to be gained or regained is described as ‘simple consciousness which is inactive’: there is no complexity in it; it is pure simple immobility.
There is a view that Brahman also, (not Purusha–Prakriti in Sankhya), but there is one trend of Vedantic philosophy, which also says that ‘Brahman is one Reality which is immobile’. In Sankhya, Purusha is and individual Reality, which is immobile. In the Vedanta this supreme Reality, universal Reality, transcendental Reality, is ‘one simple immobility’. So, there are many descriptions of Reality, which you come across in the world of philosophy, where Reality is described as simple: simple in the sense, it has no other vibration than one vibration, one simple Reality without complexity.
But when we say, ‘Reality is Satchitananda’, you are already positing three things: it is one Reality but it has three strands in it. Therefore it is complex: there is Sat, there is Chit and there is Ananda. Even when you say Sat is Chit, and Chit is Ananda; or Ananda is Chit, and Chit is Sat, even when you say this, why do you need three terms to use it? Because you need to distinguish something that is in the word “Sat”, which does not clearly give you the “Chit”, and therefore it is a Sat that is Chit; because mere word Sat will not give you that idea of Chit; or mere idea of Chit will not give you the idea of Sat. Therefore even when you say Sat is Chit and Chit is Ananda and Satchitananda is one, still there is a complexity. And wherever there is complexity there is a question of inter–relationship. In other words, there is a relationship between Sat and Chit, and relationship between Chit and Ananda. Relationship always means some kind of hierarchy.
All relationships imply some kind of hierarchy: mother and child have a relationship; in that relationship there is a hierarchy; from one point of view mother is superior to the child, because child depends upon the mother;. But you ask the mother’s heart: who is the sovereign of the mother? It is the child who is sovereign of the mother. So, there is a relationship, a hierarchy, the child is supreme to the mother. Wherever there is a relationship, there is a hierarchy of certain kind, but hierarchy, which is not hurtful: when the mother says, “my child is my sovereign”, there is no hurt in the heart, it is a pride in the heart, it is the great ecstasy in the heart to say, “my child is my sovereign”. So, there is a hierarchy without hurtful conditions.