Now, hierarchy of the divine Reality, the inter-relationship of Sat-Chit-Ananda is such that there is no hurtful connection between the three. So, in a certain sense you can say: ‘Sat is the top’; in a certain sense you can say ‘Ananda is the top’. You can easily say from one point of view: Sat is the top; from another point of view: Ananda is the top. And certain say Karma is the top, and certain say Jnana is the top. And therefore in a complex teaching, you will find all kind of statements, which confuse and bewilder. While speaking of Ananda, you can say there is nothing like Ananda: it is the crown. And when you speak of Sat you can say, well, without Sat, Ananda has no existence; therefore when you say, Ananda if crown and if without Sat crown can not exist then what is the position of Sat? You might say it is the top, it is the essence, it is something that is irreducible, without which Ananda has no even existence. So, if Sat is crown, or Ananda is crown, now it depends upon how you want to relate; at what point you stand, and at different stand points you can call one highest or the other highest and so on. Now, this is what happens when you want to expound a complex teaching.
Now, Bhagavad Gita’s teaching is a complex teaching. Therefore, when Sri Krishna speaks of one, you find that He speaks of Karma as “the” important thing. When in answer to the question, at the end of the 2nd chapter, Arjuna complains and says that, “If you think that intelligence is superior to action, then why do you throw me into this ghore karma (III, 1). That is the starting point of the 3rd chapter, because at the end of the 2nd chapter, Sri Krishna seems to give a great importance to ṣṭhitā prajñā (II, 68), who is settled in intelligence, and there is a complete quietude and silence, so it gives an impression as if silence is the top: therefore the 3rd chapter’s question. And you will find the same question being repeated at the beginning of the 5th chapter. Because even the 4th chapter ends by exhorting Jnana, although the 3rd chapter, the 4th chapter starts with Karma, explains the yajñā, and says that no Karma can be done without yajñā; no yajñā can be done without Karma. Even though exhorting Karma in this way the later portion of the 4th chapter speaks of Jnana, and exalting Jnana. So, that is why Arjuna in the beginning of the 5th chapter will ask again the same question: “Now you tell me to give up Karma, then you tell me that Karma is superior, why do you give me such kind of contrary and contradictory statement? Tell me one thing which is certain, and without of any kind of ambiguity.” But if the teaching is complex, then you cannot give absolutely in black and white, because the reality is complex.
The whole of the Gita is therefore to be read with great care to see where exactly the emphasis falls, and why it falls, at what point it falls, and what exactly is the nature. So unless we know the relationship between Sat, and Chit, and Ananda, we will not understand the various emphasis that lies in the whole book of the Bhagavad Gita. That is why my recommendation is to first have the mastery over the relationship between Sat, Chit and Ananda. And let us, although we have done this earlier, it is good once again to repeat this inter-relationship.
And let us say that the most fundamental is Sat: most fundamental. Now, when we say…‘fundamental’ means ‘essentially’. Essence is that without which there is no starting point. It is that to which everything is ultimately reduced; it is that from which everything issues: that is the meaning of ‘fundamental’ and ‘essence’. What is called tattvataḥ in the Gita’s language? What is tattvataḥ fundamentally, in essence? What is called antato gatvā? Having said everything, after all what remains is the “Sat”. If the whole world vanishes, gets dissolved, ‘that’ still remains. It is something that overtops: it is ‘that’ in the presence of which the immense universe seems only a petty swarm. These are different ways of describing: it is the remainder. In the Atharva-Veda there is the reference to ucchiṣṭa, that which remains. It is irreducible, that which remains ultimately. Even if everything goes away, ‘that’ remains.