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: Is Sat Chit Ananda an attribute?  ( 2589 )
Dr. Sadananda
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« : April 04, 2010, 08:38:57 PM »

Is Sat Chit Ananda  an attribute?


Attribute is called VisheshaNa or an adjective which qualifies a noun,
visheshhya.

There are two types of visheshaNa-s - saamaanya visheshaNa and Vishesha visheshaNa ( for lack of better words, I am using this terminology). Saamaanya visheshaNa -s are the adjectives that are incidental or non-essential for the object to be that particular object- taking a flower as an example - if I say a white flower, whiteness of the flower is considered as samaanya visheshaNa since flower can remain as flower without being white. It is a non-essential qualification.

There are qualifications which are essential or to be mathematically precise, necessary qualifications to define that object. This can be seen more clearly with respect to say, sugar. One can have white sugar or brown sugar etc. - these white and brown colors are saamaanya visheshaNa or non-essential qualifications. But there is a necessary or essential qualification for an object to be sugar, and that is, it should be sweet. It may look like granular white powder, but if it does not taste sweet it is not sugar. Hence sweetness becomes an essential qualification or dharma of sugar.

But if we examine further, it is a necessary qualification yet it is not a sufficient qualification. In mathematical rigor, for a qualification to be necessary and sufficient, it must fulfill a converse requirement, i.e. if it is sweet it must be sugar. Since there are other chemicals which are not sugar but yet taste sweet, sweetness is an essential or necessary qualification for a sugar but not a sufficient qualification to exclusively identify sugar.

If there is any qualification, visheshaNa, which fulfills both necessary and sufficient requirements then it is no more called a visheshaNa and should be called as LakshaNa. (Some have used saamaanya LakshaNa and vishesha LakshaNa to differentiate those that are necessary from those that are necessary and sufficient qualifications).

What is a lakshNa for sugar - If I say C6H12O6 is the lakshNa of sugar, then it is both necessary and sufficient to define sugar. - Thus LakshaNa provides a definition for the sugar precisely to differentiate it from the rest of the objects in the universe. It is no more a qualification or attribute - since C6H12O6 is sugar and sugar is C6H12O6 and there are no two ways about it. (In organic chemistry there are compounds which have the same formula and in such cases one has to define the structure to remove any ambiguity).

VisheshaNaas are guNas that can be recognized by senses - form, color, taste, smell or touch etc or to be inferred by logic based on measurements using sensitive instruments - such as chemical structure or atomic structure etc.

Now coming to the central point, sat, chit and ananda are not attributes as visheshaNa-s that define a visheshya - if they are, then they become guNas to be reckoned with senses or intellect. Sat chit and ananda is considered as LakshaNa of Brahman - in the sense that they are necessary and sufficient to define Brahman.

This is the doctrine of Advaita.

Bhagavaan Ramaanuja and Madva differ from this assertion. They treat these as necessary qualifications but not sufficient qualifications for Brahman like sweentness of the sugar. He, Brahman, becomes saguNa along with sat chit ananda. Thus He is the locus of infinite auspicious qualifications as well.

To know that these are LakshaNaas - the scriptures, reinforced by logic, are the only PramaaNaas. Sat, existence is necessary since we
cannot talk about non-existence Brahman. If non-existent Brahman exists then he becomes existent by the very statement that he exists- if an existent Brahman becomes non-existent then how will one know that - there must be a conscious entity to observe existent Brahman becoming non-existent. That conscious entity must be existent entity in order to observe the transformation of existent Brahman into non-existent Brahman. - That existent conscious entity is the chit and sat which is Brahman. Krishna says - naasato vidyate bhaavo naa bhavo vidyate sataH - that which is non-existent can never come into existence and that which exists can never cease to exist -(there were series of discussions on this sloka few months back) Chandogya says: sadeva souma idam agra aseet - existence alone was there in the beginning - ekameva advitiiyam - it is one without a second. .. tad aikshataa - it saw - meaning it is a conscious existence - There cannot be anything other than existence since other than existence is only non-existence and we cannot say that non-existence exists - Uddalaka in fact presents the alternate theory and then refutes it saying that it is illogical - This is where suunya vaada is refuted. It is ekameva advitiiyam -it is one without a second that means it must be infinite since if it is finite then what is there out side the finiteness - if something is there then it exists and hence comes under existence itself. Hence existence is anantam, and anantam is aanandam, since it is limitless as sorrow comes from limitations. Hence what was there before creation is sat, chit and ananda - here sat is chit, and chit is ananda and they are not qualifications but LakshaNaas for Brahman -

Obviously the statement is made not from Brahman point but from Jeeva's or from the point of a seeker. - sattayihi chit, chittayaahyayam - says Bhagavaan Ramana - sat is indeed chit, and that sat and chit is indeed I am. I exist and am conscious and no pramaaNa is required to prove that I am sat and chit as it is a self-evident fact.

That brings the aspect of pramaaNa into picture. VisheshaNa-s or
qualifications are noted through pramaaNa or direct sense input -
pratyaksha - white flower or sweet sugar. - Or inferentially
(indirectly through pratyaksha ) - even the C6H12O6 is deduced
inferentially even if one cannot see it directly. Hence for all objects
existence is first established through PramaaNa or means of knowledge. But that pre-supposes the existence of a conscious entity since to validate any pramaaNa a conscious existent entity must be there. On the other hand, to validate the existence of a conscious entity there is no pramaNa - hence sat and chit are not visheshaNas that can be validated but LakshaNaas that indicate the self-existent and self-conscious entity. Hence the scripture is pramaaNa not to establish that I am sat-chit but I am also anantam or aham brahmaasmi - I am the totality - confirmed by the sages by their anubhava and providing as a working hypothesis for me to discover my complete nature.

I went a little round about to establish that sat, chit and ananda are not attributes but LakshaNaas that indicate the nature of Brahman. This discussion of attribute and attribute-less Brahman has taken lot of toll in the vedantic discussions - the problem is mind can only grasp attributes, since unit of the mind is a thought, and locus of a thought is an object, and there is no object without attributes. From Bhakti point locus is needed to center devotion, and one brings Iswara as a locus for devotion, and mind cannot comprehend an Iswara without attributes. Even Raamaanuja although emphasizes saguNa brahman, if one goes deep into the nature of that saguNa brahman, His guNas are described as ananta kalyaaNa guaNa - infinite auspicious qualities - they are infinite in number wise and each of them is infinite in quantity wise - neither can be comprehended by ones finite mind since if it can be comprehended it is not infinite any more! Hence one cannot really praise the Lord since any thing one says is less than what He is by the very definition. All one can do is surrender and surrenderence can only be done at the alter of Love. Hence the emphasis on saraNaagati in the vishishTaadvaitic tradition.

Bhagavaan Shankara goes one step further and defines the Bhakti and surrenderence in vivekachuuDaamaNI as

swaswaruupaanusandhaanam bhaktirityabhidiiyate|
or
swaatmaanubhava sandhaanam bhatirityapare jaguH|

The realization of ones own nature - I am sat - chit and ananda or
ananta is called bhakti. Or realization of one own self , others call it as bhakti.

Hari Om!
Sadananda

« : April 06, 2015, 01:23:21 PM Dr. Sadananda »
Sadashastri
Newbie
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« #1 : December 23, 2015, 04:35:33 AM »

Hari Om,

Thanks.

Does Sat Chid ananda completely define Brahman or is it only a pointer to it.

Like sweetness is essential for Sugar but Sugar is more than just sweetness (e.g. it is white etc).


Is Sat Chit Ananda  an attribute?


Attribute is called VisheshaNa or an adjective which qualifies a noun,
visheshhya.

There are two types of visheshaNa-s - saamaanya visheshaNa and Vishesha visheshaNa ( for lack of better words, I am using this terminology). Saamaanya visheshaNa -s are the adjectives that are incidental or non-essential for the object to be that particular object- taking a flower as an example - if I say a white flower, whiteness of the flower is considered as samaanya visheshaNa since flower can remain as flower without being white. It is a non-essential qualification.

There are qualifications which are essential or to be mathematically precise, necessary qualifications to define that object. This can be seen more clearly with respect to say, sugar. One can have white sugar or brown sugar etc. - these white and brown colors are saamaanya visheshaNa or non-essential qualifications. But there is a necessary or essential qualification for an object to be sugar, and that is, it should be sweet. It may look like granular white powder, but if it does not taste sweet it is not sugar. Hence sweetness becomes an essential qualification or dharma of sugar.

But if we examine further, it is a necessary qualification yet it is not a sufficient qualification. In mathematical rigor, for a qualification to be necessary and sufficient, it must fulfill a converse requirement, i.e. if it is sweet it must be sugar. Since there are other chemicals which are not sugar but yet taste sweet, sweetness is an essential or necessary qualification for a sugar but not a sufficient qualification to exclusively identify sugar.

If there is any qualification, visheshaNa, which fulfills both necessary and sufficient requirements then it is no more called a visheshaNa and should be called as LakshaNa. (Some have used saamaanya LakshaNa and vishesha LakshaNa to differentiate those that are necessary from those that are necessary and sufficient qualifications).

What is a lakshNa for sugar - If I say C6H12O6 is the lakshNa of sugar, then it is both necessary and sufficient to define sugar. - Thus LakshaNa provides a definition for the sugar precisely to differentiate it from the rest of the objects in the universe. It is no more a qualification or attribute - since C6H12O6 is sugar and sugar is C6H12O6 and there are no two ways about it. (In organic chemistry there are compounds which have the same formula and in such cases one has to define the structure to remove any ambiguity).

VisheshaNaas are guNas that can be recognized by senses - form, color, taste, smell or touch etc or to be inferred by logic based on measurements using sensitive instruments - such as chemical structure or atomic structure etc.

Now coming to the central point, sat, chit and ananda are not attributes as visheshaNa-s that define a visheshya - if they are, then they become guNas to be reckoned with senses or intellect. Sat chit and ananda is considered as LakshaNa of Brahman - in the sense that they are necessary and sufficient to define Brahman.

This is the doctrine of Advaita.

Bhagavaan Ramaanuja and Madva differ from this assertion. They treat these as necessary qualifications but not sufficient qualifications for Brahman like sweentness of the sugar. He, Brahman, becomes saguNa along with sat chit ananda. Thus He is the locus of infinite auspicious qualifications as well.

To know that these are LakshaNaas - the scriptures, reinforced by logic, are the only PramaaNaas. Sat, existence is necessary since we
cannot talk about non-existence Brahman. If non-existent Brahman exists then he becomes existent by the very statement that he exists- if an existent Brahman becomes non-existent then how will one know that - there must be a conscious entity to observe existent Brahman becoming non-existent. That conscious entity must be existent entity in order to observe the transformation of existent Brahman into non-existent Brahman. - That existent conscious entity is the chit and sat which is Brahman. Krishna says - naasato vidyate bhaavo naa bhavo vidyate sataH - that which is non-existent can never come into existence and that which exists can never cease to exist -(there were series of discussions on this sloka few months back) Chandogya says: sadeva souma idam agra aseet - existence alone was there in the beginning - ekameva advitiiyam - it is one without a second. .. tad aikshataa - it saw - meaning it is a conscious existence - There cannot be anything other than existence since other than existence is only non-existence and we cannot say that non-existence exists - Uddalaka in fact presents the alternate theory and then refutes it saying that it is illogical - This is where suunya vaada is refuted. It is ekameva advitiiyam -it is one without a second that means it must be infinite since if it is finite then what is there out side the finiteness - if something is there then it exists and hence comes under existence itself. Hence existence is anantam, and anantam is aanandam, since it is limitless as sorrow comes from limitations. Hence what was there before creation is sat, chit and ananda - here sat is chit, and chit is ananda and they are not qualifications but LakshaNaas for Brahman -

Obviously the statement is made not from Brahman point but from Jeeva's or from the point of a seeker. - sattayihi chit, chittayaahyayam - says Bhagavaan Ramana - sat is indeed chit, and that sat and chit is indeed I am. I exist and am conscious and no pramaaNa is required to prove that I am sat and chit as it is a self-evident fact.

That brings the aspect of pramaaNa into picture. VisheshaNa-s or
qualifications are noted through pramaaNa or direct sense input -
pratyaksha - white flower or sweet sugar. - Or inferentially
(indirectly through pratyaksha ) - even the C6H12O6 is deduced
inferentially even if one cannot see it directly. Hence for all objects
existence is first established through PramaaNa or means of knowledge. But that pre-supposes the existence of a conscious entity since to validate any pramaaNa a conscious existent entity must be there. On the other hand, to validate the existence of a conscious entity there is no pramaNa - hence sat and chit are not visheshaNas that can be validated but LakshaNaas that indicate the self-existent and self-conscious entity. Hence the scripture is pramaaNa not to establish that I am sat-chit but I am also anantam or aham brahmaasmi - I am the totality - confirmed by the sages by their anubhava and providing as a working hypothesis for me to discover my complete nature.

I went a little round about to establish that sat, chit and ananda are not attributes but LakshaNaas that indicate the nature of Brahman. This discussion of attribute and attribute-less Brahman has taken lot of toll in the vedantic discussions - the problem is mind can only grasp attributes, since unit of the mind is a thought, and locus of a thought is an object, and there is no object without attributes. From Bhakti point locus is needed to center devotion, and one brings Iswara as a locus for devotion, and mind cannot comprehend an Iswara without attributes. Even Raamaanuja although emphasizes saguNa brahman, if one goes deep into the nature of that saguNa brahman, His guNas are described as ananta kalyaaNa guaNa - infinite auspicious qualities - they are infinite in number wise and each of them is infinite in quantity wise - neither can be comprehended by ones finite mind since if it can be comprehended it is not infinite any more! Hence one cannot really praise the Lord since any thing one says is less than what He is by the very definition. All one can do is surrender and surrenderence can only be done at the alter of Love. Hence the emphasis on saraNaagati in the vishishTaadvaitic tradition.

Bhagavaan Shankara goes one step further and defines the Bhakti and surrenderence in vivekachuuDaamaNI as

swaswaruupaanusandhaanam bhaktirityabhidiiyate|
or
swaatmaanubhava sandhaanam bhatirityapare jaguH|

The realization of ones own nature - I am sat - chit and ananda or
ananta is called bhakti. Or realization of one own self , others call it as bhakti.

Hari Om!
Sadananda



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