Category Archives: Bliss

The Bliss Confusion

Atman (Self) is often defined as Sat-Chit-Aanand. Sat implies forever/permanent/existence, Chit implies self revealing consciousness and Aanand generally implies bliss. Definition of something means all conditions should be satisfied at all time.

Emotions come and go so how can an emotion like bliss always be permanent? For example, bliss cannot be experienced while watching horror movie or while watching a bad dream. Also, Atman is everywhere whether we speak of living beings or non-living objects. How can bliss be associated with a non-living entity like stone? How can bliss be associated with living entity not capable of experiencing bliss for example certain microbes/insects/animals etc. Also, Atman is the knower of everything including bliss, how can it itself be bliss?

If Aanand is considered as Anant which means limitless/infinite, this confusion would not be there and Atman indeed is limitless/whole/infinite. The word bliss when used in the context of Atman should be seen in this light. It is true that the more mind abides in Self, the happier it is. So, the words bliss & aanand can be used in their general sense also but they cannot be the direct representative of permanence when used this way.

Perhaps a Sanskrit scholar can look into the origin of the words Anant & Aanand.

Happiness is in You

Q: When I eat chocolate I feel happy. So, does it not mean that happiness is in chocolate?

A: When a mosquito bites you, scratching the area gives you happiness. That does not mean that happiness is caused by mosquito.

There are latent desires in the causal body (unconscious mind) that create internal stresses. Some stresses can be recognised easily as they express themselves in terms of known feelings like the feeling of hunger for example. But, your mind gets used to other types of stresses and does not recognise them as stresses. But, when a stress is relieved there is a rush of happiness. This happiness comes with stress removal. It does not come from any external object. Happiness is there inside you but is clouded by stresses, the moment one stress gets removed providing some passage for the happiness to flow, it makes its presence felt. The following figure explains this with an analogy:

Happiness Shining

Another analogy can be gives using Kabir’s, “Ghoonghat ke pat khol re tohe piya milenge*” which means, “Raise the veil and you find your husband”. A newly wed traditional Indian girl covers her face by ghoonghat. She can see her husband when she opens ghoonghat. Here ghoonghat is the obstruction, husband is like happiness and the girl is the seeker.

*There are different ways to look at these words. It can also be said that the world is maya (illusion) and one needs to go beyond maya to find the truth.

Hindi Translation (.pdf)

If I am Consciousness why don’t I always feel bliss?

Q: If I am Consciousness and bliss is the nature of consciousness, why don’t I always feel bliss?

A: Unfortunately, a rose itself cannot appreciate its beauty and fragrance. Yes, you are Consciousness and bliss is your inherent nature, but you as pure Consciousness feel nothing. But, you as person are sometimes happy, sometimes sad etc. Actually, it is your mind that becomes happy, sad etc. The reason why your mind does not always feel bliss is due to your conditioning, your latent tendencies, your hidden desires etc. together called causal body* acting as a veil. For analogy sake, think of the real you – Consciousness – as Sun. Then, sunlight is analogous to bliss. Think of your mind as the surface of the earth. Now imagine clouds between the Sun and earth. If clouds are clear, surface of the earth receives sunlight otherwise it does not. Likewise, whenever veil of causal body is removed your mind experiences bliss, otherwise it does not.

*The word body is not to be taken literally.