Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Brahmakumaris’ Dynamic Exposition on “Sat-Cit-Ānanda

Presented paper on 1st Asian Philosophy Congress, Indian Council for Philsophical Research, held at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (6th-9th March 2010).


A compact and universal knowledge is required for the whole mankind to unveil the mystical realities of the universe. That realm of knowledge is none other than Spirituality because it possesses the rationalism of Science, faith of Religion, integrated vision of Philosophy and common sense. In this regard, by dint of Brahmākumārīs spiritual wisdom, B.K Jagdish, a dynamic and versatile personality, blessed with the power of divine intellect has scientifically mentioned in his writings about the physical world and the spiritual reality to give a comprehensive and transparent world-view.

Present research paper will focus on the very profound definition “Sat-Cit-Ānanda” from Brahmākumārīs’ perspective although many deliberations have been thrown out on it from various view-points of Indian philosophical systems.

One of the most important Indian philosophical system namely Advaita Vedānta or Monism states that Brahman, the Ultimate Supreme Reality has only the characteristics of ‘Sat’ or Existence, ‘Cit’ or Consciousness or Knowledge and ‘Ānanda’ or Bliss. (Satyam Jñānam Anantam Brahma, Tait.Upa. 2.1; Vijñānam Ānandam Brahma, Brih.Upa. 3.9.28). According to Vaişņava Vedānta, ‘Sat’ characteristics of Brahman is in Universe and hence it is real. Again Nyāya, Sāmkhya and other philosophical systems define Ātman or Puruşa as a possessor of the quality- Knowledge or Consciousness. (Jñānādhikaraņam Ātmā, Tar.Sam; Puruşastu cetanah, Sām.Kā.Vri.). And modern scientists and physicists express their opinions about the only one reality’s existence i.e. Matter though it is changing continuously.

Here, Brahmākumārīs’ dynamic exposition on this subject-matter is likely to be very rational and justifiable. According to this modern spiritual philosophy, there exists one entity which is only Existent but possessed neither of Consciousness nor of Bliss; there exists a second one which is Existence and Consciousness or Knowledge merely, besides the third i.e. Supreme Reality Himself who possesses all these three attributes. While the first is Matter, the second refers to individual Souls, of whom the third is the Master or God.

Concept of Realities

Now, the concept of permanent realities expounded by Brahmākumārīs is going to be discussed here with scientific explorations.

Nature of Matter

Matter is everything that exists in the physical universe. The starting point of modern physics, Quantum Theory developed by Max Planck and further named by Einstein, brought a great change in the physicists’ concept of matter. Previous to Planck’s theory, most physicists conceived of the world of nature or matter as a continuum. But the Quantum theory clearly states that the ‘Continuous view’ of the world is replaced by a ‘discrete’ one.

Again, Science has established that matter is composed of sub-atomic particles viz. electrons, neutrons and protons. Prior to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, matter and energy were considered to be different entities. Matter was considered to be inert and tangible and was characterized by a property called mass whereas energy was considered to be active, invisible and without mass. But Einstein showed that mass and energy are equivalent and that the property called mass, is simply concentrated energy. Einstein said that mass and energy are inter-changeable. The universally recognized 1st law of Thermo-dynamics says that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be transformed from one form to another. The quality of matter degenerates, known as the process of entropy (2nd law of Thermo-dynamics), due to the effect of time and motion. The degeneration of the quality of matter also corresponds to the degeneration of the quality of human souls.
On the basis of this law, there is no denying factor which proves that matter or energy is not real or it is something imaginary or illusion. This is the view-point of modern scientists and physicists.

Traditional Indian spirituality (Advaita Vedānta) says “Brahma satyam Jagat mithya”, meaning matter is not real and the non-material dimension beyond human perception is the only real reality. The philosophical foundation for this is that real is defined as that which does not change. Anything material is in a state of flux and therefore does not satisfy the criteria for what is real. The traditional concept is that if something is divided it can’t be real; therefore things which are real can’t be divided. It follows that there can be no distinction between God, soul and matter; however, if they are not distinct from one another, then there would be stasis, i.e. no movement and no activity.

On this ground, Brahmakumaris states its own specific view that within the one integrated whole i.e. cosmos, there are three individual and separate realities: immutable God, souls that mutate but are always souls; and matter which also declines in quality corresponding to the decline in souls. This ‘machinery’ is in perpetual motion because each time it reaches maximum depletion and ultimately, incorporeal Supreme Soul restores everything to its original perfection. Human beings can’t deduce this from their perceptions because they are inside the system. Only the incorporeal immutable one is outside it and in a position to know and observe the system and its process.

In this paradigm the three distinct and eternal realities- souls, God and matter- interact perpetually. They never merge or become interchangeable. Souls and matter go through eternally repeating cycles. Although there is change within the cycle, each cycle is changeless, thus satisfying the criteria for the real being permanent.

Nature of Soul

A soul is an infinitesimal pinpoint of self-aware, spiritual light. A soul can neither be created nor destroyed but its quality and strength are subject to change and degeneration over time. Souls are numerous, individual and eternal. Souls originally dwell in the soul-world or Brahma-loka i.e. far beyond this material world with the Parent or Supreme Soul in the incorporeal, inactive, thoughtless and calm state. But when they come down to this earth and take birth in the form of bearing bodies, they become known as individual souls. Within body, soul resides in the central point of hypothalamus gland and from there it controls the brain and the whole body. A soul is considered a divine creation because the positive energy of God, Supreme Soul, influences and re-energizes each soul when it has become totally depleted. Unlike matter, souls are conscient and therefore intelligent. They can absorb not only energy but also ideas, powers, spiritual values and qualities. A soul is incorporeal, indivisible and indestructible. During its cycle, it varies from a state of perfect purity to a condition of depletion and impurity according to both the quality of action performed through its material body and the degenerating effects of time.

Nature of Supreme Soul or God

God is Supreme Soul, the Omnipotent and Supreme Intelligence. He is incorporeal, eternal and indestructible, ever-pure and unlike souls, is immutable. He is also a soul, the point-source of spiritual energy, but He is supreme among all souls and is not bounded by any actions and reactions. God is the only soul who neither evolves nor degrades. He is the only soul who does not become bound to matter and the cycle of rebirth and remains self-aware for all time. Almighty Supreme Soul dwells perpetually in the highest and most pure region or dimension beyond matter. God is the sustainer of all souls of religions, races and cultures. He is the source of all qualities, virtues, values and wisdom. These treasures are transferred to souls through meditation. Souls are then restored to full self-awareness and the perfection of their original purity. This transference of power, purity, values and qualities is considered the re-creation of the souls.


From the above discussions, it may be concluded that modern science accepts the reality of matter while other philosophical systems also accept Soul and God as eternal realities. Brahmakumaris’ notion is to assimilate science and philosophy and to give a holistic and integrated world-view for the development of humanity with proper logic. The terms Sat, Cit and Ananda used in different philosophical systems mentioned above are reflected in Brahmakumaris’ philosophy as Matter, Soul and God respectively. This single definition ‘Sat-Cit-Ananda’ represents the whole metaphysical entities which are the main foundations of any scientific and philosophical systems. This unique exploration or representation made by Brahmakumaris, directly indicates the trinity of realities.


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2. The Eternal World Drama (Part-II of the series, titled ‘Eternal Drama of Souls, Matter and God’), B.K. Jagdish Chander Hassija, Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, Pandav Bhavan, Mount Abu, Rajasthan, 1985, 3rd Edition.

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4. Parallels between Science and Religion and Philosophy and Science - A Critical Review, B.K. Jagdish Chander, Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya, Pandav Bhawan, Mount Abu, Rajasthan, 1994, 1st edition.

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6. Tarka Samgraha, Annam Bhatta, Hindi Commentary, Dayanand Bhargav, Delhi, 2004, Rpt.

7. Brahma-Sūtra Sāmkara Bhāşya, Ratnaprabha Commentary, Bhole Baba, Bharatiya Vidya Prakashan, Delhi, 2004.