Why are the swarupas of the word Satcitananda constructed in this way in relationship wit Brahman and not Ananda-chit-sat? Are the order of these swarupas like stepping stones of realization?
An except from - "Preparatory courses for developing siddhis."
Theme of the course Higher states of consciousness, Eternal Bliss Consciousness, The experience of the attributeless absolute
27 August 1970 Humbolt State College, U.S.A.
Question : Maharishi, I have a couple of questions, could you discuss “Sat Chit Ananda”?
Maharishi : Sat is absolute non changing truth.
(Maharishi seeing someone coming in) Beautiful, now we have all science of creative intelligence. Dr Rains is here. Beautiful, very good, such a joy. Dr Sqall and Dr Migdal have being developing that. Now we’ll incorporate the whole thing.
Sat Chit Ananda, Sat is that never changes, Truth, Absolute Being. Chit is consciousness. Ananda is bliss. Absolute Bliss Consciousness.
One point of remarkable interest to us, Absolute is a direct experience to us. Absolute is a living reality to us.
Now, how could Absolute be experienced? The word “Chit”, consciousness, rescues the experience of Absolute. If absolute were not Chit or Consciousness, it could not become a living reality.
You see the point? In being Absolute, if it is being a living reality, it must have some magic in it. Because Absolute flat won’t be a living reality, it won’t be an experience. And because we know, when the nervous system is properly refined, pure nervous system reflects full absolute being : Sat.
So when Sat is reflected in it’s fullness, then that Sat is taken to be having that attribute of Chit – which is Consciousness. Consciousness is with reference to the Self. Consciousness: basis of being conscious. So that consciousness is one with That which is never changing. And by virtue of that attribute, by virtue of the attribute of consciousness, the attribute less absolute becomes a living reality.
When we go deeper into the character of the absolute, Sat. We are able to dig into it, because it is intimate to us, and when it is intimate to us, when it is our consciousness, because it is our consciousness, it could become an experience, a direct experience, otherwise it would not be an experience. And because we know from our own experience that it is an experience, therefore we attribute this attribute of consciousness to the attribute less absolute.
Now, by being an experience, and by virtue of having this attribute of consciousness, the attribute less still remains attribute less. Still it remains attribute less, it remains, it holds on to its absolute unbounded character. And that is why consciousness is equated to absolute. And that is why Sat Chit.
Ananda (Ānanda) is a quality which goes with fullness of life, fullness, ananda (ānanda).
Upanishads are very beautiful about this ananda (ānanda), they say: "Anandad ... imāni bhūtāni jāyante". You should also listen sometimes to Upanishads: "Anandad ... imāni bhūtāni jāyante … anand ... parama vyoman prathishtita".
The whole philosophy of ananda (ānanda), and ānanda as the basis of life, as the sustainers of life, and as that ultimate into which everything dissolves. That ānanda is life. The creation is born out of ānanda, is sustained in ānanda, and will eventually dissolve in ānanda, will evolve from ānanda, will be maintained in ānanda, will dissolve in ānanda.
So this word "Sat Chit Ananda" opens to us the entire philosophy of life. "Sat Chit Ananda" and "That I am", "That thou art", and "all this is That", and "That is It". This is the story of "Sat Chit Ananda".
The one point, because Absolute is a living reality, it can be equated with Chit, which is Consciousnes, if it where not consciousness, it could not become an experience, and if it could not become an experience, it could not become a living reality. But we live it, we know it. And therefore, Sat is equated with Chit, and Chit equated with Ananda.
Because when Sat is Chit, it is a direct experience. Then, what is that experience? Next word says, it's bliss. Fulfilling, absolute happiness, this is the experience. Sat is that which never changes, abstract reality, which never changes. That which never changes, non-relative, must be abstract. If it is abstract, can it be experienced ? You say Yes, because it is consciousness. And then if it is conscioousness, can it be experienced ? You say Yes, because it is consciousness. And then if it is consciousness, a direct experience, then, what is that experience ? Bliss.
So, all the enquiery about the abstract underlying reality is solved, is explained by one word : “Sat Chit Ananda”.
That will be enough for the time. ...
First, understand that in the Upanishads the Absolute is usually referred to as Brahman or to as 'Sat'. A few times Brahman is referred to as Sat Chit and less frequently Chit Sat. The term Sat Chit Ananda (Sat-chit-ananda, Sachchidananda, Chit-Sat-Ananda, etc., etc.) is a later derivation. These are not the qualities of Brahman as Brahman has no qualities. They are not to be thought as separate but as one. It is an expression that is meant to try to encompass - in human expression and thought - Brahman. Brahman is beyond all words, all thought. All that we can say about Brahman is that Brahman is. It is like trying to describe a bubble by describing the thin film around the bubble, or describing an ocean by describing its shoreline.
The Chandogya Upanishad VI.2.1 (Swami Gambhirananda translator) says:
O good looking one, in the beginning this was Existence alone, One only, without a second...
[Sankara's commentary] Sat, Existence; eva, alone; The word sat means mere Existence, a thing that is subtle, without distinction, all pervasive, one, taintless, partless, consciousness, which is known from all the Upanishads. The word eva is used for emphasis...
and in his translation of the Upanishads, Max Muller writes:
I have thought it best therefore to keep as close a possible to the Sanskrit original, and where I could not find an adequate term in English, I have often retained the Sanskrit word rather than use a misleading substitute in English. It is impossible, for instance, to find an English equivalent for so simple a word as Sat, [to hon]. We cannot render the Greek [to hon] and [to me hon] by Being or Not-being, for both are abstract nouns; nor by 'the Being,' for this would almost always convey a wrong impression. In German it is easy to distinguish between das Sein, i.e. being, in the abstract, and das Seiende, i.e. [to hon]. In the same way the Sanskrit sat can easily be rendered in Greek by [to hon], in German by das Seiende, but in English, unless we say 'that which is,' we are driven to retain the original Sat.
To answer your question, no, the word order is not meant as stepping stones or steps to realization.