Unconditioned Joy

I’ve recently picked up a copy of the Upanishads, an ancient text that predates the Yoga Sutras.  My copy was translated by Eknath Easwaran.  In the introduction I read the following “Nothing can satisfy us but reunion with our real Self, which the Upanishads say is sat chit ananda: absolute reality, pure awareness, unconditioned joy.”

As I ponder these three words – sat chit ananda, it occurs to me that the beauty of sanskrit is how so much meaning can be contained in so few words.  Sat and chit I’m familiar with.  Satya (truth) is one of the niyamas and chitta is the mind stuff that yoga is helping us to settle.  Bliss is often the word chosen for ananda.  For me, that conjures a state of spaced out ecstasy.  Unconditioned joy is better but what exactly does that mean?

I used to think I would spend this life trying to understand the Sutras (the first two parts).  Leave the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, etc. for another life.  After all, I don’t have that much time for intellectual study and I’m not that smart!  But perhaps there is an understanding which is beyond meaning.

Concepts get planted in my being like seeds.  The sprouts are selected through practice and detachment.  Fertilized with truth.  Cultivated with awareness.  Harvested with unconditioned joy.

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