Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ocean of Immortality

While instructing the young Narendra, who would later become the great Swami Vivekananda, Swami Ramakrishna Paramahansa advices him in these words.
“Narendra, God is an ocean of nectar. Tell me if you will dive into this sea or not? Well, imagine that there is a bowl full of sugar syrup and you are a fly. Where will you perch yourself and drink the syrup? Narendra said, ‘I will sit on the edge of the bowl, extend my mouth and sip from there; for if I go farther, I will get drowned.’ Then Swamiji said, ‘My son, this is the ocean of Sachchidananda. There is no fear of death in it. It is the ocean of immortality.’ Only the ajnanis (ignorant) say that one should not have excess of the nectar of God’s love and prema. Is there a limit to the love for God? So I say to you: Immerse yourself in the sea of Sachchidananda.”

Swamiji calls the omnipresent Godhead as the ocean of Sachchidananda. Why did he choose this name?
You must go back to the answer given by young Narendra to commence this analysis. Narendra says “I will sit on the edge of the bowl, extend my mouth and sip from there; for if I go farther, I will get drowned”. This is the view of God held by the ignorant as well as by most religious traditions, where we see God as something external, that which is to be tasted, seen and experienced outside of oneself. When we do this we are limited by our capacity which is the product of our senses.
This is the reason that in the Bhagavad-Gita, when asked by Arjuna to reveal his universal form Lord Krishna says:
“But you cannot see Me with your present eyes. Therefore I give you divine eyes. Behold My mystic opulence!” ….. Ch: 11-8.
The great German Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart says:
“The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge”

Swami Ramakrishna admonishes the young student to immerse himself. This immersion into Godhead happens through a three step process. This process is Sat – Chit – Ananda. The first is to be bestowed with divine eyes through which we can perceive the universal truth (Sat means truth in Sanskrit). What does this mean? It means that we have to transcend to a higher level of perception by moving away and remaining unattached to what we normally see as reality. This is an intuitive process brought about by study, contemplation and single pointed meditation.

Chit in Sanskrit means 'to think' but thinking is the result of consciousness and therefore chit really means 'to be conscious of'. In the second step what are we conscious of? A new reality therefore a new consciousness.
Finally, the new consciousness is experienced as bliss (Ananda) that grounds one's being into this new reality. Why is this state called ‘Ocean of immortality’ because this new reality is an all encompassing singularity beyond space and time and never changing.

Meister Eckhart says:
“There exists only the present instant... a Now which always and without end is itself new. There is no yesterday nor any tomorrow, but only Now, as it was a thousand years ago and as it will be a thousand years hence”.

We are all embarked on this journey of imbibing this nectar. This the everlasting thirst of every soul which will never rest until it merges with its source.

Love to you all


  1. I just now read the latest blog & felt like writing to you
    immediately. The true meaning of Sat chit ananda is fine. The question that remains is how far & how many of us can reach this stage? Because sitting on the brim and declaring that they they alone have tasted GOD,have become the order of the day.


  2. It is very true that God has been externalized to such an extent that he has been placed in an inaccessible domain. This feeling is deeply embedded in the human psyche. This is the reason that Vedic philosophy gives credence to all three forms of perception of God namely; Advaita (Non-dual philosophy of Sankara), Dvaita (Dualistic philosophy of Madhava) and vishitadvaita (Qualified non-dualistic philosophy of Ramanuja).

    Hence the attainment of the state of Sachchidananda is not to be perceived as an instant process in time. But this is the only way that one ultimately merges with the divine. This may take many eons & lives depending on your current karmic state.

  3. All of us think only when we die we can Immerse in God's Love and till then can only taste in from edge.
    And we are like Narendra just afraid to go ahead.
    It is very difficult to dive in. but we will surely feel it better than sit at edge and drink.
    Really it is a nice one to ponder upon.

  4. Ramesh! Thanks for your observation and appreciation.