Gita Study: Class 20


Topics for today:

  1. Opening prayers and Gita Dhyanam
  2. Chapter 2. Verse 16 (contd)

 Highlights of today’s class:

In every cognition there are two ‘buddhi’s

  • Sankara makes a profound statement in his bhashya for this verse. He says, “sarvatra dve buddhee sarvaih upalabhyete, samaanaadhikarane“, meaning that two buddhis or cognitions are always to be found and that too having the same locus.
  • This statement reveals something basic about all our experiences from standpoint of existence. When we cognize something through our senses and mind, we are actually cognizing two things – first that there is something and secondly, that that something is so-and-so. In the cognition such as, “here is a pen”, there are two cognitions really – “something is here” and “what is here is a pen”. Similarly in the cognition, “I hear the sound of a fire engine”, there are two congitions – “I hear something; there is something” and “what I hear is a fire engine’s sound”.
  • All cognitions that take place from the time one wakes up until one sleeps are thus made up of a constant component which is “there is something” and a changing component conforming to the particular object cognized. Even in dream state, “there is something” continues; only the object is a dream-object instead of a waking-state object. In deep sleep when there is nothing cognized through senses or mind, even then there is a cognition that no object is being cognized. The deep-sleep experience will be discussed later in more detail.
  • The constant is-ness or “is buddhi”, which is unchanging at all times is called “sat buddhi“. The changing buddhi is called “object/vishaya buddhi” which is asat.


  • samaana adhikarane” in the statement of Sankara says that both sad-buddhi and vishaya-buddhi have the same locus. Where there is vishaya-buddhi, there itself is sad-buddhi to be found.
  • Lets take an example to illustrate this. A stock Vedanta example of sat and asat is a clay pot. Clay is sat and pot is the name and form which is asat. Now the cognition of clay happens at the very locus or location where the cognition of pot also happens. Thus pot and clay have samaanaadhikaranam, same locus.
  • As we shall see later, this samaanadhikaranam will be helpful in understanding the nature of Ishwara vis-a-vis the universe.

Analysis of cit

  • Throughout the waking state and dream state we are constantly experiencing something or the other. We are aware of something or the other. One moment we may be aware of a situation, next moment we are aware of a changed situation. The situations undergo change but the awareness of a situation remains unchanged.
  • If we thus analyze any experience we undergo, we will find that there is a constant awarefulness or knowingness and a varying object of awareness, be it an external object or situation or even a thought or feeling in the mind.
  • From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep the awarefulness is constantly there. Even when stray thoughts occur we are aware of their occurence. In dream state also there is awareness of the dream world and dream objects. Upon analysis we will understand that even in deep sleep the awarefulness doesn’t go away. There is no object to be aware of through senses or the mind, nevertheless awareness is still there. This can be inferred because upon waking up we say that we slept well and that we did not know anything. A constant awareful  being needs to have been there to make that inference.
  • This awarefulness or consciousness is the nature of atma. It is referred to as cit.

sat and cit are one and the same

  • Analyzing all our cognitions we found that a constant sat-buddhi is ever existing amidst varying object-cognitions. Analyzing all our experiences we also found that a constant consciousness or cit is ever present amidst varying situations that we are aware of.
  • sat-buddhi or sat and cit are not two different entities but one and the same atma. Atma is the constant existence principle or is-ness in all our cognitions as well the awarefulness in all our experiences. It is ever present in all three states of our being – waking, dream and deep-sleep. Atma is me. aham atma. I am that atma.
  • As also stated in Upadesha Saram, “sattayaa hi cit chittayaa hi aham“. Sat alone is cit and that sat-cit is me.


  • Having discussed sat (constant and independently existing reality)-asat (changing, having dependent existence) and then cit, we are left with the third well-known description of atma, which is ananda. Atma is famously described as sat-cit-ananda.
  • Atma is of the nature of ananda because it is ananta, limitless. As seen already sat or sat-buddhi is ever-present, in all three states of our experiences -waking, dream and deep-sleep. Cit or awarefulness is also ever-present. There are no limitations to sat-cit.
  • All asat objects – i.e. entire physical world, mental/psychological world and dream world – depend on sat for their existence and therefore there is nothing that limits sat.
  • All experiences – those belonging to the gross physical world, the mental thought world and dream world – are taking place due to the awareful consciousness alone. Therefore there is nothing in these worlds that limits cit.
  • One can say that on a time dimension sat has no limits – it is eternally present; it was there before this body came into being, it is present every moment from birth to death of the body spanning all three states of existence and will continue beyond the fall of this body. On a space dimension cit has no limits – every thing I am aware of, be it a close-by object or a distant galaxy shines in my awareness alone. sat-cit-atma is therefore limitless, ananta or ananda.
  • We will continue this verse in next class.

om tat sat


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