The meaning of the individual words of sat-chit-ananda are as follows:
- Sat: truth, absolute being or existence-- that which is enduring and unchanging
- Chit: consciousness, understanding and comprehension
- Ananda: bliss, a state of pure happiness, joy and sensual pleasure
A common translation of sat-chit-ananda is "truth-consciousness-bliss." Sometimes sat-chit-ananda is considered to be a triple consciousness, where all three elements can be taken separately or considered as one because, in reality, each element is found in everything.
Some say that the experience of sat-chit-ananda is only accessible to a few advanced spiritual masters. Potentially, only 20 or 30 masters have ever been able to reach and remain in this state. It is easier for people to achieve an illuminated mind, but sat-chit-ananda is a higher state even than that.
In the philosophy of Vedanta, sat-chit-ananda is used as a synonym for the three qualities of Brahman. It is the supremely blissful experience of pure consciousness, unity and ultimate reality. Sri Aurobindo considers sat-chit-ananda to be the eternal and unified concept of the soul, which is beyond space, matter and time.
Though it is a lofty goal that may not be achieved in the practitioner's lifetime, practicing yoga can help move the individual closer to sat-chit-ananda.