Ānanda

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By Krishna Maheshwari


Sometimes transliterated as: Ananda, Ananda, AAnanda


  1. complete bliss, happiness, joy, pleasure, beatitude
  2. another name for Śiva, and another name for Lord Viṣṇu; the previous incarnation of the Manu Cākşuşa[1]; the forest on top of Mount Meru inhabited by the devas, gandharvas, apsarās, kinnaras and ŗşis [2]; one of the chief disciples of Gautama Buddha.
  3. a particular variety of Sanskrit meter
  4. particular combinations of nakṣatras (stars) with weekdays, like Aśvinī being in conjunction with Sunday, and so on
  5. suffix in the names of saṃyāsins (monks), though it is difficult to say since when exactly the practice began. Earlier sarhnyāsins like Sankara have not used it. Later ācāryas (pontiffs) of the Śṛṅgeri Monastery (for e.g. Saṅkarānanda) have started using it.

This term is generally used to indicate unadulterated perfect bliss, got by the realization of God or the Self. The three basic terms indicated by God are as follows :

  1. Ānanda -Complete Bliss
  2. Sat - Existence
  3. Cit - Consciousness

The second chapter of the Taittiriya Upaniṣad designated as Ānanda Valli shows by a calculation of its own, that brahmānanda or bliss of Brahman is infinitely superior to the greatest joy of a human being ideally situated in life can ever hope to get.

References

  1. Mrk. Pur.
  2. P. Pur.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
  • Ānanda by Jit Majumdar