The beautiful statement Sat-Chit-Anand has truth first, consciousness second and bliss third. Is there some inevitable sequence amongst them?
There is no sequence amongst truth, consciousness and bliss. They are not steps of a hierarchy, but they come one after another. Neither of them is higher than the other two, so in the way we understand it, sequence is not there. The actual experience of sachchidanand happens simultaneously. In fact, these three words: Sat, Chit, Anand – truth, consciousness, bliss – do not indicate three experiences. It is just the poverty of language that we cannot contain the whole experience in one word. Our words are so poor. The experience is absolutely an organic whole: whatever happens, happens simultaneously.
But perhaps as far as the human mind is concerned, a very different kind of sequence may be needed to comprehend what happens. In the statement Sat-Chit-Anand, truth comes first. The natural tendency of the logical rational mind is that truth must come first in experience and then consciousness and then bliss. In actual experience you start with meditation, which brings you wider and wider consciousness. At the ultimate peak, when the explosion happens, suddenly you find yourself fully conscious.
Then on one hand, you find truth and on the other hand, you find bliss. This all happens in a split second. Perhaps it is better to say: it happens in no time. Even a split second takes some time.
It happens in timelessness. But for the mind’s understanding – which is not the ultimate understanding, but only a relative understanding – you can say the enlightened person experiences consciousness; and as the consciousness comes into existence, suddenly he becomes aware of the truth that was hidden in the unconscious – because now there is no unconscious – and the bliss that was also hidden in the unconscious.
I have told you it is almost like a bird, a single unity. The bird has two wings: truth, bliss, and the bird’s own body can be called consciousness. But you cannot divide them: you cannot say what comes first and what comes second. The whole bird comes; without the wings, it cannot come and without the bird, the wings cannot come.
Or take another example: you suddenly put the switch on in a dark room. Do you think that first you see the table, then you see the chairs, then you see the wall and then you see this and that? So many things are in the room. But when the light comes, they all suddenly become clear to you without any sequence – nothing is first, nothing is second. They were all hidden in darkness. Once light is there, darkness is no more. You immediately become aware of the existence of everything that is there.