Vedas on Consciousness

Recently a friend of mine, who is a leading Neuro-physician. with whom I was conversing, the topic of Consciousness came up.

Medically speaking Coma is a State where one loses the Cognitive ability, as observed by the others.

Essential bodily functions take place.

Being Consciousness and Bliss.Image.jpg
Sat Chit Anandam

‘A coma is a prolonged state of unconsciousness. During a coma, a person is unresponsive to his or her environment. The person is alive and looks like he or she is sleeping. However, unlike in a deep sleep, the person cannot be awakened by any stimulation, including pain.'(webmd)

Herein lies the issue.

One notices consciousness, like air  only when it is absent.

Some questions.

Is Life Consciousness?

If so, medically speaking when one is in Coma,when one’s consciousness is absent, he is said be alive;then what is Life?

One is not aware of consciousness while in deep sleep, or even during the Dreaming State.

Where does it go then?

We recollect, some times, what we have dreamed.

It is said be, because of Consciousness.

How does this happen?

In Psychology, there is a term which normally does not make sense.

The term is ‘Unconscious’

How does one say he has unconscious state in his make up, when the very term indicates you are not Conscious of it.

It is said so because it is inferred and accounts for psychological activities of the Human being.

Then what is Mind?

What is Brain?

The activity of the Brain is Mind,(Science)

Activity of the Mind is Intellect, activity of the Intellect is Chitta(Indian Philosophy).

Yoga soeaks of this in the first Sutra,

Yoga;chitta Vruthi Nirodhithaha’

The Cessation of the modification of the Chitta is Yoga.

Mind is like a CPU , it receives sensations /Data.

No factual or judgemental pronunciations are made.

The Judgemental portion or the factual certification is made by Buddhi(Intellect).

How does Buddhi pass judgements or values to an even or sensations.

It is by the directions of the Chitta, Consciousness.

Consciousness in an attribute of Reality.

It is the Subject in the process of Cognition.

It is not an object of Cognition.

It can not be known or perceived by any thing other than by itself, Consciousness.

It is a Sate of Being.(Sat)

The state of Being has as its attributes Consciousness, which has Bliss or Ananda as its attribute.

Sat Chit and Ananda.

  • sat सत् (present participle); [Sanskrit root as , “to be“]: “Truth”, “Absolute Being”, “a palpable force of virtue and truth”. Sat describes an essence that is pure and timeless, that never changes.
  • cit चित् (noun): “consciousness”, “true consciousness”, “to be consciousness of”, “to understand”, “to comprehend”.
  • ānanda आनन्द (noun): “bliss”,”true bliss”,”happiness” “joy”, “delight”, “pleasure”

“Sat-Chit-Ananda” or “Saccidānanda” is the Sanskrit compound form of the word, which can be translated in various ways:

  • “Eternal Consciousness Bliss”
  • “Absolute Consciousness Bliss”
  • “Consisting of existence and thought and joy

These attributes ae inseparable from each other.

These three together constitute the Attribute of Brahman.

Brahman is the Ultimate Reality.

It is inferred and is never an object of perception.

It is the Perceiver, the process of Perception and the Perceived.

Perception is removal of Nescience or removal of Ignorance, Avidya.

This Avidya is at the individual level.

At the Universal level it is called Maya.

The state of Being, Consciousness and Bliss are expressed as Sat Chit and Ananda in the Upanishads.

This is the interpretation of Advaita by Shankaracharya.


Prajgnam Brahma (Upanishad)


Brahman ,Reality is Consciousness.

The one wants to know what Mind or cognition is.

Cognition happens when consciousness illuminates.

Consciousness itself is Knowledge.

“Nirajanam Nishkriam Shantam Nirvadyam Niranjanam”(Shvetashwara Upanishad, 6/19)

It is not awareness per se.

Awareness is a part of Consciousness and awareness is not Consciousness.

Knowledge is awareness as made available by Consciousness.

How and why consciousness is selective in revealing Knowledge?

I shall be writing on this in a separate post.

The Upanishads on conciousness and Brahman.


That thou art.
(“You are Brahman”)
(Tat Tvam Asi)

The Self (the Soul) is Brahman.”
ayam atma brahma. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 4.4.5)

I am Brahman.”
Sanskrit: aham brahmasmi. (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 1.4.10)

Brahman is Consciousness.
Sanskrit: prajnanam brahma. (Aitareya Upanishad 3.1.3)

All this is Brahman.
Sanskrit: Sarvam khalvidam brahma. (Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1)

All this is, indeed, Brahman. This Atman is Brahman.

This same Atman has four quarters. (Mandukya Upanishad 1.2) [The first three quarters correspond to the letters of AUM: 1 = A, 2 = U, 3 = M. The fourth quarter is silence.]


SAT (Existence)

In the beginning, my dear, this [universe] was Being (Sat) alone, one only without a second.”
(Chandogya Upanishad 6.2.1 also Aitareya Upanishad 1.1.1)

All this that we see in the world is Brahman.”
sarvam khalv idam brahma. (Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1)

Brahman is Reality, Knowledge, and Infinity.
(Taittiriya Upanishad 2.1.3)

CHIT (Consciousness)

Brahman is Consciousness.
Sanskrit: prajnanam brahma. (Aitareya Upanishad 3.1.3)


Brahman is bliss (ananda).
(Taittiriya Upanishad 3.6.1)


“Brahman that is immediate and direct—the Self that is within all.”

“You cannot see That which is the Seer of seeing;
you cannot hear That which is the Hearer of hearing;
you cannot think of That which is the Thinker of thought;
you cannot know That which is the Knower of knowledge.
This is your Self, that is within all;
everything else but This is perishable.” (Br. Up. 3.4.2).

I will be posting more on this and the view of the other systems of indian Philosophy on consciousness.

One thought on “Vedas on Consciousness

  1. Dear Mr Ramanan
    Excellent article. How is your communication with Dr.Ravi Prakash Arya. Have you progressed further. Please keep me posting. I will also give you the list of major publishers in Delhi which I know. Please confirm and reply
    Shrirang Sudrik
    Pune Maharashtra India
    Mobile : 09011350747


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