- Ananda literally means “bliss.” In Hinduism, ananda is the bliss beyond comprehension that is experienced when one is in communion with or has realized in totality the Godhead.Ananda is seen as an aspect of the Divine and is often mentioned together with sat (divine being) and cit (divine consciousness). The term SAT-CHIT-ANANDA (divine being, consciousness, bliss) often appears in Vedantic contexts (see VEDANTA) and has become a proper name for SWAMIs or holy men.Many teachers also have “ananda” appended to their names, such as Nikhilananda, “He who has realized total divine bliss,” or Satyananda, “He who has realized the divine bliss of the One Truth,” or Muktananda, “He who has realized the divine bliss in liberation from birth and rebirth.”Further reading: John Dudley Ball, Ananda—Where Yoga Lives (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green Uni-versity Popular Press, 1982); J. A. B. van Buitenen, “Ananda, or All Desires Fulfilled,” in Studies in Indian Literature and Philosophy: Collected Articles of J. A. B. van Buitenen. Edited by L. Rocher (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1988); Nalini Devdas, Ananda: The Concept Sikh devotees outside the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the international center for Sikh spirituality. (www.shutterstock.com/Paul Prescott) of Bliss in the Upanisads (Madras: Christian Literature Society for the Christian Institute for the Study of Reli-gion and Society, 1974).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.