Sanskrit itself is straightforward. Each letter is pronounced one way. Yet every letter is also a mantra with known effects. The grammatical rules are complex and often trip up scholars and teachers. Unlike Western languages, Sanskrit words flow together into unbroken phrases as they represent the flows of consciousness. We need some finesse when we break the flow up into word-ideas.
Many grammatical rules revolve around the meeting of consonants in a flow. They may be combined, changed, or a vowel inserted to retain the flow. One example is Rig Veda, the core book of the Vedas. The first word is Rik but when it’s joined with a V-word, K becomes G; like a soft K.
There is also some corruption from modern Hindi habits, such as in the famous mantra Om. I explore that here.
Turns out there’s another common bug. That’s in spelling bliss “ananda.”
The word for bliss is usually combined with other words. For example, satchitananda. Typically, it’s broken up into sat:absolute, chit:consciousness, and ananda:bliss, aka absolute bliss consciousness, a term for established Self Realization.
However, ‘A’ starting a word is its negation. For example, asat is non-absolute or non-truth. Ananda actually means not-bliss.
The correct word for bliss is Nanda.
Here we have another example of stumbling over Sanskrit word-joining rules. When the T of chit bumps against the following N, TA is retained, a vowel between 2 consonants.
Update: I blundered also. In the example Satchitananda, the Sanskrit uses Taa with a long A. Again, the aa is being passed to Nanda. Long-A aananda means joy, enjoyment. Short a is negation as above, long aa is superlative.
We have three flavours in play:
ananda = joyless
aananda, as in satchitaananda = joy, enjoyment
nanda = delight, bliss
Another definition: Nandi = happy person.
However, I stand by my original point. Taa is part of Chit. Aananda is a valid word for joy but nanda is closest to the feel of bliss. It’s the core word in the example too. I’m going by feel rather than academic expertise here.
Why not divide it as Chita Nanda? Chita implies Chitta, meaning activity in consciousness or thinking. That changes the meaning. Punting the A to the next word is also wrong. The A just needs to be dropped. Chitananda is bliss consciousness. But Chit Ananda is blissless consciousness. (laughs)
Satchitananda should thus be broken out as Sat, Chit, and Nanda.
Typical of a dark age that bliss would be lost to a grammatical error.