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Reality Is Bliss – Taittiriya Upanishad Teachings

Taittiriya Upanishad is the locus classicus of the concept of reality being bliss. Its second chapter is titled ‘Chapter on Bliss’ which begins with the general statement that Brahman is the source, sustenance and the final home of the world. But this statement does not spell out at this juncture what the distinguishing feature of this Brahman is. It only says that Brahman is the cause of the world. But soon after, it explicitly states that it is bliss from which the world is born, by it the world is supported and into it is withdrawn on dissolution.

Blissful Brahman is the constituent being of the world. The principle of causality is that anything from which something emerges as an effect is supported by it even after its emergence and is withdrawn into it again as the upadana karana (material cause) of that effect. So, it follows that the world is blissful Brahman through and through.

In Hinduism, the concept that creation is an expression of bliss and that all inhabitants of the world are intrinsically of the nature of bliss is rooted in profound philosophical and spiritual ideas. This perspective is closely tied to the overarching concept of Brahman, the ultimate reality or cosmic spirit, which is often described as Sat-Chit-Ananda.


Sat (Being): This aspect refers to the ultimate reality or existence. It signifies the unchanging and eternal nature of Brahman.

Chit (Consciousness): This represents the awareness or consciousness that pervades everything in the universe. It acknowledges the divine intelligence that underlies all of creation.

Ananda (Bliss): Ananda is the aspect that relates to bliss or joy. It suggests that the nature of the ultimate reality is not just existence and consciousness but is also inherently blissful.

Creation as an Expression of Bliss:

Hinduism sees the universe as a manifestation of Brahman's creative power, often referred to as Maya. This creative process is an expression of divine bliss, with the underlying purpose of providing an experiential field for souls to evolve and realize their true nature.

The idea is that the diversity and complexity of the world, with all its joys and sorrows, are part of a grand cosmic dance guided by the divine. This dance, known as Lila, is a joyful expression of the divine play.

Inhabitants of the World as Blissful Beings:

Hinduism teaches that the true nature of individuals (Atman) is identical to the nature of Brahman. In other words, each individual is essentially divine and possesses inherent qualities of bliss.

The realization of one's true nature involves transcending the illusion of separateness and understanding that the essence of the self is pure bliss. This realization is often described as achieving moksha or liberation.

Pathways to Realizing Bliss:

Hinduism recognizes various paths (Yogas) that individuals can follow to realize their inherent bliss, such as the path of knowledge (Jnana Yoga), the path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga), the path of selfless action (Karma Yoga), and the path of meditation (Dhyana Yoga).

Through spiritual practices, individuals seek to overcome ignorance (avidya) and realize their innate connection to the blissful essence of the divine.

Taittiriya Upanishad II-7.1 poses the question – What will live if it were not for this bliss? It goes on to declare that one who has intuited this bliss will have nothing to fear.

In summary, the concept that creation is an expression of bliss and that all beings are intrinsically blissful is a central tenet in Hindu philosophy. It invites individuals to recognize their divine nature and embark on a spiritual journey toward self-realization and union with the ultimate reality.