The Vedas say: ramatvam paramstmasi sacchadananda vigraha. A distinct feature of Rama’s is that He is Himself the ultimate resort of eternity, knowledge and bliss, and His body is non-different from Himself. Look, we have a body and we are the soul. This is true even of celestial gods and everyone else in the infinite universes. There is a body and one owner of the body. But in Bhagavan Rama's case, the body and the owner of the body are one:
deha dehi bhuda chaivaneshavare vidyate kvachita
That sachchidananda Brahm is the body and everything in His body is bliss. There is nothing else, though it looks just like any other body. You can see hands and feet, but they are not of flesh and bone. They are not material. They are the form of eternity, knowledge and bliss. The body is like that and so is the owner of the body. His body is like that, and therefore, it is referred to as divine and blissful: chidananda maya deha turmhari vigata vikara jani adikari . . . sai saccidanada ghana rama.
Look, a word ghana is being added here. What is this? Isn’t sachchidananda enough to describe Him? Why has ghana been added? It is the formless Brahm that is called sach, chid, ananda. Beyond sach is chid and beyond chid is ananda. So you could call Him sachchidananda or chidananda or just ananda. anando brahmeti vyajanta . . . (Taittitreya Upanishad 3.6) It is bliss itself that is God. It is not that God contains bliss. Bliss itself is God.
ananda evadhastat ananda uparishatat . . . According to this Vedic verse, there is bliss above Him, bliss to the north of Him, bliss to the east and bliss to the west of Him; bliss within Him and bliss outside of Him. That is called Brahm; that is called Rama. Bliss is the Formless Brahm and it’s very essence is ananda ghana (bliss in a dense from or the essence of bliss) or ananda kanda (the root of bliss). These two words have been used for Rama and Krishna in the scriptures: ananda kanda or ananda ghana. Saint Tulsidas uses the word ghana. My Rama is not merely bliss. He is the very essence of bliss. The essential substance of bliss has been extracted to form His body: rama eva param tatvama (Rama Rahasya Upanishad).
To be continued . . .
An English translation of a discourse delivered in Hindi by:
Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj
18 August 1999
© Radha Govind Samiti