Yoga Mimamsa

: 2021  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 35--38

Concept of Ānanda in Śrīmad Bhāgavad Gītā

Lokesh Choudhary1, Upendra Babu Khatri1, Nandlal Mishra2,  
1 Department of Yoga and Ayurveda, Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies, Raisen, Madhya Pradesh, India
2 Department of Yoga and Ayurveda, Faculty of Management, MGCGV, Chitrakoot, Madhya Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Lokesh Choudhary
Department of Yoga and Ayurveda, Sanchi University of Buddhist-Indic Studies, Barla, Makhani, Raisen - 464 551, Madhya Pradesh


The Vedanta is prominent philosophies among Indian philosophical traditions. It announces that every organism lives for ānanda. Whatever the people do in their life is for the sake of happiness, but happiness is not the thing which can be bought by expensed money in the market or can be borrowed from outside. It is the eternal thing which can be obtained only by elevation in human consciousness. It describes the fundamentals of the ānanda in detailed way with fundamental notions. The most popular and much-discussed text Śrīmad Bhāgavad Gītā also elaborates this concept of ānanda in a scattered way. Mostly, Gītā is perceived as a religious and action, motivating text while the other aspects are still hidden and untouched. There is no systematic research found on the elaboration of the ānanda and its acquiring methodology. This research study discusses the concept of ānanda from various perspectives of description acquired by the Sri Krishna while explaining the ultimate truth to the Arjuna. It also investigates the description with their attaining methodologies and practices that can be applicable in day-to-day life.

How to cite this article:
Choudhary L, Khatri UB, Mishra N. Concept of Ānanda in Śrīmad Bhāgavad Gītā.Yoga Mimamsa 2021;53:35-38

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Choudhary L, Khatri UB, Mishra N. Concept of Ānanda in Śrīmad Bhāgavad Gītā. Yoga Mimamsa [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Feb 6 ];53:35-38
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Ānanda is the foundation of human life; each activity taken by an individual is only for the purpose of obtaining ānanda. It is the ultimate motivation for human life. It is the ultimate motivation for human life (Sudha & Talwar, 2012). All the cultures involved in this endeavor to realize the innate and permanent nature of the human being. Indian culture devotes thousands of years to investigate it and conclude the extract in the philosophy of ānanda termed as Ānanda Mīmāṃsā (Analysis of the infinite bliss). (Dhiman, 2019). They also found that certain factors are present that can help to prepare an individual for the attainment of the everlasting ānanda.

As per the Upanishads, ānanda is innate characteristic of the Brahman (Supreme Consciousness). It also conceptualized that human existence is primarily consisting of five sheaths known as pañca kośa. Here in that, the innermost and subtlest are ānandamaya kośa responsible for the day-to-day ānanda experience. The Vedanta conceptualized that the source of ānanda is that Atman means an individual itself. Hence, the searching of ānanda in the outer world is unfruitful, rather than one should focus inward to get the ultimate ānanda. The outer Sukha is temporary and transient. Gītā conceptualized it as a rājasika ānanda, which becomes ultimately resultant a Dukha. As Swami Nikhilananda stated while describing Bhagavad Gita 18.36-39, “The happiness arises due to the contact of the senses with their subject gives Sukha for the limited time; ultimately, it changes into the Dukha, as it is the production of the attachment” (Nikhilananda, 1944).

The scarcity of ānanda is present in the modern world at a high level. It is full up with mental problems, doubts, and complexities. An individual compelled to take medicine due to suffering from anxiety, fear, and uncertainty as one is quite unable to balance the mind and give correct direction to the thoughts.

 ĀNanda in Bhagavad GīTā

The concept of ānanda is quite complicated and multidimensional in Bhagavad Gītā, where all the aspects closely interrelated as well as interdependent too. The other important observation of Gītā that Sukha refers to the dual meaning words. When it is attached to Bhoga, it refers to the sensual pleasure, while without the connection, it is śāśvata (Permanent) Sukha, where it is equivalent to the concept of ānanda elaborated in the Upanishads. In Gītā, Sukha is not a state which progressive change in the state of ānanda. It is quite a different explanation from the other Vedantic texts. As described in verse 2.15, that immortality (ānanda) is beyond pain and pleasure, which is attained only by the calm person (samaduḥkhasukhaṃ dhīraṃ so'mṛtatvāya kalpate| Gītā 2.15) (Nikhilananda, 1944, pp. 73-74).

 ĀNanda as the Attainment of True Knowledge

The knowledge is the prime means to connect with its self. It opens the stream of ānanda in life as the text claims. Gītā also supports in the form of truth. Gītā believes that the unfulfilled desires are the production of ignorance about the self (Lack of Ātma jñāna) whenever the Ātma jñāna occurs, then the person realizes that the source of ānanda is Atman itself none other than it, hereafter, the ones become satisfied and delight in own self and attains ānanda.

yastvātmaratireva syādātmatṛptaśca mānavaḥ|

ātmanyeva ca santuṣṭastasya kāryaṃ na vidyate|| Gītā 3.17

Gītā (3.17) explains that knowledge is the purifier of the consciousness, which leads toward the peace and ānanda, while doubts lead to the destruction. It emphasizes that individual should try to get knowledge about the self as well as about the world. Gītā proclaims that three types of complexities occur during the pathway of knowledge acquiring. These are “the ignorant, faithless, and the one who is full up of the doubts.” Those who are suffering in these three situations, they can attain ānanda neither in this phenomenal world's life nor hereafter.

The doubts are caused through ignorance, so the intelligent person should try to accumulate knowledge, as it is the mean of ānanda (chittvainaṃ saṃśayaṃ yogamātiṣṭha| Gītā 4.42). Gītā not only emphasis, but it also describes the way by which an individual can acquire knowledge in the form of faith (śraddhāvāṁllabhate jñānaṃ tatparaḥ saṃyatendriyaḥ| Gītā 4.39).

Those who have faith and devotion, as well as sensual control, attain the knowledge, which leads an individual to supreme peace. This knowledge is covered by unrestrained sensual desires, which are constant for the knowledgeable person. As mentioned,

āvṛtaṃ jñānametena jñānino nityavairiṇā |

kāmarūpeṇa kaunteya duṣpūreṇānalena ca || Gītā 3.39

In the same manner, Śrīmad Bhagavatam 3.7.17 also mentioned that two types of persons thoroughly enjoy this world. (A) Utter fool and (B) those who go beyond Buddhi means attained self-knowledge (Ranganathananda, 2015, p. 329).

 ĀNanda as Desireless State

Desires impelled everyone to act, so there is no action in the desireless state, although action happens, it would be without attachment. Gītā explains the level of mind where an individual attains supreme peace, which is a desireless state. Gītā states,

nāsti buddhirayuktasya na cāyuktasya bhāvanā|

na cābhāvayataḥ śāntiraśāntasya kutaḥ sukham|| Gītā 2.66

“Where all the desires dissolve and the real nature of own self appears those who are not in peace are unable to attain happiness.”

Additional to this, “only those who are free from all the desires attain peace, not the others (tadvatkāmā yaṃ praviśanti sarve sa śāntimāpnoti na kāmakāmī| Gītā 2.70).”

Desires make the mind always in the disturbed condition, so by controlling over it makes an individual calm and fulfilled. This desireless state leads to the Sukha.

The sensual attachments or desires are very dangerous for the attainment of ānanda. Gītā (2.67) explains that if the mind bound by the wandering waves of the senses carries away individual discrimination as the wind carries away a ship from the course. This sensual affiliation is the greatest tragedy of human life, as stated, “From desires an individual stumble to possession” (Ranganathananda, 2015, p. 242). The supreme peace is attained only by that Muni, whose mind is like an ocean where all the desires disappear, not by the desires of the desires (tadvatkāmā yaṃ praviśanti sarve sa śāntimāpnoti na kāmakāmī| Gītā 2.70).

 ĀNanda as Mental Equanimity

Gītā perceived the three situations of an individual while attempting to attain ānanda – Sukha, Duḥkha, and equanimity between them. It can be defined through the Guṇa theory. If the Tamas is prominent, then the ānanda will search in the violent and vicious action due to ignorance. If the Rajas become dominant, then the activity, passion will introduce in an individual. During this situation, power, wealth, and money will be the source of ānanda. Hereafter, when the consciousness becomes refined and one's mind situated in the Sattva guṇa then the true ānanda will attain. (Gupta, 2006) It can be attained through the continuous cultivation and development of the good virtues within oneself. Hereafter, the true ānanda will attain (Gupta, 2006). It can be attained through the continuous cultivation and development of the best virtues within oneself.

Gītā defines it with a particular term known as “sthitaprajña.” It refers to a state where the mind becomes detached from all the internal and external chaos and still in the state of yoga. It is not a state where an individual drives away all the sensory attractions and makes the mind empty. The sthitaprajña is that state where the one should be yoked with the Atman. Gītā defines it as a state of mind where all the desires of the mind become satisfied with the self-alone with the self, and then, the one attains steady wisdom termed as “sthitaprajña.” This involved two factors as per the commentary of Śaṃkarācārya first is the apathetic attitude that “I do not desire nothing.” Strangely, this attitude is found in patients with psychological disorders too (Ranganathananda, 2015, p. 215). Hence, the second one is much more important than the person should be delight own by themself. Gītā describes in the form with the example of the turtle where the practitioner binds up the senses and makes inward likewise turtle and become established in own self. It is known as yoga. It is a methodology to destroy sins. As verse 6.23 utters, yoga as a science to acquiring happiness (taṃ vidyādduḥkhasaṃyogaviyogaṃ yogasaṃjñitam| Gītā 6.23).

 ĀNanda as Restraint Over Senses

The sense without control makes a human to animal. When the senses are controlled and concentrate inwardly, then the state of yoga happens. Lord Krishna also suggests to the Arjuna that, tasmāttvamindriyāṇyādau niyamya bharatarṣabha|

pāpmānaṃ prajahi hyenaṃ jñānavijñānanāśanam|| Gītā 3.41

“Controlling the sense is the first step, those kill the sinful factor, which is the destroyer of the knowledge and the realization.”

The regulation and discipline of sensual energy are the first steps toward ānanda. It is not suppressed or destroyed. It refers to the regulation by following natural discipline. If the sensory systems can bring a million times, more joy (Ranganathananda, 2015, p. 238). Ramakrishna Paramahamsa describes that when Bhoga (Sensual pleasure) does not change in Yoga (union with ultimate self), then it becomes Roga (Disease). Then, ailments and social tensions covered an individual. The sensual control further leads to a state of tranquility.

Gītā (2.64) aptly announces that the self-controlled individual is that whose senses are restrained and free from the attraction and repulsion attains tranquility. It suggests that although the phenomenal world is full up of sensual pleasure traps, hence one should continuously increase the power to control the mind and senses. It will help an individual to get ānanda, and hereafter, anyone can move freely among the sensory objects. As mentioned, a person who has achieved self-mastery get tranquility (vidheyātmā prasadāmadhigacchati | Gītā 2.64 ). Gītā claims that the sensual restraint appears, then unattached with the external senses, realize the in-decaying joy within.

bāhyasparśeṣvasaktātmā vindatyātmani yat sukham|

sa brahmayogayuktātmā sukhamakṣayamaśnute|| Gītā 5.21

If the attachment occurs, then the sensual pleasure becomes the source of misery alone; they have since started, they have ended too, so Arjuna! Do not seek pleasure in them.

ye hi saṃsparśajā bhogā duḥkhayonaya eva te |

ādyantavantaḥ kaunteya na teṣu ramate budhaḥ || Gītā 5.22

The pleasure coming out from the sensual excitement leads the ones to the obsession to get the same pleasure repeatedly. These attachments further create an aversion to the unwanted alternative state termed as dveṣa. It restrains over senses leads an individual to the higher state of consciousness known as Samādhi (State of Yoga), where Gītā describes that a joyful state appears (sukhamātyantikaṃ yattad buddhigrāhyamatīndriyam| Gītā 6.21).

 ĀNanda as a Resultant of Bhakti

Bhakti is a devotion toward the Almighty. It is sacrifice form of the self that transform individual into egoless being. When a yogi purifies himself, then due to the contact with Brahman, then the yogi attains infinite bliss (sukhena brahmasaṃsparśamatyantaṃ sukhamaśnute| Gītā 6.28.) The god is the ocean of bliss (ānanda svarupa); hence, whoever comes in the contact of it becomes a delight due to the contact with the source. The joy attains in a typical mindset cannot be compared with the level of delight that attains the ānanda.


The fundamental problems are the same from the beginning of the mankind, such as the problem of age, diseases, death, and suffering. The problem of sorrow is always there in humanity. As the problem is long lasting, hence, the wisdom of Gītā is beneficial to resolve this issue even in the present context too. The scarcity and misconception of the ānanda lead the generations to a destructive way of merely economic development. It induced a high rate of competition and speeded up life, which becomes the leading cause of anxiety and fear. In these adverse circumstances, the conceptual correction will help to reduce unhappiness and to create this world as a better place to live too.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.[5]


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