Q. Ananta Das Babaji writes that svarupa-sakti of Krishna consists of sat, cit and ananda and that they are inseparable and always manifest together. And then he says that cit sakti consists of samvit, sandhini and hladhini. I always thought they were synonymus: sat=sandhini, cit=samvit, ananda=hladini. If there is difference between them, what it is?
A. The difference between sat cit ananda and samvit, sandhini and hladhini appears to be quantitative in that the sat cit ananda of the svarupa or cit sakti is greater than the sat cit ananda of the jiva, or that of Brahman, and even greater than the sat cit ananda that is within Bhagavan. His bhagavata svarupananada, for example, is not as great as his svarupa-sakti ananda.
When we say that the bliss of Brahman, if multiplied a trillion-fold, cannot compare to the quantity of bliss in a tiny atomic particle of prema-bhakti, we are not distinguishing qualitatively but quantitatively. It is on the basis of this understanding, it seems, that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur describes the jivatma as an atomic particle of svarupa sakti (a partial manifestation of svarupa sakti) that unto itself is not competent to overwhelm Bhagavan, whereas in conjunction with the entirety of the svarupa sakti it can. It’s an interesting argument that makes one’s svarupa somewhat more intrinsic to the jiva, more so than when the svarupa sakti is described as entirely different from the jiva sakti. Also, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur sees the maya sakti as a distorted manifestation of the svarupa sakti (asat acit nirananda).