Sat (Sanskrit)

Sat (Sanskrit: सत्) is a Sanskrit word meaning "the true essence" and "which is unchangeable" of an entity, species or existence.[1] Sat is a common prefix in ancient Indian literature and variously implies that which is good, true, virtuous, being, happening, real, existing, enduring, lasting, essential.[2] In ancient texts, fusion words based on Sat, refer to "Universal Spirit, Universal Principle, Being, Soul of the World, Brahman".[3][4]

It can simply be said to be the present participle of the root as "to be" (PIE *h₁es-; cognate to English is).

The concept is famously expressed in a mantra found in the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.3.28),

Asato mā sad gamaya / tamaso mā jyotir gamaya / mṛtyor mā amṛtam gamaya
"lead me from delusion to truth; from darkness to light; from mortality to immortality"

Sat is the root of many Sanskrit words and concepts such as sattva "pure, truthful" and satya "truth". As a prefix, in some context it means true and genuine; for example, sat-sastra means true doctrine, sat-van means one devoted to the true.[5]

The negation of sat is asat, a combination word of a and sat. Asat refers to the opposite of sat, that is delusion, distorted, untrue, fleeting impression that is incorrect, invalid and false.[6][7]

Sat may also refer to Citsvaru'pa, the Supreme consciousness, or Parama Purusha, the Supreme Being.[citation needed] "Sat" is one of the three characteristics of Brahman, as described in sat-chit-ananda.[4]