A term used of brahman (neut.), as ultimate reality, from the earliest Upaniṣads onwards. In Advaita Vedānta it is combined with sat (‘being’), and cit (‘awareness, sentience, consciousness’) into saccidānanda, a single term conveying the spiritual and unitary character of the absolute. Consequently, according to this school, salvation is a state of pure bliss (ānanda). In theistic systems, ānanda is frequently listed as a quality of God (e.g. of Śiva).