Sat (Sanskrit: सत्):

is a Sanskrit adjective meaning "the ideal; pure and true essence (nature)" of an entity or existence in the Vedanta. It can thus be concluded as "the self-existent or Universal Spirit, Brahman".


It can simply be said to be the present participle of the root as "to be" (cognate to English is).

Thus Sat is Being - at least linguistically.

Heidegger term Sein, linguistically, the verb to be, is usually translated as Being, its present participle.

Now, Aletheia (ἀλήθεια):

is a Greek word variously translated as "unclosedness", "unconcealedness", "disclosure" or "truth". The literal meaning of the word ἀ–λήθεια is "the state of not being hidden; the state of being evident" and it also implies sincerity, as well as factuality or reality.

Famously, Heidegger unconcealed aletheia; one can say he removed the privative.

ἀ–λήθεια, uses the privative ἀ; letheia (λήθεια) is semantically connected to the Hadean river of forgetfulness lethe (λήθε), and of oblivion, it also underlies the Latin lateo, 'am hidden', 'remain unnoticed', from which English derives 'latent'.now the sanskrit vowel अ is related to the greek ἀ, and is also used as a privative in Sanskrit.

Is there then, a Sanskrit term which matches or overlaps letheia linguistically & semantically?

Given the semantic overlap in the Greek & Latin - one rather suspects that there should be.


The closest description of Brahman is Satchidananda which literally translates as Existence Knowledge Bliss Absolute. But even that is only describing the outer layer of Brahman so to speak as Brahman is beyond all words. All you can say of Brahman is "neti, neti" - not this, not this (meaning whatever you can put into words or experience cannot be Brahman) Sat is translated as Existence, not 'Being'. Sri Krishna says "It is the Supreme Brahman, which is without beginning and is said to be neither being nor non-being." (Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XIII, verse 12, Swami Nikhilananda translator). All you can say of Brahman is - Brahman IS. After 40 years of study and numerous readings and studies, the most widely accepted translation of Sat is Existence. It can be translated as being, but the use of the word being in English can lead to more mis-interpretations than the word existence.

As far as a sanskrit term that might approximate letheia, it may be 'maya'. Maya is ignornace obscuring the vision of God (Brahman); the Cosmic Illusion on account of which the One appears as many, the Absolute as the Relative. Maya is that which covers Brahman and makes us forget our true nature as Brahman.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.