From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Sat literally means ‘the existent’.

The two words ‘sat’ and ‘asat’ are frequently mentioned and discussed in philosophical and religious works. If ‘sat’ stands for existence, unchanging reality, truth or the good, ‘asat’ represents all that is opposed to it. It can be defied by:

  1. Non-existent
  2. Transient
  3. Falsehood
  4. Evil
  5. Etc.

However, the word ‘asat’ is sometimes used in the Upaniṣads in the sense of the unmanifested state[1] before creation, and the word ‘sat’ to denote its manifested state.


  1. Taittirīyopanisad 2.7
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore