Monday, September 8, 2008


Joy (piti) is a feeling of subtle and refined happiness and is similar to happiness (sukha). In Buddhist psychology, joy is seen as the result of virtuous living, a sign of successful meditation and as an indication of growing spiritual maturity. Many different types of joy are identified in Buddhism. Sympathetic joy (mudita) for example, is the ability to be able to rejoice in the success and happiness of others. When the sage Bavari merely heard the word ‘Buddha’ he experienced exaltation (udagga), jubilation (vedajata) and elation (attamana, Sn.998-9). Buddhalambana piti is the calm joy one can feel while contemplating a statue of the Buddha. In the Visuddhimagga, joy is categorized according to its intensity and the effect it can have on the body; thus there is minor joy (khuddika piti), momentary joy (khanika piti), showering joy (okkantika piti), uplifting joy (ubbega piti) and pervading joy (pharana piti, Vis.143). Some people are cautious of joy thinking that it might lead to attachment, but Buddhaghosa made the interesting comment on this matter: ‘It is called joy because it is meant to be enjoyed’ (Vis.143). Joy is an important part of the jhanas and one of the seven limbs that lead to enlightenment (satta bhojjanga, D.II,79).
I love the term ‘jumping for joy’. It suggests that one has so much you in them that it cannot be contained and makes their bodies spring into the air as it bursts out. Perhaps this is what Buddhaghosa was referring to ‘uplifting joy’. I include some pictures of people jumping for joy.
May you all have more joy in your lives.


desertboot said...

The last line probably ought read:
"May we all have more joy in our lives."



Terrance said...


Love your links.

However, your link to Buddhist Jokes no longer work.

It should be:

instead of:

I think the site might have changed.

Thanks !