Sympathetic Joy (Mudita) by Nyanaponika Thera
- "Not only to compassion, but also to joy with others open your heart!
Small, indeed, is the share of happiness and joy allotted to beings!
Whenever a little happiness comes to them,
then you may rejoice that at least one ray of joy has pierced through
the darkness of their lives,
and dispelled the gray and gloomy mist that enwraps their hearts.
Your life will gain in joy by sharing the happiness of others as if
it were yours.
Did you never observe how in moments of happiness men's features
change and become bright with joy?
Did you never notice how joy rouses men to noble aspirations and
deeds, exceeding their normal capacity?
Did not such experience fill your own heart with joyful bliss?
It is in your power to increase such experience of sympathetic joy,
by producing happiness in others, by bringing them joy and solace.
Let us teach real joy to men!
Many have unlearned it.
Life, though full of woe, holds also sources of happiness and joy,
unknown to most.
Let us teach people to seek and to find real joy within themselves
and to rejoice with the joy of others!
Let us teach them to unfold their joy to ever sublimer heights!
Noble and sublime joy is not foreign to the Teaching of the
Wrongly the Buddha's Teaching is sometimes considered to be a
doctrine diffusing melancholy.
Far from it: the Dhamma leads step by step to an ever purer and
Noble and sublime joy is a helper on the path to the extinction of
Not he who is depressed by grief, but one possessed of joy finds that
serene calmness leading to a contemplative state of mind.
And only a mind serene and collected is able to gain the liberating
The more sublime and noble the joy of others is, the more justified
will be our own sympathetic joy.
A cause for our joy with others is their noble life securing them
happiness here and in lives hereafter.
A still nobler cause for our joy with others is their faith in the
Dhamma, their understanding of the Dhamma, their following the
Let us give them the help of the Dhamma!
Let us strive to become more and more able ourselves to render such
Sympathetic joy means a sublime nobility of heart and intellect which
knows, understands and is ready to help.
Sympathetic joy that is strength and gives strength: this is the
And what is the highest manifestation of sympathetic joy?
To show to the world the path leading to the end of suffering,
the path pointed out, trodden, and realized to perfection by Him,
the Exalted One, the Buddha."
From: The Four Sublime States: Contemplations on Love, Compassion,
Sympathetic Joy and Equanimity by Nyanaponika Thera, The Wheel
Publication No. 6 (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1993).
For free distribution with the kind permission of the Buddhist