Reply To: Mudita Bhavana


Good discussion! Thank you all for the comments.

1. Yes. The conventional interpretation of “muditā” is “being happy in the success of others,” as pointed out by cubibobi (Lang) and Seng Kiat’s first post. That is the “mundane meaning.” 

  • But as pointed out in the rest of the comments (and Lang’s) there is a deeper meaning (involved in the Noble Path). 

2. When cultivating anariya jhana, two key issues come into play. Jhanic states correspond to rupavacara Brahma realms. To get to them, (i) the mind MUST suppress kama raga, and (ii) it must stop vyapada/himsa (dosa) from arising.

  • Ancient yogis did the first by moving into jungles where no sensory attractions were present so that kama raga would not be triggered. They suppressed vyapada and himsa from arising by engaging in the mundane versions of metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha.

3. But Ariya jhanas are cultivated in a drastically different way. One would eliminate kama raga to transcend the kama loka and get to the mindset of rupavacara Brahma realms. 

  • The Ariya version of Metta and karuna Bhavana help remove vyapada and himsa. The Ariya version of mudita is the joy of the mind with the elimination of kama raga. The cultivation of Ariya upekkha is via the cultivation of anicca, dukkha, anatta sanna.
  • The correct version of Satipatthana Bhavana cultivates all those.

4. I discussed that “basic picture” in the post: “Each Citta Starts with Distorted Saññā” using an analogy of a four-story house.

  • In the new series on “Recovering the Suffering-Free Pure Mind” we discussed that Nibbana (pabhassara or “pure” mind) is hidden deep inside each citta, but ALL cittas in kama loka arise already contaminated.
  • We also discussed in those posts (including the latest, “Contamination of a Human Mind – Detailed Analysis “) in that series how a mind gets further contaminated from the “initial rupa sanna” stage. 
  • With that knowledge, we can now explore how to “go backward” (“paṭisotagāmī” as discussed in Contamination of the Human Mind Based on a Sensory Input”) and stop that contamination process. That will ultimately lead to transcending the “kama loka.” That is the way to cultivate Ariya jhana. Of course, one must be at least a Sotapanna Anugami first.

5. I will start discussing that (understanding/cultivating Satipatthana that way) in upcoming posts. I may need to finish the revision of the two posts on kāma guṇa first.