Mudita Bhavana

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #45939

      I would like to hear a brief explanation of Mudita Bhavana. What is mudita? And what should I do to cultivate mudita?

    • #45942

      A while back, I read that mudita was sympathetic joy — being happy in the success of others.


      I remember this post about ariya metta bhavana:

      5. Ariya Metta Bhāvana (Loving Kindness Meditation)

      #6 says that all four Brahma Vihāra are cultivated with ariya metta bhavana

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #45943

      Below is a description of muditā from the book: Buddhist Meditation – The Path Leading to Nibbāna (2015) by Venerable Ridiyagama Ānanda:

      Muditā means sympathetic joy or gladness, is the quality of rejoicing and being pleased with others’ success, happiness and prosperity. Some people do not wish to see prosperity, happiness and success in others. Muditā eliminates this nature of “envy and jealousy” (issā.) Sympathetic Joy is the medicine for the poisons of jealousy, envy and discontent over the success of others.

      To practice sympathetic joy as a meditation subject, one embraces all prosperous beings; wishing them sincerely that all their gains and prosperity remain with them for a long time. This practice should not start with the dear person and the rest as mentioned in meditation on loving-kindness. Nevertheless, a very dear companion can be the proximate cause for it. So, he should be the first to be pervaded with gladness.

      Seeing or hearing about a dear person being happy, cheerful and glad, sympathetic joy can be arising thus: “This being is indeed glad, how happy he is, how good it is, how excellent!” But if this dear person was happy in the past but is now unlucky and unfortunate, then sympathetic joy can still be aroused by remembering his past happiness and apprehending the good aspect in this way: “In the past, he had great wealth, a great following and he was always glad.” Or sympathetic joy can be aroused by apprehending the future and happy aspect in him in this way: “In the future, he will again enjoy similar success and will go about happily with a great following.”

      In this way, a meditator may develop sympathetic joy successively towards a neutral person and after that towards an enemy.

      With mettā, Seng Kiat

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #45945

      That quote seems a little too vague to me. After all, what a putthajana would feel joyful about would be as a consequence of being ignorant about its inherent Anicca nature. Therefore, that wouldn’t be something to rejoice in. It makes more sense that mudita would be rejoicing in others conducting themselves in such a way so as to increase the likelihood of them getting onto the path and/or progressing along it (i.e., cultivating the mundane and noble paths). 

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #45947
      y not

      The marked distinction in scope and outcome  between anariya and Ariya Bhavana that Dawson touches upon is gone into to a striking degree in “Metta, Muditha, Karuna, Upekkha – Dhamma Q&A Session 2121-09-12′ in  The Waharaka Thero series of discourses .


      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #45956

      Mettā, mudithā, karunā, upēkkhā – Dhamma Q&A session 2021 09 12

      – Venerable Pādukkē Dhammasuma

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #45957
      y not

      SengKiat:  Thank you

    • #45962

      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.

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.