Translations of
EnglishSympathetic joy
(MLCTS: mṵdḭtà)
(Pinyin: )
(Rōmaji: ki)
(UNGEGN: mŭtĭta)
(RTGS: muthitaa)
Glossary of Buddhism

Muditā (Pāli and Sanskrit: मुदिता) is a dharmic concept of joy, particularly an especially sympathetic or vicarious joy—the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being.[1]

The traditional paradigmatic example of this mind-state is the attitude of a parent observing a growing child's accomplishments and successes.[2] Mudita should not be confused with pride, as a person feeling mudita may not have any benefit or direct income from the accomplishments of the other.[non sequitur] Mudita is a pure joy unadulterated by self-interest.[citation needed]


Mudita meditation cultivates appreciative joy at the success and good fortune of others. The Buddha described this variety of meditation in this way:

Here, O, Monks, a disciple lets his mind pervade one quarter of the world with thoughts of unselfish joy, and so the second, and so the third, and so the fourth. And thus the whole wide world, above, below, around, everywhere and equally, he continues to pervade with a heart of unselfish joy, abundant, grown great, measureless, without hostility or ill-will.[3][attribution needed]

Buddhist teachers compare mudita to an inner spring of infinite joy that is available to everyone at all times, regardless of circumstances.

The more deeply one drinks of this spring,
the more securely one becomes in one's own abundant happiness,
the more bountiful it becomes to relish the joy of other people.[citation needed]

Joy is also traditionally regarded as the most difficult to cultivate of the four immeasurables (brahmavihārā: also "four sublime attitudes"). To show joy is to celebrate happiness and achievement in others even when we are facing tragedy ourselves.[4]

According to Buddhist teacher Ayya Khema showing joy towards sadistic pleasure[clarification needed] is wrong. Here there should instead be compassion (karuṇā).

The "far enemies" of joy are jealousy (envy) and greed, mind-states in obvious opposition. Joy's "near enemy," the quality which superficially resembles joy but is in fact more subtly in opposition to it, is exhilaration, described as a grasping at pleasant experience out of a sense of insufficiency or lack.[5][verification needed]

See also


  1. ^ Salzberg, Sharon (1995). Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness. Shambhala Publications. p. 119. ISBN 9781570629037.
  2. ^ U Pandita, Sayadaw (2006). The State of Mind Called Beautiful. Simon and Schuster. p. 51. ISBN 9780861713455.
  3. ^ Nyanaponika, Thera; Jackson, Natasha; Knight, C.F.; Oates, L.R. (1983). Muditā: The Buddha’s Teaching on Unselfish Joy (PDF). The Wheel. Vol. 170. Kandy, Sri Lanka: Buddhist Publication Society.
  4. ^ Harris, Elizabeth J. (June 1994). "A Journey into Buddhism". Access to Insight.
  5. ^