From Dhamma Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sukha: pleasant, happiness; happiness, pleasure, joy, bliss. It is one of the three feelings see: vedanā and may be either bodily or mental. The texts distinguish between the happiness of the senses and the h. of renunciation A. II, worldly carnal;sāmisa and unworldly non-carnal; nirāmisa happiness M. 10. See A. II, ch. VIII. - Happiness is an indispensable condition for attaining concentration of mind samādhi, and therefore it is one of the 5 factors or constituents of the 1st absorption jhānanga see: jhāna and is present up to the 3rd absorption inclusively.;The mind of the happy one has concentration as its fruit and reward; A.X,1. -;In him who is filled with happiness, right concentration has found a foundation; A.X,3.

Sukha is a feeling of ease, well-being and satisfaction and can range from mild to intense and be either momentary or enduring. The Buddha distinguished between worldly happiness which is derived mainly from pleasure or material gain, and spiritual happiness which is derived from being virtuous and gradually freeing the mind. Some examples of worldly happiness which the Buddha says are legitimate and worthwhile are the happiness of ownership, of wealth and of freedom from debt (A.II, 68). The sense of achievement, from excelling in one’s chosen profession and making a good living out of it can make one very happy (D.I,51). On a higher level, some of the things conducive to spiritual happiness include practicing the Precepts (D.I,69), being just (A.I,294), calming the senses (D.I,69), thinking about and rejoicing in one's own good deeds (Dhp,16), taming the mind (Dhp.35), being able to love despite being surrounded by those who hate (Dhp.197) and being at peace (Dhp.202). The highest and most refined happiness comes from attaining enlightenment (Dhp.203). Concerning the two levels of happiness, the Buddha advises, ‘If by giving up worldly happiness one can attain the higher happiness the wise person should do so, seeing it as a more enriching happiness’ (Dhp.290).


  • Buddhism A to Z. Ven. Dhammika, 2007.
  • Maha Thera Nyanatiloka. Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines, Buddhist Publication Society, first edition 1952.