Author Topic: What Causes Happiness and Joy?  (Read 14453 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1491
What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« on: July 22, 2012, 07:37:27 AM »
One's attitude toward superficial successes that are achieved through wrong means of livelihood such as lying, stealing, cheating, and so on, should not be the same as for achievements and happiness which are genuine. However, here you must bear in mind that if you examine this carefully, you will find that although the immediate circumstances that gave rise to a person's joy and happiness may be a wrong means of livelihood, that is merely the immediate circumstance: the actual cause of that happiness is the individual's merit in the past.

So one has to see the difference between immediate circumstances and long-term causes. One of the characteristics of karmic theory is that there is a definite, commensurate relationship between cause and effect. There is no way that negative actions or unwholesome deeds can result in joy and happiness. Joy and happiness, by definition, are the results or fruits of wholesome actions. So, from that point of view, it is possible for us to admire not so much the immediate action, but the real causes of joy.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2012, 09:24:05 AM »
Thanks Icy for very well written post about happiness. Instant gratification is what most people want. People want to feel happy right away and will do whatever it takes to get that happiness quick. But as you said it may be a wrong means of livelihood. That kind of happiness are short term and will lead to unhappiness because the moment we lose it we in for suffering. Ultimate happiness is only achieved by overcoming craving in all forms. More mundane forms of happiness, such as acquiring wealth and maintaining relationships, are also recognized as worldly goals for lay people. Buddhism also encourages the generation of loving kindness and compassion, the desire for the happiness and welfare of all sentient beings.

Tenzin K

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 835
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2012, 10:14:31 AM »
Buddha taught that life is dukkha (suffering). This is indeed true as all of us suffer in one way or another throughout our life. Jealousy, anger, fear and disappointment are dukkha. Some religions taught that God is jealous and he also get angry. This showed that life in heaven is also dukkha as taught in Buddhism.
Buddha taught that the cause of dukkha is ignorance and craving.

Craving arises from delusion. Delusional mind made us not to live in the present, worry about the future, not in harmony with ourselves and others, looking outside (not within) for happiness and solutions to our problems. Example of a delusional mind is believing that everyone is born sinful and to be punished eternally in hell for it. From this arise craving for becoming and non-becoming.

True joy is found in Buddha's teaching of the cessation of dukkha: "the remainderless fading and cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, and letting go of that very craving.

We can put a stop to dukkha. This is truly good news.
Buddha taught of a way of practice leading to the cessation of dukkha: "precisely this Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."

By practicing the way diligently, one will begin to realize true joy from within. Gaining wisdom from the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path extinguish afflictions to bring about attaining enlightenment. This is true joy, highest happiness, absence of feelings.

What is not true joy?
Joy gained from attachment, clinging and relying on others, dependent on emotion is not true joy because of it's impermanence nature. Such joy needs continuous emotional support from time to time to be sustained. Sadly, delusional mind mistaken such joy as true joy.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 345
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2012, 04:48:04 PM »
Most of people looking for the superficial happiness and joy because of our delusion minds, we are seeking and looking to achieve in whatever things that accept in society. Because of our delusion minds which we cling to it, attach to it and ignorant to not knowing of the suffering and just want to have a temporary happiness as ultimate happiness it not easy to gain that why people still cling on the happy surface..



  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 758
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 05:52:43 PM »

Happiness is not the satisfaction of whatever irrational wishes you might blindly attempt to enjoy.Happiness is a state.of non contradictory joy- a joy without penalty or guilt.
Happiness is possible only to a rational man?The man who desires nothing but rational goals,values ,
there are no conflict of interest among rational actions.
Happiness is an emotion.All emotions have causes which can be understood and controlled.

DS Star

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 418
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2012, 12:25:02 AM »
Most of people looking for the superficial happiness and joy because of our delusion minds, we are seeking and looking to achieve in whatever things that accept in society. Because of our delusion minds which we cling to it, attach to it and ignorant to not knowing of the suffering and just want to have a temporary happiness as ultimate happiness it not easy to gain that why people still cling on the happy surface..

I like comment by Ratanasutra.

What we perceived as happiness or joy is basically our feeling of satisfaction and intense pleasure arised from contaminated thought that view conditioned things as permanent; we thought having lots of money will bring happiness and joy to us but we suffer from the thought of losing it to thief or even our own family. We hold to the thought our 'belonging will as they are to give us happiness, if they changed we're not happy; so when our NEW car became old car in time, we're not that happy anymore. We can't accept that our own body and senses also not permanent... when we see wrinkles, we try our best to straighten it with butox injection and plastic surgeries...

Real joy can only be achieved if we stop cherishing ourselves star cus on people's happiness.

DS Star

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 418
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2012, 12:28:17 AM »
Real happiness can only be achieved when we stop cherishing ourselves and start focusing on bringing happiness to others without any agenda and conditions.


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
    • Email
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2012, 12:14:17 PM »
This is a really good post about happiness and joy. However, when you say, "the actual cause of that happiness is the individual's merit in the past." I do not understand that as I always believed that one can find happiness through altruism. To me, by helping other people and by being less selfish. I would become much more happier and much more joyful.

When you say that the actual cause of that happiness is the individual's merit in the past, it is saying that happiness is due to fate and it is due to something that had happened in the past. I always believe that events of the past may or may not greatly affect the future. Negative karma can be purified. Good karma can be exhausted. Merit is inexhaustible but you cannot be sure that things that come from the past will ensure happiness.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 341
    • Email
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 01:42:52 PM »
True happiness can be broadly defined as a mind-state.  The  characteristics of a mind-state
include a sense of universality, continuity  and endurance.  The mind-state we call true
happiness is not temporary, not hit-and-miss; it is not grounded in purely sensual gratification;
it does not deal in extremes.  It is constant and all-pervasive, and above all it is that which can
be borne with ease.

In order to attain this mind-state, according to Buddhist teaching, we must literally begin at the
beginning.  In other words, we must have a starting point.  This starting point is what Buddhist
teaching calls samvega.  Samvega has four basic elements.

1. The first element is that we see the ultimate futility of a life that centers only around the
satisfying of sensual desires.

2. The second element is that we see how complacent we are when it comes to finding true
happiness and to not be satisfied with indulging that complacency.

3. The third element is the development of a feeling of urgency.  We must feel an urgent need
to break out of this futility.

4. The fourth element is to accept that Samsaric existence, going round and round in the cycle
of birth, death and rebirth, is ultimately self-defeating.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 09:51:12 AM »
The happiness and joy that we have now are superficial on mundane activities which we think in our own deluded and limited knowledge.  This happiness are temporary and is often dependent on external factors that are not always under our control, such as money.  This could be due to wanting to be accepted and recognised in the eyes of society or family for being the successful or because of pride or ego.  On the other hand ultimate happiness is based on spiritual and mental content.

What happen when we are stricken with incurable disease in the midst of all the chased possession of properties, cars, trophies, etc?  Ultimate joy comes from doing what we love and sharing with others.  It is not about serving our oneself but merely serving others with love and kindness unselfishly and openly.

Happiness is a state of mind, rather than a physical achievement, an event or a set of external conditions. Rather than focusing on changing the external circumstances around us, Dalai Lama emphasizes the importance of changing our reactions to those circumstances. If we are in peace with ourself and we know who we are and what we want in life, then external factors become simply an obstacle in our course, rather than a tragedy.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 624
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2012, 05:28:09 PM »
Immeasurable happiness or joy is what we wish all beings to have. The other three immeasurables are: immeasurable equanimity, immeasurable love and immeasurable compassion. Immeasurable joy is the result of the achievement of the first three immeasurables. This is the supreme joy of liberation from suffering. To achieve this, one has to first develop the first three immeasurables. The first immeasurable, equanimity, is the hardest to achieve, but it is the foundation for all the other three. Thus, in order to achieve the "sorrowless bliss" of liberation, we need to "abide in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger", and develop loving kindness as well as compassion.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 251
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 07:04:30 PM »
We activate our senses to be happy whenever theres an event being triggered. Our six senses and the intertwined five aggregates make it even easier to indulge in the form of secular happiness, such as the eight worldly concern.

Why be happy/unhappy about something which is impermant? His Holiness the Dalai Lama notes that if we avoid or turn away from The Eight Worldly Concerns in our spiritual practice, we can reduce suffering.

1. Attachment to getting and keeping material things.
2. Aversion to not getting material things or being separated from them.
3. Attachment to praise, hearing nice words, and feeling encouraged.
4. Aversion to getting blamed, ridiculed, and criticized.
5. Attachment to having a good reputation.
6. Aversion to having a bad reputation.
7. Attachment to sense pleasures in general.
8. Aversion to unpleasant experiences.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 616
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 02:55:38 AM »
The various scriptures of Sutra, Tantra, and their commentaries say over and over again that the Guru is the root of all goodness and joy; "the supreme source of all the attainments and of all the good fortune I experience"; "you who are the source of all happiness and goodness" and so forth. Lama Tsongkhapa was very explicit about this in his compositions, and the lineage Gurus of the Ganden Hearing Lineage even began saying Guru-Deity to illustrate this recognition.

Our virtuous imprints (merit/good luck) were established in dependence upon actions arisen from the instructions and blessings of enlightened beings, and these imprints are ripened by the blessings.

Every moment of consciousness in which we experience pleasurable feelings is therefore rooted in the Guru. Without the Guru, happiness is impossible.

Every single good quality we have is not ours, but that of the Guru. Our heart is finally opened by the recognition of this kindness. When throughout the day you constantly recognize all pleasant experiences as the kindness of the Guru, that is when the magic will really start to show itself in your spiritual training.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1272
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 10:52:55 AM »
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.
When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
The Dharmapada

There are two kinds of happiness, mental happiness and outer happiness. Outer happiness comes through meeting with an external object, and is transitory. Mental happiness comes about through meditation and positive thought, it is stable and does not cause suffering.One cannot be happy if one does not have mental happiness, no matter how abundant the   external sources of outer happiness are, but if one is truly happy in ones mind, then one is unaffected by outer problems.
Ven. Tenzin Dongak

        Whatever joy there is in this world
        All comes from desiring others to be happy,
        And whatever suffering there is in this world
        All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

            If I do not actually exchange my happiness
            For the sufferings of others,
            I shall not attain the state of Buddhahood
            And even in cyclic existence I shall have no joy.


Everything can be used as an invitation to meditation. A smile, a face in the subway, the sight of a small flower growing in the crack of cement pavement, a fall of rich cloth in a shop window, the way the sun lights up flower pots on a windowsill. Be alert for any sign of beauty or grace. Offer up every joy, be awake at all moments, to “the news that is always arriving out of silence.”
Slowly, you will become a master of your own bliss, a chemist of your own joy, with all sorts of remedies always at hand to elevate, cheer, illuminate, and inspire your every breath and movement.
Sogyal Rinpoche, from Glimpse of the Day

In essence, keep your mind relaxed at all times and accept the manifold experiences of life. Look at all situations with a sense of cheer and humor and, just as we may watch a comedy on the television to relieve tension, we should laugh at ourselves and have no tension.
Geshe Namgyal Wangchen

Without understanding how your inner nature evolves, how can you possibly discover eternal happiness? Where is eternal happiness? It's not in the sky or in the jungle; you won't find it in the air or under the ground. Everlasting happiness is within you, within your psyche, your consciousness, your mind. That's why it's important that you investigate the nature of your own mind.
Lama Thubten Yeshe

When you have the thought that each being is so precious, then naturally respect comes, then you want to offer service, and if there's anything you can do, even just a small thing you can do, then it makes you so happy, even just a small thing you can offer, it brings incredible joy and happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment, meaning in life.

You don't need to obsess over the attainment of future realizations. As long as you act in the present with as much understanding as you possibly can, you'll realize everlasting peace in no time at all.

If you neglect to protect your mind, you can neither close the door to suffering nor open the door to happiness.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche

If there is a remedy when trouble strikes,
        What reason is there for despondency?
        And if there is no help for it,
        What is the use of being sad?

        So come what may, I'll never harm
        My cheery happiness of mind.
        Depression never brings me what I want;
        My virtue will be warped and marred by it.

...there are various factors that contribute to attaining that level of joy and happiness which we conventionally also recognize as sources of happiness, such as good physical health, ...the wealth that we accumulate, ...and a circle of friends we trust and with whom we can relate emotionally.
Now all of these are, in reality, sources of happiness, but in order for one to be able to fully utilize them with the goal of enjoying a happy and fulfilled life, one's state of mind is crucial. If one harbors hateful thoughts within, or strong or intense anger somewhere deep down, then it ruins one's health, so it destroys one of the factors. Even if one has wonderful possessions, when one is in an intense moment of anger or hatred, one feels like throwing them—breaking them or throwing them away. So there is no guarantee that wealth alone can give one the joy or fulfillment that one seeks. Similarly, when one is in an intense state of anger or hatred, even a very close friend appears somehow "frosty," cold and distant, or quite annoying.
What this indicates is that our state of mind is crucial in determining whether or not we gain joy and happiness. So leaving aside the perspective of Dharma practice, even in worldly terms, in terms of our enjoying a happy day-to-day existence, the greater the level of calmness of our mind, the greater our peace of mind, and the greater our ability to enjoy a happy and joyful life.
Healing Anger: The Power of Patience from a Buddhist Perspective

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Everyone wants happiness,
but the true way to reach perfect happiness is to bring happiness to others.
Patrul Rinpoche

That kinda sums it up.................


Dondrup Shugden

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 896
Re: What Causes Happiness and Joy?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2015, 01:09:51 PM »
Happiness is achieved when we have overcome the duality of the mind.  When there is no preference but only acceptance of what is and to have any situation or happenings be so constructed by a happy person that will end with the consequence of having some one benefitted.

My Guru says that Happiness is from benefitting others without agenda, and from pure loving kindness and compassion.