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The translation of Muditā - Dhamma Wheel

The translation of Muditā

Explore the ancient language of the Tipitaka and Theravāda commentaries

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starter
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The translation of Muditā

Postby starter » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:04 pm

Hi, I'm wondering if it would be better to translate Muditā (joy) as appreciative joy, instead of altruistic, sympathetic, or empathetic joy, because to my understanding it is not really the selfless joy. We rejoice at our own and others’ goodness and wellbeing, both filled with peace and contentment instead of exhilaration obtained from sensual pleasure. Mudita can serve as an inner spring of joy and contentment, which is a prerequisite for Samadhi, and can also serve as antidotes to negative mental states (non-virtues) such as discontent, anger, resentment, jealousy, or envy. It appears to be as important to be able to rejoice at our own good deeds and success.

By the way, I couldn't find an English or Chinese sutta that actually defined the meaning of Muditā. I'd appreciate your recommendations of such suttas.

Thanks and metta!

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retrofuturist
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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:15 pm

Greetings Starter,

I think "appreciative joy" is a good translation.

Here's a topic where that is explored...

Personal experiences of mudita ~ appreciative joy
viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12474

(actually, that was a really fun topic... feel free to kick-start it off again if you like!)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:16 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:20 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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SDC
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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby SDC » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:18 am

According to Ven. Punnaji...

Mettā - concern for the the welfare of all beings - wanting all beings to be well and happy

Karuṇā - the depth/strength of that concern

Muditā - the happiness experienced as the idea of self diminishes amongst this concern. In other words, a concern that was once reserved for the self is extended to all beings, which diminishes the value and importance of the self (idea of self).

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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby Dmytro » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:39 am

Hello Starter,

In the early texts, such as Vibhanga cited below, Muditā is defined as directed toward other beings, and developed to the level of jhana.
Evidently it is not directed toward oneself.

3. Muditā

663. Kathañca bhikkhu muditāsahagatena cetasā ekaṃ disaṃ pharitvā viharati? Seyyathāpi nāma ekaṃ puggalaṃ piyaṃ manāpaṃ disvā mudito assa, evameva sabbe satte muditāya pharati.

Tattha katamā muditā? Yā sattesu muditā muditāyanā muditāyitattaṃ muditācetovimutti – ayaṃ vuccati ‘‘muditā’’.

Tattha katamaṃ cittaṃ? Yaṃ cittaṃ mano mānasaṃ…pe… tajjāmanoviññāṇadhātu – idaṃ vuccati ‘‘cittaṃ’’. Idaṃ cittaṃ imāya muditāya sahagataṃ hoti sahajātaṃ saṃsaṭṭhaṃ sampayuttaṃ. Tena vuccati ‘‘muditāsahagatena cetasā’’ti.

2. Abhidhammabhājanīyaṃ

683. Catasso appamaññāyo – mettā, karuṇā, muditā, upekkhā.

688. Tattha katamā muditā? Idha bhikkhu yasmiṃ samaye rūpūpapattiyā maggaṃ bhāveti vivicceva kāmehi…pe… paṭhamaṃ jhānaṃ upasampajja viharati muditāsahagataṃ, yā tasmiṃ samaye muditā muditāyanā muditāyitattaṃ muditācetovimutti – ayaṃ vuccati ‘‘muditā’’. Avasesā dhammā muditāya sampayuttā.


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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby theY » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:44 am

Hi, starter and all dear

See lakkhāṇādicatukka in about no. 108
http://static.sirimangalo.org/private/9.html

(My english is terrible, so I am not sure to fix on point. However, it is at the end of brahmvihāraniddesa.
Last edited by theY on Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.

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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby SarathW » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:51 am

47. Mudità—
Derived from √ mud, to be pleased.
It is not mere sympathy but appreciative joy. Its direct
enemy is jealousy and its indirect enemy is exultation
(Pahàsa). Its chief characteristic is happy acquiescence in
others’ prosperity (Anumodanà). Mudità embraces prosperous
beings. It discards dislike (Arati), and is the congratulatory
attitude of a person.

Page 137:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/abhidhamma.pdf
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby theY » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:56 am

Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.

starter
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Re: The meaning of Muditā defined in the suttas

Postby starter » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:41 pm

Hello friends,

Many thanks for your input. I'd like to know the definition of Mudita in the suttas, if any. I haven't found a sutta that actually defined Mudita.

Metta to all!

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Re: The meaning of Muditā defined in the suttas

Postby Dhammanando » Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:09 am


starter
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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby starter » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:54 pm

Hello Bhante Dhammanando,

Your help is very much appreciated. To my premature understanding of the cited teachings, the resentment could be toward others, and could also be toward oneself. If we want to practice the cure for resentment and discontent (MN 62) for Samadhi, then we might include the appreciation for our own goodness and success as well -- or is there another term/teaching for the appreciative joy towards oneself?

MN 62: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

""Develop the meditation of appreciation. For when you are developing the meditation of appreciation, resentment (or discontent) will be abandoned."

With gratitude and metta,

Starter

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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby Dhammanando » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:03 am


starter
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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby starter » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:18 pm

Hello Bhante,

Many thanks for your very helpful clarification. I agree we can separate two types of wholesome joy: one directed toward others' goodness and righteous success (Mudita as you explained) for overcoming envy and jealousy, and one directed toward our own goodness and righteous success (pāmojja?) for overcoming discontent. I'd practice the appreciation of both.

Thanks and metta,

Starter

frank k
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being envious of oneself Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby frank k » Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:24 pm

Could these examples be considered being envious of one self?

The beautiful model who is aging and losing her beauty being envious of her youthful beauty?
The talented musician who is aging and can't compete with their younger selves?
The yogi who loses some attainments through health or lack of practice?

You could argue that it's the dukkha of losing what one had rather than being envious, but many people experiencing that kind of dukha has the wish, "I wish I could be that young talented/beautiful person again", which is a very typical emotion for that situation. dictionary.com defines envy as:
"a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another's advantages, success, possessions, etc."
Based on that defintion, there definitely is discontent and covetousness with one's youthful self, so I would argue this qualifies as envy.

metta,
Frank
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings

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Re: being envious of oneself Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:40 pm


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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby theY » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:08 am

Last edited by David N. Snyder on Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Inflammatory speech against "anti-commentary people" (poster's term) removed.
Above message maybe out of date. Latest update will be in massage's link.
--------------------------------------------------
Tipitaka memorization is a rule of monks. It isn't just a choice. They must done it.
bahussuto nāma tividho hoti – nissayamuccanako, parisupaṭṭhāpako, bhikkhunovādakoti.

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Re: being envious of oneself Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby Dhammanando » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:56 am


frank k
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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby frank k » Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:10 pm

Thanks to all for the very stimulating discussion on mudita. I re-read the thread again, and am still feeling unsatisfied similarly to how starter expressed in his messages of why mudita can not be directed towards self. Since the brahmaviharas seems to be a pretty comprehensive system in expanding, refining love from selfish to selfless and boundless, I find it very odd that appreciative joy directed towards oneself is explicitly excluded.

In practicing metta and karuna towards our self, it can strengthen our foundation in that practice when we apply that practice to others. With appreciative joy, one of human nature's most common and serious defects is to not appreciate the good fortune that we have, but to feel discontent towards what we don't have, losing perspective of our overall good fortune. I find it a powerful practice to be frequently appreciative of the opportunity to encounter proper dhamma, have good dhamma friends, food to eat, etc.
By including this practice under mudita (as a brahmavihara), does it somehow lessen the ability for one to decrease envy, jealousy, and resentment towards others for the good fortune they encounter?
http://www.audtip.org Audio Sutta Recordings

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retrofuturist
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Re: The translation of Muditā

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:49 pm

Well said Frank.

Especially this... "Since the brahmaviharas seems to be a pretty comprehensive system in expanding, refining love from selfish to selfless and boundless, I find it very odd that appreciative joy directed towards oneself is explicitly excluded."

"Selfless and boundless" would not discriminate between "self" and "other"...

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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