Happiness: 3 definitions


Happiness means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

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In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Shodhganga: Elements of Art and Architecture in the Trtiyakhanda of the Visnudharmottarapurana (natya)

Happiness (expression) is associated with Prasārita: one of the “five kinds of side-movements” (in Sanskrit Dramas), as conveyed through Āṅgikābhinaya: one of the four divisions of Abhinaya or “ways to convey or represent one’s emotion to others”, according to the Nāṭyaśāstra and the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa, an ancient Sanskrit text which (being encyclopedic in nature) deals with a variety of cultural topics such as arts, architecture, music, grammar and astronomy.—The āṅgikābhinaya includes the histrionic representation of the limbs which is simply known as physical gestures. There are five kinds of side movements accepted in the Viṣṇudharmottarapurāṇa. The prasārita movement shows triumph, happiness and joy. The term prasārita means expanded.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (shastra) of performing arts, (natya—theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing Dramatic plays (nataka), construction and performance of Theater, and Poetic works (kavya).

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Yoga (school of philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Happiness in Yoga glossary
Source: ORA: Amanaska (king of all yogas): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation by Jason Birch

Happiness is denoted by the Sanskrit term Akalmaṣa, according to the Bhagavadgītā verse 6.25cd-27.—Accordingly: “Having fixed the mind on the self, [the Yogin] should think of nothing whatsoever. Wherever the fickle and unsteady mind moves, there, having restrained it, he should direct it [back] to the self. For, supreme [transcendental] happiness (sukha) approaches that untainted Yogin whose mind is tranquil and his restiveness quelled, [because he has] attained the absolute”.

Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Happiness in Jainism glossary
Source: The University of Sydney: A study of the Twelve Reflections

Happiness cannot be found in Saṃsāra, as discussed in Bhūdhardās’s composition dealing with the twelve reflections (bhāvanā or anuprekṣā), also found in the Tattvārtha-sūtra.—Accordingly, “[all things are impermanent]—King, prince or emperor, an elephant’s mahout: everyone dies someday each at his own time. (1) [there is no shelter] Powerful friends, a goddess or a god, mother, father, family: they can do nothing to stop the soul going at the moment of death. (2) [cycle of rebirth] So poor you cannot meet the cost, you suffer. You are entranced by the desire for wealth. Nowhere in saṃsāra will you find happiness no matter where you look in the world. (3) [...]”.

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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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