Buddhism is happiness, joy, and exuberance. Nothing is more delightful than the Joy of the Law of Buddhahood. It is not surprising, thus, that a total of 158 number of happiness-related words appear in the Lotus Sutra. Let’s take a look at the facts & figures:
joy (欢喜) – 106 times
spontaneous joy (随喜) – 26 times
jumping up enthusiastically (踊跃) – 16 times
delight (悦) – 10 times
The Buddha declares and affirms that by responding with happiness upon hearing the Buddha’s teachings, one creates the seed to achieve Supreme Perfect Enlightenment.Here are the essence of happiness in the Lotus Sutra:
Happiness is…Becoming A Buddha.
“Since all of you are awakened to the fact that
all Buddhas, the Teachers of the Worlds,
apply the expedient methods to teach the Law,
have no further doubts and
let your hearts be filled with immense joy!
For you know you will also become Buddhas!” (Lotus Sutra 2: 5.100)
Happiness is…Experiencing Joy upon Hearing the Lotus Sutra.
The Buddha said to Medicine King: “Furthermore, after Tathagata has entered parinirvana, if there is one person who hears even one stanza or one phrase of the Lotus Sutra and experiences a momentary joy, I shall also bestow on this person the prophecy of attaining Supreme Perfect Enlightenment. (Lotus Sutra 10: 1.2)
Happiness is…Receiving the Prophecy of Attaining Buddhahood with Exhilaration.
“Today, when we hear the prediction from the Buddha directly that shravakas can attain Supreme Perfect Enlightenment, we are exhilarated at gaining an unprecedented experience! We consider ourselves deeply fortunate to hear the rare Law because we have received great benefits and an abundance of precious treasures without actively seeking them! (Lotus Sutra 4: 1.3)
Happiness is…Joy of the Law & Delight of Meditation.
“These living beings will have great divine powers. For instance, their bodies will glow resplendently and they will be able to fly at will. Firm in aspiration and determination, they will also be diligent and wise. Golden hue and Thirty-Two Features will adorn their bodies. All living beings in this land will only consume two kinds of food: first, Joy of the Law and second, Delight of Meditation. (Lotus Sutra 8: 1.11)
Happiness is…Bringing Joy to the Buddha through Embracing the Lotus Sutra.
“Those who are able to embrace the Lotus Sutra
are bringing immense joy
to I myself and my emanated bodies,
as well as the departed Abundant Treasures Buddha. (Lotus Sutra 21: 2.8)
Happiness is…Sharing the Lotus Sutra with Exuberance.
“Those who embrace the Lotus Sutra
will experience inexhaustible joy
in explaining the meanings of the Law
using diverse names and linguistic expressions—
just like the breeze in the air,
moving gracefully without hindrance. (Lotus Sutra 21: 2.11)
Happiness is…Propagating the Lotus Sutra with Great Jubilation.
When the bodhisattvas-mahasattvas heard the Buddha-words, joy and jubilation suffused their bodies. With even greater reverence and respect, they prostrated, lowered their heads, and pressed their palms together before facing the Buddha and speaking sonorously in unison: “O Bhagavat! Have no worries on this! We will definitely carry out the tasks according to the guidance of the Bhagavat!” (Lotus Sutra 22: 1.5)
Happiness is…Giving Offering to All Buddhas by Praising the Law.
“If there are those who hear the Law and praise it delightfully,
even if it is only one-word of praise,
these people have already given offerings
to Buddhas in the three existences.
They are very rare indeed,
rarer than the udambara flower. (Lotus Sutra 2: 5.93)
Happiness is…Singing Songs of Praise to the Buddha’s Virtues.
“If there are people with joyful hearts
who sing songs to praise the Buddha’s virtues,
even if they sing softly,
they have already attained Buddhahood. (Lotus Sutra 2: 5.50)
Happiness is…Simply Giving Joy to People.
“O virtuous men! If there are living beings who approach me, I will use my Buddha’s eyes to observe their faith and assess their faculties. Then, depending on the capacity and degree of receptiveness of each individual, I will adapt my approach of salvation accordingly. I will appear in many places and expound to them under different names or different age groups. Sometimes, I will also speak about my entering of nirvana. Moreover, I expound the exquisitely Magnificent Law using a myriad of expedient methods for the joy and happiness of all living beings. (Lotus Sutra 16: 1.8)
Don’t forget to share the Joy of the Law with your friends and family. 🙂