What is the difference betweenchappiness which we can get from this world and the spirtual joy or happiness which buddha taught us? Is the spirtual joy more greater than sensual pleasure like drinking, eating, having sex, riding bikes, cars etc? If yes why and how so? Why should someone ignore everything in this world just to achieve that joy?

As i know the spirtual joy is continious, without any disturbance unlike material joy which comes and goes like wind. But in scientific way is spritual joy which person gets after doing right concentration as buddha told is more stronger and pleasures than the sensual joy?

3 Answers 3


The ultimate happiness which Buddha taught is not like strong pleasure:

“Brahmin, I was firmly energetic and had clarity of mindfulness; my body was tranquil and my mind unified.

Fully secluded from the five senses, secluded from unwholesome mental qualities, I entered and remained in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and happiness born of seclusion, accompanied by movement of the mind.

Through the stilling of the movement of the mind, I entered and remained in the second jhāna, which has internal confidence and unification of mind and consists of rapture and happiness born of samādhi.

Through the fading away of rapture, I remained even-minded, mindful and clearly comprehending, experiencing happiness directly, and I entered and remained in the third jhāna of which the noble one declare, ʻhe is even-minded, mindful, and abides in happiness.ʼ

Through the abandoning of happiness and suffering and the earlier ending of joy and displeasure, I entered and remained in the fourth jhāna, which has neither suffering nor happiness and consists of purity of mindfulness and even-mindedness.

- The Book of the Discipline (Vinayapiṭaka), ch.1: "The origin of the Vinaya" (Bu-Pj.1.1.5 MS.14)

So if this ultimate happiness is not as strong as sensual pleasures, then why it is so good? Maybe it is not so good? If it is neither suffering nor happiness, then isn't it just too bland?

Is it worth the efforts? Maybe it's better to enjoy strong sensual pleasures, even if they alternate with suffering?

Many people say so when they hear about Buddhism. Maybe they are right?

Through the practice of meditation and investigation of our feelings, we can spot something interesting: our heart in its depth does not actually like so much those strong pleasures. Because they are virtually always mixed with a grain of suffering. We don't feel totally easy when we experience them.

So Buddhism says that the worldly pleasures we chase are actually not happiness, but a form of "the suffering of impermanence". On the surface it seems pleasant, but there's always some uneasiness deeply inside.

We chase such experiences only because we try to escape our usual condition of dissatisfaction.

So even when we enjoy worldly pleasures, uneasiness remain. We might see it particularly clearly watching those who lead a dissolute life. If a person drinks a lot, has a lot of sex here and there, gambles in casinos, tries drugs, rides fast etc., does that person look happy?

We can feel pretty easily that despite the lifestyle full of sensory pleasures, so devoted to chasing them, such person must be very unhappy.

Happy people just wouldn't need such way of life.

On the other hand, imagine a person who lives in very simple conditions, satisfied with minimal things like little food and shelter, very calm, would such person seem unhappy?

We might feel intuitively who is happier, even though our restless mind associates pleasure with throwing money, big cars, nightclubs, expensive wines, random sex etc. rather than with simple life.

So the happiness pointed by Buddha is said "being beyond happiness and unhappiness, and that's why it is called real happiness".

It's beyond that worldly image of happiness - with incessant chasing, inner constraints, tensions, vexations, never completely satisfying.

The ultimate happiness is being satisfied. The chase is dropped. Vexations ceased. Tensions relaxed. The uneasiness is completely relieved.

It's feeling free, very natural, unencumbered, alive.

In harmony of all things, with fresh, clean senses.

Compassionate and responsive.

Wise and not limited.

That's why real happiness is superior not only because of being constant and free from impermanent conditions, but it's superior also because deeply in our heart we like it more.

When we experience it, we realize that we like being free, natural and easy more than we would like strong pleasures combined with those inner tensions of samsaric encumbrance.


Material pleasures are based on sensations. Ultimate spiritual pleasures of Nirvana independent of sensation.

Regarding material pleasure, or pleasure of a householder, there are 6 types which is elaborated in Sal,āyatana Vibhanga Sutta.

At an intermediate state or spirituality (still working towards Nirvana) there are 6 kinds of pleasures associated with renunciation which is elaborated in Sal,āyatana Vibhanga Sutta.

In simple terms the difference is the householder pleasure is through acquiring and getting pleasant experiences while spiritual pleases is thought renunciation and understanding / wisdom / seeing things as they are.

Since the ultimate spiritual pressure does not end or pass away and independent of any external factor or cause it is far superior than any pleasure based on sensations which are temporary and not in one's control and cause by or dependent on any other factors and causes.

The intermediate pleasures or pleasures of renunciation, are still based on understanding and wisdom, hence they are also superior.

  • are those spirtual pleasures more better than sensual pleasure?
    – user10568
    Jul 15, 2017 at 7:21
  • Updated to answer this. Jul 15, 2017 at 7:24

"Monks, there is rapture of the flesh, rapture not of the flesh, and rapture more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh. There is pleasure of the flesh, pleasure not of the flesh, and pleasure more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh. There is equanimity of the flesh, equanimity not of the flesh, and equanimity more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh. There is liberation of the flesh, liberation not of the flesh, and liberation more not-of-the-flesh than that not of the flesh.


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    – user2424
    Jul 15, 2017 at 16:21

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