Where in the canon does the Buddha say, There is no happiness without calm?

I've heard the statement only second hand, and paraphrased.


3 Answers 3


"There’s no fire like passion, no loss like anger, no pain like the aggregates, no ease other than peace."

~ Dhammapada 202, transl. Thanissaro https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/KN/Dhp/Ch15.html

  • Thanks, I think this might be what I was thinking of. What I wanted to see was the phrasing: it should be "other than", as you quoted, and not "without", as I wrote. Venerable Thanissaro explains it's an important difference, here: dhammatalks.org/books/ePubDhammaTalks_v3/Section0079.html Oct 9, 2022 at 18:13
  • is passion the same as lust? it could be, but perhaps passion can still be good...
    – blue_ego
    Oct 11, 2022 at 18:08

It's the other way round according to Kimattha Sutta.

Without joy, you cannot have serenity.

Without serenity, you cannot have concentration.

Without concentration, you cannot become liberated i.e. attain Nibbana.

Dhammapada 204 says that Nibbana is the highest bliss. And without serenity, you cannot attain the highest bliss. So the other way round is also explainable.

"Thus in this way, Ananda, skillful virtues have freedom from remorse as their purpose, freedom from remorse as their reward. Freedom from remorse has joy as its purpose, joy as its reward. Joy has rapture as its purpose, rapture as its reward. Rapture has serenity as its purpose, serenity as its reward. Serenity has pleasure as its purpose, pleasure as its reward. Pleasure has concentration as its purpose, concentration as its reward. Concentration has knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its purpose, knowledge & vision of things as they actually are as its reward. Knowledge & vision of things as they actually are has disenchantment as its purpose, disenchantment as its reward. Disenchantment has dispassion as its purpose, dispassion as its reward. Dispassion has knowledge & vision of release as its purpose, knowledge & vision of release as its reward.

"In this way, Ananda, skillful virtues lead step-by-step to the consummation of arahantship."
Kimattha Sutta (Ven. Thanissaro's translation)

The Pali terms used:

Please see here for Pali-English translation based on Ven. Sujato's translation.

  • 1
    Nice. And I noticed that in the updated version of Kimattha Sutta, Ajahn Geoff has replaced the word "Serenity" with "Calm". Thanks. Oct 7, 2022 at 8:56
  • 1
    Wow this is great
    – blue_ego
    Oct 7, 2022 at 10:26
  • 2
    I referred to the translator, but omitted the word "Ajaan" before his birth name. Very sloppy, but no disrespect was intended. Sincere apologies to anyone offended by my blunder. Oct 9, 2022 at 21:04
  • And now I've edited that comment.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 10, 2022 at 6:17
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    @blue_hefe There's a readable dictionary here of frequently-used terms: sukha. And here. And in detail, quoting the PTS dictionary, here. Also Wikipedia. I suppose I think of it as the more-or-less the opposite of, perhaps more precisely the absence of, dukkha.
    – ChrisW
    Oct 12, 2022 at 7:11

Calm (pasada) is the precondition of Sukha (heal, happiness) on the lokuttara-paṭiccasamuppāda, co-depending-path beyond, found in all teachings of the path.


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