dorjig - Happiness and Spirituality Gem Dorji Buddhism...

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1 Happiness and Spirituality Gem Dorji Buddhism defines happiness as the state of mind that enjoys inner peace and is contented. A state of well-being that the great Indian Pandit Nagarjuna , in one of his compositions, explains: There is no treasure like contentment. Of all the types of wealth, it is contentment, which was told by the teacher of god and men, which is the most supreme. Strive for contentment and should you achieve it, even without material wealth, you will truly have found your fortune. The concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) has been widely promoted and discussed in recent years in Bhutan and has even caught the interest of intellectuals, social scientists, and politicians throughout the world. Seminars and conferences on GNH over the years have served to highlight the importance of catering to the social development of the nation, including the spiritual health of its citizens as well as the promotion and preservation of its unique culture. While conventional development models stress economic growth, the concept of GNH is based upon the premise that true and sustainable development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side which serves to complement and reinforce one another. Bhutan as the foremost proponent of this concept, places economic self- reliance, environmental preservation, cultural promotion, and good governance as the foundation for bringing happiness into the lives of its people. In its attempt to cater to the immediate socio-economic needs of the Bhutanese people, the roles of spiritualism, religious practice and faith in achieving happiness and well-being has been largely ignored in the vast discourse on GNH. According to Buddhism, the cause of happiness is virtuous karma, the law of causality and delusion. Our entire experience of the physical world is simply a projection of our mind. Since it is a production of our karmic mind, the experience will exist as long as we remain in samsara. Positive, virtuous and beneficial actions result in happiness in the present life and a higher rebirth in the next life. Unwholesome deeds or bad karma beget sufferings in this life and rebirth in the lower realms. Therefore, happiness can be achieved through acts of virtue and selflessness in this life. Buddha said in the White Lotus Sutra: The external world is formed and created by Karma The inherent sentient beings are born from the seed of Karma. The four pillars of GNH can then be considered as conditions for attaining happiness and
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This note was uploaded on 10/24/2011 for the course UNIV 2201 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at UGA.

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dorjig - Happiness and Spirituality Gem Dorji Buddhism...

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