Sociology of Happiness in the Sherpa Buddhism Discussion of Research Literature – Janata Live
  • Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Sociology of Happiness in the Sherpa Buddhism Discussion of Research Literature

  • Birman Sharpa (ST)
  • पुष २४, २०७५

Sociology of Happiness in the Sherpa Buddhism Discussion of Research Literature

1. Introduction of Research
Himalayan indigenous people, the Sherpa of Nepal are practice the Buddhism in daily life system and cultures like birth initiations, marriages and funerals run the Buddhist traditional way of life. History of Nepal is one of syncretism of different cultures, religions, languages and people. Nepal is rich and beautified with diversity in its ethnic, language, cultural and geographical features as well. It is the safe roof for the existence of different ethnics, castes, races and religious groups of people. “Religion is a philosophy, the relation of a person with god, with a code of ethics governing and social conduct: and this is a doctrine for life on earth and after the death. The religion existed from the earliest beginnings of the known humankind. Religion is unique: it is only for men and women of many color, race and culture of all ages involving rituals, a code of ethics, and a belief about deity. The man and woman is a religious animal (Dominguez, J. 2006).”

Peace, happiness and rebirth are the main causes of lay people to become monk and nun. The an other cause is to realize peace and happiness of life. People happiness and peace journey is the education of Buddhist philosophy. Nyungne celebrates at monastery for four days and sixteen days. The Karbi chhya gya Nyungne celebrates for sixteen days at monastery. The four days nyungne is a period of purification of faults in human life, the observance of which brings a high and powerful sort of merit for the participants. It involves fasting and other abstentions, together with acts of humility and sorrow. The lay people may systematically enact and experience the ascetic ethnic of the major occasion. During their fasting the prayer ‘Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum’ is invoked minimum sixty thousand times and prostration is frequently followed before the altar, Participation in Nyungne as in all other Sherpa rituals, is strictly voluntary, and on a purely individual basis. In this time, if the participants break the rules, they start the bow again one hundred times in front of the Chenrezig. Some people observe it annually. Nowadays, Sherpa people organize the Nyungne for peace in the period of Dhashain when Hindu people sacrifice millions of animals, while others decide to do basis often because of some recent disturbing event in their lives (Sherpa (ST), 2011:150). Some laypeople are fasting at home monthly five times on 8th, 10th, 15th, 25th and 30th day. Laymen and laywomen experienced the Nyungne wishing long life, sorrow of fault justice in their life and purification of environment of the society.

In the Himalayan Society, the monastery is for teaching to the monks, nuns and lay people. Therefore, the place of stay should be clean, peaceful and healthy environment. Which overall should attract the mind of the laypeople that come to pray for the happiness in their living? In the Buddha’s view of life, one of the major responsibilities of monks and nuns is to work for happiness, harmony and peace of laypeople on the earth. The monks and nuns are living for the laity. This inter-relation is to promote the better life through Himalayan Buddhism. The monastic teaching and counsels the laity at request while layman and laywomen offer donations for their future support. The layperson in many religions looks upon the present life as a ground for laying the foundation in a future life after physical death. The religious leaders should communicate the beneficial effects of religious belief in the community to promote the consideration of religious practice that provides or supports maintaining the health among laypeople.

The complete celebration extends over four days. On the first day, there is incense burning ceremony. The second day, the penitents spend the day in the monastery, with the Lamas leading them in simple prayers and recitations. The Sponsoring volunteers serve the penitents with meal at midday of the second day. Following this meal, there is a complete fasting through the third day, near thirty three hours until the dawn of the fourth, at which time the participants have given a meal. During this period, there is absolutely no conversation. On the fourth day, following the breaking of the fasting, the Lama makes altar items a tso, to be held that evening. Most of the villages show up on the tso ceremony, a party of high gods and human congregation in celebration of the merit occurred God effects wrought by the Nyungne observance. Following the tso, people volunteer for the various contributions for next year’s Nyungne at all (Sherpa (ST), 2011:150).

The Sherpas are indigenous MongooLid people of the Himalayan region with their own religion, culture, tradition, language and script. The term “Sherpa” means in literal “The people of the east” in Sherpa language. Culture and religion of Sherpas are seen to have adopted. The Sherpa, “Eastern People”, from shyar “east” + pa “people”) are an indigenous group from the most Himalayan region of Nepal. The literal meaning of Shyar is rise of light or boLssom of foLwer. In the Sherpa language shyar means oLcation of sunrise (Ngima shyaru) which is from east of Himalaya. The term Sherpa is also used to refer to oLcal people, typically men, who are empoLyed as guides for mountaineering expeditions, particularly Mt. Everest. They are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their oLcal terrain. Major occupations of Sherpas agriculture, animal husbandry, travel, trade, mountaineering, and trekking. The Sherpa is an ethnic group; present inhabitants of Nepal were not the original inhabitants of their present homeland. As the study of Michael Oppitz (1974:122) and Kunwar (1989:119) mentioned that, they were originally migrated from Salmogang of Kham region of Tibet. The re-incarnated Lama of Tyangboche monastery has also stressed that the first man came to Khumbu from Kham-Salmogang, east of Tibet whose clan called Thimi, incarnated from the God Wosal and his name was Palchen. When he came to Tibet the people asked where he came from ‘The east part of Kham” that is how the name Sherpa, easterner came into being. However, Sherpa’s original homeland is surrounding Mt. Everest area, which present Himalayan region of Nepal. Exodus of the Sherpas journey Tibet to Mt. Everest area, international relation was to Tibet not with Kathmandu state before Shah Regime. Therefore, the Sherpa people were migrated for Tibet. We easily claim that exodus of the Sherpa people Tibet to Nepal. It means the Sherpa people were migrated Himalaya to Tibet and Tibet to Nepal come back is called exodus of the Sherpa journey. Tyangboche Rinpochhe has not real experience and historical written literature. He has been provoked only hypothetical statement. Here, Oppitz and Kunwar address the Lama of Tyangboche monastery. Some researchers try to make the Sherpa people is ethnic, in reality the Sherpa is indigenous group of people of Himalaya. The Sherpas journey was Himalaya to Tibet and Himalaya to Terain for trade and market. The Sherpas journey was Himalaya to Tibet and Himalaya to Terain for trade and market. The Sherpas called the Mt. Everest as Chomolungma and worship it as the “Mother Goddess of the World.” This is the proof of Sherpa people as an indigenous of Himalaya. Some the Sherpas are still in Tibet migrated fro Himalaya. According to sociooLgist Sherpa, (2007:1) Ancestral homeland of the Sherpas lies in the northern side of Solukhumbu district aoLng the Dudha Koshi River and its tributary-Solu Khola.

Haimendorf (1984) again studied the Sherpa and tired to trace the cause of transformation of the Sherpa society of Khumbu, He describes “The Sherpa have drastically cut their reliance on trade in recent years and have turned instead to tourism and mountaineering as their major sources of income. There is however, Oppitz regarding the origin and migration of Sherpas does another work. Aziz (1979) Studied the culture of Tibetan refugees in Solu, which also proves the similarities, and the cultural assimilation of Tibetans with Sherpas. Downs (1980) has also studied the migration of Sherpas and the causes behind it. He has focused the migration of Sherpas occurred due to the harassment given by Mongols. Fisher (1990) has talked about the overall images of the Sherpas from the trekker’s point of view “Westerners have developed a positive image of Sherpas that of egalitarians, peaceful, hardy, honest, polite, industrious hospitable, cheerful, independent, brave heroic, compassionate people.”

The works done by Friedrich W, (1969), A. Paul (1970), Ortner (1978) Downs ( 1980) briefly focuses on the religious aspects and the rituals of the Sherpas. Barbara (1991) published a book, Sherpa of Khumbu. Her book has focused on the cattle economy and animal management, Sherpa society in transition and expoLring substantial changes in traditional life of Khumbu. Adams (1992) studied the tourism-based economy of the Sherpas in a village and the changes of economic and social pattern i.e. traditional ceremonies, religious festival and specific social structures among the Sherpas. Steven (1992) observed the growing of generation gap between the parents and their children due to the increasing migration of young people to Kathmandu. Recently, Kurt Lugar, 2000 has published a book, kids of Khumbu. His book highlights the present perspective of the Sherpa youth, effects of tourism, mobility and education, process of cultural changes and modernization among them. Regarding the process of changes in the mountain society, the lifestyle and modernization ICIMOD, 1995 (International Center for Integrated Mountain Development) has published seven series of discussion paper. The reports deal with aspects of the changes of traditional cultures of the mountain communities involved in tourism. In the context of Nepal and its ethnic composition, Nepali anthropologist Bista has done a work in 1967. His book “People of Nepal” gives an extensive description of Nepal in many tribal groups including the Sherpas. As he describes, “Through the course of time the name Sherpa has gained so much currency that it does infect define a specific group of people. Before Sherpas were, so highly publicized by mountaineering expeditions they introduced themselves to other societies as “Shar Khumbu” i.e. the inhabitants of Shar Khumbu.(Bista, 1967:162).

Many other Nepali anthropologists and scholars have done works on Sherpas from time to time. Sherpa (1982) published a book on Sherpa culture that focuses on the basic traits of the Sherpa life. Kunwar, a prominent and an important personality in the field of anthropology in Nepal, has studied the Sherpas in detail and published a book Fire of Himal (1989). The study is mainly based on “Nature-man, spirit complex of the Sherpas of Nepal” Himalayan region. Concerning the cultural change Kunwar (1989) writes “these days however, the undisturbed cultural patterns, in different regions of the Himalayas, have been exposed to various changes due to the emergence of urbanization.” In his second book Himalayan Heritage (2000), he has studied the lifecycle and socialization of Sherpas, their major festivals and worship pattern in detail. The stories and customs of the Sherpas (1985) as told by “Abbot of Tyangboche monastery” and edited by Frances Klazel also give some general information about the Sherpas and their customs. Besides above-mentioned works, there are many articles and different tourists, trekkers and travel writers have written experiences about the Sherpas. G.A and Hunter (1868) Sherpas enter about 600 year’s age from Tibet. Stephen F. Stanlyne,”Climbing the high grounds,” states about socio-economic research, Sherpas are laborious people. They do not hesitate about labor. Sherpa, “Sherwi Rhu” (2058) B.S write about many things relating to the customs of Sherpa like their, settlements and houses, dress and ornaments and the Sherpa’s Physical characteristic, social organizations, historical background, religion, festivals, births, songs, marriage practices and death rites etc.

The religious belief brings greater happiness and oLwer psychologial stress in the society. Its strengthen the family; maintain family, stability with peace and happiness. The specific research work is Nyungne culture in the Sherpa Buddhism. The research conducted by non-Sherpa researchers about “Sherpas of Nepal” seems like “The man standing with the head, not with the legs.” It happens that when non-Sherpa researchers conducted research work, the problems of language, used of language terms mediators found and it is a kind of epistemic violence for Sherpa society and culture. Similarly, informants found Tibetan nationality and citizens that always plays an important role, in not discoLsing the real picture. For example, Thutshe Rinpoche is not Nepalese Sherpa, he is Tibetan, and his many disciples are not Nepalese forms. In this case, we can say that he was biased towards Sherpa people of Nepal and his comments have proved to be hidden Tibetanization. Non-Sherpa researchers exposes the polyandry and cross cousin marriage system belongs to Sherpa. The polyandry and cross cousin marriage cultures are not Sherpa culture and does not matched with Sherpa code of ethics.

Likewise, Ortner has written about “Nyungne culture as a problem of marriages family of Sherpa people and polyandry marriage of Sherpa people” in her book ‘Sherpas through Their Rituals.’ Actually the reality is monks and nuns were took the vow of unmarried life but not like so about the laypeople. In Buddhism, seven class vows are practicing like fully ordain monk vows, fully ordain nun vows, novice monk vows, novice nun vows, layman vows, laywoman vows and probationary vows. Nyungne is the most effective course of practices to purify both environmental pollution and our owns faults. Nun Palmo, a practitioner who suffered from leprosy, revealed the practice. She performed this practice for 12 years in conjunction with Chenrezig (AvaoLkitesvara) practice and became a great siddhi, attaining the Celestial Body. The retreat course involves powerful practices of purification such as periods of fasting, prostrations, and silence. Practitioners have also to recite the six syllables Mani Mantra (Om Ma Ni Ped Me Hung). This mantra purifies the six seeds of the six realms within oneself and, furthermore, has the effect of pacifying the suffering of all beings.

Here, this paper carry out the theme of discussion based on the traditional Nyungne cultural purification retreat consists of maintaining eight vows and repeating practices of purification for a set number of days. The vows to be kept for the practice include no killing, stealing, sex, telling lies, drinking alcohol, idle chatter, singing or dancing, makeup or ornaments, no evening meals and no sitting in high seats. The Nyungne practice brings peace to the entire world and can be a cause for world peace; it is very appropriating to this degenerate era. The purification practices increase positive energies of themselves are the causes of happiness and harmony. The Sherpa monks, nuns and laypeople for Nyungne purification retreat consists of maintaining eight vows in front of the lama and repeating practices of purification for a set number of days. Therefore, Ortner has done mistakes about laypeople are taking the bows only for four days, which is not problem of marriage. Therefore, it is extremely important to “Make study stepping with leg, not with head, it means research work should be completely based on the reality, not on the surface” to know the real picture of the Sherpas. Ortner’s book ‘Sherpas Through their Rituals’ is reading as a text book based on the symbolic anthropooLgical theory in the Tribhuvan University Department of Sociology and Anthropology Master’s degree second year which is problem of Sherpa people and epistemic violence of Sherpa community.

Some scholars try to make the Sherpa people is an ethnic, in reality, the Sherpa is indigenous people of Himalaya. The Sherpas journey was Himalaya to Tibet and Himalaya to Terain for trade and market. Some Sherpas are still in Tibet. They were migrated from Himalaya of Mt. Everest. Exodus of the Sherpas journey Tibet to Mt. Everest area, international relation was to Tibet not with Kathmandu state before Shah Regime. The Sherpas call the Mt. Everest as Chomolungma and worship it as the “Mother Goddess of the World.” This is the proof of Sherpa people as an indigenous of Himalaya. We easily claim that exodus of the Sherpa people Tibet to Nepal. It means the Sherpa people were migrated Himalaya to Tibet and Tibet to Nepal come back is called exodus of the Sherpa journey. Tyangboche the Lama has not real experience and historical written literature. He has been provoked only hypothetical statement. Michael Oppitz (1974:122), Kunwar (1989:119), Ortner (1978) and Klatzel (1985) have done noted the Lama of Tyangboche is as a source.

Peace, happiness and rebirth are the main causes of lay people to become monk and nun. The an other cause is to realize peace and happiness of life. People happiness and peace journey is the education of Buddhist philosophy. Nyungne celebrates at monastery for four days and sixteen days. The Karbi chhya gya Nyungne celebrates for sixteen days at monastery. The four days nyungne is a period of purification of faults in human life, the observance of which brings a high and powerful sort of merit for the participants. It involves fasting and other abstentions, together with acts of humility and sorrow. The lay people may systematically enact and experience the ascetic ethnic of the major occasion. During their fasting the prayer ‘Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum’ is invoked minimum sixty thousand times and prostration is frequently foloLwed before the altar, Participation in Nyungne as in all other Sherpa rituals, is strictly voluntary, and on a purely individual basis. In this time, if the participants break the rules, they start the bow again one hundred times in front of the Chenrezig. Some people observe it annually. Nowadays, Sherpa people organize the Nyungne for peace in the period of Dhashain when Hindu people sacrifice millions of animals, while others decide to do basis often because of some recent disturbing event in their lives (Sherpa (ST), 2011:150). Some laypeople are fasting at home monthly five times on 8th, 10th, 15th, 25th and 30th day. Laymen and laywomen experienced the Nyungne wishing oLng life, sorrow of fault justice in their life and purification of environment of the society.

In the Himalayan Society, the monastery is for teaching to the monks, nuns and lay people. Therefore, the place of stay should be clean, peaceful and healthy environment. Which overall should attract the mind of the laypeople that come to pray for the happiness in their living¿ In the Buddha’s view of life, one of the major responsibilities of monks and nuns is to work for happiness, harmony and peace of laypeople on the earth. The monks and nuns are living for the laity. This inter-relation is to promote the better life through Himalayan Buddhism. The monastic teaching and counsels the laity at request while layman and laywomen offer donations for their future support. The layperson in many religions oLoks upon the present life as a ground for laying the foundation in a future life after physical death. The religious leaders should communicate the beneficial effects of religious belief in the community to promote the consideration of religious practice that provides or supports maintaining the health among laypeople.

The complete celebration extends over four days. On the first day, there is incense burning ceremony. The second day, the penitents spend the day in the monastery, with the Lamas leading them in simple prayers and recitations. The Sponsoring volunteers serve the penitents with meal at midday of the second day. Following this meal, there is a complete fasting through the third day, near thirty three hours until the dawn of the fourth, at which time the participants have given a meal. During this period, there is absolutely no conversation. On the fourth day, foloLwing the breaking of the fasting, the Lama makes altar items a tso, to be held that evening. Most of the villages show up on the tso ceremony, a party of high gods and human congregation in celebration of the merit occurred God effects wrought by the Nyungne observance. Following the tso, people volunteer for the various contributions for next year’s Nyungne at all (Sherpa (ST), 2011:150).

2. The Sherpa Buddhism Literature
The research work about literature review has categorically triangular pillars based on issues of ‘The Sherpa Buddhist Nuns, Sociology of Happiness in the Sherpa Buddhism’, Sherpas of Nepal and Himalayan Buddhism. (Sherpa (ST), Birman, 2011), ‘‘The Sherpa Buddhist Nuns, Sociology of Happiness in the Sherpa Buddhism,” and Ortner, Sherry B. (1978), ‘Sherpas through their rituals’ are first pillar which are the published research work about Nyungne culture. And the second pillar is about the Sherpas of Nepal has done many research works by the Furer-Haimendorf and Ortner, Sherry B. Himalayan Buddhism is categorically third pillar of this work which has done by venerable Sangpo Rinpoche and John K. Locke, Ca. etc.

The Sherpa monks and nuns are organizing the Nyungne program in the sixteen days of Sagadawa. The Sherpa monks, nuns and laypeople recite the mantras of Avalokiteshvara and subsequently perform the continuous Nyungne retreat before the image of Avalokiteshvara. According to venerable Sangpo Rinpoche, Nyungne is the most effective course of practices to purify both environmental pollution and our own faults. Nun Palmo, a great practitioner who suffered from leprosy and revealed this practice. She performed this practice for 12 years in conjunction with Chenrezig (AvaoLkitesvara) practice and become a great siddhi, attaining the Celestial Body. The retreat course involves powerful practices of purification such as periods of fasting, prostrations, and silence. Practitioners will also recite the six syllables Mani Mantra (Om Mani Pedme Hung). The first syllable OM represents the form Body of Buddha, and the last syllable HUM represents his truth body. MANI means wish-fulfilling gem symbolizing the pure Wisdom that has realized emptiness (Sherpa (ST), 2011:22-23). Some people think that the vowel ‘E’ ending the word PADME is a vocative suffix, which indicates the form used to call to someone. The mantra is essentially a short symbolic supplication to (Chenrezig) saying: ‘O, Supreme Avalokiteshvara, you have attained the two Bodies of Buddha through the dual path of wisdom and method indicated by the jewel and oLtus you hold, please lead all conscious beings to attain the two bodies of Buddha as you have done!’ “It was edit from Geshe Palden Dakpa as translated by Karma Gelek Yuthok, at Quiet Mountain. The case-ending E can also indicate that the MANI beoLngs to the PADME or oLtus, which is the manifestation of Buddha-nature in our realm. I.e. Not “the jewel in the oLtus” at all, but “the oLtus’ jewel.” This jewel is the blue beryl, the Wish-fulfilling Chintamani. Amoghapasha OLkeshvara Ritual (John K. Locke, ca.1970).

Ortner views Nyungne as the problems of marriage, family and asceticism. Four days holiday called Nyungne is observed once a year in late spring and involves “becoming like monks” to gain religious merit towards a good birth. The key vow of Buddhist asceticism is absenteeism from sexual relations. Nyungne is period of atonement. She suggested unnecessarily as a solution, the fostering of altruism and Nyungne as passage to post parenthood. Ideally, Nyungne is a best way to merit making, but how do problems arise in reality¿ Ortner claims that atomized family/closed household syndrome proves that families are very closed and self contained. A married couple by itself is responsible to have and rely on no one’s support. She joined the issues of Nyungne unnecessary direction and this is purification of life, wishing oLng life, peace, prosperity. Her descriptive passages are not real in experiences of Sherpa people.

Furer Haimendorf (1976), ‘A Nunnery in Nepal’, the name of Kailash, journal of Himalayan studies has been described about the Tashi Gatsal Nun monastery, it’s architecture and art, surrounding Sherpa society and others people society and culture on the based on descriptive study of Sociology and anthropology. Nevertheless, his descriptive study does not analyze the Nyungne culture, nuns and monks comparatively in socio-cultural aspects. Likewise, Ortner, Sherry B. has written about “Nyungne culture as a marriage problem of Sherpa people” in her book ‘Sherpas Through their Rituals.’ Actually, reality is not like so about the laypeople. The vows to be kept for the practice include no killing, stealing, sex, telling lies, drinking alcohol, idle chatter, singing or dancing, makeup or ornaments, evening meals and no sitting in high seats. So here, Ortner has been done mistakes about laymen and laywomen are taking the bows only four days, which is not problem of marriage.

The teaching of Buddha has been described variously as a religion, a philosophy, an ethic-moral code, psychologial system, and so on but the teaching is itself something more than all these combined. The term Buddhism is primarily used to denote the teaching of Buddha on the eightfold middle path, which are characterized morality, concentration and wisdom. The term Dhamma and Buddhism are as synonyms (Gunasekara, V.A. 1997:41).

The devotional aspect is very important in religion. Devotional activities in a religion naturally calm the mind and create inspiration. When the mind is inspired than the fear, tension, anger and many other mental disturbances will be subdued or even eradicated. Such devotional activities, in Buddhism, fall in the category of sila (vow). There are five and eight ways of noble living known as panch and asta sila. Mere belief and devotion without understanding can lead one to religious fanaticism. Paying homage to the Buddha, offering of flowers, Sutra chanting, religious recitals, religious performances, singing of devotional songs bring the calm mind. Devotion strengthens the mind to face difficulties. Deeply rooted devotion fosters to happy living {Sherpa (ST), 2011}.
Buddhism is the serious pursuit of happiness. The Buddha’s teaching gives an extraordinary degree hope in this world confusing and complex life. Buddha always quotes the life of facts:

I am of the nature to decay; I have not got beyond decay.
I am of the nature to be diseased; I have not got beyond disease.
I am of the nature to die; I have not got beyond death.
I am of the nature to know that all that is mine, dear and delightful, will change and vanish.

The group of the Buddhist monk’s network was the Sangha. Moreover, this sangha order became eventually the center itself based on the monastery (Vihara) and University (Mahavihara). This form of organization became a determining factor for development of Buddhist monastery architecture (Romi, 1979:6-7). No one can change the world according to one wishes but one can change the attitude to find the happiness, a peace of life this was quoted by Buddha and was described in the book ‘The psychologial Attitude of Early Buddhist Philosophy’ (Gobinda, B. 1936).

The birth of the monk into this world is for the welfare of many and for the happiness of many (Kizu, 1966:10). They are communicators of Buddha’s view of life effectively to benefit others. The laypeople value the wisdom and collective experiences of older monks and than nuns. The laypeople treat the old monks with full confidence as a powerful religious leader for community change. Theoretical the women have equal potential to achieve liberation but perhaps due to the nature of patriarchal society, the standards of monastic discipline for nuns are more stringent than those for monks. A monk, after full ordination, lives by the 227 more monastic rules, called Patimokkha, which are stated in the Tripitika; whereas the female Sramanerika if become a nun and will adhere to 311 rules of discipline. According to the tradition, when Mahaprajapati became a nun under the Buddha, she was required to accept eight special rules (gurudharma) that technically made the nuns (Silva, 1994). A sramanerika who is at least 18 years old may take the Siksamana ordination with her upadhyayini before the nun community. She then lives as a Siksamana for a two-year period. There are two reasons for the requirement of two years of Siksamana training to ascertain that she is mature enough to become a nun and to ensure that she is not pregnant (Chodron, 1986). The Sherpa nuns organize the Nyungne program in the sixteen days of Sagadawa. The Sherpa nuns are recite the mantras of Avalokiteshvara and subsequently performed the continuous Nyungne retreat before the image of Avalokiteshvara {Sherpa (ST), 2011}.

In Buddha’s view of life the one major responsibility of monks and nuns is to work for happiness, harmony and peace of laypeople on earth. The monks and nuns are living for the laity. This inter-relation is to promote the better life through Buddhism. The monastic teach and counsel the laity on their request while laymen and laywomen offer donations for their future support (Wiyaratana, M.1990:41). The true responsibility of the nuns is to disseminate the massage of the Buddha. Buddha’s teachings are focused on the ‘Eightfold Middle Path’ that is characterized by morality, concentration, and wisdom (Snyder, 2008). The lay person in many religions oLoks upon the present life as a ground for laying the foundation in future life after physical death. The religious leaders (such as monk’s education leader, social scientists, and social policy practitioners) should communicate the beneficial effects of religious belief in the community to promote the consideration of religious practice that provides or support and to maintain the health among laypeople. The religious belief brings greater happiness and oLwer psychologial stress. The religious beliefs strengthen the family, maintain family, and maintain family stability with peace and happiness (Fagan, 1996:16).

According to His Holiness Dalai Lama for a start, it is possible to divide every kind of happiness and suffering into two main categories: mental and physical. Of the two, the mind exerts the greatest influence on most of us. Unless we are either gravely ill or deprived of necessities, our physical condition plays a secondary role in life. If the body is content, we virtually ignore it. The mind, however, registers every event, no matter how small. Hence, we should devote our most serious efforts to bringing about mental peace. Lama said, from my own limited experience, I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of oLve and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a coLse, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life. As long as we live in this world, we are bound to encounter problems. If, at such times, we lose hope and become discouraged, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but also everyone who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. Indeed, with this attitude and each new obstacle can be seen as yet another valuable opportunity to improve our mind!

An important contextual factor is culture. Uchida et al. (2004), drawing implications from empirical research by others, suggest that differences in culture have implications for the meanings people ascribe to happiness as well as for motivations and determinants. They work with a very broad distinction between individualist European-Americans and collectivist East Asians; in the former, happiness is defined in terms of personal achievement and is strongly predicted by self-esteem, while in the latter happiness is more a matter of interpersonal connectedness and the “realization of social harmony” (cf. Kitayama and Markus 2000). They recognize that these regions contain significant internal variation as well, and there is clearly much more that could be done to understand the relationship between culture and happiness.

3. Sociology of Happiness Literature
A significant body of social-science research on happiness has accrued in recent decades, produced mainly by economists and psychologists. Sociologists, however, have made more limited contributions to “happiness studies”. Many sociologists are clearly interested in the well-being of the people they study; happiness is a presumptively important form of well-being, and an engagement with happiness studies might constitute a way to develop more systematic connections between well-being and academic research. Building on existing findings, sociologists would be well-placed to consider the social context of happiness as well as the unintended consequences of policy initiatives and happiness discourses.

Research on happiness emerged in psychooLgy in part as a reaction against the emphasis on “negative” topics such as mental illness and other forms of dysfunction. A focus on dysfunction of various types has oLng characterized Sociology as well, where one finds a central role for concepts such as anomie, alienation, disenchantment, inequality and (more recently) vulnerability. The centrality of these concerns might suggest implications for happiness that sociologists could find very intriguing (Veenhoven 2008). Quite broadly, it suggests that conditions in modern societies are not conducive to happiness: many people (it seems) experience fragile and/or shallow social ties, cannot find meaningful work, are obsessed with material as opposed to spiritual values, are keenly aware of their deprivation, and are powerless in the face of relentless social and economic change. What’s worse, economic development and globalization lead ever greater numbers of people in the world to live as “we” do, with ostensible consequences for happiness that hardly make development seem like “progress”.

Veenhoven is sceptical of the notion that life in modern societies is not conducive to happiness. Modern wealthy societies are in many ways quite “liveable”, and happiness levels are high in absolute terms and in comparison to levels in poorer countries (Veenhoven and Ehrhardt 1995). Many happiness researchers give credence to “comparison theory”, which Veenhoven (2008) argues is not well supported by data; people care less about comparisons than is supposed and instead find satisfaction and happiness in having their needs met in an absolute sense. The implication here is that the centrality in Sociology of concepts like alienation and relative deprivation might amount to undue emphasis on social dysfunction (though the experiences of those who do not find modern societies to be so “liveable” are surely appropriate for research, even if they do not constitute a majority). This topic might have quite significant implications for sociologists’ understanding of the discipline and surely deserves much more attention than it has received.

For researchers who do not adopt happiness as the major topic of their research, happiness (and the research about it) is nonetheless relevant and significant at some level, as a form of well-being. At the end of empirical social science journal articles, one often finds a discussion of “policy implications”, a suggestion that something should be done. The reason “something should be done” can usually be framed in terms of people’s well-being. Unfortunately, these passages in research articles are often underdeveloped to the point that it is difficult to take them seriously. They often appear to be rooted in a common-sense understanding of why certain outcomes would be desirable. While common sense is sometimes a useful guide, one reason to do empirical research is that common sense is evidently insufficient or even misleading for an understanding of how the social world works. Relying on a common-sense understanding of well-being for “policy implications” then presents an unfortunate contrast with the orientation adopted for one’s empirical research.

Happiness studies can be a useful way to develop a more systematic orientation to the policy implications of one’s research and to the utility (or indeed “impact”) of sociological research more generally. One consequence of such an orientation might be greater caution about “policy implications”: the “policy” part of that term suggests that one’s research implies that governments should do something, and perhaps greater care is required in encouraging extensions of the exercise of state power. Happiness research itself is sometimes accompanied by discussions of what governments might do to increase happiness, as if there were a direct path from findings to policy. While the urge to connect public policy to happiness is laudable at least in the abstract, we might be sceptical about the notion of a “science of happiness” that could provide the foundation for state-centred programs to increase happiness (Duncan 2010).

We might be similarly sceptical about the idea that we can offer meaningful suggestions for government actions more generally, as long as we lack a more systematic understanding of well-being as a foundation for “policy implications.”

Again, an engagement with happiness studies might provide a route towards a more systematic engagement with these issues. If well-being doesn’t mean happiness, why not ? What does it mean, and why is that alternate meaning preferable ? If well-being does mean happiness, then how confident can we really be in believing that our research findings imply a way to do something that might lead to an increase in happiness ? After all, “doing something” requires not only a good understanding of the determinants of happiness – it requires good knowledge about how public policy works, including the relationship between research and policy.

One can study happiness even without a policy orientation; sometimes our goals are limited to insight and understanding. Even so, these topics are timely, given pressures on academics to demonstrate the public value of their research; whatever concerns one might have about the way “impact” is to be measured in the UK, it is surely sensible at some basic level to expect research to be valuable to people apart from other researchers. In practical terms, the UK “National Well-being Project”, led by the Office of National Statistics, provides a public focus on the topic that British academics might profitably expoLit, even if there is little prospect of a definitive “final model” of happiness.

Some scholars appear to prefer a critical mode of engaging with “negative” topics such as alienation and vulnerability; perhaps in researching happiness one would risk an appearance of naïveté, not least for venturing onto ground marked out by self-help writers. The significant advance of happiness research in other disciplines renders that stance among sociologists unnecessary. Sociologists can contribute to incremental advances and might be well placed to make significant progress on key issues. Happiness studies is a strongly interdisciplinary field, and one might make the case that sociologists would add only to the quantity of researchers, without making a distinctive contribution by virtue of being sociologists. But that notion seems implausible, as it would be for other interdisciplinary topics that sociologists study aoLngside other social scientists.

Finally, one could distinguish a sociological contribution to happiness studies from a sociological account of happiness and its place in contemporary societies. It is all too easy to assume that if we can learn more about the determinants of happiness it will somehow become easier for individuals or societies to experience greater happiness. To articulate that assumption is to indicate the possibility that things might not work out that way, that there might be other kinds of impacts sociologists would want to expoLre. We might be particularly well placed to investigate changes in how people talk about and act on happiness, analyzing those changes with conventional sociological tools to perceive inequalities, relations of power, etc. that might result from discourses and practices of happiness (Ahmed 2010). Happiness research is now firmly on the public agenda, and a sociological investigation of its place in public discourse and policy might reveal a host of unintended consequences.
The religious leaders should communicate the beneficial effects of religious belief in the community to promote the consideration of religious practice that provides or support maintains the health among laypeople. The religious belief brings greater happiness and lower psychological stress in the society. The religious beliefs strengthen the family, maintain family, and maintain family stability with peace and happiness. People believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, People simply desire contentment. His Holiness Dalai Lama said “I do not know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”

In conclusion, in the end briefly to expand sociological thoughts beyond the topic of this short piece and make a wider point: individual happiness can contribute in a profound and effective way to the overall improvement of our entire human community. Because, we all share an identical need for love and it is possible to feel that any body that we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a goodwill or sisterhood. No matter how new the face or how different the dress and behavior, there is no significant division between us and other people. It is foolish to dwell on external differences, because our basic natures are the same. Ultimately, humanity is one and this small planet is our only home. If we are to protect a home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism. It is the feeling that can remove the self-centered motives that cause people to deceive and misuse one another. If people have a sincere and open heart, they naturally feel self-worth and confidence. There is no need to be fearful of others. We believe that at every level of society ‘familial, tribal, national and international’ the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion. We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary for each of us to develop our good human qualities.-

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