Every person feels joy when they are successful or they have an achievement. Similar joy is felt when some loved one, friend or family member to achieve success. But do you feel the same level of joy when someone else or a complete stranger gets some success? Most people have a feeling of envy or jealousy when a colleague or a classmate gets success. This leads to a sense of disappointment in his own mind and can lead to depression too. To deal with such a situation, the art of mudita or sympathetic joy was introduced in Buddhism.

This is one sort of heart practice in the Buddha's teachings. According to this thinking, this heart practice also has a far enemy or opposite quality which can be called as jealousy. To practice mudita you have to move away from this far enemy and inculcate the feeling of sympathetic joy in your heart and mind. Envy is the biggest enemy of mudita and it kills your own joy and peace of mind.

Why avoid envy?

Envy serves as the biggest hurdle in the way to feel happiness for others’ joy. If we find a person whom we do not like getting success, then it becomes very hard to digest it and we struggle a lot to appreciate their joy. Instead of feeling happy for the person, we start judging and then fall into the trap of envy or simply ignore the success and try to focus on our own life. But both these things are not going to help you out. Instead of practicing sympathetic joy will train the heart to feel happy and appreciate the moments of joy of others and thereby free your mind from stress and grips of jealousy. 

Greed and sympathetic joy:

Greed is another big enemy of mudita or sympathetic joy. Greed has been considered as one of the 3 unwholesome roots i.e. the basic root cause of suffering according to Buddhism. By uprooting this enemy one can feel true joy for himself as well as for others. By appreciating all the small and big moments of joy you can get fulfilled with joy.

Another enemy of sympathetic joy is schadenfreude. This is a German term which means finding joy in the pain and failure of others. If your heart feels joy in the pain of others then you must definitely practice mudita in order to heal your mind and soul. This feeling can serve as a disease for your own mind and character and so you must practice mudita to free yourself from this feeling.