Happiness from Ancient Indian Perspective: Hitopadeśa
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People who seek happiness intentionally often do not get it. That is, as per the paradox of happiness, in order to be happy one should forget about it (Martin in J Happiness Stud 9(2):171–184, 2008) and try to make others happy. Given that, the purpose of present article is to suggest a six-stage people-centric (rather than self-centric) theoretical model of happiness (sukha), which is constructed using a framework based on one of the eminent ancient Indian texts—Hitopadeśa. The ancient yet novel model describes a balanced path to happiness. The propounded model indicates “knowledge” (vidyā) as a foremost antecedent of happiness. The model propounded not only offers insights on achieving integrated well-being and happiness in a moral and philanthropic way, but also extends complex constructs and perspectives in the realm of happiness studies and psychology, which could subsequently promote further research. Furthermore, the proposed model seems to corroborate some of the modern well-being theories.
KeywordsKey to happiness Knowledge Dharma Eudaimonic happiness Humility Righteousness Harmony Self-acceptance Self-control Moderation
The authors would like to thank the Editor-in-chief, Antonella Delle Fave and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions and supportive guidance throughout the review process. Also would like to thank Google Inc. for preserving and digitising old and rare texts and making them available online. Finally, thanks to Parijat Lanke of IIM Tiruchirappalli for lending us some of the reading resources.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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