Joy (pãti) is a feeling of subtle and refined happiness and is similar to it. In Buddhist psychology, joy is seen as the result of virtuous living, a sign of successful meditation and as an indication of growing spiritual maturity. Many different types of joy are identified in Buddhism. Sympathetic joy, for example, is the ability to be able to rejoice in the success and happiness of others. When the sage Bàvari merely heard the word `Buddha'he experienced exaltation (udagga), jubilation (vedajàta) and elation (attamàna, Sn.995). Buddhàlambanapãti is the calm joy one can feel while contemplating a statue of the Buddha. In the Visuddhimagga, joy is categorized according to its intensity and the effect it can have on the body. Thus there is minor joy (khuddikà pãti), momentary joy (khaõikà pãti), showering joy (okkantikà pãti), uplifting joy (ubbegà pãti) and pervading joy (pharaõà pãti, Vism.143).
Some people are cautious of joy, thinking that it might lead to attachment, but Buddhaghosa made the interesting comment on this matter: `It is called joy because it is to be enjoyed'(Vis.143). Joy is an important part of the jhànas and one of the seven limbs that lead to enlightenment (D.II,79). See Enlightenment, The Limbs of.