Grief Management in Buddhism for Human Development

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Wasantha Priyadarshana


As it is discussed in the Roga Sutta of the Aṅguttaranikāya, it is immensely
impossible to be a perfect mentally healthy person except an Arahant, one who has reached
the highest mental and spiritual development. Enlightened beings who have not yet reached
liberation are confronted with very subtle mental distortions. Nevertheless, average people
are having various mental problems minute by minute. In this comprehensive analysis on
mental problems, grief (soka) is understood in Buddhist discourses as natural phenomenon
faced by every average person. In this paper, it is understood with the help of elucidation of
Suttas like Piyajālika, Sokasallaharaṇa, and Saccavibhaṅga in which the death of beloved
ones is explained as the main cause of grief. In this context, the Buddha played his role as a
great Psychotherapist, has shown how to overcome such grief. The elements of Buddhist
Grief Management Techniques scattered throughout Suttas are presented here in a
systematic manner with the aim of drawing the attention of professionals who work in the
related areas of grief into the valuable discussion of several Buddhist discourses that could be
adopted to develop the field.


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How to Cite
Priyadarshana, W. (2018). Grief Management in Buddhism for Human Development. The Journal of International Association of Buddhist Universities (JIABU), 11(3), 401–406. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Wasantha Priyadarshana, Postgraduate of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya

Dr. Wasantha Priyadarshana studied Buddhist Philosophy and Counselling. He obtained his Ph.D. in the field of Career and Educational Counseling (Colombo, Sri Lanka). He is teaching Buddhist Psychotherapy at the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies at the University of Kelaniya (Kandy, Sri Lanka) and is conducting various programs related to Buddhist Psychotherapy. Currently, he is a visiting lecturer at the International Buddhist College.


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