Spiritual practices of India's ancient Vedanta philosophy aim to support the practitioner to reach a state of absolute bliss. Regular practice is said to improve overall well-being even before reaching this state. This study explores whether Vedanta practitioners show better well-being compared to participants who do not follow a Vedanta practice, using Seligman's Theory of Well-Being.
A sample of 663 participants (mean age = 44.26, 55% female), including participants recruited from the Internet (n = 304, mean age = 39.73, 57% female) and Vedanta practitioners (n = 359, mean age = 48.09, 53% female), completed measures of the PERMA profiler and questions about their Vedantic practice.
Overall well-being as well as the four dimensions positive emotions, relationships, meaning and accomplishment showed significant higher results compared to non-practitioners. No significant results were found for the dimension engagement but the descriptive statistics for the Vedanta sample are slightly lower. Significant correlations between both the duration of studying as well as the subjective degree of familiarity and overall well-being were found.
The data suggest that Vedanta philosophy practitioners seem to enjoy overall higher levels of well-being compared to non-practitioners. However, the concept of engagement seems not to resonate as much with a Vedantin.