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Osho - God loves laughter, God loves cheerful people.

Question - Beloved Master, You seem to be the first Enlightened Master who tells Jokes -- Why is it So?

Osho - Garima, I will tell you a story. The following story in the Talmud was particularly cherished by the great Hassid master, Baal Shem.
Rabbi Baruch used to visit the marketplace where the Prophet Elijah often appeared to him. It was believed that he appeared to some saintly men to offer them spiritual guidance.
Once Baruch asked the prophet, "Is there anyone here who has a share in the world to come?"
He replied, "No."
While they were conversing, two men passed by and Elijah remarked, "These two men have a share in the world to come."
Rabbi Baruch then approached and asked them, "What is your occupation?"
They replied, "We are jesters. When we see men depressed we cheer them up."

God loves laughter, God loves cheerful people. God is not interested in seeing you with long faces.
When Baal Shem was dying, somebody asked, "Are you prepared to meet the Lord?"
He said, "I have always been ready. It is not a question of becoming ready now -- I have always been ready. Any moment he could have called me!"
The man asked, "What is your readiness?"
Baal Shem said, "I know a few beautiful jokes -- I will tell him those jokes. And I know he will enjoy them and he will laugh with me. And what else can I offer to him? The whole world is his, the whole universe is his, I am his, so what can I offer to him? Just a few jokes!"

Osho God Loves Laughter

Baal Shem is one of the great buddhas who has come out of the Jewish tradition, one of the most loved by his disciples. He was the founder of Hassidism. And remember, I am not the first to tell you jokes. There have been many.... But people are so sad that they forget about people who have been sources of laughter and joy -- they remember only sad people. People are sad; hence they find a certain affinity with sad people. You remember only sad buddhas -- even if they were not sad, you make them sad. In your mind you fabricate stories, you manufacture ideas, and you make them look sad.

Now, a Jaina will be very much offended if I say that Mahavira laughed. Laughter seems to be so mundane, so worldly. How can Mahavira laugh? If I say Buddha laughed, Buddhists, particularly the Hinayana Buddhists, will be angry. I have been in tremendous love with Buddha; I think there is no other man on the earth today who has loved Buddha as much as I. But just the other day I was reading in the newspapers: the president of the Buddhist Society of India is going to raise questions against me in the parliament in the coming session. I can understand, these people must be feeling very much offended because I am giving Buddha a new color -- HIS color, Buddha's color. I am trying to bring his reality to you. And these people have distorted his image totally; they have made him look so sad, they won't allow him to laugh. If he laughs, they will raise questions against him in the parliament.

I am offending people because I am trying to live religion not according to their ideas. I tell you, privately of course, that Jesus used to joke -- but don't tell it to Christians, they will not understand. They can understand only the Jesus who was crucified. In fact, they are worshipping death, not Jesus; they are worshipping the cross, not Christ. Hence I call Christianity, Crossianity -- it has nothing to do with Christ. I know the man, I personally know the man!

He used to love all the good things of life. How can he avoid joking? He loved to gossip, and they say he was only delivering gospels! He was a very very earth-rooted man. He moved with gamblers, with drunkards, with prostitutes too. He was not afraid of all these fools -- that's why he had to suffer. That's why I am to suffer....

Source - Osho Book "The Dhammapada, Vol 2"

Related Links:
Osho Jokes
Osho on Baal Shem
Osho on Baal Shem Stories

Martin Buber Books loved by Osho
Osho on Hassidism - Hassidism means the art of disciplehood
Osho - Hasidism is not a path of meditation, it is a path of prayer
Osho - Why do Hasids exclude women from their religious practices

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