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
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
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
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!"
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"
Osho on Baal Shem
Osho on Baal Shem
Martin Buber Books loved by Osho
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
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