The Cosmic Joke


Sannyasnews sometimes feels that whilst our bloggers are sincere, they are also often rather “serious”.Its good to keep things light, and a good laugh does.  The Sufis made a good contribution to this with Mulla Nasruddin. Osho often used those stories in his commentaries.

“Mulla Nasruddin is a Sufi figure, one of the oldest figures of Sufi anecdotes, and he shows whatsoever I have been saying here: that the world is a cosmic joke — he represents that. He is a very serious joker, and if you can penetrate him and understand him, then many mysteries will be revealed to you.Mulla Nasruddin illustrates that the world is not a tragedy but a comedy. And the world is a place where if you can learn how to laugh you have learned everything. If your prayer cannot become a deep laughter which comes from all over your being, if your prayer is sad and if you cannot joke with your god, then you are not really religious.

Christians, Jews and Mohammedans are very serious about their god; Hindus are not, they have joked a lot. And that shows how much they believe — because when you cannot joke with your god you don’t believe in him. You feel that through your humor, your joke, he will be insulted. Your belief is shallow, it is not deep enough. Hindus say that the trust is so much that they can laugh; the trust is so much that just by laughing it cannot be broken.

One Buddhist, Bodhidharma, one of the greatest followers of Buddha, used to say to his disciples, “Whenever you take the name of Buddha immediately rinse out your mouth, because this name is dangerous and it makes the mouth impure.” Another Buddhist monk, Bokuju, used to tell his disciples, “While meditating, if this fellow Gautam Buddha comes in kill him immediately, because once you allow him then he will cling to you and it will be difficult to be alone.”

And they were great followers, they loved Buddha — but they could laugh. Why? The love was so intimate, so close, that there was no danger that something might be taken wrongly. But Christians have always been afraid, so immediately anything becomes blasphemy — anything. They cannot take anything humorously, and if you cannot take anything humorously, if you cannot laugh at yourself, at your god, then you are ill, you are not at home, and your god is something to be feared.

In English we have a word, God-fearing, for religious people. A God-fearing person can never be religious, because if you fear God you cannot love him. Love and fear cannot exist together. With fear, hate can exist, love cannot; with fear, anger can exist, love cannot; with fear you can bow down but you cannot surrender; with fear there can be a relationship between a slave and a master but there cannot be a love relationship. Hindus, Buddhists have a totally different attitude, and that attitude is different because they think the whole existence is a cosmic play, you can be playful.

Sufis are very playful; they created Mulla Nasruddin. And Mulla Nasruddin is an alive figure, you can go on adding to him — I go on adding. If some day he meets me there is bound to be difficulty, because I go on creating around him. To me he is a constantly alive figure, in many ways symbolic — symbolic of human stupidity. But he knows it and he laughs at it, and whenever he behaves like a stupid man he is just joking at you, at human beings at large.

And he is subtle enough. He will not hit you directly, he hits himself; but if you can penetrate him then you can look at the reality. And sometimes even great scriptures cannot go as deep as a joke can go, because the joke directly touches the heart. A scripture goes into the head, into the intellect; a joke directly touches the heart. Immediately something explodes within you and becomes your smile and your laughter.

Nasruddin must have attained enlightenment, or he is already an enlightened figure, there is no need to attain. I go on using him just to give you a feeling that to me religion is not serious. So I go on mixing Mulla Nasruddin with Mahavira — which is impossible, poles apart. I go on mixing Mulla Nasruddin with the Upanishads, because he gives a sweetness to the whole serious thing. And nothing is serious, nothing should be serious.”

To me, to laugh wholeheartedly is the greatest celebration that can happen to a man — to laugh wholeheartedly, to become the laughter. Then no meditation is needed, it is enough.

Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi
Chapter #13

This entry was posted in Discussion, Osho. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to The Cosmic Joke

  1. frank says:

    It has long been understood by members of the underground ubermensch that this is why Osho left the dental chamber in the Samadhi intact. It was the final transmission. Life`s a gas!

    Spiritual types hope that Existence might do them a favour and send some white light rushing out of their asses if they mime some kind of white-sock induced bliss-attack in the Samadhi, but the dental room is there to remind them of the real business of the so-called enlightened guy, which is leaning back in an extremely comfortable chair, turning the Zen bull dial up to 11 and having a bloody good laugh!

    • swamishanti says:

      Osho didn`t leave just the dental chamber, which is close to the Samadhi, intact, he asked for many things in Lao-Tzu to be left just as they were.

      He asked for the de-humidifiers to be taken out of his bedroom, because they had been too noisy and keeping him awake at night, but told Amrito to “always leave one air conditioner on.”

      He stepped on his bathroom mat and commented how comfortable it was,
      and then asked Amrito to do the whole floor with that material. He also asked for part of the room to be remarbled.

      In the remarbling process, the old marble was sold off in chunks and pieces in the early `90`s, as “Osho marble”. It was said to be soaked in the Master`s energy.

  2. madhu dagmar frantzen says:

    This is what I found so far – looking for the Mulla – for today, Friends:

    “I can see in the dark.”
    “That may be so, Mulla. But if it is true, why do you sometimes carry a candle at night?”
    “To prevent other people from bumping into me.”

  3. shantam prem says:

    Indian Guru, “With meditation you reach home.”
    Western Chela, “Will I get some premium, in case I sell that home?”

    Communication gap is always interesting, specially when people from different cultural upbringing use international language, English, understood by all.

    • frank says:

      “Indian Guru, “With meditation you reach home.”
      Western Chela, “Will I get some premium, in case I sell that home?”

      How much is your property in Koregaon Park worth these days, Shantam?
      Premium or slump?

      • shantam prem says:

        Indian real estate is in slump for last few years because of bad economic policies.
        Salt on the wound is agricultural land, which I pushed my parents to sell for my flat in 1995, has the price 20 times more than the flat because city has expanded.

  4. Klaus says:

    One more of Mulla Nasruddin:

    Reaching enlightenment

    Nasruddin was walking in the bazaar with a large group of followers.
    Whatever Nasruddin did, his followers immediately copied. Every few steps Nasruddin would stop and shake his hands in the air, touch his feet and jump up yelling, “Hu Hu Hu!”

    So his followers would also stop and do exactly the same thing.

    One of the merchants, who knew Nasruddin, quietly asked him:
    “What are you doing my old friend? Why are these people imitating you?”

    “I have become a Sufi Sheikh,” replied Nasruddin. “These are my Murids [spiritual seekers]; I am helping them reach enlightenment!”

    “How do you know when they reach enlightenment?”

    “That’s the easy part! Every morning I count them. The ones who have left – have reached enlightenment!”

    He really is an Enlightenment specialist.

  5. Parmartha says:

    I have read some theories of humour say there are only 112 jokes in the universe, like there are said to be only 112 methods of meditation. Not that there are not more jokes in the world, but that any joke brought forth will simply be a variety of a fixed theme, and that there are 112 of those.

    So what of the “Cosmic Joke” to which Osho and others bring attention?
    Whatever that is leaves one in bliss and laughter for ever…so it would be good to know what it is!!

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Parmartha, innumerable theories about sadness, depression, sickness of the mind etc. are existing and in ‘Algorhythm-Time’, we can (if we are up to it) discover daily more of such.

      Humour, though, just happens. Unpredictably and infectious; gives a break, one can say.

      It’s like a very spark of Light, creating spaciousness inside and outside, a temporary utter well-being and unifying togetherness in a bunch of fragmented individuals.

      No theory is needed, I´d say. More than enough to be grateful when such happens.

      “Bliss and Laugher” ongoing for ever? “Cosmic”? Big words. Most beautiful is that the humour targeted here doesn´t care about big words. Or doesn´t care in particular about ´permanence´.

      The ´Mystic-Rose Meditation´ weeks teach a lot about natural uprising happenings and also its accompanying layers of unnatural fake appearances; an ongoing pilgrimage this too.


      • anand yogi says:

        Perfectly correct, Parmatha!

        It is absolutely vital that jokes must be theorised, divided, sub-divided, categorised, stamped, briefed, de-briefed, numbered, ordered and put into neat pigeonholes by experts for the good of the future of humanity!

        This should be done by masters of comedy such as resident comedy expert Madhu whose infectious lightness of being, breeziness of playful wit and wonderful pronoia has added so much joy to the conversations at SN!

        But remember, all jokes must be carefully selected from the 112 jokes by fully certified laughter therapists(TM) under the auspices of fully enlightened master and all must laugh in unison at exactly moment of punchline.

        All jokes must be checked, authorised and approved by Madhu before being published. All comments deemed against the stream will be verboten!

        We have ways of making you laugh!

        • Kavita says:

          AY, I feel blessed to be alive/present to savour your signature brand of frolic!

          • anand yogi says:

            Perfectly correct, Kavita!

            It is indeed an honour for you to be able to savour the yuga-changing presence of one with such egoless humility as Avatar Anand Yogi, most humble hollow bamboo servant of master of masters of all time and all universes, Swami Bhorat!

            Hari Om!

      • Kavita says:

        Madhu, very profound post, thank you.

      • kusum says:

        Laughing & crying…both are needed for emotional cleansing. But it seems both are disappearing naturally as time goes by.

        • kusum says:

          Only witnessing remains!

          • anand yogi says:

            Perfectly correct, Kusum!
            It seems you have arrived at that hallowed state where only the cliches remain!

            Congratulations also to Samarpan – he is without doubt a huge floater in the bog that is Sannyas News!

            Hari Om!

    • satyadeva says:

      I suggest the “Cosmic Joke” might become apparent when one realises that there is no Death.

  6. shantam prem says:

    Pity Osho is not born in the age of twitter, instagram, whatsapp and facebook.

    Imagine discourse is finished and within seconds media department becomes busy to tweet soundbites, and next day, master retorts, “I am the only master in the history of mankind who has million followers at twitter and instagram. Buddha´s reach was very local.”

    World media waits for the provocation, much more intelligent than what is being tweeted every day of the year by all the hotshots.

    Just imagine, Osho´s signature, Puxxy and Prixk jokes tweeted and retweeted!

    • Prem says:

      Osho was born 40 years too early.

      Imagine him being available now, just sitting in Poona and have his message broadcast online.

      Without all the fekkin drama.

      • satyadeva says:

        Unfortunately, Prem, most of us would have missed out if he had arrived 40 years later!

        He arrived right on time, exactly when needed. The internet was too late to catch him live.

        • frank says:

          Wow, just think how many facebook friends Osho would have had! It would have simplified his `devices`, just click the de-friend button for people who had “missed”!

          People would would have been, like:
          “Wow, I`m actually doing a selfie with like, a buddha, like now, actually in darshan, omg this is, like, sooo cool…”

          Then again…
          Smuggling live feed out of the therapy groups…the METOO# movement checking up on the activities of the therapists…
          etc. etc.

          Actually, maybe forget it.
          There is a time and place for everything!

          • shantam prem says:

            There is a time and place for everything!

            God may have one son and Allah may have given the last prophet. Existence is not vasectomised; most probably, technology is making the ground ready for new masters who walk like Tsunami.

            Howsoever I may be inspired by the master, so much sentimental fool I am not to think, “Nothing will surpass Osho.”

        • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

          “He arrived right on time, exactly when needed. The internet was too late to catch him live.”

          Precisely – YES – Satyadeva.

  7. samarpan says:

    A great crowd gathered around Mulla Nasruddin’s house, and they said, “What are you doing? Your wife has fallen into the stream and the river is in a flood. Go immediately; otherwise the stream will take your wife to the sea.” The sea was just near. So Mulla came running to the bank, jumped into the stream, and started swimming upstream to find where his wife was.

    The crowd screamed, “What are you doing, Nasruddin? Your wife couldn’t have gone upstream. She has gone downstream.” Mulla said, “Do not disturb me. I know my wife very well. If anyone else had fallen into the stream, he would have gone downstream. Not my wife, however. She must have gone upstream. I know my wife well, I have lived with her for forty years.”

    The mind is always trying to go upstream, to move upstream. Fighting with everything, you create a negative world around you. Obviously, this has to happen. The world is not against you, but because you are not with the world, you feel it is against you. Float downstream, and then the river will help you to float. Then your energy will not be needed. The river will become a boat, it will take you. You will not lose any energy by floating downstream, because once you float downstream you have accepted the river, the current, the flow, the direction – everything. Then you have become positive to it. When you are positive, the river is positive to you.

    Osho, Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, Chapter #26

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      I can say, I´ve been already waiting, Samarpan, that one of the guys here would apply especially this one of the well known ´Nasruddin parables´….similars exist in context of the funeral of Nasruddin’s wife….


      • samarpan says:

        Thanks, Madhu! This story reminds me of Osho’s Eighth Commandment: “Do not swim — float.”

  8. frank says:

    Mullah Nasruddin has been in London recently, down the East End.