spacer Wisdom of Folly: OshO on Mulla Nasruddin

Mulla Nasruddin! He is not a fictitious figure, he was a Sufi and his grave still exists. But he was such a man that he could not resist even to joke from his grave. He made a will that his gravestone will be nothing but a door, locked, and the keys thrown away into the ocean.
Now this is strange! People go to see his grave: they can go round and round the door because there are no walls, there is just a door standing there, no walls at all!—and the door is locked.
The man Mulla Nasruddin must be laughing in his grave.
I have loved no one as I have loved Nasruddin.
He is one of the men who has brought religion and laughter together; otherwise they have always stood back to back. Nasruddin forced them to drop their old enmity and become friends, and when religion and laughter meet, when meditation laughs, and when laughter meditates, the miracle happens…the miracle of all miracles.

People behave differently, because they have been conditioned differently. I have been searching for a joke that is purely Indian, but I have not been able to find one, all jokes are imported. It is good that there is no taxation on imported jokes; otherwise, in India there would be no jokes at all.
The Indians have been too serious about things, about God, about the ultimate. You cannot conceive of Gautam Buddha laughing, or Shankaracharya laughing, or Mahavira laughing—that is impossible. I have always wondered about it….

So if you know life, you know that life is not serious at all. Religious people have made it serious because they are anti-life. But to me, that is not religion at all. That is just a metaphysics for suicide. To me, religion means a very non-serious attitude: very childlike, very innocent….
If I tell a joke, I create tension in you, expectation. curiosity. What is going to happen? How will it turn out? You become tense with expectation. You become serious, your mind begins to work. How is the joke going to end? if it ends just as you expected it to, you will not laugh because then there is no release. But if the end turns out to be completely unimagined, if it is a complete turnabout; if you never expected that this could be the end, then the tension that has been brought to a climax is released. You laugh. But the laughter is not innocent because it is just a release of tension. Every joke has to create a tension in you. Then, when you laugh, you feel released.

Innocent laughter is something very different. It is not a release mechanism, it is a way of living.

It is just a way of living! Take laughing as a way of living. Exist as laughter You will be absolutely nonserious. It may be that you will not be able to achieve anything, but what is the meaning of achievement? Even one who achieves—what does he achieve? Even when achieving, nothing is achieved…. This I call a religious mind: nonserious, playful, innocent—without any struggle.


Mulla Nasruddin

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