Down the centuries religion has been a very serious affair for most of the believers. Being pious or holy became synonymous with seriousness, writes Keerti. Published in Business World, India.
We are living in an era of ‘fake news’ and instant social media circulation, which is not fun most of the time but an irritation to many people. Internationally, people celebrate 1st April as April Fool’s Day, which can be pure fun. It is generally harmless and it should be observed in the harmless way.
Osho lovers around the world have chosen this day to be dedicated to Mulla Nasruddin… who was a Sufi, and also one of the oldest figures of Sufi anecdotes. Osho made him alive again by telling thousands of jokes in his name. Spiritual discourses are often very serious and profound, and the majority of people do not find it easy to grasp the essence. The enlightened ones and mystic masters create anecdotes, sometimes very funny and hilarious, and weave them into their discourses to make profound things easy to understand. For Mulla Nasruddin, the world is a cosmic joke – and he himself is part of that. Hindus call this world God’s Leela, a divine play.
Down the centuries religion has been a very serious affair for most of the believers. It has been too ritualistic and too grim. Being pious or holy became synonymous with seriousness. Hence, the so-called religions deprived people of their natural innocent laughter. By performing so many rituals people became egoistic, and the priests and religious followers started feeling holier than others. Others who were not doing the routine rituals became condemned as unholy or un-spiritual. So not to be condemned by the so-called holy people, the ordinary people started performing their religious affairs just to not feel guilty. This conduct made them hypocrites and serious. The whole affair of religion became heavy and serious and most of the people have been living with that burden on their heart. They forgot to laugh and celebrate.
Osho changed it all. He says: “Religion cannot be anything other than a celebration of life. And the serious person becomes handicapped: he creates barriers. He cannot dance, he cannot sing, he cannot celebrate. The very dimension of celebration disappears from his life. He becomes desert-like. And if you are a desert, you can go on thinking and pretending that you are religious but you are not. You may be a sectarian, but not religious. You can be a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jain, a Mohammedan, but you cannot be religious. You believe in something, but you don’t know anything. You believe in theories. A man too much burdened by theories becomes serious. A man who is unburdened, has no burden of theories over his being, starts laughing.” ¹
According to Osho, “Laughter is far more sacred than prayer, because prayer can be done by any stupid person; it does not require much intelligence.” ²
The real Sufis are not serious people, they are very playful; they created Mulla Nasruddin. And their Nasruddin is an alive figure, you can go on adding to him. Osho made him multidimensional and even more wiser to have fun in the modern world. He has become immortal.
Published in Business World, India, on April 1, 2018 – businessworld.in – illustration Osho News
Excerpts by Osho from
¹ A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Ch 9
² The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11, Ch 10
Chaitanya Keerti travels around the world to facilitate Osho meditation retreats. He is an editor of Osho World and author of ‘Osho Fragrance’, ‘The Alchemy of Zen’, and ‘Mindfulness: The Master Key’. More articles by the same author on Osho News