The Laughing God

That there is such a thing as the rotund ‘Laughing Buddha’ one can see small statuettes of in Asiatic little shops everywhere, is an encouraging sign that human beings insist on the Sacred and the Holy to be also capable of plain fun. When I was a young teacher of the Classics and still living in France, I knew nothing yet of any Laughing Buddha,  and I was a rather dreadfully serious person myself, yet I did insist with a strange but strong inner certitude that in God’s nature there must be also room for fun, for a sense of humour, for laughter, because it just feels so goo when one laughs a good belly laugh!…. So when the books of Sri Aurobindo came into my hands in 1971, it is with utter joy and satisfaction that I discovered in his ‘Thoughts & Aphorisms’  (written in 1913) such fabulous pronouncements as these:

(80) To listen to some devout people, one would imagine God never laughs; Heine was nearer the mark when he found in Him the divine Aristophanes.

(81) God’s laughter is sometimes very coarse and unfit for polite ears; He is not satisfied with being Molière, He must needs also be Aristophanes and Rabelais.

(82) If men took life less seriously, they could very soon make it more perfect. God never takes His works seriously; therefore one looks out on this wonderful Universe.

(306) Three times God laughed at Shankara, first when he returned to burn the corpse of his mother, again, when he commented on the Isha Upanishad, and the third time when he stormed about India preaching inaction.

(380) It is well not to be too loosely playful in one’s games or too grimly serious in one’s life and works. We seek in both a playful freedom and a serious order.

(430) The philosophers who reject the world as Maya, are very wise and austere and holy; but I cannot help thinking sometimes that they are also just a little bit stupid and allow God to cheat them too easily.

(431) For my part I think I have a right to insist on God giving Himself to me in the world as well as out of it. Why did he make it at all, if He wanted to escape that obligation?

(475) Discipleship to God the Teacher, sonship to God the Father, tenderness of God the Mother, clasp of the hand of the divine Friend, laughter and sport with our Comrade and Playfellow, blissful servitude to God the Master, rapturous love of our divine Paramour, these are the seven beatitudes of life in the human body. Canst thou unite all these in a single supreme and rainbow-hued relation? Then hast thou no need of heaven and thou exceedest the emancipation of the Advaitin.

(476) When will the world change into the model of heaven? When all mankind becomes boys and girls together with God revealed as Krishna and Kali, the happiest boy and the strongest girl of the crowd, playing together in the gardens of Paradise. The Semitic Eden was well enough, but Adam and Eve were too grown up and its God himself too old and stern and solemn for the offer of the Serpent to be resisted.

(477) The Semites have afflicted mankind with the conception of a God who is a stern and dignified king and solemn judge and knows not mirth. But we who have seen Krishna, know Him for a boy fond of play and a child full of mischief and happy laughter.

(478) A God who cannot smile could have not created this humorous universe.

(480) When I suffer from pain or grief or mischance, I say “So, my old Playfellow, thou hast taken again to bullying me,” and I sit down to possess the pleasure of the pain, the joy of the grief, the good fortune of the mischance; then he sees He is found out and takes His ghosts and bugbears away from me.

(494) I used to hate and avoid pain and resent its infliction; but now I find that had I not suffered, I would not now possess, trained and perfected, this infinitely and multitudinously sensible capacity of delight in my mind, heart and body. God justifies himself in the end even when He has  masked Himself as a bully and a tyrant.

(498) God is our wise and perfect Friend; because he knows when to smite as well as when to fondle, when to slay us no less than when to save and to succour.

(505) O Aristophanes of the universe, thou who watchest thy world and laughest sweetly to thyself, wilt thou not let me too see with divine eyes and share in thy world-wide laughters?

(507) The strangest of the soul’s experiences is this, that it finds, when it ceases to care for the image and threat of troubles, then the troubles themselves are nowhere to be found in one’s neighbourhood. It is then that we hear from behind those unreal clouds God laughing at us.

Thank you so much, Sri Aurobindo, for confirming the deep validity also of that aspect of the Divine and so, the validity and importance of the very same love of fun in ourselves too!
The aphorisms I have chosen to quote here were selected of course for the specific topic of this post, so in isolation like this they give only a limited view of the total picture one gets from reading all that Sri Aurobindo explained about ‘God’… who is not separated at all from what religions call His ‘creatures’, but is the One Being within All There is, within all those innumerable forms of Himself/Herself/Itself that we and everything else are: we are God playing at the Great Game of Evolution, God playing with God in All There is…! And THAT is what the Fun is all about!…


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carol Leigh Rice, M.A.
    May 11, 2011 @ 20:44:45

    I so love this, every single quote is so life-afffirming!

    P.S. Will you be adding your Blog Subscriptions to the Widgets down the right-hand side, so folks (like me!) can subscribe and know whenever you post?



    • Bhaga
      May 12, 2011 @ 03:21:28

      Actual reply to you down below… as usual!!!
      That ‘Reply’ white and open space is so inviting, it still catches me everytime.
      Shame on me… (joking of course!)



  2. Bhaga
    May 12, 2011 @ 03:17:45

    This sounds like a great idea indeed! I’ll do my best to get it done very soon.
    Also, dear technical advisor, any idea how I could activate the image and the three footers that are supposed to come also in that same side-bar?…I have tyried and tried, but no success intil now…



  3. Trackback: The Joke that made God Laugh… and the Reply from God | Lab of Evolution
  4. Karl
    Dec 03, 2016 @ 13:32:01

    Aren’t we meant to be Bhogis? Enjoyers. Thats what the Pongal festival is?



    • Bhaga
      Dec 04, 2016 @ 12:16:33

      No, not Bhogis, the real root for this is… Bhaga, as in Bhagavan, the Supreme as the Blissful One – and so of course also as in Bhagavad-Gita, which means actually The Song of the Blissful One, incarnated as Sri Krishna. Bhaga is the name that I have received, for the very reason of its meaning: the Power of Bliss in Bhagavan Himself. I have to explain more about that some day…! 🙂



  5. Karl
    Dec 03, 2016 @ 13:34:17

    Or here are some others. How do you make God laugh? Tell her/him ur plans.
    Or the famous frenchmen who said :God is a comedian playing to an audience that’s afraid to laugh.

    Liked by 1 person


    • Bhaga
      Dec 04, 2016 @ 12:30:32

      I clicked the wrong button this time and so my answer to you comes out as the one under this one, as if it had no connection with your comment at all, but do read it, it is actually for you! 🙂



  6. Bhaga
    Dec 04, 2016 @ 12:27:46

    Good ones, thank you!!! 😀
    Except that the second one still reflects a distorted view of the whole Reality, as we all are the actors, and before that the script writers for each of the lifetimes we decide to experience in a human body on Earth… It is our Playground, and the Stage where we put up collectively our Productions, rather dramatic until now, no doubt, but it is entirely up to us to change the scripts at last !… This is what many of us have started to do, and we are more and more enabled to do so now that this new step in Terrestrial Evolution has been activated in 1956…



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