Monday, December 26, 2011

The Laughter of Jesus

Here is an interesting piece of thought from Osho (the late Rajaneesh).To be offended by this loud thinking is unnecessary, but to introspect conventions as fed to us will be interesting and a revelation.  

Christ's message IS rejoice and be merry. But that is not the message of Christianity. Christianity's message is: be sad, long faces, look miserable; the more miserable you look, the more saintly you are. Sometimes I really feel for poor Jesus. He has fallen in such wrong company, and I wonder how he is managing in paradise with all these Christian saints, so sad, so dull.
He was not a dull man, he was not a sad man -- he could not be. The word 'Christ' is exactly synonymous with Buddha. He was an enlightened person. He rejoiced in life, in the small things of life. He rejoiced in eating, drinking, friendship. He loved companionship, he loved the whole life.

But Christians down the ages have painted him as very sad. They have painted him always on the cross, as if for thirty-three years he was always on the cross. And my own understanding is that a man like Jesus will not die sad, even on the cross. He must have laughed before he died( if he ever did).
That's what Al-Hillaj Mansoor the Sufi mystic and poet did before he was executed in public by the fanatic Mohammedans, because he had declared: ANA'L HAQ -- "I am the Truth".  Mohammedans could not tolerate it, just as Jews could not tolerate Jesus. They killed him – tortured and chopped of his organs one after the other- but before they killed him, he looked at the sky and laughed loudly.

And that's exactly what Jesus must have done, laughed. But Christians have tried their best to depict Jesus as sad. They have made a saint out of a real authentic human being; they have cut everything. The gospels are not true stories; much has been changed, much has been reduced, much has been added. They have become mere fictions. Emperor Constantine decreed what must be the Gospel . A happy Christ is a misfit for Christians and Christianity.

Down the ages, Christians have been trying to paint Christ as  sadder. Why? -- Because all over the world religion has been dominated by a neurotic kind of people. It has been dominated by the people who are masochists, sadists. In the East too, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism -- they have all been dominated by the masochistic people, the people who enjoy torturing themselves, the people who are incapable of living life in its totality. The people who are too cowardly to live, escapists, have dominated religion up to now. These escapists have depicted Buddha as not laughing, Mahavira as not laughing.

And Christians actually say that Jesus never laughed in his life. Can you believe that? Jesus never laughed in life? He enjoyed all kinds of people, and he never laughed? Can you imagine that a man like Jesus, who was always feasting for hours with his friends, never laughed? It is inconceivable! How can you go on wining and dining without laughing? He must have joked, he must have told funny stories. They have been edited out. He was a very true man, and very courageous. He accepted Mary Magdalene as his disciple. It needs courage, it needs guts. I cannot believe that he never laughed.

We are made to cry – as soon as we are detached from the womb. Up to now doctors have been very Christian. The first thing they do is they hang the child upside down and hit him on the buttocks. Do you expect a child to laugh? This is a great welcome to the world, putting the child upside down, giving him a hit -- a good beginning, because his whole life he is going to get hit in the pants, again and again. And hanging upside down, how can he laugh? No wonder he cries!

Now there are a few doctors working in a different direction. They bring the child in a more natural way out of the mother's womb; they don't cut the umbilical cord immediately because that creates crying, that is violence. They leave the child on the mother's belly with the umbilical cord intact. They give a good bath to the child, a hot bath, they put the child into a hot tub of exactly the same temperature as it was in the mother's womb.

In the mother's womb the child is floating in water. The water has the same contents as sea water, salty. In the same salty chemical solution, of the same temperature, the child is put in the tub. He starts smiling. It is a real beautiful reception. And not with glaring tube lights... that hurts the eyes of the child. In fact, so many people are wearing glasses only because of the foolishness of the doctors. The child has lived for nine months in the mother's womb in darkness, utter darkness. Then suddenly so much light... it hurts his delicate eyes. You have destroyed something delicate in his eyes. The child should be received in a very dim light, and the light should be increased slowly, so his eyes become accustomed to the light. Naturally the child smiles at the beautiful welcome.

I can't believe Jesus not laughing at all. He lived thirty-three years and did not laugh? -- That can only be possible if he was absolutely perverted, absolutely pathological, and ill. Something must have been wrong if he didn't laugh. But nothing is wrong with him; something is wrong with the followers. They depict their saints, their messiahs, their Prophets, as very serious, somber, sad, just to show that they are above the world, that they are beyond, that they are not worldly people. Laughter seems shallow, seems unspiritual.

Although the message of Christmas is rejoice and be merry, still there is sadness, because the whole of Christianity teaches you to be sad. It is not a life-affirming religion, it is life-negative. It is much more life-negative than Hinduism, much more life-negative than Judaism. It has no sense of humor at all. And a religion without a sense of humor is ill, pathological. It needs psychological treatment.

Peter, standing in the crowd, looked up at Jesus on the cross. As he watched, he distinctly saw Jesus motioning him forward.
"Pssst, hey Peter, come here," said the Lord.
As Peter moved forward, two Roman guards blocked his way and beat him till he fell to the ground.
A few moments later, Peter, bruised and bleeding, looked up and saw Jesus again motioning him forward.
"Pssst, hey Peter, come here!"
Looking around, Peter noticed that the crowd was gone and so were the Roman soldiers. He moved closer to Jesus, "Yes, Lord, what is it? What is it you want?"
"Hey Peter," said Jesus. "Guess what? I can see your house from here!"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

St. Antony- A Story

It was late January and a holiday. The tropical weather was mild and comfortable at that time of the year. And besides, being little over couple decades and more ago, the severity of climes have not begun to be felt then. The sea breeze that came from the west when blowing in over the inland lake and caressing the bamboo shrubs in the perimeter of the church, ensured to bring along heavenly spell and mirth. Or was it the sheer presence she lend or the gaiety that accompany a wedding- the wedding of a close friend?

It must have been early dawn, well before sunrise and I was woken up to the clutter and chatter, the excited shrieks and exhilarated talking, shouts that results when dear and near ones meet. She had arrived by the early morning train that must have laboured in some time before then. Not being quite congenial and comfortable with young strangers of the fairer sex, I chose to stay a little longer than usual in my bed And when I came out of my room it was with some pleasance filled  excitement and curiosity and caution. Something told me that I must not betray clownish discomfiture that can envelope me when unfamiliar young woman are near. A woman who I have only seen in photographs and not seen or personally acquainted before!

I saw her lazing down the stairs and I guess the first smile, nod of the head and the “hello” was not too bad. It was apparent that photographs captured in a camera are sometimes a faint image of what the subject actually is and can be grossly unjust too. Something inside pumped the excitement and heightened the heartbeat. Strange, I thought. All through during the couple of days she stayed at the apartment ,whenever I could  grab and create an opportunity to be near her and engage in some conversation, I ensured the chance never went begging. I wonder if others noticed the sudden oddity.

Something always kept telling me, there was a mutual attraction, but more latent in her!

She came back a few months after. There was no communication between us in that short interregnum. However the second meeting was a friendlier and alleviating affair. She had come for the wedding that afternoon of my close mate. Though social prescripts did not require her presence at the wedding, I was thrilled that she was there in any case. Perhaps she was gracious to accept the invite and be there as the representative of her parents’ .Perhaps, looking back destiny enticed her!

After the wedding we all moved to the adjacent banquet hall for the grand feast that the bride’s father had richly organised. I and a few friends amongst us proceeded out after the sumptuous feast and the brief revelry involving indulgent drinking of wine. We took off towards the pier to take the boat ride across the lake to the island. She was the last one to hop on to the boat and I offered her my hand to hold on while jumping on to the rocking watercraft. Which she unhesitatingly accepted!

We had a refreshing couple of hours on the island. The optical illusion in the west caressing the ocean- of the sun set and the magical shadows the illusion provided on the lush green foliage and trees that fondled the island and also the sparkling waters of the vast lake that straddled the piece of land we stood- all,   was wonderful for the occasion. There were three women in the group besides her. It was exciting. All the more for the two of us, which we knew and we alone knew in our hearts, unbeknownst to each other and the rest. Modesty demanded that I must be cautious not to reveal any sort of excessive care for her comfort or needs.  Lest her brothers would notice .Quite timid I felt of myself, but could not go any farther than being so.

It was dark when we returned to the boat that would ferry us back to the mainland. The journey back to the apartment had to be sorted out as some of us had taken a taxi to the wedding and now all had to reckon with the few motorbikes we had. I was the loner on my bike and wished   I could suggest that she could travel pillion with me. But timidity stamped out the grit to say so. As luck could have it or destiny having its say, one of her brothers suggested that she travel pillion with me. And he reminded me to take care of her while on the road. She accepted the suggestion without hesitation. It was perhaps a relief for her too if she were wishing so. I chastised myself for thinking for her. Stupid Cupid! But she travelled the distance back with me.

I rode the bike with great caution and sensed her timidly holding on to my shirt, while I maneuvered through the traffic. On the way back she suggested that we stop at the church of the Saint Antony .She enquired if I had any difficulty in doing so. I answered absolutely in the negative. I smelt that doing so would fetch me more time with her on the road. We went in to the shrine. The shrine of the Saint was a popular destination for the faithful who believed that their supplications and petitions will get favourably disposed by the benevolent Saint. One’s wish is sure to be granted! I wondered what wish and favour she might have had in askance submit to the holy saint. She bought candles and flowers from the vendor outside and I joined her in patiently lighting them at the altar. It was indeed a good feeling to be in the shrine with her .I wished that time stood still.

When we began our ride back I was disturbed and annoyed that the distance to the apartment appeared shortened. I frantically thought of  ways to stretch the distance and time, so that it could be a long never ending ride with her.

Did the Saint see my thinking?