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Osho : What is a wicked joke?

Atisha is a quite unknown mystic to the people around. Osho can be called as a master of masters because he took the efforts to take out all these unknown masters and make us a bit aware about them. I remember reading a book by Osho which is dedicated to the exploration of Sutras of this Bengali Buddhist mystic, Atisha. This book has covered many of Atisha’s Sutras, some of them being one liners and some are quite long.
One of these many Sutras is a simple one liner- Do not make wicked jokes. As Osho says, it is quite important to understand what a wicked joke is. In order to explain what a wicked joke is, he tells the listeners three jokes. All of these three jokes are very wicked. But, Osho says, these are not at all wicked jokes though they may sound like those. To make himself more clear, Osho goes on to elaborate what he means by a wicked joke. The explanation given is quite unique and enlightening. He says, any joke which is made to hurt someone is wicked. A joke should be made to rejoice and laugh but never to hurt anyone.
I also have quite a similar take on this topic. Joke can be made to point out foolishness. That joke can be wicked but it should criticize the tendency and not the person. As saint Dnyaneshwar says, darkness of a person should vanish and not the person, I guess in same way, Atisha says you should make fun of the tendencies and not the person. All the three saints, Osho, Atisha and Dnyaneshwar come together on this point.
Humour is a great way to show up flaws. It can be used to point out nonsense, foolishness, contradictions and what not. But, jokes should be precisely used for that purpose only. Jokes should never be used to hurt someone’s heart. Purpose of true joke is to take away the foolishness and bring the person back to sanity.
Throughout his life, Osho lived this principle. He always made the jokes. People always misunderstood him. They always took his jokes personally and found themselves offended. His jokes were occasions to point out the flaws.

By Mandar Karanjkar

Mandar Karanjkar is author, motivational speaker and consultant based in Pune. Mandar works with handful of organizations helping them with strategy, communication and culture. Mandar is trained in Indian Classical Music over a decade. He is a classical singer and flute player.

Mandar has written columns for many reputed newspapers. Engineer by profession, he conducts workshops and delivers talks on subjects as wide as strategy, innovation, online marketing, spirituality, Kabir, Zen etc.

Mandar is a published author.

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