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Hotei - The Laughing Buddha

Laughter is the very essence of religion. Seriousness is never religious, cannot be religious. Seriousness is of the ego, part of the very disease. Laughter is egolessness. The whole play of existence is so beautiful that laughter can be the only response to it. Only laughter can be the real prayer, gratitude.

This Hotei is tremendously significant. Rarely has a man like Hotei walked on the earth. It is unfortunate - more people should be like Hotei; more temples should be full of laughter, dancing, singing. If seriousness is lost, nothing is lost - in fact, one becomes more healthy and whole. But if laughter is lost, everything is lost. Suddenly you lose the festivity of your being; you become colorless, monotonous, in a way dead. Then your energy is not streaming any more.

Laughter is a flowering. If Buddha was the seed, then Hotei is the flower on the same tree. If Buddha is the roots, then Hotei is the flower on the same tree. And if you want to understand Buddha, try to understand Hotei. And it is right that people used to call him the Laughing Buddha. Buddha has come of age in Hotei. Buddha has laughed in Hotei. Enlightenment has come to its very crescendo.

excerpt from:: Osho, A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Chapter #2 - copyright © Osho Foundation International