Why do Buddhas never joke?

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Viachh
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Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by Viachh » Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:44 pm

Why do Buddhas never joke?

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cappuccino
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by cappuccino » Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:48 pm

suffering is a serious matter, ending suffering is serious

JohnK
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by JohnK » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:24 pm

From the linked The Buddha Smiles by Thanissaro Bhikkhu:
...the Canon’s reputation for being devoid of humor is undeserved. It’s
there in the Canon, but it often goes unrecognized.
https://www.dhammatalks.org/Archive/Wri ... ddhaSmiles
More:
Now on that occasion the monks of Āḷavī were having huts built
from their own begging—having no sponsors, destined for themselves,
not to any standard measurement—that did not come to completion.
They were continually begging, continually hinting: ‘Give a man, give
labor, give an ox, give a wagon, give a machete, give an ax, give an adz,
give a spade, give a chisel, give rushes, give reeds, give grass, give clay.’
People, harassed with the begging, harassed with the hinting, on
seeing monks would feel apprehensive, alarmed, would run away;
would take another route, face another direction, close the door. Even
on seeing cows, they would run away, imagining them to be monks.

One of the reasons why the Canon’s humor goes unrecognized relates to
its style, which is often subtle, deadpan, and dry. This style of humor can go
right past readers in modern cultures where jokes are telegraphed well in
advance, and humor tends to be broad. Another reason is that translators
often miss the fact that a passage is meant to be humorous, and so render it
in a flat, pedantic way.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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salayatananirodha
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by salayatananirodha » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:41 pm

"Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, & the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal.
— AN 10.176

[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."
— MN 58
(https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dha ... index.html)

People equate seriousness with animosity because they're addicted to laughing and jokes.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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Pseudobabble
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by Pseudobabble » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:11 am

The Buddha makes jokes all the time, the suttas are full of them. You have to read them with a mind for it though. He regularly makes fun of Brahmins, of other contemplatives, of the questioner, of Brahma, and so on. Not mean jokes, but poking fun at obvious silliness.
DN11 wrote: Conversations with the Gods

"Once, Kevatta, this train of thought arose in the awareness of a certain monk in this very community of monks: 'Where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?' Then he attained to such a state of concentration that the way leading to the gods appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of the retinue of the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the gods of the retinue of the Four Great Kings said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the Four Great Kings who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know where the four great elements... cease without remainder.'

"So the monk approached the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the Four Great Kings said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the Thirty-three who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know...'

"So the monk approached the gods of the Thirty-three and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the gods of the Thirty-three said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there is Sakka, the ruler of the gods, who is higher and more sublime than we. He should know... '

"So the monk approached Sakka, the ruler of the gods, and, on arrival, asked him, 'Friend, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, Sakka, the ruler of the gods, said to the monk, 'I also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the Yama gods who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know...'...

"The Yama gods said, 'We also don't know... But there is the god named Suyama... He should know...'...

"Suyama said, 'I also don't know... But there is the god named Santusita... He should know...'...

"Santusita said, 'I also don't know... But there are the Nimmanarati gods... They should know...'...

"The Nimmanarati gods said, 'We also don't know... But there is the god named Sunimmita... He should know...'...

"Sunimmita said, 'I also don't know... But there are the Paranimmitavasavatti gods... They should know...'...

"The Paranimmitavasavatti gods said, 'We also don't know... But there is the god named Paranimmita Vasavatti... He should know...'...

"So the monk approached the god Vasavatti and, on arrival, asked him, 'Friend, where do these four great elements... cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the god Vasavatti said to the monk, 'I also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the retinue of Brahma who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know where the four great elements... cease without remainder'...

"Then the monk attained to such a state of concentration that the way leading to the gods of the retinue of Brahma appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of the retinue of Brahma and, on arrival, asked them, 'Friends, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the gods of the retinue of Brahma said to the monk, 'We also don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. But there is Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. He is higher and more sublime than we. He should know where the four great elements... cease without remainder.'

"'But where, friends, is the Great Brahma now?'

"'Monk, we also don't know where Brahma is or in what way Brahma is. But when signs appear, light shines forth, and a radiance appears, Brahma will appear. For these are the portents of Brahma's appearance: light shines forth and a radiance appears.'

"Then it was not long before Brahma appeared.

"So the monk approached the Great Brahma and, on arrival, said, 'Friend, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?'

"When this was said, the Great Brahma said to the monk, 'I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be.'

A second time, the monk said to the Great Brahma, 'Friend, I didn't ask you if you were Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder.'

"A second time, the Great Brahma said to the monk, 'I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be.'

"A third time, the monk said to the Great Brahma, 'Friend, I didn't ask you if you were Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder.'

"Then the Great Brahma, taking the monk by the arm and leading him off to one side, said to him, 'These gods of the retinue of Brahma believe, "There is nothing that the Great Brahma does not know. There is nothing that the Great Brahma does not see. There is nothing of which the Great Brahma is unaware. There is nothing that the Great Brahma has not realized." That is why I did not say in their presence that I, too, don't know where the four great elements... cease without remainder. So you have acted wrongly, acted incorrectly, in bypassing the Blessed One in search of an answer to this question elsewhere. Go right back to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ask him this question. However he answers it, you should take it to heart.'
"Does Master Gotama have any position at all?"

"A 'position,' Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with. What a Tathagata sees is this: 'Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is feeling, such its origination, such its disappearance; such is perception...such are fabrications...such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.'" - Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta


'Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return.' - Genesis 3:19

'Some fart freely, some try to hide and silence it. Which one is correct?' - Saegnapha

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TamHanhHi
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by TamHanhHi » Mon Jul 09, 2018 2:50 pm

The Buddha jokes in the discourses, but only to drive home a serious point. He doesn't laugh, but he did smile a couple times.
“Singing is regarded as wailing in the training of the noble one. Dancing is regarded as madness. Too much laughter, showing the teeth, is regarded as childish. So break off singing and dancing; and when you’re appropriately pleased, it’s enough to simply smile.”—AN 3:107
"Just as a large banyan tree, on level ground where four roads meet, is a haven for the birds all around, even so a lay person of conviction is a haven for many people: monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers."AN 5.38 :candle: | Blog at http://dhammareflections.wordpress.com

Viachh
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by Viachh » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:22 pm

Humor - a purely situational case, i.e. which strongly depends on the place, time and circumstances. Therefore it is quite possible people laughed over some of Buddha's utterances in the times of the Buddha Shakyamuni. I suspect that written sources with samples of humor (any, not only Buddhist) of this area and 2500 years ago have simply not survived. Therefore, judging his humor is impossible in principle .

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:55 pm

Viachh wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:22 pm
Humor - a purely situational case, i.e. which strongly depends on the place, time and circumstances. Therefore it is quite possible people laughed over some of Buddha's utterances in the times of the Buddha Shakyamuni. I suspect that written sources with samples of humor (any, not only Buddhist) of this area and 2500 years ago have simply not survived. Therefore, judging his humor is impossible in principle .
Agreed. Richard Gombrich argues that a lot of the Buddha's teachings can only be understood as an ironic comment on the Brahmanic and Jain views of his contemporaries, and says that much misunderstanding of those teachings is due to the fact that irony does not age well. People see the words, fail to see the context, and try to make the words mean something universal and timeless instead of specific and commentarial.

form
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by form » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:26 am

Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:55 pm
Viachh wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:22 pm
Humor - a purely situational case, i.e. which strongly depends on the place, time and circumstances. Therefore it is quite possible people laughed over some of Buddha's utterances in the times of the Buddha Shakyamuni. I suspect that written sources with samples of humor (any, not only Buddhist) of this area and 2500 years ago have simply not survived. Therefore, judging his humor is impossible in principle .
Agreed. Richard Gombrich argues that a lot of the Buddha's teachings can only be understood as an ironic comment on the Brahmanic and Jain views of his contemporaries, and says that much misunderstanding of those teachings is due to the fact that irony does not age well. People see the words, fail to see the context, and try to make the words mean something universal and timeless instead of specific and commentarial.
Might be good if Dr Gombrich can come out with a few modern commentaries on a few suttas for illustration.

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mikenz66
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:46 am

form wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:26 am
Might be good if Dr Gombrich can come out with a few modern commentaries on a few suttas for illustration.
He has:

https://ocbs.org/what-the-buddha-thought/
https://tricycle.org/magazine/what-buddha-thought/

:heart:
Mike

form
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by form » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:49 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:46 am
form wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:26 am
Might be good if Dr Gombrich can come out with a few modern commentaries on a few suttas for illustration.
He has:

https://ocbs.org/what-the-buddha-thought/
https://tricycle.org/magazine/what-buddha-thought/

:heart:
Mike
Thank you. Looks very interesting.

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mikenz66
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:01 pm


form
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by form » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:39 pm

I ever told a falungong believer, buddha said there is no self, that guy laughed and said that is a funny joke..

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Kare
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by Kare » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:05 pm

Pseudobabble wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:11 am
The Buddha makes jokes all the time, the suttas are full of them. You have to read them with a mind for it though. He regularly makes fun of Brahmins, of other contemplatives, of the questioner, of Brahma, and so on. Not mean jokes, but poking fun at obvious silliness.
:goodpost:
Mettāya,
Kåre

Laurens
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Re: Why do Buddhas never joke?

Post by Laurens » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:06 pm

I was hoping the post would contain a punchline... :lol:

For all we know the Buddha did joke, but it probably wasn't recorded as it wasn't seen as part of the teachings.

I find it hard to believe that he would have been completely humourless. Most spiritually advanced people are funny and or are known for their laughter.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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