DIVINE SENSE OF HUMOUR OF AVATAR MEHER BABA
Sense of humour is present in every person to some extent. Few even enjoy jokes for themselves. Humour brings mental relaxation also. It is also depicted by cartoons.
Meher Baba was most humorous and very often joked with His mandali and Baba lovers in darshan programs. He said that He gets relaxed by way humour.
Baba said that as the Avatar, I use only my infinite knowledge. I do not make use of my infinite power and infinite bliss. This is because when God incarnates as man He has to go through universal suffering and helplessness in order to emancipate mankind from ignorance of its own suffering and helplessness."
Baba further says, if the Avatar were to use His infinite power, how could he experience helplessness? If the Avatar were to use His infinite bliss, how could he suffer? Therefore, the Avatar does not use either his infinite bliss or infinite power. Such is his infinite love and compassion for his Creation.
Amidst this universal suffering how can the Avatar sustain His physical body and continue to carry forward His Avataric mission? It is through His divine sense of humour He sustains His body in the midst of His universal suffering.
Baba said on His humour
“I am very fond of having fun, but when I become serious I remain serious. With Me, it is so from eternity. On gaining Realization, I gave up everything in eternity except My sense of humor.
This is called the Avatar’s Leela—game or plays. In that discourse, I have also spoken about other matters such as Christ's crucifixion. I am being crucified every second; but My merry, cheerful nature helps me bear the untold suffering”
Baba would ask individuals to tell amusing stories Baba also said, “Divinity includes all that is beautiful and gracious. How then could you expect a Perfect Being to be devoid of a sense of humor?” (Lord Meher, 1st. ed., Bhau Kalchuri, Vol. 6, p. 2055)
Views of distinguished Baba lovers on Baba’s humour
Bal Natu produced Baba’s word in his exposition “Glimpses of the Godman”
Appropriately, Baba touched on the subject of God’s humour. He stated that Creation is God’s Leela (Divine Sport) and that is sustained by His sense of humour. He also explained that the expression of God’s humour varies with the scope and range of work that is ordained and accomplished in each advent through the Avatar, Sadgurus, saints and masts. In fact, God’s sense of humour is so pervasive that there is not a person who is totally devoid of it.
Dalia Deleon wrote in her book “The Ocean of Love”
“Baba used to have one of us to read jokes every afternoon, and someone asked why He liked jokes. Baba replied because the Universe is God’s biggest joke!”
Mehera Irani expressed in her writings of her book “Mehera”
Sometimes Baba used to tell us funny stories, and sometimes He would say, “Now you tell Me some funny stories.” When Baba asked me, I told Him that I never read any funny stories. We were always studying at school and had no time for such books. The other girls told Baba, "We only know a very short one.” And Baba sweetly said, “No matter how short it is, tell me!” So they did, and Baba enjoyed the story very much. But the next time Baba asked for a funny story, the girls had to tell Him that they did not know any more. “Never mind,” Baba said, ‘tell me the same once again.’
So they repeated the story, and Baba enjoyed it as much as He had the first time! Baba was very childlike and enjoyed fun and every funny thing. He Himself was very witty and clever. With slightest excuse Baba would find humour in a situation, and He used to amuse everybody. Baba had so much serious work on His mind, and He told us that humour lightened the burden of it. He was so lovely, Baba was. He is still beautiful, but you cannot see Him!”
Bill Le Page described Baba’s Humour in his book “Over the Years”
Baba enjoyed Jokes and humorous stories and His own humour could be keen, with underlying spiritual significance, but it was never hurtful or belittling in front of others. He was also always entertained by human foibles where no harm was done to anyone. Sometimes, Baba created rift among mandali members so as to wipe out their deep rooted sanskaras.
Few examples of Baba's Humour
During one of Baba's visits to Karachi in what is now Pakistan, but was then undivided India. Baba was being hosted at a very posh hotel called The Grand Hotel by Mansari Desai's uncle Homi Desai.
The evening was very enjoyable and Baba was in a very good mood. Beaming at the gathering, He said, "Is there anyone who is more loving, caring, gentle and considerate than I am?" No one said anything. Baba gestured, "Don't worry, say openly if you know someone who is more loving and gentle than Me. I won't be angry." At this Homi Desai got up to speak. "You know someone who is more loving and gentle than I am?" Baba gestured incredulously! "Who?" "My butcher" Homi replied. "Your butcher?? Why is he more loving and gentle than Me?" "Because Baba, he kills with one clean stroke, whereas you cut a little here, prick a bit there...making small, small wounds and taking for ever about it." said Homi. Baba laughed, then gestured, "I too can kill at one stroke, but if I do that your eyes won't be opened. Only by cutting a little here, pinching a little there and so on can I accomplish what I have come to do, which is to awaken you." Divine Humour, in spades!!!
The other story happens in Meherabad, during the 1958 Sahavas. There were around 2000 people at that gathering, and one day they were sitting before Baba and a singer was singing a quawali for Baba's entertainment. For some reason, he kept on repeating the line, "If You cannot quench my thirst, don't call Yourself the limitless Ocean." Over and over he sang this same line, even though Baba gestured to him several times to move on. Ignoring Baba, he kept repeating, "If You can't quench my thirst, don't call Yourself the limitless Ocean.”
It being around tea time, just then the tea boy brought the tea around. Baba gestured to him to come on the stage. As the singer was going on one more time, "If You..." Baba looks at the singer then gestures to the tea-walla without missing a beat, "Give this man two cups, he is very thirsty!" Even the singer had to stop and laugh out loud!!! Funny, funny God! (Posted by Mehera Arjani )
N.B. There had been many humorous episodes of Meher Baba. About 450 episodes are compiled in two volumes titled “Divine Sense of Humour of Avatar Meher Baba”. These compilations are available with Avatar Meher Prasar Kendra Delhi (Contact No.0 9711789177)