The Buddha displaying sense of humor

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
2600htz
Posts: 593
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:37 pm

The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by 2600htz »

Hello everyone:

Does anyone remember another sutta quote where the buddha displays a sense of humor?
Now on that occasion the Venerable Nagasamala was standing behind the Blessed One fanning him.[22] Then he said to the Blessed One: "It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvelous! As I listened to this discourse on the Dhamma, the hairs of my body stood up. Venerable sir, what is the name of this discourse on the Dhamma?"

"As to that, Nagasamala, you may remember this discourse on the Dhamma as 'The Hair-raising Discourse.'
Thanks!.
perkele
Posts: 1008
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:37 pm

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by perkele »

I don't think this was meant to be humourous by the Buddha.

It may appear humourous to some of us, due to certain connotations of expressions in our modern parlance.

There are quite a number of passages in the Pali canon which I perceive as humourous, while I think they were probably not intended to be perceived that way. I think that's just due to a different cultural context.

But I think there are also passages where it seemed to me that the Buddha intended to be humourous. I don't remember one of those which I interpreted that way at the moment, though.
User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 5407
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by Kim OHara »

:goodpost:
The Buddha certainly used all sorts of humour (well, all 'clean' sorts :tongue: ) in his teaching but, like Perkele, I can't remember specific instances except that there are several in his debates with Brahmins.

Searching https://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_results.html for 'humor' found many relevant results ... :reading:

:namaste:
Kim
justindesilva
Posts: 1375
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by justindesilva »

2600htz wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:06 am Hello everyone:

Does anyone remember another sutta quote where the buddha displays a sense of humor?
Now on that occasion the Venerable Nagasamala was standing behind the Blessed One fanning him.[22] Then he said to the Blessed One: "It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvelous! As I listened to this discourse on the Dhamma, the hairs of my body stood up. Venerable sir, what is the name of this discourse on the Dhamma?"

"As to that, Nagasamala, you may remember this discourse on the Dhamma as 'The Hair-raising Discourse.'
Thanks!.
It is believed that Lord Buddha used humour and satire together to explain Damma.
Tevijja sutta (dn13) and Assalayana sutta (MN13) narrate two such instances.
Tevijja sutta explains to two Brahmins that Brahmins searching for Brahma is like a young man searching for a girl in his mind but never seen before.
Assalayana sutta is a sutta which inquires from the brahmins whether they are aware that they are born on the same canal from a woman who
has periods, who becomes pregnant, and who nurses children like all other women of other castes. Here he inquires whether the Father Brahmins have only slept with women of brahmins castes exclusively and how they have behaved up to seven generations before.
Lord Buddha has hence used not only humor but also satire to convince the true darma to the inquirer in most instances to Baradvaja and his friend who
were in constant touch with others of Brahmin caste.
User avatar
Dhammarakkhito
Posts: 1115
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:31 am
Contact:

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by Dhammarakkhito »

i the perpetual debbie downer dont believe the buddha ever cracked a joke or anything like it, the rigid seriousness that is the opposite of brevity, both are extremes the tathāgata in my mind wouldn't utter. i think people are addicted to jokes, laughter and can't fathom speaking directly and beneficially at all times.

however, i did find it funny when the buddha was describing sloth, i mean i laughed at it because it was so vivid and true and a surprise. he said imagine a man who needed to cross a flood lay on the ground and put a sheet on his head, would he get across? still i dont think the point is supposed to be humorous it is just the effect it had on me
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

https://www.facebook.com/noblebuddhadha ... 34/?type=3

http://seeingthroughthenet.net/
https://sites.google.com/site/santipada ... allytaught
User avatar
Pseudobabble
Posts: 938
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:11 am
Location: London

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by Pseudobabble »

Here is one, quite long, so I've cut it below:
DN11 wrote: "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?'

...

"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...'...

...

"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?'

...

"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.'
I cracked myself and laughed so hard when I found this part of the sutta.
"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
alfa
Posts: 433
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm
Location: India

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by alfa »

2600htz wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:06 am Hello everyone:

Does anyone remember another sutta quote where the buddha displays a sense of humor?
Now on that occasion the Venerable Nagasamala was standing behind the Blessed One fanning him.[22] Then he said to the Blessed One: "It is wonderful, venerable sir, it is marvelous! As I listened to this discourse on the Dhamma, the hairs of my body stood up. Venerable sir, what is the name of this discourse on the Dhamma?"

"As to that, Nagasamala, you may remember this discourse on the Dhamma as 'The Hair-raising Discourse.'
Thanks!.
LOL, only the Buddha could be so unintentionally funny. :rofl:
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 18097
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by mikenz66 »

User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 936
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by dylanj »

I've seen all sorts of quotes people claim to be humorous & every time I see nothing funny about it whatsoever. I think people might want there to be humor on the Buddha's part a little too strongly...
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss
User avatar
dylanj
Posts: 936
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:48 am
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by dylanj »

Dhammarakkhito wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:46 am i the perpetual debbie downer dont believe the buddha ever cracked a joke or anything like it, the rigid seriousness that is the opposite of brevity, both are extremes the tathāgata in my mind wouldn't utter. i think people are addicted to jokes, laughter and can't fathom speaking directly and beneficially at all times.

however, i did find it funny when the buddha was describing sloth, i mean i laughed at it because it was so vivid and true and a surprise. he said imagine a man who needed to cross a flood lay on the ground and put a sheet on his head, would he get across? still i dont think the point is supposed to be humorous it is just the effect it had on me
:goodpost: have had similar experiences to what u say in 2nd paragraph
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 18097
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by mikenz66 »

dylanj wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:02 am I've seen all sorts of quotes people claim to be humorous & every time I see nothing funny about it whatsoever. I think people might want there to be humor on the Buddha's part a little too strongly...
Not even Sujato's collection from the second link I posted above?

https://sujato.wordpress.com/2011/11/29 ... ali-canon/

:heart:
Mike
User avatar
rightviewftw
Posts: 2749
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:50 pm

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by rightviewftw »

i take back all i said and am outta here.
Last edited by rightviewftw on Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities, a bhikkhu is practicing the unmistaken way and has laid the groundwork for the destruction of the taints. What three? Here, a bhikkhu guards the doors of the sense faculties, observes moderation in eating, and is intent on wakefulness. He should develop perception of unattractiveness so as to abandon lust... good will so as to abandon ill will... mindfulness of in-&-out breathing so as to cut off distractive thinking... the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.
User avatar
Kim OHara
Posts: 5407
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:47 am
Location: North Queensland, Australia

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by Kim OHara »

dylanj wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:02 am I've seen all sorts of quotes people claim to be humorous & every time I see nothing funny about it whatsoever. I think people might want there to be humor on the Buddha's part a little too strongly...
I've seen all sorts of sitcoms people claim to be humorous & every time time I see nothing funny about it whatsoever.

Seriously.

I suspect that tells you more about me than about the sitcoms.
:thinking:

:namaste:
Kim
thepea
Posts: 1775
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:06 pm

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by thepea »

Isn’t the goal to be joyful and happy?
binocular
Posts: 8292
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: The Buddha displaying sense of humor

Post by binocular »

thepea wrote: Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:19 pm Isn’t the goal to be joyful and happy?
That's not the same as humor.

Which brings us back to the original point: What is it about some passages from the suttas that they seem humorous to some people?
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!
Post Reply