Home Buddhist space Humor Hong-Kong Humour – Donkey buttocks and exploding heads, Buddhism has them all

Hong-Kong Humour – Donkey buttocks and exploding heads, Buddhism has them all



What did the Buddhist say to the pizza chef? “Make me one with everything.” This week, readers are working with me to disprove the disgraceful lie that Asians have no sense of humor.
Yesterday, Muslims shared some jokes. Today, it’s Buddhists’ turn.

A Buddhist historian tells me the first generation was rather serious, but their descendants lightened up. In the fourth century, Indian Buddhist scholar Bharata identified six degrees of amusement. These ranged from the sita (a faint smile) to the atihasita (a full-body laugh).

Buddhists quickly developed a surprisingly modern style of comedy, featuring the excessively self- deprecating style that many people think was created by New York stand-ups or Monty Python.

Check out the brilliant “my life sucks” contest that two famous Buddhist scholars, Chao-chou and Wen-yuan, had in 800 AD:

Chao-chou: “I am nothing but a donkey.” Wen-yuan: “A donkey? You’re SO lucky. I am merely a donkey’s buttocks.” Chao-chou: “Actually, I dream that I could one day be a donkey’s buttocks. At the moment, I am what comes out of the donkey’s buttocks.” Wen-yuan: “You’re privileged. I’d give anything to be what comes out of donkey’s buttocks. For I am but a worm living in what comes out of a donkey’s buttocks. And do you know why I’m there?” Chao-chou: “Why?” Wen- yuan: “Because I wanted to go somewhere special for my summer holidays.” With this line, Wen-yuan won the competition.

Less than 100 years later, a fat jolly traveling priest, Cho Tai-shi, was identified as Buddha incognito, and serious Buddha figurines were replaced by laughing statues.

“I think it can be argued that zen koans are among the funniest, cleverest and most thought- provoking jokes on the planet,” a reader said. This columnist, whose mother is Buddhist, agrees.

Here are two samples: 1) A student is on one side of a raging river. There are no bridges. He has no boat. He shouts out to the master on the opposite bank. “How do I get to the other side?” The master shouts back: “You are on the other side.”

2) Master: “You stop being a young student and become a great master when you realize that you don’t exist.” Student: “To whom do you speak, young student?”

Here are two modern Buddhist jokes: 1) Q: Why can’t a Buddhist vacuum under the sofa? A: Because he has no attachments. 2) Q: What happens when a Buddhist becomes totally absorbed with his computer? A: He enters Nerdvana.

Buddhist humor often deals with paradoxes. A typical one-liner is this one: “Things are not what they seem; nor are they otherwise.” (Think about it). And here’s my favorite Buddhist one-liner: “A Zen master once said to me, `’Do the opposite of whatever I tell you.’ So I didn’t.”

(WARNING: Thinking about it too hard may make your head explode).

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The Standard Hong-Kong

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