No alternative, the king had to laugh

King Krishna Chandra had a favourite minister who always used to amuse everybody. He would make everybody laugh and laugh and laugh. When the King had worked very hard and needed some mental relaxation, he used to invite this particular minister, Gopal, to give him some amusement.

One day the King said to himself, “I will not allow Gopal to make me laugh today. I will remain silent, serious and grave. Let me see if he can make me laugh.”

Gopal had always been successful at making the King laugh, but on that particular day the King wanted to remain serious. He told Gopal, “If you cannot make me laugh today, then in the evening you will be put to death.”

Gopal tried in every way to make the King laugh, but he could not. He tried everything he could think of, but he failed repeatedly.

Evening was fast approaching, and still Gopal had not provoked so much as a smile from the King. Finally he said, “You rascal! I am going to die at any moment, and you can’t even smile. You think my entire life is not worth one of your stupid smiles. It takes only a second for you to give me a smile. I have children, I have family, I have many obligations here on earth. Everybody will come and cry for me when I have to leave this beautiful earth, and you can’t give me a smile! Which is more important, your smile or my precious life, when I have so many who depend on me? You are a rascal!”

Everybody was shocked and stunned at his audacity. They thought, “Now he will really die! Is this the time to insult the King?” But the King could not restrain his laughter at hearing himself called a rascal by his minister. The King had to laugh, so he lost the game.

Spiritual comments

In all our Centres I see that some of you are sad, bitter and depressed for long periods of time. In most of the Centres you don’t see me often on the physical plane, but from the inner planes I try to chase away your depression. In so many ways I try and try with my force to give you Light and Joy. In New York, I see the disciples most of the time with my human eyes, and I tell them, “Don’t be depressed! Don’t be depressed!” I pour and pour and pour Compassion. I show them boundless Concern and Love. But nothing works, nothing works; I cannot make them smile.

Then the time comes for me to threaten. I tell someone, “In twenty-four hours’ time I will throw you out of the Centre. I will throw you out of the Centre if I see you depressed tomorrow.” And this is a serious threat; it is not a mere joke. Even if somebody has stayed with me for four or five years, I don’t care. When I say I will throw him out of the Centre tomorrow, I mean it, and he feels that I am serious. The next day he comes, he smiles, he mixes with people, he does everything very cheerfully. When my Love fails, when my Compassion fails, when everything else fails, then my divine Authority succeeds. When I use my scolding power, it is my divine Authority that is operating. Light comes through my divine Authority and begins to operate inside the disciple who is sad and depressed and harbouring negative forces.

Is it right for me to scold people? No! But it is necessary, and necessity knows no law. When the minister’s life was at stake, he scolded and insulted the King to make him laugh. In my case also I see that this works. In his case it was his own life that was about to come to an end. But in my case it is not my life; it is the spiritual life of the depressed disciple which is in danger, because when a disciple is continually depressed, his spiritual progress ends.

So it is for your own good that I take the very serious step of threatening to throw you out of the Centre. It is for your own progress and improvement that I take this bold step. You will be shocked when I threaten you in this way because you do value God and the spiritual life. My only concern is to make you happy, for when you are happy you make fast progress. If I can make my disciples progress faster, I will do so by any means. This is why I scold my disciples from time to time.

Sri Chinmoy, Entertainment versus enlightenment.First published by Agni Press in 1973.

This is the 55th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Entertainment versus enlightenment, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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