Question: When is laughter spiritual?

Sri Chinmoy: If you are laughing at yourself for the stupidity that you have shown in the past, then definitely it is spiritual. If you are responsible for your own stupidity and if you very powerfully laugh at yourself and say, “I am not going to make that mistake any more!” then it can help you in your spiritual life. Otherwise, when you laugh at others and say that it is innocent, you only hurt others and yourself.

By laughing at others’ stupidity to your heart’s content, you may or may not get rid of your own mental headache, but you are definitely hurting others. Even when you say it is innocent laughter, others do feel it — some part of their being is hurt. You may feel that it is insignificant, that you are enjoying harmless laughter, but the other person does get hurt.

If you wish to take laughter as spiritual, then apply it to yourself and your own stupidity: “How could it be possible for me to make such silly mistakes?” If you laugh at your own stupid mistakes so that you do not want to repeat them, then definitely laughter can become part of your spiritual awakening and spiritual fulfilment.