Imagination versus illumination

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1.

RADHA: Mother says we are all fools because we have not studied any classics like she has.

CHRISTOPHER: Do you have to take her so seriously? Is there anyone who really studies the classics? The classics everyone appreciates, but nobody reads.

2.

CHRISTOPHER: Last night I had a dream, Radha, and I saw many angels in Heaven. One of the angels said to me that they are very happy that our mother is on earth. So I asked him the reason.

RADHA: Let me tell you before I hear from you.

CHRISTOPHER: Okay, say the reason.

RADHA: I had also a similar dream a few days ago and the angel said to me that for fifty-three years Heaven has been enjoying some quiet.

3.

CHRISTOPHER: This is Thanksgiving Day. What is the significance of Thanksgiving Day?

RADHA: Thanksgiving Day is the day when the children come home, only to discover that there is no family!

4.

CHRISTOPHER: Radha, you never want to cook, and yet today you wanted to cook on your own. Today your food is very bad. I am going to tell Mother.

RADHA: You do not have to take the trouble of telling her. She, too, will not eat it.

5.

RADHA: What is the difference between an optimist and a pessimist?

CHRISTOPHER: Very simple. An optimist sees a donut and eats it, while a pessimist sees only the hole.

6.

CHRISTOPHER: Radha, now that you are getting so old, tell me something about wisdom.

RADHA: I tell you, wisdom has not come to me in my old age, and I do not think it will follow me either.

7.

CHRISTOPHER: What is will-power? People talk about will-power, but what is it?

RADHA: Will-power is when you, Christopher, stop telling lies and at the same time do not tell anyone that you have given up telling lies.

8.

CHRISTOPHER: Radha, no matter how much exercise you take, no matter how much you starve, you will always look fat.

RADHA: No, I am not fat. I just retain some flesh.

9.

RADHA: Christopher, what is a cubic?

CHRISTOPHER: You are such a fool. Cubic is the language of Cuba!

10.

CHRISTOPHER: I have a dentist who is totally different from others.

RADHA: In what respect?

Christopher: He does not live from hand to mouth. He lives from head to mouth. He lectures from his head and eats with his hand. But other dentists put their hands into the patient's mouth and then put out their hands for money.

11.

CHRISTOPHER: I know why you don't lose weight, Radha. Every night you secretly eat cheese, lots of cheese. Anyway, to start with, how did you become so fat?

RADHA: Oh Christopher, you know that I am much older than you. Long before you were born, when I was a kid like you, I got the mumps all over and I can't get rid of them.

12.

RADHA: Do you ever think or feel that your eyes bother you?

CHRISTOPHER: On very rare occasions. Why do you ask?

RADHA: They bother me all the time, because you are always watching me!

13.

RADHA: Christopher, do you know how Databir got his face lifted?

CHRISTOPHER: Yes, I do know. Just the other day Baoul and Vinaya put a rope around his neck and lifted him up.

14.

RADHA: Christopher, sometimes I get so mad at you that I want to die by drinking poison.

CHRISTOPHER: That's nothing. Quite often I die by showing my unwanted concern for you.

15.

CHRISTOPHER: I am telling you a secret, but do not tell anyone. Mother has told me that when she dies, she will leave me seventy-five thousand dollars.

RADHA: That's nothing. Mother has told me secretly that she will leave me the entire universe!

16.

CHRISTOPHER: My friend has two assistants in his shop, and one he does not pay properly. Do you know what kind of advice I gave to that person?

RADHA: Easy! You told him to pay himself and make up the difference.

17.

CHRISTOPHER: Radha, I am going to tell Guru that you are singing only one song every day, and, what is worse, it is not his song. You have composed your own song and you sing it every day at home.

RADHA: I am going to tell Guru that you preach the same sermon to me every day, and, what is worse, it is your own sermon and not his sermon!

18.

RADHA: Christopher, do you know what Savita told me this morning? Savita asked Dr. Garima Hoffman to alter her nose. Dr. Hoffman quoted her the normal fee. Savita was so shocked. She said the fee was much too high!

She said, "Doctor, Doctor, is there any way I can alter my nose at a cheaper price?"

Doctor Hoffman said, "Yes, just run into a telephone pole."

19.

CHRISTOPHER: Do you know, Radha, that of late I have been on a starvation diet?

RADHA: Sorry, I didn't know that, but I believe it. Now tell me how you do it.

Christopher: Every day I go with Databir and Ashrita to eat at a sacred and secret diner. There I starve and starve for a long time until I can get the attention of the waitress.

20.

RADHA: Christopher, did Mother tell you why she used to go to church in the days when she was a confirmed Catholic?

CHRISTOPHER: No, Mother didn't tell me.

RADHA: She went for two reasons. One reason was because she didn't want to become a confirmed lunatic by staying home with us, and the other reason was to see if her real enemies and so-called friends were there.

21.

CHRISTOPHER: What will you do about your teeth if ever they are not doing well?

RADHA: Then I will get false teeth, since the whole world is false. If I can put up with a false world, I guess I can put up with false teeth.

22.

RADHA: Christopher, do you have any idea what Mother does in the recreation club that she recently joined?

CHRISTOPHER: I know, I know.

RADHA: Then tell me.

CHRISTOPHER: They go there to talk for hours and hours uninterruptedly so that they can produce a few unproductive minutes.

23.

CHRISTOPHER: Radha, can you say anything nice about the politicians?

RADHA: Of course, of course. Politicians are those who before the elections promise to build bridges even where there is no water, and after the election is over they do not know even what a bridge looks like.

24.

RADHA: This morning I had a very unpleasant time with my dentist.

CHRISTOPHER: What happened?

RADHA: I said to the doctor, "Doctor, forgive me, you are an incompetent dentist. You have been working a full half hour on a tooth that gives me no trouble."

He said, "Keep quiet. I'm coming to that one you are talking about."

25.

RADHA: Christopher, do you know the real meaning of stable thinking?

CHRISTOPHER: Easy.

RADHA: Then tell me.

CHRISTOPHER: The common sense in a horse sense, I mean, Lucy's sense.

26.

CHRISTOPHER: Radha, do you know the actual meaning of the word "genius"?

RADHA: I do know: In my case the fruit of self-reliance; in your case the flower of Guru's patience.

27.

RADHA: I find it very difficult to get up early in the morning.

SAVITA: I can be your alarm clock free of charge, but you have to do one thing for me. When I become too smart, you will have to inject me with your innocent curiosity.

28.

CHRISTOPHER: I find it very difficult to get up early in the morning.

TEJIYAN: I can easily tell you how you can get up quite early in the morning: just forget to turn off the television set. You don't have to go to sleep at all. In that way, the question of waking up does not arise. But don't tell Guru what I have told you; otherwise, I will be in serious trouble.

CHRISTOPHER: I don't think you will have any more serious trouble than I will have when I do not run in the morning and Guru scolds me.

29.

ASHRITA: Vinaya, I am going to tell Guru that you have a dog. I am sure you have not taken his permission.

VINAYA: True, I have not taken Guru's permission, but I am going to tell him today. I had a very vivid dream. Guru asked me to get a dog so I could have real faithfulness in addition to my unquestionable humility.

30.

DATABIR: Nirvik, Nirvik, get up! Guru wants you to go to his place! And do you know what?

NIRVIK: No, what, Databir?

DATABIR: Guru said that since you have massaged his legs for so long, you are getting a promotion. You can now massage his head!

NIRVIK: Oh, really?

DATABIR: Yes! But Guru said that that you must start with his shoulders. You must shoulder his countless and deathless responsibilities before getting your promotion!

31.

Who says that doctors nowadays examine the purse before the pulse? Who says that doctors examine the bank-capacity before the lung-capacity? Doctors Hoffman, Baiter, Siegal and Flowers — are they not exceptions?

32.

In the hoary past seekers used to meditate with their hearts. Now that all the hearts have been destroyed by ignorance-prince, the minds of the seekers have started praying and meditating. God says He does not mind, as long as man's incorrigible mind is trying to do something good.

33.

DISCIPLE: Master, have you really realised God?

MASTER: No.

DISCIPLE: Then for God's sake, why have you become my Master?

MASTER: I didn't ask you to become my disciple!

DISCIPLE: Master, you are a perfect rogue!

MASTER: Alas, my child is a perfect fool!

34.

DISCIPLE: Master, if I ask you a question, will you tell me the God-honest truth?

MASTER: Of course, my child, of course.

DISCIPLE: Before you realised God, did you have any occasion to disobey God?

MASTER: My child, let me search my brain. Give me some time.

DISCIPLE: Master, even forty years ago when I told you a lie, I still remember it. How is it that you do not remember whether you have told God a lie or not? You say that you can read our past lives like an open book. How is it that you do not remember what you did?

MASTER: My child, in the process of my spiritual awakening, spiritual experiences and highest realisation, I gave up telling lies to God and definitely NOT when I was on the verge of God-realisation.

35.

DISCIPLE: Master, this is a very simple question. I do hope that you tell me the absolute truth. Master, after you attained God-realisation, did you ever disobey God?

MASTER: I am extremely sorry to tell you, my child, that there is not a single day when I do not disobey God.

DISCIPLE: Master, how then am I going to keep you as my Master? Tell me when and why you disobey God! You always tell us to obey God unconditionally and surrender to God unconditionally. How is it that you, being fully realised, do not obey God?

MASTER: Let me tell you when I disobey God, my child, I disobey God when I am in your physical presence. Why do I disobey God? He asks me to see you as another God and to listen to you unconditionally. Knowing perfectly well that you are a fool of the first water, how am I going to obey Him? You tell me, my child!

Editor's introduction to the first edition

The protagonists in these jokes are Sri Chinmoy's students. Sri Chinmoy attributed these light-hearted conversations to them in 1981.