Mulla Nasruddin

He must have — because if he is not enlightened then nobody can be.
Mulla Nasruddin is a Sufi figure, one of the oldest figures of Sufi anecdotes, and he shows whatsoever I have been saying here: that the world is a cosmic joke — he represents that. He is a very serious joker, and if you can penetrate him and understand him, then many mysteries will be revealed to you.

Mulla Nasruddin illustrates that the world is not a tragedy but a comedy. And the world is a place where if you can learn how to laugh you have learned everything. If your prayer cannot become a deep laughter which comes from all over your being, if your prayer is sad and if you cannot joke with your god, then you are not really religious.

Sufis are very playful; they created Mulla Nasruddin. And Mulla Nasruddin is an alive figure, you can go on adding to him — I go on adding.

Nasruddin must have attained enlightenment, or he is already an enlightened figure, there is no need to attain. I go on using him just to give you a feeling that to me religion is not serious.
– Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter #13

Mulla Nasruddin is not a person; he is the whole humanity. He is you; he is you, all together. Whatsoever you can do, Mulla can do more stupidly. He is perfect! Whatsoever any human being can do, he can do more perfectly. He is your stupidity. And if you can understand it you will laugh and you will weep also. You will laugh at the ridiculousness of it and you will weep that that ridiculousness is yours. When you laugh at Mulla Nasruddin, remember, you are laughing at yourself. He just brings you face to face with whatsoever you are, so that it can be encountered.

Mulla Nasruddin is not new; he’s an old Sufi device. There are stories which are one hundred, two hundred, even three hundred years old, around Mulla Nasruddin. He is an old device.

There have been many claims to whom Mulla Nasruddin belongs. The Russians say he belongs to them. They have a gravestone which proves that he belongs to them. Iranians say he belongs to them. Arabs say he belongs to them. In Bukhara, they have a place dedicated to Nasruddin’s memory.

He has been all over the world. In fact, wherever there is stupidity, there is Mulla Nasruddin. He belongs to all; nobody alone can claim him.

And I say that he is still alive. He may have died in one country but he is resurrected in another. Many times, I myself have seen him dying and the next day he knocks on my door. It is impossible. It seems he cannot die. He is human stupidity.

But if you look deep into the stupidity you will see the wisdom also. In all his stupidities there is a germ of hidden wisdom.
– The True Sage, Chapter #8

Mulla Nasruddin! He is not a fictitious figure, he was a Sufi and his grave still exists. But he was such a man that he could not resist even to joke from his grave. He made a will that his gravestone will be nothing but a door, locked, and the keys thrown away into the ocean.

Now this is strange! People go to see his grave: they can go round and round the door because there are no walls, there is just a door standing there, no walls at all! — and the door is locked. The man Mulla Nasruddin must be laughing in his grave.

I have loved no one as I have loved Nasruddin. He is one of the men who has brought religion and laughter together; otherwise they have always stood back to back. Nasruddin forced them to drop their old enmity and become friends, and when religion and laughter meet, when meditation laughs, and when laughter meditates, the miracle happens… the miracle of all miracles.
– Books I Have Loved, Chapter #8

Don’t ask:
He is always doing greater stupid things than before. His every act is unique, incomparable. If you look into it you will think that this is the best; but when the next act comes it is something absolutely new, something tremendously great.
Read about Mulla Nasruddin and try to understand him. Make it a meditation. It has been, for centuries, a Sufi meditation.

Sufi teachers used to give Mulla Nasruddin jokes to their disciples to think and ponder and meditate. Because whatsoever he says has meaning in it; whatsoever he does has meaning in it. They are not ordinary jokes — remember. I don’t tell them to you just to make you laugh. No, they are not mere jokes; they are pointers. You should not just laugh and forget them; you should make them a part of your understanding. And then you will see Mulla Nasruddin arising many times within yourself — acting, behaving. And then you will be able to laugh. And if you can laugh at yourself, you have laughed for the first time.

– The True Sage, Chapter #8