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Jokes of Mulla NASRUDDIN

By Niladri Moitra 


Rediscover humor with Mulla Nasruddin, the 13th century mystic jester 

Mulla Nasruddin was a Sufi visionary who lived during the 13th century in the  Middle East. Roaming around the deserts of Arabia, this mystic jester brought  humor to the Sufi tradition and life to stoicism. His stories appear in  literature and oral traditions from nations in the Middle East to China. Most of   them claim this lovable son of the soil to be their own native. 
It was Idries Shah who introduced us to the wisdom, wit and charm of this  mysterious mentor through his collection of stories. These teaching stories are  like koans of the Zen tradition, which reveal the paradoxes of conditioned  living with humor.

In one such story, Nasruddin is a magistrate who in his first case agrees  with both the plaintiff and the defendant. When the court clerk objects that both  cannot be right, Nasruddin says: ''I believe you are right.'' Here we are  able to see the paradox clearly. In our conditioning, we see things as either  right or wrong, black or white. Linear thinking does not allow one to think 
holistically. Our minds wrestle in the dark dens of logic and lose the gist of 

According to legend, Nasruddin was blessed with an open mind to carry the  message of freedom. He was chosen because he could make people laugh, and his  humor was sharp enough to crack even the most rigidly conditioned mind.

Even today, Sufis use these stories as teaching exercises. 

THE DOOR .....
Mulla Nasruddin used to carry a door with him wherever he went. When somebody  asked him about it, he replied: ''It is just a security measure. Nobody can  enter my house except through the door. So I carry the door.'' 

After his death, his disciples followed his last wish and put the door and  its key beside his grave. Though it may appear foolish to some, it is actually a  satirical rejoinder to those who confine themselves in their castles in this  ever-changing world. 

One day Nasruddin saw a man sitting in a pall of gloom. When asked for the  reason behind his sorrow, the man replied that his life had become so miserable  that he had collected all his money and was wandering around seeking  happiness. All of a sudden, Nasruddin picked up the man's purse and dodging him  disappeared from his sight. After some time Nasruddin placed the bag at a place where  the frantic man could see it and then hid himself behind a tree. When the man  found his purse he forgot his grief and began dancing with joy. Mulla  murmured: ''Isn't there another way to bring happiness to a sad man?'' 

Once Nasruddin bought some meat and asked his wife to prepare kababs. But his  wife felt tempted and ate it all herself. 
When asked, she blamed the house cat. The amount of meat being one kilogram,  it was hard for Nasruddin to believe that a cat could eat so much.

So he weighed the cat on a balance. It weighed exactly one kilogram. 
Nasruddin exclaimed: ''If this is the same cat, then where is the meat? Or, if this is  the meat, then where has the cat gone?'' 

Once, a man found Mulla Nasruddin searching for something on the ground  outside his house. On being asked, Nasruddin replied that he was looking for his  key. The man also joined in the search and in due course asked Mulla: ''Where  exactly did you drop it?'' 

Mulla answered: ''In my house.''
''Then why are you looking here?'' the man asked.
''There is more light here than in my house,'' replied Mulla. 

Once, Mulla Nasruddin went to a fair with his disciples, where people were  shooting arrows. Mulla joined the sport and took the first shot, which fell  short. The crowd started laughing and the Mulla said: ''This is what happens when  you live with an inferiority complex. You cannot reach the target because your  heart is not wholly in it.'' The next arrow surpassed the target but Mulla  turned to say: ''This is what happens to a man who thinks very highly of  himself. He runs so fast that he bypasses the goal.'' Now Mulla shot the third arrow,  hitting the target accurately and he said: ''This is me!'' . 



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