The Indian statues of Buddha are totally different from the Chinese or the Japanese statues of Buddha. You must have noted the difference; the difference is great. The Indian Buddha has a very athletic body. His belly is very small, almost nonexistent. He never had a belly laugh. If there is no belly how can you have a belly laugh? But the Chinese Buddha has a big belly, and not only a belly – even on the statue you can see ripples of laughter on the belly. Even in marble you can see he is laughing, the belly is laughing.
No Indian will agree with the Chinese statue. He will say, “This is not right, Buddha was not like this, with such a big belly….” The Chinese Buddha looks like a clown – but I have great respect for the Chinese Buddha. The Chinese Buddha has absorbed Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu. He is pregnant with Lao Tzu, that’s why that big belly. Inside his belly there is Lao Tzu. And you cannot keep Lao Tzu quiet. He must be laughing and kicking and doing things; hence the ripples on the belly.
Lao Tzu has the sense of humor. Maybe because of that Lao Tzu could not become the founder of a great religion. There exists no religion in his name. Yes, a few rare people have followed his path, but there is no organized church, for the simple reason that Lao Tzu seems so nonserious. He used to ride on a buffalo. Now, can’t you find a horse? Anybody could have afforded at least a donkey – but a buffalo…? And that too, not in the right position, but sitting backwards! The buffalo is going one way and Lao Tzu is looking the other way. He must have created laughter wherever he passed. People must have gathered to see the scene, what is happening.
And Chuang Tzu far surpassed his master. There has never been such a beautiful man as Chuang Tzu. All that he has said is utterly absurd, ridiculous! – but with profound meaning. First you will laugh and then slowly you will see the point that he is indicating, in a very joyful way, towards certain truths which can only be indicated in a joyful way. If you are serious you cannot make people understand the beauty of existence, the celebration of existence.
Life is not a tragedy, it is a comedy. It is not tragic. But religious people have depended on the very idea of life being tragic: it is misery, utter misery – what is there to laugh at? Hence they attracted the people who are incapable of laughter, of living, of loving.
My effort here, Amitabh, is just the opposite. I want you to learn as much from Buddha, as much from Lao Tzu, as much from Krishna, as much from Chuang Tzu as possible. I would like you to absorb all the great experiences that have happened in the past, so that a higher synthesis becomes possible. In that higher synthesis laughter is going to be one of the most essential qualities. With truth, courage and virtue, laughter also has its own place.
In that sense Jews are beautiful people. They have the greatest sense of laughter in the whole world. They are on the one extreme; on the other extreme are the British people. So many letters I have received, angry: “Osho, you don’t understand the British.” Who cares to understand? And why should I understand the British, for what? Is nothing else left to understand?