The story of three laughing monks.

Once upon a time there lived three unnamed monks in ancient China. They were given the name of the three laughing monks because when asked about their names, they would not answer but laugh. The three monks used to travel together and do nothing but laugh.

They used to enter a village or a town, stand at the centre of its main square and start laughing. Looking at them, slowly but surely people who lived or worked in the surroundings couldn’t resist and had to start laughing as well. Then others would also get the infection and eventually the whole village or town would laugh along. Then the monks would move to another place.

The old monks believed that laughter was their only prayer and their teachings as they would not utter a word to the folks but laugh. All over China, they were loved and respected. They believed that there have not been any such spiritual teachers till today. According to them, one should always take life to be the greatest opportunity to laugh.

They travelled and laughed for many years to spread the joy of happiness and joy throughout China, until one day while being at a particular village, one of them died. The whole village gathered to witness the reaction of the other two monks. They were expecting them to show some sorry or even cry, but the two of the monks were laughing only harder. They were laughing and could not seem to stop. Seeing them like this, a few of them among the crowd approached them and asked them the reason behind their unusual reaction. The people asked them why they weren’t mourning their friend’s decease and this was among many years when the monks responded.

The monk said that on their way to the village, the third monk proposed a bet on who would be the first among them to beat the other two and die. Now that he won, the will be prepared by him must be followed. According to his will the tradition required to wash the dead and change his clothes before putting him on the funeral pyre, must not be followed. The old monk had asked to leave the old clothes on him since he had never been filthy for one day. He said that he never allowed the dirt of this world to reach him through his laughter.

So accordingly, his body was placed on the pyre with his old garments and as the fire was lit and started touching on his clothes, suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, a firework of a hundred colours went exploding in all directions. The people who have gathered there also joined the laughter of the two wise men.

So always give a little laughter. Face your problems with a smile on. Create a ripple of laughter wherever you are.

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