Christ's message IS rejoice and be merry. But that is not the message of Christianity. Christianity's message is: be sad, long faces, look miserable; the more miserable you look, the more saintly you are. Sometimes I really feel for poor Jesus. He has fallen in such wrong company, and I wonder how he is managing in paradise with all these Christian saints, so sad, so dull.He was not a dull man, he was not a sad man -- he could not be. The word 'christ' is exactly synonymous with buddha. He was an enlightened person. He rejoiced in life, in the small things of life. He rejoiced in eating, drinking, friendship. He loved companionship, he loved the whole life.
But Christians down the ages have painted him as very sad. They have painted him always on the cross, as if for thirty-three years he was always on the cross. And my own understanding is that a man like Jesus will not die sad, even on the cross. He must have laughed before he died.
That's what al-Hillaj Mansoor did before he was killed by the fanatic Mohammedans, because he had declared: ANA'L HAQ -- I am God. Mohammedans could not tolerate it, just as Jews could not tolerate Jesus. They killed him -- but before they killed him, he looked at the sky and laughed loudly.
One hundred thousand people had gathered to see this ugly phenomenon, the murder of one of the greatest human beings who has ever walked on the earth. Somebody asked from the crowd, "al-Hillaj, why are you laughing? You are being killed!" And he was killed in the most cruel way, piece by piece. Jesus' crucifixion is nothing compared to Mansoor's: first his legs were cu off, then his hands were cut off, then his eyes were taken out, then his nose was cut off, then his tongue was cut off, then his head was cut off. They tortured him as much as was possible, but he laughed. Somebody asked, "Why are you laughing?"
Mansoor said, "I am laughing because the man you are killing is somebody else, I am not he. I am laughing at God too. What is happening? -- have these people gone mad? They are killing somebody else! Me you cannot kill; it is ridiculous, your whole effort is ridiculous. So let it be remembered, let it be on record that I laughed at your foolishness!"
And that's exactly what Jesus must have done, laughed. But Christians have tried their best to depict Jesus as sad. They have made a saint out of a real authentic human being; they have cut everything. The gospels are not true stories; much has been changed, much has been reduced, much has been added. They have become mere fictions.