In laughter I recall my own mistakes. Merriest am I when, by laughing, I include myself!

(from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)

Living Life with Humor

by Nayaswami Pushpa

I grew up in South Wales where it rains so much that when a songbird opens its beak to sing, the only sound that escapes is a gargle! 

South Wales, especially during the time I was growing up, was a depressed area. The main industries were the docks, which had pretty much closed down after WWII, and coal mining. Life was a struggle for many, and yet I recall people laughing freely and sharing humorous experiences. Wales is also famous for its powerful and joyful male voice choirs. It is as if the Welsh counteract the hardship of life through humor and enthralling singing. 

In reflecting on humor, I see that we have a choice of two paths to take through life. 

Humor is a way of looking at life and of living life. We have a choice in the moment as to whether we will see the darker side of a situation or the lighter side. If we tend to walk on the humorless path, then everything in life is a big deal and an ongoing drama. However, if we walk on the path with humor, and invite God to walk with us, then we will eventually be able to laugh at our inadequacies and accept what is right in front of us—because if it’s right in front of us, obviously it is ours! 

I try to remember to consciously invite Divine Mother along for the ride because she has a delightful sense of humor. I remember one time I was late for work. Divine Mother decided to roll a raw egg off of the countertop to smash onto the carpet. I immediately told her, “That was NOT funny!” But it kind of was, and so we laughed together and I cleaned it up! She has invited me so many times to enjoy the humor in life. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. But life is a whole lot more fun when I do!

If we can tackle each challenge with the expansiveness that humor offers, then we can remain even-minded and cheerful, and not only enjoy ourselves more, but at the same time uplift others.

“I delight in life’s comedy, for it reminds me that true sanity exists in Thee alone.
(from Affirmations for Self-Healing by Swami Kriyananda)


A humorous song with a deep spiritual lesson, written by Swami Kriyananda


by Nayaswami Pushpa

A sense of humor is a necessary attribute in this world of change and challenges. Humor can relieve tension—mentally, emotionally, and physically. It is like an umbrella on a rainy day. It doesn’t stop the rain, but it does provide shelter as long as we choose to use it.

In his autobiography The New Path, Swami wrote that Master had an impish and utterly delightful sense of humor. Swami himself also had a wonderful sense of humor which he employed in a number of songs he wrote. One is included in this blog: “The Philosopher and the Boatman.” Then too, he would sometimes read the British humorist P.G. Wodehouse’s stories to us. He would find them so funny that he would often burst into deep belly laughter and we couldn’t help but join him. It was precious.

Good humor is never sarcastic, overly familiar, or frivolous. It is kind and supportive and brings us closer to one another. Ananda’s Spiritual Directors, Nayaswami Jyotish and Nayaswami Devi, are wonderful examples in the way that they share this kind of humor. They have an incredibly full schedule traveling across the globe to share these teachings. They use humor to encourage, support, and have fun, both together and with the devotees they meet along the way. They use humor in their talks to share important spiritual principles in an easy-to-absorb and engaging way.

Humor is an integral part of living at Ananda Village for the devotee. It is a tool that expands the heart and brings joy and laughter to spiritual friendships. Friends laugh together over the challenges encountered on the spiritual path, making light of the adversities and failures, and encouraging each other to keep going and growing. Humor is a tool to help us release the hold the ego has on us.

We need to be able to laugh at ourselves. To stand back and look at our lives objectively. It is best not to take ourselves too seriously but to remember that God is the doer and we have invited Him to be with us, and laugh with us as we walk—sometimes rather clumsily—along the path together.


  1. Beautifully written! Humor really does open the heart, we become like children again feeling pure joy! Thanks for the reminder of how important it is on the spiritual path. Blessings & Joy

  2. Thanks, Pushpaji. But now I want to know some Welsh jokes! 😊

  3. A delightful read, Pushpa! Thanks for the laughs and insight 🙏😂

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