Many religions describe God as powerful, angry, even jealous. The Vedic literature describes God as Kṛṣṇa, called Viṣṇu in his majestic feature. Certainly Kṛṣṇa has emotions beyond ordinary human range. What is particularly spiritually potent, however, is to meditate on Him in His mood of smiling and laughing. He laughs, lovingly, at the foolishness of materialists who challenge and try to kill Him, much like parents laugh with affection at a rebellious toddler. He laughs when His cowherd boy friends try to fool him by putting a flower into his mouth when He would expect a sweet. He laughs when a devotee, too poor to externally offer opulent food, meditates on such offerings instead and then burns his physical finger while meditating on testing the temperature of an imagined preparation. He laughs at the clever word-plays of His sweethearts.
In this purport we read that only meditating on the Lord’s laughter can completely cleanse our heart of selfish desires and actions that bind us in this world. While we try to relish all rasas in an unsatisfactory way materially, what we seek most is love and joy. Meditation on the Lord’s joy–filled with selfless, giving, caring love–firmly and finally and completely turns our attention away from the false and to the real.
Often comedy in this world is at others’ expense. We laugh when others fall, when they make foolish mistakes, or some harm comes to them. How perverse is mundane comedy! Spiritual laughter is full of grace, caring, deep connection, trust, and expansive joy. Our perfection in life is to bring a smile to the lips of Kṛṣṇa, even if He laughs at us rather than with us.
How to meditate on the Lord’s smiling lips and laughter? It’s not a matter of imagination, but of deeply contemplating the descriptions in the scriptures, reading them with rapt attention. As we apply ourselves in this way, the spiritual reality will gradually get revealed to us. Here is the verse and purport:
With devotion steeped in love and affection, the yogī should meditate within the core of his heart upon the laughter of Lord Viṣṇu. The laughter of Viṣṇu is so captivating that it can be easily meditated upon. When the Supreme Lord is laughing, one can see His small teeth, which resemble jasmine buds rendered rosy by the splendor of His lips. Once devoting his mind to this, the yogī should no longer desire to see anything else.
PURPORT: It is recommended that the yogī visualize the laughter of the Lord after studying His smile very carefully. These particular descriptions of meditation on the smile, laughter, face, lips and teeth all indicate conclusively that God is not impersonal. It is described herein that one should meditate on the laughter or smiling of Viṣṇu. There is no other activity that can completely cleanse the heart of the devotee. The exceptional beauty of the laughter of Lord Viṣṇu is that when He smiles His small teeth, which resemble the buds of jasmine flowers, at once become reddish, reflecting His rosy lips. If the yogī is able to place the beautiful face of the Lord in the core of his heart, he will be completely satisfied. In other words, when one is absorbed in seeing the beauty of the Lord within himself, the material attraction can no longer disturb him.
Some of the many pastimes where the Lord is laughing: