Nearly three thousand years ago, there lived in China a saint named Hotei. He would go from village to village stand near a square or a corner and laugh full-heartedly and freely. Not stopping to talk with anyone, he would go on laughing. People would gather togather and seeing that Hotai was laughing, they would begin to laugh loudly. Hotai would go to far off villages and wherever he went, the Health of the people began to improve and therefore people of many villages regarded Hotai as a Divine being and went to invite him to their places. In those days, the medical science had not developed and as the health of people began to improve, they began to regard Hotai as a Divinity and named him Laughing Buddha.
Few of our ancient mythological books, mention eight varieties of laughter. From these we have used three, namely,
(1) Full Hearted Laughter (Atta hasya)
(2) Silent Laughter (Maun Hasya)
(3) Horse – Laughter, in the laughter therapy.
The famous American psychiatrist, Dr. William Fry has been researching on Laughter as a therapy to treat his patients since past 30 years. He says that Laughter is a wonderful cure for physical aliments and mental worries. Besides, Dr. Robert has been running a Laughter Clinic in U.K. since past 20 years. Dr. Robert has been advising all his patients to laugh full heartadly for twenty minutes twice a day.
Norman Cousin of America who was editor in chief of “Saturday Review has written three books entitled
(1) Anatomy of Illness
(2) Healing Heart
(3) Head First – Biology of Hope
He has clearly mentioned that when he was suffering from Cervical Spondilities and subsequently by heart attack, he started seeing comedy films of Laurel Hardy and Charlie Chaplin & laugh fullheartedly. He has mentioned that simply by laughing and keeping a positive frame and mind both of these diseases disappear. Not only that but he has mentioned in his third book about One Mrs. Young who also could get total cure from Breast Cancer. Simply by laughing fullheartedly for 20 to 30 minutes daily. At present as a rough estimate there are more than 7000 organised Laughing Clubs all over the globe in almost all countries.