Anand, the happiness is expressed through facial expressions and various happy feelings are expressed through laughter, and so laughter is also named as Anandasan.
Laughter is an essential tonic for the health. Pleasure makes one laugh and laughter makes him pleased. They are inter- generated. Among all the creatures only man is blessed with laughter. Laughing face attracts every one. That is why every one wants to have a pleasurable face. The face is blossomed while laughing.
Humour (=Hasya) is one of the Navarasas (nine modes of expression) in the literature. Laughter is the practical form of humour. A number of changes take place in the body when a man is happy. When one smiles the glands and muscles in the face expand, eyes are semi-shut or completely shut, lips are widened and teeth are seen. When one laughs, it sounds sweet, shoulders rise. Such expressions are the indications of humour. These expressions in the Rasa shastra have been classified into six stages i.e. Smita, Hasita, Vihasita, Avahasita, Apahasita and Atihasita.
Smile – a little glow in the eyes, movement in the lips, non-sounding are the signs of a smile.
Apart from the above signs, teeth are exposed.
Apart from the qualities of hasita, melodious sound is produced.
Apart from the signs of vihasita, head and shoulders move a little. Some times pleasurable tears roll out.
Including all the qualities of Avahasita, arms and shoulders are raised with a sound, sometimes others are held or patted. Whole body jumps up.
Apart from all the above qualities, hands and legs are shakened, arms are raised up sides. Laughter is loud. One should be in a cheerful mood by expressing the different laughters according to the context.
It soothens the heart and mind, relieves pain, difficulties, sadness, depression and stress. It stimulates digestive power, respiratory system, blood circulation etc. Satisfaction, enthusiasm and pleasure spring out from the depth of the heart. All the parts of the body are stimulated and energized. Professional efficiency and personality are developed.
1. People who are very weak, who are suffering from heart trouble and have breathing problem should practice light laughters. They should refrain from Atihasita.
2. One should never laugh while eating or drinking.
3. Laughing with family, friends and people of similar taste is always good. But one should not laugh at sick, sad, depressed or down-troden-weak people or elders. This may hurt such hearts and their problems may increase.
The modern scientists and physicians have accepted that humor helps in relieving tension in these busy and over working days. That is why ‘Laughing clubs’ are being established through out the world, where new techniques of laughing are developed. The same is being practiced as “Anandasan” in Yoga centers. Every one should be cheerful and enjoy the humor every day.
Now a days a new trend is also necessary which can be helpful to people having some social-economical pyschosomatic problems, where such people can start crying together. Their sorrows can be reduced with the tears rolling out of the eyes. Probably some “Crying-clubs” may come up someday.