Tears of Gratitude

Osho on Tears



Deva Riktam,

when anyone has realized his buddhahood, his enlightenment, his immortality, the first thing that has happened is laughter. Laughter at himself, because he was seeking and searching for millions of years for something that he himself was. You can seek the other, but you cannot seek yourself. You can be separate from the other, but you cannot be separate from yourself. There is a possibility of distance between you and the other, but there is no possibility of distance between you and you. This is one part: one realizes the hilarious situation, that buddhas are trying to be buddhas. Naturally a great laughter arises.

From the other side also it is true. If a great laughter arises for any reason, or no reason, suddenly your mind stops, your time stops. Those are the basic preconditions needed to experience your buddha-nature — only for a moment, of course, because it is not through awareness that you have obtained buddhahood, but through laughter. But laughter gives you both keys, as if for a single moment in the middle of the night the sun rises and all is light.

Laughter has a tremendous spiritual value. No religion has accepted it. In fact, all religions have condemned it. I can understand their condemnation: they don’t want you all to be buddhas. They don’t want you even to have a glimpse of who you are, because once the glimpse has happened you cannot remain in the old, miserable agony, anguish. You know that if time and mind stop, you are more than you can ask for… utter serenity, peacefulness, blissfulness, love, sensitivity and a sense of belonging to the universe — not just as an accident, but as an essential part.

The religions have taught people to be serious. It is a very cunning strategy. It is preventing you from having glimpses which ultimately culminate in the realization of your own self.

The moment you are a buddha, you are free from all religions, free from all scriptures, free from all dogmas… sheer freedom and love; a fresh breeze that never goes stale; a fragrance that goes on and on and on from eternity to eternity; a dance in which you are not alone, the whole existence participates: the birds sing on their instruments, the trees bring flowers of different colors. That is their way of contributing… poor trees, but their flowers are more precious than any stones, than even the Kohinoor, because the Kohinoor is a dead stone and a roseflower is a living reality. The whole existence in some way or other contributes to your dance.

Your question is, “The other day when you said we look like Gautam Buddhas when we laugh…” I did not say you look like Gautam Buddhas, I said you ARE Gautam Buddhas when you laugh. Just look at the cunningness of the mind, its cowardliness. It cannot roar like a lion and say, “I am the buddha!” At the most it can say, “I think, perhaps… I may be a buddha, in some future life.”

You are saying, “… a big let-go happened deep inside me and I cried for a long time.” That was beautiful. Some window opened, perhaps for a split second, and you realized what you can be and what you have become. You can be a buddha, which is your reality, and you have become a beggar, which is not your reality.

Gautam Buddha used to say to his disciples, “I will take away all that you are not and I will give you all that you are, and the whole transformation is complete.”

Tears came.

Tears have a beauty if they come out of a joyful moment, out of a let-go. Then they are almost like flowers, dewdrops shining in the morning sun. And they cleanse you of all rubbish, of all garbage, of all crap that your so-called religions, professors, preachers — and there are all kinds of peddlers around — have imposed upon you. For a moment you slipped out of their prison and you saw the full-moon night — just for a moment. The experience was so precious, you could give your whole life for that experience. But you don’t have anything else to give; it is not yours. Life already belongs to the eternal life. But you can shower with tears your gratitude, your prayer, your thankfulness. Words are very small; they cannot say what tears can say. Tears are silent, but still say something immense. If they come out of joy, they are the most precious experiences. They will cleanse not only your outer eyes, they will cleanse your inner eye too. They will give you a clarity.

And you also felt “… fragile and the crying often comes back.” Certainly it is a great shock to realize, even for a moment, that you are a buddha. It is a shock because you cannot believe it yourself. You a buddha? Riktam, smoking cigarettes and being a buddha? But I don’t see there is any problem. A buddha can smoke cigarettes certainly in a totally different way than you smoke. You smoke because of your tensions. He can smoke just out of playfulness. But he avoids it mostly because it contains poison — and why poison the air when it is free and available? That poison, nicotine, in cigarettes is not free, it has to be paid for. It is a simple understanding. Theoretically there is no problem, but practically no buddha is going to smoke cigarettes. It doesn’t look right. Just visualize the statue of Gautam Buddha with a cigarette in his hand, smoke coming out of his nose… No, practically it is not possible. But even if theoretically it is possible, then a buddha will do anything with the grace of a buddha, in an enlightened way. You may be doing the same thing, but it is the same only on the surface. Inside, between the buddha and you there is an unbridgeable distance.

A king came to see a master; the master lived in a deep forest. He met a man and asked him, “Where can I find the way to the master’s place?” The man simply showed him with his finger, did not say anything, and went on chopping wood. The king went to the master’s place and he was surprised — it was the same man who had been chopping wood, sitting on his throne wearing the robe of a master.

For a moment the king hesitated, but then he said, “I had come for other questions. This question I have never thought about, but it has become the most important one now. Are you the same man who was chopping wood?”

He said, “I am the same man, and now I am going to chop you! But I chop only that part which is false, pseudo, and leave your reality — pure, simple, natural. Are you ready?”

The king said, “I have not come to be chopped. I have some questions.”

The master said, “All those questions are futile. First say it — are you ready? You see my axe?”

The king thought, “The man seems to be mad.” He said, “I will think about it.”

The master said, “These things are not to be thought about. Either you get it or you don’t; it is just a `click’. You have not seen in my eyes. You are so afraid and shrunken and closed, you have not allowed my love to enter you; otherwise you would have thought, `This idea of chopping is a great idea. A man of such love and such understanding and such realization is not going to kill me. And if he wants to kill me, it is better to be killed by such a man than by an unknown, dark death.'”

The king said, “I will come again. You are making me afraid.” He never came back again.

When such moments happen in your life they make you fragile, because it is a turning point. The old way is at risk. All that you have been is going to be finished and you don’t know what is ahead, what is going to happen. That is the fragileness, hesitation: to choose the past or to choose the future. Those who choose the past choose their graves. Those who choose the future are the adventurers, are the seekers. They also feel fragile, but in spite of their fragileness one thing is certain, that going back is simply stupid. You have not found anything — what is the point of going back? Going ahead there may be some new realization, a new light, a new being.

And you are saying that tears are coming back again and again. Those tears are coming again and again because you have missed a great opportunity. The first tears had a different quality; they were flowers of joy. The second layer of tears is just a deep hurt, a wound that you missed.

You are saying, “I cannot even meditate.” For the same reason, because in meditation what I said may become clear to you, and again the fragileness… “Also there is some fear.” You are asking, “Can you tell me what is happening? Also, is there an Australian joke?”

Much is happening. You have just to become accustomed to such moments. No harm is going to happen to you. You are doing all the harm that you can do. You will not be wounded; on the contrary, all your wounds will become roses. You will not die; on the contrary, you will enter into the life stream of eternal being. It is a tremendous opportunity, the doors are open. Don’t hesitate.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: Hari Om Tat Sat
Chapter #17
Chapter title: Buddhas are trying to be buddhas
3 February 1988 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium


Osho has spoken on Tears, laughter, gratitude, joy, let go, prayerin many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, 2
  2. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1
  3. YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
  4. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 5
  5. The Divine Melody
  6. Beyond Enlightenment
  7. From Death to Deathlessness
  8. The Invitation
  9. The Razor’s Edge
  10. The Osho Upanishad
  11. The Path of the Mystic
  12. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11
  13. A Sudden Clash of Thunder
  14. The Rebel
  15. The Book of Wisdom
  16. Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1, 2
  17. I Say Unto You, Vol 1
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