True Prayer Laughter and Tears


The tears are the greatest possible prayer. Don’t be worried about analyzing them, don’t try to interpret them; they are beyond interpretation and beyond analysis. Words will not be adequate to say anything about the tears. Tears come from a deeper source than words. And if tears are coming, all that is needed is not to think about them but to allow them, to give them an intensity, to give them a kind of totality. You will understand those tears only when you are not hesitant about going into them, when you are not somehow holding yourself back. Go into them utterly. Become tears, and when tears come, enjoy. You are overflowing.

Thinking of love if tears don’t come then you were not thinking about love. Thinking of God if tears don’t come then your thinking is futile, impotent. Listening to me, if your heart does not start overflowing with tears, then you were listening only through the head — which is not listening. You have been hearing but not listening. When you listen, the heart will start dancing. And the heart has only one way to express itself, and that way is the way of tears.

Meditate on these lines of an anonymous poet:

Sing until your breath crackles to the last.

Note what is caught upon the passing wind.

Laugh until the pains squeeze authority into chaotic blasts, and then into puny puffs. Cry until the peak of your tears, like the pure tips of a wave before it folds into the gulping sea.

Ah, but love when your heart beats the beat of nights full of daffodils, For then you are.

If you can allow your tears totality, then you are.

My message is of laughter and tears. It looks contradictory but it is not. Deep down in your being laughter and tears are joined together, they are part of one energy. If you laugh long, tears will come. If you go on crying, you will suddenly see the change — one moment a sudden change — and the laughter has entered into you. See this polarity. Go into tears as deeply as possible until tears become laughter. Then you have really gone into the very end; from that end, the wheel moves. When you are laughing, laugh so deeply and so totally, so wildly, that laughter turns into tears and your eyes start raining. Then you will know that all paradoxes are only on the surface — deep down they are one, laughter and tears are one. And when your prayer is of laughter and tears, it is a true prayer.

You need not be worried about what it is. It is a mystery. It has to be lived, known, seen. Through knowing it, through seeing it, through living it, you will understand it. There is no other way of understanding it.


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

Discourse Series:

The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol 1

Chapter #6

Chapter title: Be Total, Then You Are

26 February 1978 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has also spoken on ‘laughter, crying, tears, prayer’ in many of His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:

  1. Satyam Shivam Sundram
  2. This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
  3. The Book of Wisdom
  4. From Death to Deathlessness
  5. The Messiah
  6. Beyond Enlightenment
  7. Come, Come, Yet Again Come
  8. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 11
  9. Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
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