Yes to Life

Osho on Yes

Saying yes to existence is to be religious. Saying no is resistance, saying no is conflict, saying no is egoistic. Saying no is keeping your separation, keeping yourself aloof. Saying yes is merging, melting into the whole. Saying yes is opening up, just like a bud opens and becomes a flower. The no is a closed state of mind; yes is an open flower.

The difference between no and yes is the difference between a dead and an alive person. The person who lives in the no remains encapsulated, remains in a windowless world where the sun and the rain and the wind cannot reach; where God can go on knocking but even the sound of the knock will not reach; where love cannot reach.

The closed person, the person who lives with no, lives in the ego. The greater the ego, the less are the bridges between the person and existence. When the ego is total, the person is completely enclosed by a wall; he lives in a prison of his own creation. He cannot say yes to the moon and he cannot say yes to the trees and he cannot say yes to anything! He has forgotten to say yes, and even if he sometimes says yes, his yes is nothing but a camouflaged no.

I have heard a story about Joseph Stalin: Molotov, his foreign minister, phoned him from the UNO. His wife was sitting by his side while he took the phone call. Joseph Stalin said, “No, no, no, yes, no!”

The wife was surprised. Not by the no’s, so many no’s — she knew her husband perfectly well, he was a man of no. He was one of the most egoistic men possible. His name is significant: ‘stalin’ means a man of steel. He was not really a man but a steel man, a machine, a robot. No was just natural to him.

The wife was puzzled that between those four no’s there was one yes. She asked him, “Can I ask you one question? I don’t want to interfere in your politics and what is going on between you and Molotov and what you are saying. Just one thing… and I have become very curious: did you really say one yes amongst all those four no’s, or did I mishear you? Did you really say yes?”

Stalin said, “Yes, I said yes.”

The wife asked, “Then one question more: Why did you say yes?”

He said, “When I said three no’s, Molotov asked, ‘Did you say no?’ I said, ‘Yes.'”

There are people who can say yes only when it is nothing but a camouflaged no. And there are also people, very rare, who can say no only as a camouflaged yes. These are the Buddhas. Yes, sometimes they also say no, but their no is not a negative no; the heart of their no is yes. They are incapable of saying no. If they have to use the word sometimes, in certain circumstances, it really means yes. A man like Buddha can sometimes be very hard, but he is hard because of his compassion and love. George Gurdjieff was very hard on his disciples just because of his infinite compassion, his total love.

Yes is the very essence of religion, no the very foundation of irreligion. The atheist is not one who does not believe in God; the atheist is one who believes in no. And the theist is not one who believes in God; the theist is one who believes in yes — because there have been theists like Buddha and Mahavira who do not believe in God, yet where else can you find more religious people? And there are millions of people who believe in God, and their life gives no indication of any religion — no fragrance. They stink of irreligion, of violence, of hatred, of jealousy, of possessiveness. Flowers of love don’t bloom in their life.

Yes is the foundation of a true religious life.

You ask me, “What is yes?”

Yes is dropping of the ego. Yes is coming out of the mind. Yes is trust. Just the other day Buddha was talking about trust: Trust, meditate, and see. Yes means trust, and trust is the beginning of meditation. Meditation means relaxing with existence. Unless you trust, unless you can say yes to existence, how can you relax? People cannot relax because they are afraid. People cannot relax because they fear that if they relax they may be cheated. People can relax only with others whom they trust.

With a stranger in your room you may not be able to sleep in the night. Who knows, he may cut your throat. Who knows, he may steal your money and escape. But with your wife or husband you go into deep sleep, you can trust. The child can go with his father or mother anywhere. Even if the father is going into fire, the child can go singing a song, dancing, inquiring, questioning, unafraid, because he knows his hand is in his father’s hand. This trust is yes: knowing that this existence is our mother, that nature is our source — it can’t be against us, it can’t be inimical to us. Seeing this, understanding this, trust arises. Then you can say yes. Then you can say “Amen”; that simply means yes.

And the moment you can say yes and you can relax, meditation becomes natural. Without any effort, without any strain, without any tension, you start falling into spaces called meditation… empty of all rubbish and junk, but full of God — full of godliness rather; empty of the world, but full of something that you had never known before; full of a light which is immaterial, full of fragrance which comes from nowhere, out of the blue. Emptiness yet a plenitude, emptiness and yet a fullness — not negative.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 4Chapter #10

Chapter title: Aes dhammo sanantano

31 August 1979 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘yes, meditation, relaxation, trust’ in many of His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:

  1. Be Still and Know
  2. The Book of Wisdom
  3. Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language
  4. From Ignorance to Innocence
  5. From Personality to Individuality
  6. The Invitation
  7. The Secret
  8. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
  9. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega
  10. Zen: The Path of Paradox
Spread the love


  • sejal
    Posted February 19, 2023 7:15 am 0Likes

    Osho is great.
    No one in this world can be as great as Osho for me.
    I completely trust his teachings and follow them.
    He is my “Guru”.

    • Partha Dey
      Partha Dey
      Posted March 3, 2023 4:32 pm 0Likes

      Osho what a powerful name in this world. In my life’s toughest time I started reading Osho and rest is the rebirth of my life. He is my real guru – God father.

Leave a comment