“Osho, are you still here?”


One Zen monk is reported to have said – every morning of his life after his enlightenment, the first thing in the morning he would say was, “Osho!”

Because he has become enlightened now, an honorable word has to be used….

Osho and tea

‘Reverence’ is a little less than ‘Osho’. ‘Reverence’ only means respect; ‘Osho’ also means respect, and love, and gratitude. You may not have thought about it – because people don’t think about words; otherwise strange meanings come out of them. Have you ever thought? – ‘respect’ simply means looking back: re-spect, looking once again. It simply means that somebody is so beautiful that you have to look again, one more time; you cannot just go on without looking again. Out of this, ‘respectfulness’ has arisen.

But ‘Osho’ contains some more elements: love and gratitude. It is much more than ‘reverence’. ‘Reverence’ is a Christian word and is used for learned bishops, missionaries, priests. ‘Osho’ cannot be translated correctly as ‘reverence’ because it is used only for the enlightened ones, not the learned ones.

And this Zen master used to call every morning, “Osho, are you still here?” He was asking himself about his own presence: “Are you still here? Then have a cup of tea!”

His disciples knew perfectly well that every morning this was the first thing he would say to himself, so they kept ready the samovar, making its song. And they would ask him, “Master, why do you do this?”

And he used to say, “I am so surprised that existence has given one day again for me. I don’t deserve, I am not worthy of it. I have not done anything to deserve another day, another sunrise, and the whole sky, and the whole universe. I just want to make sure that I am here. This beautiful universe one day will be taken away from me.”

And he used to answer himself also. First he will say, “Osho, are you here?”

And he will say, “Yes sir.”

Then he will say, “Then have a cup of tea!”

This was a monologue. The disciples produced the cup of tea. They loved the master, they loved this small, beautiful approach to the morning. The night is over – it is symbolic of the night in which most of us live the whole life; the morning never comes.

A cup of tea declares that the night is over, wake up! Be aware and see the whole beauty of existence. The universe has allowed you one day more – you cannot demand, it is a gift. One day the sun will rise and the roses will blossom but you will not be there to celebrate this new morning. And there is no way to complain, it is absolutely in the hands of the cosmos.

But we have not paid our gratitude even for our life. Do you think there can be anything more precious than life, than consciousness? And existence gives it to you without asking any payment in return. At least you can be thankful. This thankfulness is the only authentic prayer; all other prayers are childish, they are nothing but hidden demands.

Osho, Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Ch 6 (excerpt)

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