“Present, Sir!”


Osho tells an anecdote from his school days (with audio) – “…if you are aware, suddenly you are alone.”



Have you watched? Whenever you are aware, you are alone. Whenever you are aware you are cut away from the whole world. You may be in the marketplace, but the marketplace disappears. You may be in the shop, in the factory, in the office – if you are aware, suddenly you are alone.

When I entered into my high-school, I had a very eccentric teacher, a Mohammedan teacher – I loved him. I loved him because he was very eccentric; he had a few whimsical ideas. For example he would not allow any student to say, “Yes sir,” when the attendance was to be taken. He would insist: “Say, ‘Present sir.'” We used to annoy him by saying “Yes sir,” but he would not allow it. Unless you said “Present sir,” he would not allow you inside the class. He would force you to stand outside.

Now, this was just whimsical. It doesn’t matter whether you say “Yes sir,” or you say “Present sir.” But I started feeling that he had some point in it, and I started meditating on it. And whenever he would call my name, I would say “Present sir,” and I would not only say it – I would feel that “I am simply present, aware, alert.” And I had beautiful moments; just for a half minute. I would become so present that the class would disappear, that the teacher would disappear. He also became aware of it.

One day he called me; he said, “What do you do? What are you doing? Because when you say ‘Present sir’ I see a sudden change on your face, your eyes go blank. Are you playing some trick upon me?”

Because it was known in the school that before I entered the school, if some boy was to be called to the principal’s office then the boy was in trouble. When I entered the school, the dictum had to be changed. Whenever I was called to the principal’s office, the whole school would know: “The principal is in trouble!”

So he said, “What! You are creating some trouble? And I feel very awkward when you say ‘Present sir.’ And you change so tremendously, as if you are transported into another world. What exactly do you do? You embarrass me. If you continue doing this, then I will allow you to say, ‘Yes sir.'”

I said, “Now it will not make much difference – I have learnt it. And I am going to use it my whole life. And I am thankful to you that you insisted. The word ‘present’ opened a door.”

You try it! Walking on the road, suddenly become present. Just say to some unknown god “Present sir,” and be present really; just become a flame of awareness. And suddenly you will see you are not in the world: you have become a lotus flower. The mud cannot touch you. You become untouchable, you become something of the beyond, incorruptible.

Osho, The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 3, Ch 7.

Audio submitted by Siddho Varza

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