Osho was a spiritual teacher who travelled the world speaking about mindfulness, love and how to live a fulfilling life.
His teachings often go against what we are taught in the west.
Most of us think that if we reach our goals and become materially rich then we will be happy. But Osho says this isn’t the case. Instead, we need to embrace who we are on the inside and then can we live a meaningful life.
Here are some of his most potent quotes on life, love and happiness. Enjoy!
Osho on Love
“If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and it ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”
“In real love there is no relationship, because there are not two persons to be related to. In real love there is only love, a flowering, a fragrance, a melting, a merging. Only in egoistic love are there two persons, the lover and the loved. And whenever there is the lover and the loved, love disappears. Whenever there is love, the lover and the beloved both disappear into love.”
“Falling in love you remain a child; rising in love you mature. By and by love becomes not a relationship, it becomes a state of your being. Not that you are in love – now you are love.”
“Unless meditation is achieved, love remains a misery. Once you have learned how to live alone, once you have learned how to enjoy your simple existence, for no reason at all, then there is a possibility of solving the second, more complicated problem of two persons being together. Only two meditators can live in love – and then love will not be a koan. But then it will not be a relationship, either, in the sense that you understand it. It will be simply a state of love, not a state of relationship.”
“Many times I say learn the art of love, but what I really mean is: Learn the art of removing all that hinders love. It is a negative process. It is like digging a well: You go on removing many layers of earth, stones, rocks, and then suddenly there is water. The water was always there; it was an undercurrent. Now you have removed all the barriers, the water is available. So is love: Love is the undercurrent of your being. It is already flowing, but there are many rocks, many layers of earth to be removed.”
“Love has to be of the quality that gives freedom, not new chains for you; a love that gives you wings and supports you to fly as high as possible.”
“Millions of people are suffering: they want to be loved but they don’t know how to love. And love cannot exist as a monologue; it is a dialogue, a very harmonious dialogue.”
“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person–without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.”
“Immature people falling in love destroy each other’s freedom, create a bondage, make a prison. Mature persons in love help each other to be free; they help each other to destroy all sorts of bondages. And when love flows with freedom there is beauty. When love flows with dependence there is ugliness.
A mature person does not fall in love, he or she rises in love. Only immature people fall; they stumble and fall down in love. Somehow they were managing and standing. Now they cannot manage and they cannot stand. They were always ready to fall on the ground and to creep. They don’t have the backbone, the spine; they don’t have the integrity to stand alone.
A mature person has the integrity to stand alone. And when a mature person gives love, he or she gives without any strings attached to it. When two mature persons are in love, one of the great paradoxes of life happens, one of the most beautiful phenomena: they are together and yet tremendously alone. They are together so much that they are almost one. Two mature persons in love help each other to become more free. There is no politics involved, no diplomacy, no effort to dominate. Only freedom and love.”
Osho on Loss
“Many people have come and left, and it has been always good because they emptied some space for better people. It is a strange experience, that those who have left me have always left places for a better quality of people. I have never been a loser.”
“Doubt–because doubt is not a sin, it is a sign of your intelligence. You are not responsible to any nation, to any church, to any God. You are responsible only for one thing, and that is self knowledge. And the miracle is, if you can fulfill this responsibility, you will be able to fulfill many other responsibilities without any effort. The moment you come to your own being, a revolution happens in your vision. Your whole outlook about life goes through a radical change. You start feeling new responsibilities–not as some thing to be done, not as a duty to be fulfilled, but as a joy to do.”
Osho on Experiencing All Emotions
“Experience life in all possible ways —
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.
Don’t be afraid of experience, because
the more experience you have, the more
mature you become.”
“A certain darkness is needed to see the stars.”
“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”
“Sadness is silent, it is yours. It is coming because you are alone. It is giving you a chance to go deeper into your aloneness. Rather than jumping from one shallow happiness to another shallow happiness and wasting your life, it is better to use sadness as a means for meditation. Witness it. It is a friend! It opens the door of your eternal aloneness.”
“Whatever you feel, you become. It is your responsibility.”
“To avoid pain, they avoid pleasure. To avoid death, they avoid life.”
Osho on Creativity
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
“Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.”
“You need either to create something or discover something. Either bring your potential to actuality or go inwards to find yourself but do something with your freedom.”
“If you are a parent, open doors to unknown directions to the child so he can explore. Don’t make him afraid of the unknown, give him support.
Osho on the Simple Secret of Happiness
“That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non-existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life.”
“Joy is spiritual. It is different, totally different from pleasure or happiness. It has nothing to do with the outside, with the other, it is an inner phenomenon.”
“Once you have started seeing the beauty of life, ugliness starts disappearing. If you start looking at life with joy, sadness starts disappearing. You cannot have heaven and hell together, you can have only one. It is your choice.”
“Always remember to judge everything by your inner feeling of bliss.”
Osho on Friendship
“Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of Love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving.”
Osho on Intuition
“Listen to your being. It is continuously giving you hints; it is a still, small voice. It does not shout at you, that is true. And if you are a little silent you will start feeling your way. Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.”
Osho on Fear
“Life begins where fear ends.”
“Courage Is a Love Affair with the Unknown”
“The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.”
“In meditation, once you are gone in, you are gone in. Then, even when you resurrect you are a totally different person. The old personality is nowhere to be found. You have to start your life again from abc. You have to learn everything with fresh eyes, with a totally new heart. That’s why meditation creates fear.”
Osho on Making Your Own Path
“One thing: you have to walk, and create the way by your walking; you will not find a ready-made path. It is not so cheap, to reach to the ultimate realization of truth. You will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.”
“Be realistic: Plan for a miracle.”
“If you suffer it is because of you, if you feel blissful it is because of you. Nobody else is responsible – only you and you alone.”
“Your whole idea about yourself is borrowed– borrowed from those who have no idea of who they are themselves.”
“You feel good, you feel bad, and these feelings are bubbling from your own unconsciousness, from your own past. Nobody is responsible except you. Nobody can make you angry, and nobody can make you happy.”
“I say to you, you are absolutely free, unconditionally free. Don’t avoid the responsibility; avoiding is not going to help. The sooner you accept it the better, because immediately you can start creating yourself. And the moment you create yourself great joy arises, and when you have completed yourself, the way you wanted to, there is immense contentment, just as when a painter finishes his painting, the last touch, and a great contentment arises in his heart. A job well done brings great peace. One feels that one has participated with the whole.”
“Take hold of your own life.
See that the whole existence is celebrating.
These trees are not serious, these birds are not serious.
The rivers and the oceans are wild,
and everywhere there is fun,
everywhere there is joy and delight.
listen to the existence and become part of it.”
“Enlightenment is not a desire, is not a goal, is not an ambition. It is a dropping of all goals, a dropping of all desires, a dropping of all ambitions. It is just being natural. That’s what is meant by flowing.”
“I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes.
“It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say “this is good, this is bad,” you have already jumped onto the thought process.
It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher.
And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.
That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time an unconditioned, sane, really free human being.”
Osho on the Real You
“Be — don’t try to become”
“Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.”
“Each person comes into this world with a specific destiny–he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally–you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you.”
“Truth is not something outside to be discovered, it is something inside to be realized.”
“Be like an alone peak high in the sky. Why should you hanker to belong? You are not a thing! Things belong!”
“When you really laugh for those few moments you are in a deep meditative state. Thinking stops. It is impossible to laugh and think together.”
“Truth is simple. Very simple – so simple that a child can understand it. In fact, so simple that only a child can understand it. Unless you become a child again you will not be able to understand it.”
“From the very beginning you are being told to compare yourself with others. This is the greatest disease; it is like a cancer that goes on destroying your very soul because each individual is unique, and comparison is not possible.”
“In the beginning, everything is mixed — as if mud is mixed in gold. Then one has to put the gold into fire: all that is not gold is burned, drops out of it. Only pure gold comes out of the fire. Awareness is the fire; love is the gold; jealousy, possessiveness, hatred, anger, lust, are the impurities.”
“Nobody is superior, nobody is inferior, but nobody is equal either. People are simply unique, incomparable. You are you, I am I. I have to contribute my potential to life; you have to contribute your potential to life. I have to discover my own being; you have to discover your own being.”
Osho on Insecurity
“Nobody can say anything about you. Whatsoever people say is about themselves. But you become very shaky, because you are still clinging to a false center. That false center depends on others, so you are always looking to what people are saying about you. And you are always following other people, you are always trying to satisfy them. You are always trying to be respectable, you are always trying to decorate your ego. This is suicidal. Rather than being disturbed by what others say, you should start looking inside yourself…
Whenever you are self-conscious you are simply showing that you are not conscious of the self at all. You don’t know who you are. If you had known, then there would have been no problem— then you are not seeking opinions. Then you are not worried what others say about you— it is irrelevant!
When you are self-conscious you are in trouble. When you are self-conscious you are really showing symptoms that you don’t know who you are. Your very self-consciousness indicates that you have not come home yet.”
Osho on Imperfection
“I love this world because it is imperfect. It is imperfect, and that’s why it is growing; if it was perfect it would have been dead. Growth is possible only if there is imperfection. I would like you to remember again and again, I am imperfect, the whole universe is imperfect, and to love this imperfection, to rejoice in this imperfection is my whole message.”
“You can enter yoga, or the path of yoga, only when you are totally frustrated with your own mind as it is. If you are still hoping that you can gain something through your mind, yoga is not for you.”
Osho on living the moment
“Act in the moment, live in the present, slowly slowly don’t allow the past to interfere, and you will be surprised that life is such an eternal wonder, such a mysterious phenomenon and such a great gift that one simply feels constantly in gratitude.”
“The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.”
“I live my life based on two principles. One, I live as if today was my last day on earth. Two, I live today as if I am going to live forever.”
“The real question is not whether life exists after death. The real question is whether you are alive before death.”
“Nobody has the power to take two steps together; you can take only one step at a time.”
If you want to read more from Osho, check out his book, Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships.
NOW READ: 90 Osho quotes that will challenge how you view your life