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Which way now, Jayesh, Amrito, the Twenty One and… Keerti.

Newer sannyasins and some older ones have asked SannyasNews to throw what light we can on the present situation of the so-called twenty one, especially since in the recent past they have begun to upset, as it were, both the devotee and the rebel within sannyas with equal aplomb. This should not necessarily be marked against them, Osho himself had a habit of upsetting both, when he choose to!

Nonetheless there is a difference, Osho's remit was to move everyone's spiritual growth along, not as the twenty one, simply the "temporal" direction of his work.
Before Osho died over a decade ago he authorised twenty one people to take over this temporal direction. Some of these left, and some died. They were replaced by those who remained on the twenty one by others, but chosen by the remaining people, within the twenty one. The actual remaining people, actually initially authorised by Osho, is now put by some as six, though some put it as low as three. It is said that Osho himself said that the twenty one's decisions should always be unanimous, and their meetings, etc should be confidential. Some people have asked us whether we know the names actually of the twenty one… well maybe someone knows, and maybe they are not secret, but it is sure hard to find a list anywhere!

Personally I believe that Osho was just seeding a koan situation for those who he choose for the twenty-one role. It seems that at least some of those who left the original 21, left because they felt that the instruction for unanimity was being ignored! In fact, how on earth can 21 people, especially sannyasins, "agree", ever!

It is generally felt that Jayesh and Amrito are the main figures left, not only surviving from Osho's original entourage, but still orchestrating the "official" movement. Many people know Amrito, and to his credit he is often in Poona and seemingly available. Jayesh, who is thought to be the real power behind the throne is elusive, and very rarely seen in Poona, or anywhere else. Much of Amrito's thinking can be gleaned from looking at Taban OMC in Hamburg, Germany web page which carries an article from him called "What is an Osho? " This shows much of the thinking on which some of the more recent contentious decisions were made. It also helps to belie the view of some, that the decisions about robes, malas, and the claimed deculting of sannyas were laid down by Osho before he died. From the evidence of this article such decisions do reflect Amrito's actual thinking.

Jayesh remains a mystery, to which he is entitled. I myself do not share many of the criticisms of either Amrito or Jayesh and regard them as too easy to make. Whatever the 21 have done or not done under their leadership they have seen to it that the books have continued to appear, that untranslated books are regularly translated and published, and that the ashram (now called a resort) "allows" Osho's energy to flourish and act as a magnet to many seekers. They have also shown "stickability", a quality often little appreciated. Criticisms of their life style also seem misplaced, they were in a sense always rich men, and would almost be certainly living the way they do, whether in or out of sannyas. And Osho claimed at least half a dozen times that he was the guru for the rich! The main point is really what now?

Keerti, a leading Indian sannyasin, who some English sannyasins will know from his time as a commune member of Medina, was barred the main Poona ashram some 18 months ago along with several senior Indian sannyasins, for what was described as a lack of surrender to the new millennium directions of Jayesh and Amrito. He has now, with friends from Delhi, organised a very strong, and arguably competing movement in India. He has recently won the Prime Minister of India's approval for organising help for the victims of the Kutch earthquake, and basically does as he wants, ignoring the wishes of the temporal power in Poona. Protected by his friendships within the Indian legal and political elite, he publishes Osho with impunity, and recently brought out a monthly magazine, just when the Osho commune are foreclosing their own paper magazine. He also wishes to put the whole Osho archive on the internet for free downloading, this has not yet happened, though of course much of Osho's discourses can be downloaded for a fee from Osho.com. His close friend Neelam, who was once Osho's Indian Secretary is, according to gossip, planning to start up an international ashram in Dharamsala in Osho's name. As one streetwise sannyasin said, "Within 18 months Keerti will have India sewn up and the twenty one will wither on the vine".
In all this, perhaps Osho's phrase that wherever my sannyasins are, I am there also, has to take on new meaning, and forgetting the temporal power as an unnecessary diversion, now take responsibility, and drench every nook and cranny of the world with his light.