Sarjano's Story, June
page is part
of the historical background relating to "What Is an
Osho?", a slick, sannyas-paradigm-shifting policy paper written by
and circulated in 1998. A deconstruction of Amrito's paper is presented
on this site, introduced here. The
article below appeared first on June 22, 2000, in
the Indian Express. See page bottom for sourcing info.
sitting in ivory tower are destroying the commune - Sarjano
by Vinita Deshmukh
PUNE, JUNE 21: Ma Yoga Neelam, the high profile Osho disciple who
stepped down from her position in the Osho Commune in Pune last year
has indeed opened a Pandora's Box by breaking her silence and speaking
out against three key members of the 'Inner Circle' that runs the
worldwide Osho affairs. Close on her heels, a Western sannyasin of long
standing, Italian journalist Swami Sarjano alias Carlo Silvestro, today
dropped his own one year odd silence, after creating a sensation last
year by lambasting the Inner Circle in front of the 'White Robe
Brotherhood' congregation at the Gautama the Buddha Hall in the
commune. Sarjano, who was subsequently banned from the commune for his
unprecedented rebellion, had gone into a shell later.
however, decided to speak to The Indian Express today and held the
three 'dictators' Canadian Swami Jayesh (Michael O'Brayan), UK national
Swami Amrito (now John Andrews) and Canadian Ma Ananda (Sue Appleton)
responsible for ''sitting in ivory tower and destroying the commune.''
of the name-details in this paragraph are inaccurate. Jayesh's legal
name is Michael O'Byrne, since changed to Byrne, and "Ananda" is
Anando, Australian and since changed to Sue Heffley.]
Pouring out his pent up feelings today,
which manifested in the form of
his open rebellion in the Gautama the Buddha Hall last year, when
Sarjano, told this correspondent that Ma Neelam's walk-out from the
commune was the proverbial last straw on the camel's back.
Source for above
story and others of that era: http://www.chaitanyakeerti.com/pages/latest2000/latestjune00.html,
lots of rumour plus Keerti on copyright and Neelam and IC and New
States he, "Ma Neelam was the only hope and the last piece of heart
left in the commune, to whom sannyasins could address their grievances
against the mean and dictatorial manner in which the commune bosses
So, when she staged a walk-out, two Western sannyasin Ma Sarita and
Swami Gheo approached him, requesting him to pick up the gauntlet at
the White Robe Brotherhood, on behalf of hundreds of Western and Indian
sannyasins. "They wanted me to read out a statement demanding ouster
of Jayesh, as chairman of the Inner Circle and his replacement by Ma
Neelam as the chairperson."
The resentment and anger at Ma Neelam's leaving the commune was such
that "everybody gathered in support of this rebellion," says Sarjano.
"The band of musicians in the Buddha Hall, who trigger off the
evening's congregation, also offered to co-operate. I was thus not
alone, as the commune dictators would like to have the world believe."
It was the evening of February 8, 1999, when Sarjano took his seat at
the appointed evening hour and had himself strategically seated next to
the musicians. States this journalist candidly, "My objective was not
personal vendetta but giving vent to barrelfuls of turmoil experienced
by the near entire sannyasin community who were being cheated by Swami
A one minute silence precedes Osho's videotaped discourse at the White
Robe Brotherhood, every evening. "Taking advantage of that one minute,
I read out this statement in a very calm and composed manner which
lasted exactly for 45 seconds and it is only when I had just finished
reading the entire statement that two Inner Circle members present
there realised what happened. Otherwise, everyone was listening, as if
it was a statement by the commune authorities."
The statement read: "Beloved Friends, Ma Yoga Neelam, Osho's secretary
for India has resigned due to political pressure from Jayesh, chairman
of the Inner Circle. Neelam has always been Osho's ambassador of the
heart. As Jayesh is disregarding Osho's guidelines for the Inner
Circle, we, the people who support Osho's visions, ask him to resign
"We ask that Neelam becomes the chairwoman of the Inner Circle. We are
not here for power politics. We are here for meditation, love and
celebration. The announcement is in support of the new man who rejects
politics and embraces life, love, meditation and laughter. Let us now
celebrate the new man and the new woman."
Sarjano was physically lifted by the two Inner Circle members who were
attending the White Robe Brotherhood and thrown out of the gate.
Subsequently, he was banned from entering the commune. Since then his
fingers were on his lips.
Coming out quite harshly on the Inner Circle member trio who indulged
in "politics" and ran the commune according to their own whims and
fancies, he said that commercial enterprise was the undercurrent in
running the commune, something which Osho stoutly opposed. Sarjono says
that "While I apologise to the entire sannyasin community and to India
for not having spoken out earlier, Ma Yoga Neelam too owes a similar
apology, for the sake of credibility and clearing off her conscience."
Rueing that "I caused a rebellion in the commune only because of the
sadness we felt at Ma Neelam's departure, but she suddenly withdrew.
Now, at last she is on the other side of the fence - she, as Inner
Circle member earlier has banned several sannyasins - she needs to
apologise also to those sannyasins who were banned by her."
Sarjano laments, "While I was being physically lifted and thrown out
of the commune that day, hundreds of sannyasins in the Buddha Hall were
screaming and shouting to bring me back. Thereafter, for several days,
sannyasins visited my home to thank me profusely for the courage. Some
of them touched my feet while I was walking through Koregaon Park. I
clearly told them, 'where is the question of thanking me? Why don't you
as individuals raise your voices in the open so that there will
automatically be a cry in unison.' But I realised, that most of the
sannyasins had vested interests - some were worried that their food
passes would be cancelled or they would not be allowed to do
meditations or may be banished from the commune. Thus, everyone kept
mum. They are cowards."
He questions, "Why didn't Ma Neelam speak out after she left the
commune? Why did she keep quiet for such a long time? After all the
safekeep of Osho's work is more important that security of oneself."
Sarjano now says that it is still not too late and "if we all start
speaking up, the dictators of the inner circle will have no choice but
to run away one fine day."