INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INCORPORATED
FOUNDER-ACHARYA: HIS DIVINE GRACE
A. C. BHAKTIVEDANTA SWAMI PRABHUPADA
I, the undersigned, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, disciple of Om Visnupad Paramhansa 108 Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj Prabhupada, came in the United States in 1965 on September 18th for the purpose of starting Krishna Consciousness Movement. For one year I had no shelter. I was travelling in many parts of this country. Then in 1966, July, I incorporated the Society under the name and style the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, briefly ISKCON. The lawyer was Mr. J. Goldsmith. Gradually the Society increased, and one after another branches were opened. Now we have got thirty-four (34) branches enlisted herewith:
Atlanta, Georgia..............1476 Oxford Rd. N.E. 30322
Baltimore, Maryland...........1300 N. Calvert St.
Berkeley, California..........2710 Durant Avenue 94704
Berlin, West Germany
Boston, Massachusetts........ 40 N. Beacon St. 02134
Boulder, Colorado.............623 Concord St.
Buffalo, New York.............40 Englewood Ave. 14214
Chicago, Illinois.............2210 N. Halstead St.
Detroit, Michigan.............74 West Forest St. 48201
Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K.
Hamburg, West Germany.........2000 Hamburg 6, Bartelstrasse 65
Honolulu, Hawaii..............2016 McKinley St. 96822
Laguna Beach, California......130 Woodland Drive 92651
London, England...............7 Bury Place, Bloomsbury, W..C. 1
Los Angeles, California.......3764 Watseka Ave. 90034
Montreal, Canada..............3720 Park Ave.
New Vrndavana, W. Virginia....RD 3 Moundsville 26041
New York City, New York...... 61 Second Ave. 10003
Paris, France.................c/o Serge Elbeze, BO 113 Paris 14
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania....416 South 10th St. 19147
Provincetown, Massachusetts...104 Bradford St.
San Diego, California.........3689 Park Blvd.
San Francisco, California.....618 Frederick St. 94117
San Jose, California..........70 Hawthorne Way
Santa Barbara, California ....6654 del Playa, Goleta 93017
Seattle, Washington...........n5516 Roosevelt Way N.E. 98105
St. Louis, Missouri...........4544 LaClede Ave. 63110
Sydney, Australia.............298 Birrell St. Bondi, N.S.W. 2026
Tokyo, Japan..................6-16, 2 Chome Ohhashi, Meguro-Ku
Toronto, Canada...............40 Beverly St., Ontario
Vancouver, Canada.............260 Raymur St., No. 305, B.C.
Washington, D.C...............2015 Q Street N.W. 20009
As we have increased our volume of activities, now I think a Governing Body Commission (hereinafter referred to as the GBC) should be established. I am getting old, 75 years old, therefore at any time I may be out of the scene, therefore I think it is necessary to give instruction to my disciples how they shall manage the whole institution. They are already managing individual centers represented by one president, one secretary and one treasurer, and in my opinion they are doing nice. But we want still more improvement in the standard of Temple management, propaganda for Krishna Consciousness, distribution of books and literatures, opening of new centers and educating devotees to the right standard.
Therefore, I have decided to adopt the following principles and I hope my beloved disciples will kindly accept them. There was a meeting in San Francisco during the Ratha Yatra festival 1970 and many presidents of the centers were present. In that meeting it was resolved that an ad hoc committee be set up to form the constitution which is taken into consideration. My duty was to first appoint twelve (12) persons to my free choice amongst my disciples and I do it now and their names are as follows:
Sriman Rupanuga Das Adhikary
2. Sriman Bhagavandas Adhikary
3. Sriman Syamsundar Das Adhikary
4. Sriman Satsvarupa Das Adhikary
5. Sriman Karandhar Das Adhikary
6. Sriman Hansadutta Das Adhikary
7. Sriman Tamala Krsna Das Adhikary
8. Sriman Sudama Das Adhikary
9. Sriman Bali Mardan Das Brahmacary
10. Sriman Jagadisa Das Adhikary
11. Sriman Hayagriva Das Adhikary
12. Sriman Krsnadas Adhikary
These personalities are now considered as my direct representatives. While I am living they will act as my zonal secretaries and after my demise they will be known as Executors.
I have already awarded Sannyas or the renounced order of life to some of my students and they have also got very important duties to perform in this connection. The Sannyasis will travel to our different centers for preaching purpose as well as enlightening the members of the center for spiritual advancement. The Sannyasis will suggest for opening new centers in suitable places and the GBC will take action on it. As was stipulated by the ad hoc committee, the function of the GBC will be as follows with particulars:
PARTICULARS OF THE GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION
"The purpose of the Governing Body Commission is to act as the instrument for the execution of the Will of His Divine Grace. And further,
1. The GBC oversees all operations and management of ISKCON, as it receives direction from Srila Prabhupada and His Divine Grace has the final approval in all matters.
2. His Divine Grace will select the initial 12 members of the GBC. In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple. Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of GBC. Srila Prabhupada will choose to retain four commissioners. In the event of Srila Prabhupada's absence, the retiring members will decide which four will remain.
3. The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period.
4. The chairman is elected by the GBC for each meeting. He has no veto power, but in even of a vote tie, his vote will decide. The same will apply for votes cast by mail between regular meetings.
5. Throughout the year, each of the commissioners will stay with His Divine Grace for one month at a time and keep the other commissioners informed of His Divine Grace's instructions.
6. The primary objective of the GBC is to organize the opening of new Temples and to maintain the established Temples.
7. Advice will be given by the GBC in cases of real property purchases, which will be in the name of ISKCON, INC. (Trucks or other vehicles will be purchased in the name of the local president).
8. Removal of a Temple president by the GBC requires support by the local Temple members.
9. The GBC has no jurisdiction in the publication of manuscripts, which will be handled by a separate committee; profits to be returned to Srila Prabhupada."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So far my books
are concerned, I am setting up a different body of management known as the BHAKTIVEDANTA
BOOK TRUST. The trustees of this body are also members of the GBC, but their function
is not dependent on the GBC. ISKCON Press was created for the exclusive publication
of my books and literatures and should be continued in that way. During my absence
no one shall live in my apartment.
Date July 28th 1970
(Robert F. Corens)
Rupanuga das Adhikary
(William R. Ehrlichman)
Bhagavan das Adhikary
(Kelly Gifford Smith)
Karandhar das Adhikary
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Date July 28th, 1970
At the World Head Quarters
3764, Watseka Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90034
POST SCRIPT : Added Oct 17th, 2004 - Scanned
in original ISKCON Constitution from 1970
hand written by Srila Prabhupada (original as received in email from Nara Narayan Prabhu)
USA, Sep 18 (VNN) — PETITION
To all Iskcon devotees world wide temple-presidents, Sannyasis
Dear maharajas, prabhus, matas and didis. Please accept my respectful obeisances. All Glories To Srila Prabhupada.
As an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and as a member of the International Society for Krishna consciousness, I herewith call upon all devotees world wide to reject Iskcons bogus GBC/Guru leadership and elect a new Governing Body Commission as outlined by Srila Prabhupada in his DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT FOR AN ELECTED GBC.
“Importanly, the GBC was to be elected from the body of temple presidents.”
He created the DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT, which was signed, witnessed and notarized. This document created the GBC, and gave the EXACT DIRECTION AS TO HOW THE GBC SHOULD ACT ...Importanly, the GBC was to be ELECTED FROM THE BODY OF TEMPLE PRESIDENTS. The Temple presidents were instructed to hold elections every three years, and either re-elect existing GBC members, or elect new ones from a ballot of candidates chosen from the body of Temple Presidents.
Srila Prabhupada also wrote several letters stating that the temple presidents were to be elected by vote by the congregations of the individual temples, and that the GBC would have practically no AUTHORITY over the individual temples.
The devotees who live in ISKCON temples should be educated so that they understand the full extent of their constitutional powers. By the constitution of the ISKCON temple corporations, the members have the legal right to elect a new leadership. This is a little-known fact, but it is a law.
They also have the right to vote to impeach that leadership if they lose their qualification as leaders. Legally, they have voted to accept the appointed leaders by failing to vote them out. That is, unless the members assert their right to vote it is assumed they wish to follow the appointed system.
Because the GBC assumed dictatorial powers NOT PROVIDED in the DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT, they were in a position to "cover up" crimes committed by each other, and to terrorize the temple presidents by threatening to "kick them out" for insubordination. Since they were not authorized to do either of the above, we can see that their pattern of abuse followed the typical pattern of abuse in "rogue states" and other dictatorships and oligarchies that ARE NOT ANSWERABLE TO THE PUBLIC. It would have been almost impossible for the molestations of the children in the Gurukulas to have taken place if Srila Prabhupada's DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT had been followed.
The only thing that can be said in our (congregational member's) favour is that the GBC VERY CAREFULLY HID THE TEXT OF THE DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT UNTIL THE 1990'S. (Over twenty years!) So that NO CONGREGATIONAL MEMBER OF ISKCON REALIZED TO WHAT DEGREE THEY WERE (AND SITLL ARE) BEING RIPPED OFF!
The devotees should assert their rights under the law, at least in the United States, and immediately hold elections to force the GBC to resign as managers and trustees of all ISKCON properties. This is the only chance to save Srila Prabhupada's legacy from total destruction. If after the prosecution and defense presentations in the court, where all the details of the GBCs' intransigence will become public knowledge, the jury finds the defendants culpable, and if they did not resign when the case first began, this arrogant attitude will influence the judge and jury to increase the penalty.
A similar thing happened in the case the Turley firm recently won against the Catholic Church. None of the church leaders who covered up the abuse resigned, and partly because of this insolence the damages were in the tens of millions of dollars for only two victims. The ISKCON case may ultimately have over 1,000 victims. The GBC resignations will save ISKCON millions of dollars and win support from the court and all right-thinking people.
Srila Prabhupada: "Yes. This was the system, that one must retire. Just like at the present moment, although people are asking the president that 'You retire, you resign,' he is not resigning, obstinate. Because he knows, 'This is the first and last chance. I am not going to be elected again. So stick to the post and take as much money as possible.' That's all." [Lecture, 12/17/73 LA]
The GBC will not resign, they will stick to their posts and take money from Srila Prabhupada as long as they possibly can. Now the consequences of their actions threaten to destroy the entire ISKCON society.
Therefore the only chance to protect Srila Prabhupada's reputation is a general rebellion by vote of the members of ISKCON against the GBC. They have frustrated Srila Prabhupada's orders by mismanagement, by changing his books, by preaching bogus philosophy, and in countless other ways. They have driven away thousands of Srila Prabhupada's disciples and they have failed to maintain his institution. Now they deserve to be impeached.
As explained by Dasanudas, the member ship of any nonprofit religious corporation has the legal right to remove its leaders because nonprofit corporations are institutions meant to serve the needs of the community.
Therefore, a constituent assembly consisting of the current members of ISKCON (past and present Srila Prabhupada's disciples) should now come forward and do the needful, even another lawsuit if necessary, for electing a new GBC body.
There should be an organized petition presented to the GBC stating our demands for attaining the goal of an elected GBC as Srila Prabhupada outlined in his Direction of Management for the GBC.
Please contact Harinamdas at email@example.com. [email no longer valid] He will send you the PETITION FOR CARRYING OUT SRILA PRABHUPADA'S DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT FOR AN ELECTED GBC (GOVERNING BOARD COMMISSION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS)
in the service of Srila Prabhupada
For the Petition and SRILA PRABHUPADA'S DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org [email no longer valid]
Original Story URL: http://www.vnn.org/world/WD0009/WD18-6260.html
Srila Prabhupada's Direction Of Management is interesting for a number of reasons:
TP's can ONLY be removed with consent of temple devotees:
"8. Removal of a Temple president by the GBC requires support by the local Temple members."
Since this 'Direction
of Management' is signed by Srila Prabhupada, this gives us both legal and moral
protection in the event of the GBC unilaterally taking any action.
(In 1975, a GBC resolution was passed that TP's could be removed by 3 GBC's but this states that this can ONLY be done in the following cases:
1) TP does not submit reports;
2) TP mis-spends money;
3) TP does not follow regulative principles.
Otherwise it states that "there should be NO CHANGE of presidents", and only that "difficulties should be worked out". (GBC RESOLUTION 4, March 26th, 1975)
GBC's to be elected by temple presidents:
"In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple."
Though in 1977, Srila
Prabhupada stated that those already GBC should remain for life:
Satsvarupa: So our first question is about the GBC members. We want to know how long should they remain in office?
Prabhupada: They should remain for good.
Tamala Krsna: They should remain for good.
Prabhupada: Selected men are chosen, so they cannot be changed. (Room Conversation, May 28th, 1977)
The main function of the GBC is to simply maintain and spread what has already been given, not to introduce or adjudicate on issues not spoken of by Srila Prabhupada:
"6. The *primary* objective of the GBC is to organize the opening of new Temples and to maintain the established Temples."
No books apart from Srila Prabhupada's to be printed in ISKCON:
"So far my books are concerned, I am setting up a different body of management known as the BHAKTIVEDANTA BOOK TRUST. The trustees of this body are also members of the GBC, but their function is not dependent on the GBC. ISKCON Press was created for the exclusive publication of my books and literatures and *should be continued* in that way."
The MOST important point - Srila Prabhupada clearly refers to his leaving - yet makes no mention of how INITIATIONS will continue:
"I am getting old, 75 years old, therefore at *any time I may be out of the scene*, therefore I think it is necessary to give instruction to my disciples how they shall manage the whole institution. They are already managing individual centers represented by one president, one secretary and one treasurer, and in my opinion they are doing nice. But we want still more improvement in the standard of Temple management, propaganda for Krishna Consciousness, distribution of books and literatures, opening of new centers and educating devotees to the right standard. Therefore, I have decided to adopt the following principles and I hope my beloved disciples will kindly accept them."
"In the event of Srila Prabhupada's absence, the retiring members will decide which four will remain."
"While I am living they will act as my zonal secretaries and after my demise they will be known as Executors."
"During my absence no one shall live in my apartment."
Yet Srila Prabhupada
even makes provision for who should live in his apartment!
He sees the most important thing once he leaves 'the scene' is that his disciples should continue to 'manage' the centers. Thus Srila Prabhupada is linking his absence with the need to continue to 'manage' and expand better.
The issue of how his devotees would SUCCEED him is not even HINTED at. Thus in the matter of Guruship, the only conclusion that can be drawn from this document is that things would remain as they are, since he has specifically addressed HOW and WHAT his disciples should do when he DEPARTS, but the issue of them succeeding him as Diksa Gurus is not even mentioned.
Of course though Srila Prabhupada in later years added to and amended some of the points in this direction of management, it is still an instructive document.
We are left with the conclusion that all written documents to do with managing ISKCON in the context of Srila Prabhupada's departure - this direction of management, the will, the July 9th letter, make no mention of the *Diksa* Guru changing. There is also no mention in any of his books about him being replaced by any of his disciples as the Diksa Guru for ISKCON.
Supposed evidence for the contrary is confined to:
Private letters addressing premature guru-ship desire;
A 30 second taped conversation; and even 1) and 2) at *BEST* can be said to be inconclusive - they do not *clearly* authorise Guruship changing but only the POSSIBILITY of WHEN and HOW it CAN change. Even H.H. Jayadwaita Maharaja states that the change of guru-ship is not 'clear' from the tape.
Srila Prabhupada's emphasis in the above 'direction of management' on managing temples, and not mentioning a change in guruship, further confirms his letter in 1967 where he states that:
"I wish that each and every Branch shall keep their independent identity and cooperate keeping the Acarya in the centre. On this principle we can open any number of Branches all over the world. The Ramakrishna mission works on this principle and thus as organization they have done wonderfully."
(Letter to Kirtanandana, 67-2-11)
mission achieves 'this principle' that Srila Prabhupada wants to be followed
in ISKCON through a ritvik system.)
We are not presenting the above as any sort of conclusive evidence, but simply presenting it as an original document authored by Srila Prabhupada, that the devotees would probably be interested in seeing.
From: Nathan Zakheim
Date: Fri Feb 9, 2001
Subject: Letter to Sri Rama das
Dear Srirama prabhu,
I am in complete agreement that the GBC requires "reform" for Iskcon to continue as a viable representation of the Gaudiya Vashnava Sampradaya.
What seems to be undecided is the exact reforms that must be enacted.
Even at this late date, one may surmise that the best source from which to obtain insight as to effective reform would be the Founder Acharya of Iskcon, our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada.
Between attacks from envious imitators from various branches of the Gaudiya Matha and the endless sub-kanistha "shenanigans" of our own Iskcon "gurus", the fact that Srila Prabhupada will reign supreme (Through his books that will be the "lawbooks" for the next ten thousand years) for the duration of the Golden Age of Kali, may pass unnoticed at this time.
In 1970, Srila Prabhupada separated Himself from Iskcon through a letter in which He states that :"Due to certain "discourtesies" that have been extended to me, I am withdrawing from the management of Iskcon to retire and write my books".
In that same year, He founded the (real) BBT, which clearly states that the BBT copyrights shall be kept competely separate from and not controlled by Iskcon, but by certain lifetime appointed trustees. In that legal Trust document He refers to ANOTHER document called the "DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT" which He states will be the controlling charter for Iskcon.
In that same year, He formulated the DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT and it was signed by several witnesses, as well as Himself, and notarized.
This DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT could hardly be more clearly explicit as to how He wanted the GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION (created through provisions in the Direction of Management) to functions in relationship to Iskcon. The Direction of Management also specifically refers to the BBT trust as a companion "body of management" (see Article 9 of the DOM)
Having already established that the temple presidents were to be elected by their congregations, he went on to DIRECT that the temple presidents would nominate a slate of candidates for GBC, and that they would hold elections that would result in 12 GBC being called to a three year service until standing for re-election.
The duties of the GBC were also made clear. These duties were designed by Him to give almost compete autonomy to the individual temples, with practically no central functions to be perfomed by the GBC at all, aside from arranging to publish His books.
By the standards of the DOM, it would appear that the GBC was meant to be a body of elected public servants with far more REGULATORY powers than management powers.
No where does Srila Prabhupada even hint that the GBC members had "absolute authority" as claimed by Tamal Krishna in 1976, to which Srila Prabhupada replied, "WHAT absolute authority?"
Clearly, the Vatican styled hierarchy create from 1970 onward had no resemblence to the "lowerarchy" envisioned by Srila Prabhupada for the coninuance and management of our Iskcon movement.
Seeking to build a society of "independent philosophers" He clearly placed ultimate authority in the congregations, with the Temple presidents and GBC acting as elected representatives of these congregationis.
A student of history might be quite interested to research the result of the introduction of the Direction of Management, and how the elections were held, and how the society formed on that representational basis as clearly desired by the Founder Acharya of Iskcon.
The GBC was founded in 1970 through provisions clearly stated in the Direction of Management, and it's first meeting was held in New Vrindaban during the broadcasting of the very "discourtesies" mentioned in His earlier letter to the Ikscon society. Four sanyassis in the grip of the Gaudiya Matha almost mislead the members of Iskcon to declarte Srila Prabhupada to be "god" which would have destroyed the credibility of our Iskcon movement worldwide. (Particularly in India)
Rupanuga prabhu served as the first chair of the GBC. During that meeting the DOM was circulated to the congregational members, and was described at that time as the "Iskcon Charter".
From that date onward (until 1994) the DOM was held in complete secrecy by the GBC, and no one was permitted to own a copy of it or to see it. When (in 1975) I asked Jayatirtha to show me the document, he responded in a state of rage stating that it was locked in a safe, and that I would "never be allowed to see it".
A historian following the introduction of the DOM would understand that 1973 would be a year of particular and spectactular significance for Iskcon. THIS IS THE YEAR THAT THE FIRST NOMINEES WOULD BE CHOSEN BY THE TEMPLE PRESIDENTS AND THE FIRST GBC ELECTIONS HELD TO EITHER RENEW THE TENURE OF THE SITTING GBC, OR TO REPLACE THEM WITH NEWLY ELECTED REPLACEMENTS.
We are all aware that no such elections were held. None of the temple presidents knew that they not only had the right but the DUTY to elect new GBC members. (None of them had ever seen the Direction of Management). Instead, we were treated to a "plot" to CENTRALIZE Iskcon through Atreya Risha das and to diminish the authority of the temple presidents to that of vassals of a powerful centralized GBC group that were above criticism, (what to speak of being subject to ELECTIONS!)
So instead of this vital step of electing GBC members as a step toward the glorious spreading of the Iskcon movement, Srila Prabhupada found Himself forced to DISBAND THE GBC for gross disobedience to His Direct Order.
It is generally assumed that Iskcon began to "fall apart" after the untimely passing of our beloved Spiritual Master...... A more careful analysis will clearly demonstrate that this "parting of the ways" between Iskcon and Srila Prabhupada in 1970 or shortly afterward, and that things got worse, not better in spite of the huge amounts of money collected and new members recruited. and buildings and vehicles obtained. The "line in the sand" of this clear and formal disobedience is the ABSOLUTE REFUSAL OF THE GBC TO ALLOW THEMSELVES TO BE ELECTED under the provisions of the Direction of Management, although THE GBC COULD NOT HAVE EXISTED without the fact that the Direction of Management was the legal instrument by which the GBC itself was created and invested with specific duties and powers.
Is it not clear that there is nothing that WE OURSELVES can do do reform either ISKCON or the GBC unless we first reverse THIRTY YEARS OF CALCULATED AND LEGISLATED DISOBEDIENCE TO SRILA PRABHUPADA by immediately calling for GBC ELECTIONS and to follow the GBC Charter called the DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT henceforward?
I know you to be a very intelligent and kindharted man, courteous and farsighted in your personal and official dealings. For this reason, I humbly beg of you to examine the evidence before you in the shape of the Direction of Management as well as the plethora of letters and room conversations in which Srila Prabhupada makes His views of the GBC's disobedience to His Directions so absolutely clear. (Godless planmaking).
Enclosed below for your perusal is a facimile copy of the Direction of Management.
I rely on your penetrating intelligence to cut through all confusion surrounding this matter and to quickly identify the salient features of His Direct and intended orders for the Godly management of our Iskcon Movement, which is nothing less than a GIFT FROM LORD KRISHNA through His external representative,.... Srila Prabhupada.
Your eternal servant,
Nara Narayan Vishwakarma das
From: Nathan Zakheim
Date: Sunday, August 14, 2005
Aug 10, USA (SUN) -- Presented at Gathering for Apologies to Gurukulies, New Dwarka, August 5, 2005.
My dear Gurukul alumni, fellow parents, and GBC representatives.
I feel deep appreciation for the opportunity to address a subject of such great importance to the healthy continuation of our Krishna Conscious Society. The subject at hand is the "Direction of Management", introduced by Srila Prabhupada in 1970, with the first GBC meeting held in the spring of 1971 at New Vrindaban. This vital document, virtually unknown to the Temple Presidents and Congregations of our Iskcon society, was meant by Srila Prabhupada to be the Constitution of Iskcon for the next ten thousand years. Its absence has created a great chasm in this movement; and its introduction, after a lapse of thirty five years, will help to heal the wounds suffered by one and all during that exact same span of time.
Today, the GBC is appearing before us to deliver a formal Court ordered apology to you, the abused victims of a Gurukula created by Srila Prabhupada to bring you to the highest order of Brahminical training. And what was this Brahminical training supposed to do?
You were meant to not only take up the management of the world wide Iskcon Movement, but to lead the Humanity at large Back to Home Back to Godhead in His name.
This Brahminical training was effectively crushed by those who wished to remain in perpetual power in non-elected positions that guaranteed two things:
No accountability to your mothers and fathers for how you were being treated in the Gurukula.
A virtual guarantee that the unelected GBC's would cover up (to protect Iskcon!) any crimes committed against you.
Did Srila Prabhupada provide a protective "safe place" for you, your parents and your families?
YES HE DID!
What was this called?
It was called "THE DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT" (DOM), and although well known by the GBC and the leaders of Iskcon, your parents and temple leaders were never shown a copy of it or told you and your families that the Direction of Management GUARANTEED YOU CERTAIN PROTECTIONS AND "GOD GIVEN RIGHTS" that were kept secret over the last thirty five years.
It may surprise some of you to learn that after a 1970 attempt by four sanyassis to overthrow Srila Prabhupada and declare themselves to be Acharya, Srila Prabhupada, together with the remaining loyal Iskcon leaders created a document which He named "THE DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT" by which He created the GBC the same GBC that covered up your molestations and abuse two or three years after this sacred document was created by Srila Prabhupada.
So, What is the "Direction of Management" and why should we be interested in this neglected Order of the Spiritual Master thirty-five years later?
The Direction of Management does two things:
The Direction of Management creates a democratically elected GBC to represent the Iskcon Temples, just as the US Senate represents the 50 states of the United States. The GBC is to be elected every three years from a slate of candidates nominated by the Temple Presidents. Far from having "Absolute Powers" the GBC is meant to be the SERVANT of the interests of the Iskcon Temples and their Congregations.
The Direction of management PROTECTS the individual temples and congregations from potential abuses by the GBC. If the GBC were not subject to "checks and balances" from the Temple Presidents and Congregations, abuses would inevitably occur. The very significance of the meeting in which we find ourselves today rests on the fact that THESE ABUSESDID INDEED OCCUR!
I attended a 1971 meeting in New Vrindaban where the Direction of Management was introduced to the GBC and the first GBC meeting took place there with Rupanuga prabhu as the chair of the meeting. He showed me the DOM and proudly stated that it was the "new constitution for Iskcon". I read it, and remembered many important passages. I particularly read the part about the GBC being an elected body.
So what happened to the DOM?
After 1971 I tried to find a copy, but there were none nor were the GBC of 1975 willing to let me see a copy.
Even to this day, I do not know of anyone who had ever seen the Constitution of Iskcon (DOM) at that time. (Surely, each and every Iskcon member would be given a copy of it before taking initiation no?)
1n 1972, a secret GBC meeting (referred by Srila Prabhupada as a "conspiracy") effectively replaced the DOM with a centralized corporate structure. Srila Prabhupada was neither informed of the meeting nor invited to it. When Srila Prabhupada learned of the meeting, He disbanded the GBC and ordered all temples to ignore any directives generated by the GBC until further notice.
In 1974, He issued a paper marked "TOPMOST URGENCY" that ordered that the DOM be added to all Iskcon temple non-profit corporation charters. In other words, in the Iskcon world, the DOM was once again to be introduced as the LAW OF THE LAND" under Srila Prabhupada's order.
THAT ORDER WAS ALSO NOT OBEYED.
It was only after deep contemplation that it occurred to me that had the Direction of Management been in place, FEW IF ANY OF THE ILLS OF ISKCON WOULD HAVE OCCURRED! (Or at least such things would have been minimal). The molestation and abuse of the Children of Iskcon on the part of such "absolute" leaders as Bhavananda, Kirtanananda, Jagadish, etc. clearly led to PREVENTING THE NEW CROP OF BRAHMINS FROM TAKING LEADERSHIP POSITIONS WITHIN ISKCON, WHICH WOULD HAVE TAKEN AWAY THE FIRST GENERATION'S POSITIONS OF POWER, DUE TO THE HIGHER QUALIFICATIONS THAT SRILA PRABHUPADA CLEARLY STATED THAT THE PURE BRAHMIN GURUKULA GRADUATES WOULD HAVE!
As a result, very few Gurukulies have taken over any positions of power within the movement, even though they themselves are approaching middle age; ages double those of us who started the Iskcon temples in the first place!
Simply put, if we clarify the history of Iskcon into "pre-DOM" and "post DOM" we can see that there is no way that the GBC could have legally or ethically take on the absolute" powers that enabled them to "pull the wool" over your parent's eyes.
I made my "breakthrough" in the matter of understanding what an ISKCON obedient to the Direction of Management would have been like, by using my imagination to create a "proto-movement" that had joyfully and obediently accepted the DOM starting with summer 1970 and continuing until 1978.
(Of course, if we had accepted the DOM in 1970, we would have probably been observing Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day in 1988!)
I saw good GBC's elected, I saw little, if any, child abuse and molestation, I saw no drug dealing, murders, cults illegal money rackets etc. I saw millions and millions of books printed, and saw many thousands of temples opened. I saw second generation Brahmins training the public in thousands of temples to accept the principles of Krishna Consciousness. I saw 'Nagar Sankirtan" conducted by thousands of men and women daily in all the major cities of the world! Most importantly, I saw the movement run by second and third generation Gurukula graduates who had learned the art of the "Rajarshi" !.. I saw the Gurukula graduates advising current heads of state or become elected as heads of state themselves.
I saw the "Acharya in the center" in hundreds of thousands of Iskcon temples all over the world, and I saw India rising up as a Krishna Conscious nation. I saw whole islands such as Madagascar becoming Krishna Conscious states, I saw the High Court Judges wearing Tilak, and I saw a reduction in war, abortion, animal slaughter, atmospheric pollution... and many other wonderful things.
.....And then I opened my eyes, and saw what greed, sexual perversion and plain stupidity had done to mis-represent what Srila Prabhupada offered to us in the first place....In 1970, he wrote, "I have given you Vaikuntha, and you have turned it into Hell"
He introduced the DOM in 1970 to counteract that "Hell" but the document was never released to the Temple Presidents and Congregations... to the immense loss to ourselves and the entire humanity at large.
This paper has been presented to you for your consideration. I hope that the GBC will make part of their apology an apology for having deprived you of your basic Rights guaranteed by Srila Prabhupada himself at a time that would have made your Gurukula sufferings very unlikely to occur.
Both we, your parents, or those of your parent's generation as well as the GBC must apologize to you for this!
So I beg all of you; GBC, parents, and graduates of the Gurukula to read this Direction of Management carefully, and to let yourselves dream and imagine a Krishna Conscious world such as Srila Prabhupada envisioned for us when He wrote the Direction of Management; free from the type of abuses for which you are receiving an apology today.
Your humble and eternal servant,
Nara Narayan Vishwakarma das
Read the "Direction of Management" by Srila Prabhuapda
WHEREAS, on July 28, 1970, the founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada put into a signed managerial directive for ISKCON called the Direction of Management for the GBC (see attachment) ordering the creation of an ad hoc committee from among 12 of his disciples to write the constitution of an elected GBC;
WHEREAS, since then this committee has not yet fulfilled this important institutional directive, which allowed the GBC managers to assume a dictatorial control over ISKCON members and ISKCON property from immediately after the physical disappearance of Srila Prabhupada in November 1977;
WHEREAS, this negligence of the founder-acharya/spiritual master by his GBC disciples fostered severe deviations from the founding principles of ISKCON and the teachings of its founder-acharya; which caused the alienation and suffering of many of its original members and their dependents;
WHEREAS, the direct order of Srila Prabhupada in his Direction of Management for the GBC is a fundamental institutional directive necessary for the future wellbeing of ISKCON and all of its past, present, and future members;
BE IT RESOLVED, that the undersigned petitioners, who are disciples of ISKCON's founder-acarya Srila Prabhupada or his grand-disciples, or bhaktas hereby petition the ad-hoc committee and the GBC for the immediate implementation of Srila Prabhupada's July 28, 1970 Direction of Management for the GBC and writing the constitution for a regularly elected GBC ordered therein;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the constitution of the GBC will
not be subject to any change from what Srila Prabhupada ordered in his July
28, 1970 Direction of Management for the GBC nor subject to any approval by
the GBC and it will be put into effect immediately in all ISKCON temples by
the GBC with regular elections to be held no more than 1 year thereafter.
INITIATED NAME NAME BEFORE INITIATION TEMPLE LOCATION OF INITIATION DATE OF INITIATION NAME OF GURU (If not formally initiated, write "bhakta" in initiated name and state present temple location.) SIGNATURE TODAY'S DATE CONTACT INFO (All info is strictly confidential.)
Note: Those wanting to sign this petition must first printout
it out, fill in the bio data, then sign and send it to:
- Address not valid anymore -
If no printer available email us at (email not valid anymore) stating your snail-mail or fax address and we will send you the petition for signing and returning to us. (Note: Mailboxes Etc. and PostNet has these facilities.) This procedure is for maximum credibility as all petitioners will be verified for duplications and authenticity.
Print out the DOM and the petition and gather as many disciple/bhakta signatures as you can in your area, as they are the actual members of ISKCON for which it was founded. We have about a year to do this important task. Book mark this page for progress reports and pertinent info.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Srila Prabhupadas supporting instruction for his DOM
29 September, 1974
On the whole I understand there are so many contradictions, so in the presence of all members you may take the vote again and decide finally.
You may inform Prabhavisnu that I have received his letter dated 22/9/74.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
My Dear Rupanuga das:
please also see:
New York Temple follows Direction Of Management