Krsnacandra Dasa – Vrndavan: It has been said many times that the present GBC and Gurus will never reform or change as they are set in their ways and are extremely attached to their positions and careers. It has also been said that we must wait until they die before there is any hope of correcting the problems that their tyrannical regime has imposed upon ISKCON and the devotional community.
This, however, is a defeatist mentality. Half of the problem is solved when we first acknowledge that there is a problem. Then all that is left is to seek solutions. So to use an old adage – be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.
It must also be well noted that the Administrators firmly believe that ISKCON is Srila Prabhupada’s gift to us and that we must not allow any group or individual to take over or corrupt this gift in any way, shape or form. There is no need to leave and start your own program or organization, as your time, energy and love for Srila Prabhupada is needed to change the ISKCON he gave to us.
It is understood that the present devotees in institutional positions within ISKCON are either causative of the problems or assisting the causation agents. These individuals need to be corrected and in most cases replaced. This needs to be accomplished as quickly as possible for if left unattended, the present situation will only get worse.
Here at PrabhupadaVision.com we are providing a much bigger picture of the problems in ISKCON and looking more deeply at the causative factors. We are also seeking to offer and explore solutions to these problems. This section is designed to allow interested devotees to seek practical solutions to the problems at hand. The article below is an attempt to explain further that the ‘wait until they die’ principle is defeatist and not solution orientated.
So please think hard and carefully on this and send in any practical solution to rectify the present situation.
ISKCON is facing a crisis of faith. This crisis is due to a sense of hopelessness rising in the general devotional community from their lack of ability to affect change in their lives with relationship to the ISKCON leadership. Many devotees believe that the present leadership is not in keeping with the ideals that Srila Prabhupada established and is not interested in feedback from the devotional community. This has led to general disenfranchisement of many older members and subsequently a polarization of the society.
This is also the case for many devotees within the Institution itself who have taken on positions of responsibility such as Temple Presidents / Book Distributors etc. Many of whom are in the firing line with regards to not only complaints and objections from members of the devotional community but strong pressure from ISKCON leadership to implement operational changes that they believe are not in keeping with the instructions of Srila Prabhupada.
All this has led to the general opinion amongst the devotee community that nothing can be done to change this present leadership’s aims and objectives and therefore it is hopeless to bother. There has slowly emerged this concept that it is better to wait until the present leadership dies for they will never change while they are alive.
While this may be true it is only true if we give them the power by not uniting to make a stand against them. We all know that many devotees have tried to oppose or advise them over many years but we have never done this together, as a united front. But we are a family and as a family we have not only the right but the ability to stand together for if we don’t then they will only get stronger and their systems more entrenched as the years wear on.
The “Wait until they die” principal needs to be kicked out immediately. Srila Prabhupada continually stressed the adverb ‘immediately’. Immediately means – Without delay or hesitation; with no time intervening.
Medically, if a viral infection is left unattended and the disease process not interrupted the viruses will continue to replicate until the host body becomes so dysfunctional that it may never recover. Viral populations do not grow through cell division, because they are acellular; instead, they use the machinery and metabolism of a host cell to produce multiple copies (clones) of themselves, and they assemble in the cell.
If the errant and corrupt GBC and gurus are left to act on ISKCON then what do we expect the outcome or prognosis to be?
As you can already see they are beginning to replicate themselves in the form of GBC Deputies, Apologists and Disciples who are willing and ambitious enough to take on positions of responsibilities under the old guard.
They are also more than willing to submit to the secular training regimes that shape the minds and intellects of the ignorant and naïve devotees moulding them into the type of individual that will be able to continue the aims and objectives of the old guard.
Like a virulent virus the old guard uses the machinery and metabolism of the host to assemble clones of themselves, similar, to the corrupt GBC and Gurus who use Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON as their host body and the devotees as their host cells in order to replicate.
Viruses usually infect a non healthy individual and in many instances the weakness is inherent in the genetic makeup of the individual. The main bodily defence against viral infections is the body’s own immune response with the creation of antibodies. These antibodies act to interfere with the replication process and therefore disallow the virus to use the body’s metabolism to replicate.
The same must be done within ISKCON. The only way for the diseased individuals to be stopped is to disallow them access to the resources and manpower of ISKCON.
It goes without saying that the sooner the better. For why wait until the infection goes beyond the point of survival of Srila Prabhupada’s body – ISKCON?
Another way that we can look at an epidemic of infection would be to use the analogy of an immigrant. A newcomer to a country usually comes with nothing but their skills and seeks to utilize the resources of the host country in order to grow and multiply.
The psychology of the US that sees an immigrant rising from rags to riches as the success of life is one of the main contributing factors of economic growth for the US.
However, should the immigrants grow strong and powerful enough to dictate the policies and programs of the country and thus subvert its original purpose then surely this needs to be addressed and curtailed?
We as devotees must not allow this selfish and materialistic mentality to continue within our minds and intellects. Vaisnava’s perceive spiritual advancement as the cornerstone of success and leadership not the results of a person’s karmic endeavour.
Whichever way one may choose to look at the term ‘Wait until they die’ it will never be the appropriate mentality and attitude to adopt when looking at the any dysfunctional situation where there is a threat to the healthy growth and development of an organism or ISKCON.
Wait until the viruses die? The viruses only deactivate when the host body ceases to be a functional living entity so it is foolhardy to wait.
I say kick out this false mentality immediately. Devotees need to act like antibodies that repel any infection or threat to Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON and consequently themselves.
If you think about it, ISKCON is Srila Prabhupada’s creation which he gifted to us. We must treasure and preserve this wondrous and most beautiful masterpiece and allow it to act unhindered upon the minds, intellects and hearts of all humans on earth. Just like skillfully administered medication acts on the diseased body to assist it to repel the invading or causative agents in order to rectify and rejuvenate the diseased body.
So please I beg you to not wait until they die before you act to make the necessary changes that are required in order to rectify and heal our glorious Spiritual Masters legacy ISKCON.
You must make a stand now. Do not wait. You know what is needed. It burns in your heart how much has been lost, how much has been changed, how many friends have been left by the wayside and disheartened, how Sankirtan has become an anachronism and in its place cold institutional process and secular academia has become the manner in which Krsna Consciousness is being propagated. How ISKCON has turned into an impersonal corporate institutionalised entity that has lost its heart and way…
It is up to you now so please do the needful.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Krsnacandra dasa – Vrndavan Dham, July, 2010
Following are some suggestions for solutions.
1. Legal Action Campaign: As ISKCON was founded and established as a Charitable Trust then the foundational documentation that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada legally incorporated ISKCON are still valid.
A Charitable Trust is responsible to those who are giving donations and/or have dedicated their time and skills to serve the trust. Any subsequent changes to this documentation must be accepted by those individuals for whom the trust was founded. That means you.
Therefore if the members of the devotional community reject any changes to the trust that is not in keeping with the original documentation or expressed wish of its founder and/or any new trust that was formed on the basis of the original trust which does not conform to the original trust documentation then there is a legal case against the GBC.
The GBC are well aware of this fact and act as if they have the supreme and legal authority to change whatever they deem fit with regards to the Society and its incorporation documentation and operational functions.
2. “As It Was” GBC Reform Campaign: Get involved in any activity that supports the rectification of the present situation. It is self evident that to support the existing situation is being part of the problem and not part of the solution. ISKCON needs to change and in order to accomplish this we need to change.
3. “As It Is” Prabhupada’s Books Campaign: Get involved in any move to have His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada’s books and literature return to its original unedited format. Only distribute Srila Prabhupada’s original books.
These are just some ways in which we can make a difference in ISKCON.