B. Radha-Govinda – US: Hare Krsna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my fallen obeisances.
Since some GBC folks mosey over to the Prabhupadavision website to check on things that get posted, I’m submitting the following letters or excerpts from letters for them to read. Though the first 4/22/72 letter Srila Prabhupada directed Kharandhara prabhu to write, Srila Prabhupada’s then approving it, the others are from His Divine Grace, Srila Prabhupada. (All bolding is my emphasis.):
Kharandhara prabhu’s 4/22/72 letter
Letter to: All Temple Presidents
ALL GLORIES TO SRI GURU AND GAURANGA TO ALL TEMPLE PRESIDENTS
As a follow up to Srila Prabhupada’s letter to all Temple Presidents of April 9, His Divine Grace has instructed me to inform you all of the following:
The formula for ISKCON organization is very simple and can be understood by everyone. The world is divided into twelve zones. For each zone there is one zonal secretary appointed by Srila Prabhupada. The zonal secretaries duty is to see that the spiritual principles are being upheld very nicely in all the Temples of his zone. Otherwise each Temple shall be independent and self-supporting.
Let every Temple President work according to his own capacity to improve the Krishna Consciousness of his center. So far the practical management is concerned, that is required, but not that we should become too much absorbed in fancy organization. Our business is spiritual life, so whatever organization needs to be done, the Presidents may handle and take advice and assistance from their GBC representative. In this way let the Societies work go on and everyone increase their service at their own creative rate.
Now, so far the BTG and Book Funds are concerned, these matters shall be managed separately from the GBC by a body known as The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. The Book Trust shall be comprised of Srila Prabhupada, Karandhara dasa, and Bali Mardan dasa. They shall combinedly collect the sales proceeds from each Center and utilize all funds for the printing of Srila Prabhupada’s books and the construction of ISKCON Centers all over the world. Not a farthing is to be spent for any other purpose.
The Book Trust shall see to the printing and distribution to Centers of books and magazines and it will be the serious responsibility of each Temple President to see that the billed amounts for these are paid to the BTG and Book Funds regularly. The billings and collections shall come from and to Los Angeles where Karandhara dasa will collect and keep accounts.
We request that everyone will take these formulas to heart and execute them very conscientiously. In this way we shall certainly be successful in pushing on this movement.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga
APPROVED: A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Founder-Acarya of ISKCON
Your lowly servant at Prabhupada’s lotus feet,
Karandhara dasa Adhikari
c.c. To all ISKCON Temple Presidents
(Karandhara prabhu’s letter was a followup to the following Apr 6 cable and Apr 8 letter sent by Srila Prabhupada (in regards to a GBC meeting (purposely) kept secret from Srila Prabhupada, placing Atreya Rsi into a specific position. All capitalized letters are part of the letter and are not my capitalizations. Also included is Srila Prabhupada’s 4/10/72 letter to Satsvarupa):
MEMO TO ALL ISKCON TEMPLE PRESIDENTS:
YOUR MATERIAL LEGAL FORMULA WILL NOT HELP US. ONLY OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE CAN HELP US. HAMSADUTA MUST RETURN GERMANY IMMEDIATELY AND DON’T LEAVE AGAIN. ATREYA RISHI HAS NO AUTHORITY FROM ME TO MANAGE ANYTHING. REMOVE HIM. I HAVE NO APPROVAL FOR ANY THESE PLANS. DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING. ACKNOWLEDGE CABLE 26 RENNY STREET PADDINGTON SYDNEY.
4/8/72 letter To all temple presidents:
MEMO TO ALL ISKCON TEMPLE PRESIDENTS:
My dear ___
Please accept my blessings. I beg to inform you that recently some of the Governing Body Commission members held a meeting at New York on 25th through 28th March, 1972, and they have sent me a big big minutes, duplicated, for my consideration and approval, but in the meantime they have decided some appointments without consulting me. One of the items which struck me very much is as follows:
“Atreya Rsi das was selected to be the Secretary for GBC and receive all correspondence including monthly reports.” I never appointed Atreya Rsi member of the GBC, and I do not know how he can be appointed Secretary to GBC without my sanction. “He was also appointed to be on the Management Committee. with Karandhara for the purpose of supervising ISKCON business and implementing the decisions reached by GBC.” This has very much disturbed me.
Sriman Atreya Rsi das may be very expert, but without my say he has been given so much power and this has upset my brain.
I also understand that immediate actions are going to take place even prior to my permission, and that, also, “without divulging to the devotees(!)”
I do not follow exactly what is the motive of the so-called GBC meeting, therefore I have sent the telegram which you will find attached herewith, and I have received the replies as well.
Under these circumstances, I AUTHORIZE YOU TO DISREGARD FOR THE TIME BEING ANY DECISION FROM THE GBC MEN UNTIL MY FURTHER INSTRUCTION.
You manage your affairs peacefully and independently, and try to improve the spiritual atmosphere of the centers more carefully.
I shall be very glad to know the names of your assistants such as Secretary, Treasurer and Accountant. Finally, I beg to repeat that ALL GBC ORDERS ARE SUSPENDED HEREWITH BY ME UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
You may reply me at ISKCON Tokyo. Hoping this meets you in very good health and advanced spiritual mood.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
4/10/72 letter to Satsvarupa
My dear Satsvarupa,
“…I have been very much disturbed recently by the meeting which you all have had in New York, wherein you have passed so many resolutions and elected Atreya Rsi to GBC Secretary, and made so many other changes. I am very much puzzled by the whole business. Therefore I have not approved of it, and you may by now have received my letter why I have temporarily suspended the GBC. Let us not revive this old matter, but I want to know from you what is your opinion of the matter, and how is it that Hamsaduta and Atreya Rsi were able to persuade you all senior leaders of the Society to follow their foolish activities? Kindly inform…From now on, the temples will operate independently and try to improve their spiritual life more carefully, so there is no more need for such financial arrangement of centralization, as you have proposed…So far your statement, “Our final success will be when you actually sit tight and translate books and let us manage successfully,” yes, that is my desire, but if you can do it or not, that has again disturbed me very much. Now I have given you everything, but I do not see that even the basic principles of advancement in spiritual life are always there, and sometimes there is tendency to neglect what is our real purpose of life, namely, to become mad after Krishna, and instead we become carried away by big big talk. So I am still thinking how things will go on.
Srila Prabhupada’s 12/22/72 letter to Karandhara prabhu:
Regarding your points about taxation, corporate status, etc., I have heard from Jayatirtha you want to make big plan for centralization of management, taxes, monies, corporate status, bookkeeping, credit, like that. I do not at all approve of such plan. Do not centralize anything. Each temple must remain independent and self-sufficient. That was my plan from the very beginning, why you are thinking otherwise? Once before you wanted to do something centralizing with your GBC meeting, and if I did not interfere the whole thing would have been killed. Do not think in this way of big corporation, big credits, centralization—these are all nonsense proposals. Only thing I wanted was that books printing and distribution should be centralized, therefore I appointed you and Bali Mardan to do it. Otherwise, management, everything, should be done locally by local men. Accounts must be kept, things must be in order and lawfully done, but that should be each temple’s concern, not yours. Krishna Consciousness Movement is for training men to be independently thoughtful and competent in all types of departments of knowledge and action, not for making bureaucracy. Once there is bureaucracy the whole thing will be spoiled. There must be always individual striving and work and responsibility, competitive spirit, not that one shall dominate and distribute benefits to the others and they do nothing but beg from you and you provide. No. Never mind there may be botheration to register each centre, take tax certificate each, become separate corporations in each state. That will train men how to do these things, and they shall develop reliability and responsibility, that is the point. I am little observing now, especially in your country, that our men are losing their enthusiasm for spreading on our programmes of Krishna Consciousness movement. Otherwise, why so many letters of problems are coming, dissatisfied? That is not a very good sign. The whole problem is they are not following the regulative principles, that I can detect. Without this, enthusiasm will be lacking. Even mechanically following, and if he gets gradually understanding from the class, he will come to the point of spontaneous enthusiasm. This spontaneous loving devotional service is not so easy matter, but if one simply sticks strictly to the rules and regulations, like rising early, chanting 16 rounds, chanting gayatri, keeping always clean—then his enthusiasm will grow more and more, and if there is also patience and determination, one day he will come to the platform of spontaneous devotion, then his life will be perfect. All of this I have told you in Nectar of Devotion. So I do not think the leaders are themselves following, nor they are seeing the others are following strictly. That must be rectified at once. Each centre remain independent, that’s all right, but the president and other officers must themselves follow and see the others are following the regulative principles carefully, and giving them good instruction so they may understand nicely why this tapasya is necessary. And GBC and Sannyasis will travel and see the officers are doing this, and if they observe anything lowering of the standard, they must reform and advise, or if there is some discrepancy I shall remove it. Of course, if new men are coming, they may not be expected immediately to take to our regulative principles cent per cent. Therefore we should not be so anxious to induce them to live in the temple. Anyone who lives in the temple must agree to follow the rules and regulations without fail. So if some new man moves in with us he may become discouraged if he is forced in this way. Therefore let them live outside and become gradually convinced in the class why they should accept some austerity, then they will live with us out of their own accord and follow nicely everything. It is very difficult to give up very quickly so many bad habits as you have got in your country, so educate them gradually, first with chanting, and do not be so much anxious to count up so many numbers of new devotees, if such devotees go away later being too early forced. I want to see a few sincere devotees, not many false devotees or pretenders.
So my point is that the regulative principles must be followed by everyone. Otherwise their enthusiasm dwindles and they again think of sex and become restless, and so many problems are there. There is some symptom of missing the point. The point is to be engaged in doing something for Krishna, never mind what is that job, but being so engaged in doing something very much satisfying to the devotee that he remains always enthusiastic. He will automatically follow the regulative principles because they are part of his occupational duty—by applying them practically as his occupational duty, he realizes the happy result of regulative principles. So the future of this Krishna Consciousness movement is very bright, so long the managers remain vigilant that 16 rounds are being chanted by everyone without fail, that they are all rising before four morning, attending mangal arati—our leaders shall be careful not to kill the spirit of enthusiastic service, which is individual and spontaneous and voluntary. They should try always to generate some atmosphere of fresh challenge to the devotees, so that they will agree enthusiastically to rise and meet it. That is the art of management: to draw out spontaneous loving spirit of sacrificing some energy for Krishna. But where are so many expert managers? All of us should become expert managers and preachers. We should not be very much after comforts and become complacent or self-contented. There must be always some tapasya, strictly observing the regulative principles—Krishna Consciousness movement must be always a challenge, a great achievement to be gained by voluntary desire to do it, and that will keep it healthy. So you big managers now try to train up more and more some competent preachers and managers like yourselves. Forget this centralizing and bureaucracy.
Hoping this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
7/19/73 to Karandhara
“Regarding incorporation of our ISKCON centers, we want to run all our centers as non-profit religious organizations; that is the main point. Keeping this point in view, too much official control is not good in spiritual life. The centers should remain spiritually fit and independent. Some control must be there as is now. Too much control means so many watches. Gradually it will become a mundane institution. All our managers should be spiritually advanced, simple and honest in carrying out the orders of the spiritual master and Krishna. That will be a nice standard.
1/9/73 to Damodar
“…I have not got much stock in such centralized management or organization. I never wanted that any of my temples shall be dependent upon the other temples, rather, our main business is to train up men to be self-sufficient and competent in many ways to carry on the preaching work, not to make them into specialists or to minimize their responsibility by centralizing everything… Our purpose of Krishna consciousness movement is to create first class servants of Krishna…
9/12/74 To Hansadutta
“…I made the GBC to give me relief, but if you do like this, then where’s the relief? It is anxiety for me. This is the difficulty, that as soon as one gets power, he becomes whimsical and spoils everything…”
To Karandhara, 10/8/74
My Dear Karandhara das:
Please accept my blessings. I am very pleased to receive your letter dated 9/11/74 and have noted the contents with great delight. The thing is where is the question of making any conspiracy. The materialistic man creates diplomacy and conspiracy for sense gratification. Everyone wants in the material world some reputation, profit, and some adoration. But so far we are concerned we are being trained up by following the footsteps of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagadisa kamaye/ mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi. “My Lord I do not want any monetary gain, neither any number of followers, or wife, but simply I want to be engaged in Your causeless devotional service, which means I do not even want salvation.” So if actually we follow the footsteps of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, where is the question of conspiracy?…I am training some of my experienced disciples how to manage after my departure. So if instead of taking the training, if in my lifetime you people say I am the Lord of all I survey, that is dangerous conspiracy.
As alleged by you I have received complaints against Bali Mardan [GBC] and his wife, so seriously so much so that the girl has declared that Bali Mardan is an incarnation of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura on my name. In India some of the important members they have collected huge amounts in the name of the Society and spent it luxuriously. I wanted you all my experienced disciples should manage the whole institution very cleverly without any personal ambition like ordinary materialistic men. The Gaudiya Math institution has become smashed, at least stopped its program of preaching work on account of personal ambitions.
So whatever is done is done. I shall request you all not to be personally ambitious. I shall do everything in my power to fulfill your personal ambitions, but that will be done in due course of time when you are fully trained up and following the regulative principles and chanting 16 rounds.
So complaints against Bali Mardan is very serious, and I have appointed an enquiry committee, consisting of three men. Let us know the report.***…I believe all my students they are very serious devotees, maybe sometimes influenced by maya, but they can be corrected and the whole thing will go on as usual without any difficulty. Please try to help me in this connection in this endeavor.
I hope you are living very peacefully with wife and children without being disturbed by anything else. More in my next.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
***Srila Prabhupada wanted serious deviations to be addressed and the situation corrected. Bali Mardan was a GBC.
To Rupanuga, 11/7/74
“Regarding replacing Abhirama and Damodara I refer to the ‘Direction of Management’ as follows: ‘Removal of a temple president requires support by the local temple members.’ Therefore you should take a vote of the temple members and do the needful.”
(Abhirama – shown on the right here http://prabhupadavision.com/2011/11/abhirama-and-pancagauda/ was removed from the presidency.)
9/9/75 to Satsvarupa
So I want that all centers follow the following procedure for handling the money. Whatever income is there, every cent must be given to the treasurer. Immediately he records it in the book. Then daily he deposits everything in the bank. For the expenditures, he withdraws from the bank the petty cash by checks signed by himself and the president. Then the expenditures are checked by the president to see how the money is being spent. The important thing is that all monies must be given to the treasurer and he records it and every day deposits everything in the bank. And whatever is spent, that also is withdrawn from the bank. This will stop the embezzling that is going on. Please arrange for this and inform me.
And this little “extra”
SP 2/14/73 to Rupanuga
The policy should be that all the women are given the utmost protection. Women are looking for husbands because they feel unprotected so it is up to the senior members to give all protection to the women.
Srila Prabhupada spoke the following in His June 4, 1974 SB 1.12.14 class, entitled, “Why One GBC Became A Sudra”:
Srila Prabhupada spoke the following in His June 4, 1974 (Geneva) Srimad Bhagavatam 1.12.15 class, entitled “Why One GBC Became A Sudra”:
“As we have got twelve GBC’s, similarly Krsna has got GBC’s. Now, [SB 6.3.20]
svayambhur naradah sambhuh kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo balir vaiyasakir vayam
“That twelve men are authorized to preach Krsna consciousness. So we have to follow. Mahajano yena gatah sa panthah. Therefore we have created these GBC. So they should be very responsible men. Otherwise, they will be punished. They will be punished to become a sudra. Although Yamaraja is a GBC, but he made a little mistake. He was punished to become a sudra. So those who are GBC’s, they should be very, very careful to administer the business of ISKCON. Otherwise they will be punished. As the post is very great, similarly, the punishment is also very great. That is the difficulty. You can see from this example, Vidura. He was immediately punished. He did little mistake at Manduka… Because the rsis, the munis, they will curse…”
May we be safely situated under the shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s Lotus Feet, Those of our Guru Varga, the Vaisnavas, and Sri Sri Radha and Krsna.