Krsnacandra Dasa – Vrndavan: The GBC has proven over the years to be willfully neglectful of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and have sought to modify the aims and objectives of the Society to suit their own ‘unstated’ ends. This has lead to disenfranchisement and polarization of the majority of the members of the Society. In order to do so they have established a communications and media network that seeks only to present the views of the establishment rather than the views of the general members of the society, therefore, obscuring the full picture of Post Samadhi ISKCON.
Is the GBC Representative of Srila Prabhupada?
When we consider what ISKCON has become under the direction of the GBC over the last 33 years many of us do not like what we find. Historically ISKCON has been fraught with schisms, controversies, GBC, guru and Sannyasi ‘falldowns’ brought about by sexual, criminal, moral, ethical and philosophical deviance. We have also been faced with a GBC that has stalwartly pushed ahead with its plans to fully corporatize and centralize the ISKCON Institution with modern business stratagem and secular academicians against the best advice of many of the senior devotees of the devotional community.
Many senior and scholarly devotees have challenged the GBC on the validity of their management structure, methodology and their lack of consultation with devotional community members. The obstinacy of the ISKCON management to heed their advice/admonitions/needs has led to suspicion and eventually confrontation by many of the senior ISKCON members who feel alienated and disenfranchised from what they know is their spiritual father’s mission. Many are also beginning to doubt the ingenuousness of the ISKCON leadership’s true intention and subsequently their loyalty to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and his mission.
This contravention has inevitably led to polarity within the ISKCON Society which has resulted in the ISKCON leadership expending an extraordinary amount of time, effort and money on designing new laws, policies and programs whose main aim it is to; control the devotee resource base, prosecute them under the new ISKCON laws if necessary and ultimately to protect themselves and their interests.
Many feel that the GBC no longer feels obligated to the older devotional community members and has instead implemented a strategy that is primarily focused on the development of a volunteer workforce that has no knowledge of ISKCON’s fallacious past, and is loyal to the GBC and ISKCON gurus before Srila Prabhupada.
The failure of the GBC to respond appropriately to the needs of the older devotional community has also played a large role in the estrangement of many thousands of senior men and women of our community and has resulted in the mass exodus to other camps such as the Narayana Maharaja Camp and even to the point of filling the ranks and coffers of the Sahajiya Babas of Radhakunda, Varsana and Govardhana etc.
In order to properly understand and address the issues that face modern day ISKCON we must defer to the words and instructions of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada. It is only then that we can construct an unbiased comparison between the present management of ISKCON’s aims and objectives and that of Srila Prabhupada and fully address the issues being brought to light by disenfranchised members of the devotional community.
As per the Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Introduction: “There are other documents entitled to similar authority, in a different sort of way. These are legal documents in which Srila Prabhupada gives explicit directions. Examples are trust deeds, incorporation papers, and his last will. Such documents were deliberate, purposeful, and clearly intended to be upheld by the full force of law.”
Here the ISKCON leadership refers us to the levels of importance that we should place on the various literatures that we have available to us in ISKCON. Books are the highest instruction and they deal primarily in the philosophy of Krsna Consciousness. Legal documents are considered ‘similar’ in authority to Srila Prabhupada’s books. It is when we review these legal documents that we can easily differentiate if there are any differences between the GBC based management structure of ISKCON and the one that Srila Prabhupada established.
OFFICIAL INCORPORATION OF ISKCON
The legal document that demonstrates Srila Prabhupada’s final word on the incorporation of his ISKCON was in 1976 when Srila Prabhupada had ISKCON registered in LA (Los Angeles) as an Institution by incorporating it under US law. By doing so he made sure that his society was legally secure and established himself officially as the supreme authority for his society. It will soon become apparent whether or not the GBC followed Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on the management of ISKCON or whether they devised an entirely new system of their own creation.
Quote from ISKCON’s Certificate of Incorporation:
“Third: It is declared that His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada is the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of the Bay Area. He shall be the supreme power with respect to all matters of the Society, and that status shall not be occupied by or shared with any other individual, either during his lifetime, OR AFTER HIS DEATH. His name and title must appear on all documents, letterheads, publications and buildings of the Society or Corporation.”
(Certificate of Incorporation: Jan 12 1976)
By this statement Srila Prabhupada confirms his role as Founder Acarya and establishes himself as the ‘supreme power’ and authority of ISKCON. He had the foresight to proclaim that no one must either take his place or share his status after his death. It is quite evident from this statement that Srila Prabhupada wanted his word to be final in all matters to do with his Society so long as ISKCON remains a Society.
The Certificate of Incorporation was registered in LA on Jan 12 1976 and in the fourth Provision section (1) Srila Prabhupada refers to his Direction of Management (July 28th 1970) mandate. In this mandate Srila Prabhupada made sure that the management of his Society would be securely in place.
It is noteworthy that Srila Prabhupada had the DOM officially written in to the incorporation certificate of ISKCON as late as July 1976 (six years after he mandated his DOM and one year before he went into Samadhi) which demonstrates the importance that he placed on this mandate. Srila Prabhupada again mandated the importance of the DOM in what is now known as the ‘top most urgency’ amendment which must be added to all official registration documents, constitutions, incorporation papers, etc.
This firmly establishes that any changes made to the management of the ISKCON Society must be sanctioned by Srila Prabhupada even after his ‘death’. The clause ‘or after his death’ is a very vital point to consider in light of the present struggle that many devotional community devotees have with the present management and management structure of ISKCON many of whom firmly believe that the GBC has lost sight (intentionally or not) of the management system that Srila Prabhupada established and had legally inculcated into ISKCON’s infrastructure.
The main doubt that many of the senior devotees of ISKCON have is whether or not the Leadership of ISKCON is actually adhering strictly to the mandates and instructions of Srila Prabhupada with regards to the proper management of his Society; or are they instead replacing Srila Prabhupada’s management infrastructure with one of their own.
Srila Prabhupada not only left us his books, which give the philosophical basis for the growth and development of our ISKCON Society, but he also left us legal documentation such as the DOM etc which detail the manner in which Srila Prabhupada wanted his Society to be managed. The mandates that lie within the indisputable wording of these documents are vital to provide checks and balances for the correct management of ISKCON.
Many senior devotees are challenging the GBC and gurus to ‘show cause’ for the many discrepancies that they are finding with regards to the management of ISKCON that is not in keeping with the above mentioned documentation. It is self-evident that under the light of the legal documents that the GBC has presumed the authority to make fundamental infrastructural changes to the management procedure/aims and objectives of Srila Prabhupada’s ISKCON Society. This is conspicuously evidenced by the GBC’s unwillingness to implement the DOM within ISKCON. Some of these changes and points will be brought to light below.
ISKCON BYLAWS (NEW)
The GBC has implemented various controversial changes to the management structure of ISKCON that are not concurrent with the management system that Srila Prabhupada established which they believe are inferior and inadequate to manage ISKCON. The new Bylaws which the GBC are currently attempting to introduce into ISKCON’s management structure are meeting with some resistance from sectors of the devotional community and also the Temple Presidents.
The new by-laws of ISKCON now openly refer to institutional ISKCON as a Corporation making full use of the term. The title of Temple President has been changed to ‘Presidents of the Corporation’. They have a Board of Directors who in conjunction with the GBC nominates the President of the Corporation (TP). From the Board of Directors down, all positions are ‘elected and appointed’ by the GBC. In the new ISKCON Bylaws there is no mention that the “directors” are lifetime members as described in Srila Prabhupada’s Will (referred to below).
The system of appointment of managerial/spiritual positions with the management structure that Srila Prabhupada established was primarily an election procedure. The Temple Presidents were elected by the members of the devotional community that require the position filled. The Temple President can only be removed by vote of the members of the same devotional community.
The GBC were elected from the general body of Temple Presidents with the proviso that the ones with the highest votes took the positions of GBC on a three year basis. Srila Prabhupada gave no restriction to the number of terms of office, so long as the GBC and Temple President was voted in each term the position could be occupied by the particular individual for life. This naturally assured continuity of leadership.
It must be duly noted that Srila Prabhupada’s Will is yet another official document that clearly demonstrates that Srila Prabhupada had mandated his instructions in a legal and binding manner.
SRILA PRABHUPADA’S WILL
In Srila Prabhupada’s Will he distinctly states:
Point 2 “Each Temple will be an ISKCON property and will be managed by three executive directors. The system of management will continue as it is now and there is no need of any change.”
Here Srila Prabhupada states that the system of management will continue as he directed without change…
The management system that Srila Prabhupada is referring to is the DOM which is referred to here;
1. Srila Prabhupada’s original DOM mandate – July 28th 1970
2. Srila Prabhupada’s Amendment Instruction (TOP MOST URGENCY PAPER) to all official registration documents / constitution incorporation papers etc -July 22 1974
3. Srila Prabhupada’s DOM is found in ISKCON’s Articles of Incorporation (provision 3) – January 12 1976
4. Srila Prabhupada’s Will (point 2 – “system of management”) – June 7th 1977
As can be evidenced in the above references Srila Prabhupada made sure that his DOM was legally embedded into the management infrastructure of ISKCON. It is also very well documented that Srila Prabhupada’s practiced this management system (DOM) in his manifest Lila.
Srila Prabhupada is very clear in these points:
Srila Prabhupada’s Will – Point 3 “The executive directors who have herein been designated are appointed for life. In the event of death or failure to act for any reason of any of the said directors, a successor director may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple following strictly all the rules and regulations of the ISKCON as detailed in my books…”
“FAILURE TO ACT FOR ANY REASON” CLAUSE OF SRILA PRABHUPADA’S WILL
However, this lifetime clause is not given without conditions. Lifetime is also subjected to stipulations; death and ‘failure to act for any reason’ are self-evident clauses. Failure to act means that the director fails to properly discharge his duty. The duty of the director / GBC / guru / Temple President is to represent Srila Prabhupada and to strictly adhere to Srila Prabhupada’s instructions, mandates and edicts when prosecuting their devotional service and the duties and responsibilities of the position they occupy as a leader in ISKCON.
Hence philosophical deviation / criminal activity / sexual falldown and perversion / negligence of their duty and to disobey the orders of the Spiritual Master are grounds for their removal and replacement. Under the above categories to disobey the orders of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada is the most heinous crime that a person who holds such as responsible and meaningful position within ISKCON can commit.
PROVISION FOR THE GBC’S MANDATE IN SRILA PRABHUPADA’S WILL
Point (1) of Srila Prabhupada’s Will clearly states:
“The Governing Body (GBC) will be the ultimate managing authority of the entire international Society for Krishna Consciousness.”
There are no other conditions or references to this edict of Srila Prabhupada’s apart from Srila Prabhupada referring to the management of his movement (managing authority). There are no references in any legal documentation that Srila Prabhupada wanted that the GBC is elected for life ad infinitum without stipulations. There are no references affording them the power to implement an overhaul of Srila Prabhupada’s mandates on how he wanted his Society to be managed.
The fact that the GBC may have some paperwork that suggests this is so is futile. Even if Srila Prabhupada nominated the GBC men that he appointed to be lifetime GBC that does not give any license whatsoever for them to elect themselves and to implement a system of self-election of GBC ad infinitum and go on to institute management infrastructure and procedures that goes against all other direct instructions and mandates by Srila Prabhupada.
In any official documentation that Srila Prabhupada signed and had witnessed, we see very clearly that he wanted the DOM. That the life time positions that Srila Prabhupada officially stated were the three Executive Directors of Temples (properties) and not GBCs or any other positions.
“a successor director of directors may be appointed by the remaining directors, provided the new director is my initiated disciple following strictly all the rules and regulations of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as detailed in my books…”
Here it is self-evident that Srila Prabhupada wanted successor directors to be appointed from his initiated disciples only and be of good spiritual standing. This point of Srila Prabhupada’s Will is difficult to understand from the aspect of the present ISKCON management procedure when one attempts to forecast how this process will be implemented into the distant future when no direct disciples of Srila Prabhupada are alive.
Due to the management system that has been implemented by the GBC we are left with many unanswered questions as to what Srila Prabhupada actually wanted for the future of his movement. It also begs the question – what documentation has been omitted from the true accounts of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on this and many other matters of extreme import.
It is not yet clear just how many of Srila Prabhupada’s mandates, laws and bylaws have been doctored by the GBC. It is evident that the articles of association that the GBC have submitted in order to incorporate the various GBC regional bodies and Bureaus have been changed to meet the needs of the new ISKCON and have seemingly purposefully removed any reference to Srila Prabhupada’s DOM and other bylaws.
The question of why the current International body of the GBC is registered in West Bengal India when Srila Prabhupada had ISKCON registered in LA is still an enigma. If the GBC had built itself around the LA mandates that were set down by Srila Prabhupada then there would be presently a very different ISKCON.
Instead they have made very controversial ‘in-house’ decisions that are not supported by Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and they have never given any reasonable explanation to questioning members of the devotional community as to their logic and rationale for doing so.
As more documentation becomes apparent we may very well have a much fuller picture of the scope of the registration changes throughout the whole ISKCON Institution.
For example when reviewing the Indian ISKCON’s – Governing Council (Bureau) Charitable Trust documentation ‘Rules and Regulations’ there is no mention of Srila Prabhupada whatsoever. This is just one example of not following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada when he mandated that all documents, letterheads, publications and buildings must have his name and title on them – this document has no sign of relevance to His Divine Grace whatsoever.
CORE ISSUES THAT FACE OUR ISKCON SOCIETY
POSTHUMOUS CHANGES AND AMMENDMENTS
It is important to look at the changes that occurred posthumous to Srila Prabhupada entering into Samadhi. During His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada’s manifest Lila the ISKCON GBC have gone through many developments in its management stratagem that were seemingly designed to divert the system that Srila Prabhupada established and to mold it into their own system. This is off course typical of any corporation take over stratagem of the business world.
In order to more easily facilitate these changes the devotional community had to be instilled with specific social engineering mechanisms (following are only some of the mechanisms):
1) Myth creation – Divinity of ISKCON appointed Guru.
2) Obscurantism – creation of false doctrines / schisms / groups / secular academism etc.
a) Some of the ISKCON gurus who self-righteously believe that they are either mukta jivans or in possession of their siddha deha, go to the length of leading their disciples and followers to take shelter outside of ISKCON in the various sahajiya baba sects that are proliferating in the Braja area. ISKCON has gurus residing in both Radhakund and Govardhan who play a large role in alluring neophytes by the thousands to the feet of these resident Babas.
b) The GBC / SAC consider educational curriculum and syllabus to be a management issue and not a philosophic issue. The whole scale integration of secular academics into child and adult education and welfare is evidenced by the MED / ADR Alternative Dispute Resolution system etc. This confuses the community who have been instructed not to take shelter of secular education and systems by Srila Prabhupada and are now given no option by the GBC as the GBC believe that education within ISKCON is a managerial issue now that they ‘the franchised owners’ are in control.
c) Create of the division of services – volunteers – money collectors and institutional positions salaried workers – wages for teachers / counselors / institutional officers etc creates a division of devotees and leads to misunderstanding Srila Prabhupada’s instruction on seva, devoting a devotees time/resources/skills to serve the Society or receiving money for services rendered to the Society. Maintenance equates to minimum/standard wage.
d) Pluralism is another way of allowing confusion to breed in our Society. By allowing the mixing of the smarta Brahmin Hindu in order to gain disciples and subsequently wealth the GBC has opened up a Pandora’s Box. Not only is there confusion regarding our Vaisnava/Hindu status, The Hindu dollar has bought them into control of many of our Major Temples and projects.
e) Creation of the Liberal Vs Traditional devotee ideology – Driving the stake of pluralism deeply into ISKCON’s core philosophical orientation has given rise to polarity within the devotional community. The false ideology that is being espoused by materialistic devotees has created doubt that Srila Prabhupada’s instructions are applicable in this so called modern age. That a traditionalist is a fanatic and that there is sanity in the liberalist ideology.
3) Lack of Transparency – Secretive meetings and control of accountability structures such as ISKCON Resolve etc. This leaves devotees uncertain about the programs and policies that may affect them or their service.
4) Control of Media – Creation of propaganda Journals, websites, apologists etc. Readers of the various websites related to ISKCON will note over the years the names of devotees who write in who are favorable to the GBC and gurus or they purposefully change the subject of discussion or misdirect it to emphasize irrelevant aspects. This is the typical activities of the apologist.
5) Secretive changes of – legal entity incorporation, legal documents, recordings, literature. GBC is engaged in secretive changes to; articles of association / unauthorized changes legal entity etc – which are under the radar of the devotional community who would never consent to such changes. This behavior easily lends itself to suspicion and incertitude amongst the devotional community members who are more easily influenced to accept the changes once they have already been executed.
6) Misdirection – Shifting emphasis and loyalty away from Srila Prabhupada to ISKCON appointed guru and GBC – by emphasizing the importance of a living guru (ISKCON Appointed) it takes away attention and loyalty from Srila Prabhupada’s importance and position as Acarya. Statements like ‘we tried it Srila Prabhupada’s way and it did not work’ when they did not in actual fact try it properly and dispended with it only to implement what they always intended to establish. The Gurukula system is a perfect example of this. When the Gurukula system was established the GBC allowed it to corrupt to such an extent that it was useless then they installed the secular education system in it place.
7) Emotional Manipulation – creation of mixed loyalties; disheartenment at impotence to change status quo / speaking up equates to; disloyalty, lack of humbleness, envy. False proclamations of Vaisnava aparadha – ‘your being offensive prabhu’ etc. This leads to incertitude to any devotee who sees some discrepancy and acts to report the problem – is made to believe that the authority is acting on behalf of Srila Prabhupada and Krsna. Or the reporter is made to feel fearful that they will be prosecuted under new ISKCON law and excommunicated from ISKCON.
8) Centralization – The GBC has embarked on a scheme to centralize all management under the one umbrella. Marketing the idea that it is needed in order for ISKCON to grow. Srila Prabhupada was vehemently against centralizing ISKCON in any shape of form and the GBC know this very well indeed. So should you. This leads to doubt in the ability of Srila Prabhupada being able to lead our society.
9) Oligarchy – The holding of more than one position which is unnecessary in such a large Society and can only be a sign of a small group of individuals who want control of the Society. For example an ISKCON Leader is usually: guru / Sannyasi / Property and/or Temple Trustee / GBC / Minister Etc. This adds to the myth that our GBC, gurus, sannyasi’s etc are powerful and potent spiritual leaders…
LOYALTY TO SRILA PRABHUPADA
When comparing the legal documentation and other literature that we have in our possession (excluding ones that have not yet been released) it now appears evident that the GBC has purposefully implemented a management structure of their own design and not the one that Srila Prabhupada instructed them to implement.
This begs the following questions;
1) Under whose authority have the GBC over the last 33 years been systematically implementing mandates and management infrastructure that is not in keeping with Srila Prabhupada’s instructions. For example the two tier GBC structure – GBC / Deputies (buffers and screeners for GBC).
2) Under whose authority have the GBC begun to centralize regional Temples and Projects when Srila Prabhupada was firmly against centralization.
3) Under whose authority has the GBC changed the election system that Srila Prabhupada instructed on how the Temple Presidents and GBC are elected?
4) Under whose authority has the GBC ignored the DOM and have not implemented it within ISKCON?
5) Under whose authority have the GBC elected gurus to provide spiritual guidance to the community of devotees? The onus is on the GBC to prove indisputably that Srila Prabhupada wanted a guru to be elected by a peer appointment process and not according to their spiritual qualification, adhikara.
6) Under whose authority did the GBC shift the International base of ISKCON to West Bengal, India
7) Under whose authority did the GBC omit the DOM in any or all of the articles of incorporation documentation of the various ISKCON corporate entities that have proliferated in ISKCON.
8) Do the GBC and gurus believe that they are on the same spiritual platform as Srila Prabhupada?
9) Do the GBC and gurus believe that they know better than Srila Prabhupada how to manage ISKCON?
10) Do the GBC believe that they have the spiritual / managerial qualification to change or allow any change to Srila Prabhupada’s direct mandates, instructions, policies and edicts? In this section other core corporate entities are included such as the BBT / MVT etc.
11) Do the GBC BBT and gurus believe that by changing or allowing the change of anything that Srila Prabhupada instructed us to do is displaying loyalty to Srila Prabhupada and his followers?
THE ISKCON APOLOGISTS
The main feedback that the devotional community gets from the GBC is via ‘edited’ and ‘sanitized’ GBC meetings and the odd ‘whitepaper’ from the GBC or SAC Sastric Advisory Council. The veraciousness of both these bodies is under question and are therefore not credible sources of information; so the creation of the ISKCON apologist is a very good mouth piece / buffer for the errant ISKCON Leadership.
Over the years the main mouth piece of the GBC has been the various apologists that speak up in defense of the status quo. An apologist is someone who will defend the Institution on either their own volition or who are instructed to do so at the behest of the Institution. As history attests these individuals have something to gain from supporting an institution or policy no matter how inappropriate or counterproductive it may be. Many of the ISKCON apologists are GBC, Project Directors or Temple Presidents who act as if they ‘own’ the various projects and Temples. Actually the do ‘own’ these Temples or Projects…
THE PROLIFERATION OF CORPORATE ISKCON
As we can see from the “Corporate ISKCON” series by the Sampradaya Sun, ISKCON is no longer a simple spiritual organization. We must remember that this series has only touched on some of the peripheral satellite entities of one small section of North America, centering only on Alachua and not the financial holding entities or the GBC and Regional GBC corporate structures of International ISKCON.
If and when the full extent of the proliferation of corporate entities that are affiliated with ISKCON officialdom will come to light, we will quite possibly be shocked to see to what extent the GBC and gurus have developed the movement towards being a huge impersonal business/corporation. The peripheral ‘private’ businesses that are comprised of ISKCON devotees, who are both congregational and official members of ISKCON, is disproportionate in comparison to the official institutional entities and clearly demonstrates that the growth and development of ISKCON is more mercantile in thrust than spiritual.
The GBC, it seems, has placed more emphasis on Commercial Development as opposed to Spiritual Community Development. Community development seeks to empower the community members and that is why Srila Prabhupada’s DOM is perfect for the proper growth and development of our devotional community while the GBC seeks to control and manipulate the community which only serves to alienate and disempower its members.
This huge corporate body is now at the point that it requires more and more raw recruits in order to fill its volunteer ranks and enable it to further develop the ISKCON Society into a multi-national business corporation that to all extents and purposes has obscured Srila Prabhupada’s original and true focus – Which is to build a society that will enable people to become Krsna Conscious and not fill the ranks of volunteer workers and/or salaried institutional positions – for a materialistic pseudo religious movement/business (Cheating Religion).
The GBC is accomplishing this objective by several means. Firstly the 50 man committee multiplied the number of ‘peer appointed’ gurus from the original 11 zonal gurus which broke the stronghold the original usurping leaders/ gurus had on ISKCON and ‘opened the position of guru’ to all and sundry. More recently the guru appointment process evolved to the point where gurus are appointed by a group of their peers so long as they are ‘team players’ and disregards any true spiritual realization. This is the same for the Sannyasa asrama – a Sannyasi is appointed due to being a team player and/or earned through doing some disservice to the devotees rather than the person’s adhikara.
Even more recently GBC has increased its guru base by including women as gurus so as to reach the liberalistic devotee. The standards for a guru’s spiritual sadhana are also kept at a bare minimum as the GBC mandated that in order for an existing guru to maintain his or her status they only have to maintain a (impossible to observe) sadhana similar to a new initiate neophyte devotee; chant sixteen rounds follow the 4 regs and morning program etc. There is no question of why a real guru would have such a condition at all?
Over the last several years the gurus have begun to give sannyasi initiation to their disciples in order to increase their own recruitment processes to be able to procure more recruits or resources.
MISLEADING STATEMENTS OF DIVINITY AND SHAKTYAVESA AVATAR STATUS
In order for the present GBC and gurus to maintain their potency to convert/recruit non devotees and to maintain the recruit’s or follower’s loyalty and service there has been an escalation in the propagation of the ideology that an ISKCON guru is a ‘divine’ representative of Lord Krsna. This ideology has been largely propagated by the ISKCON Apologist, the gurus themselves and their fan club disciples/followers. This type of false propaganda naturally gives rise to a ‘fan club’ mentality amongst the disciples and followers which has its own momentum in creating the myth of divinity of the guru.
There are several variations on the divinity myth that is being propagated by the institution or intentionally allowed to circulate amongst the neophyte devotees are as follows:
1) The shaktyavesa avatar myth – that Krsna has sent the guru or senior devotee to aid Srila Prabhupada.
2) They are jiva baddha who, by the proclamation of their disciples and followers, have already attained their, siddha deha. Therefore they have come to their elevated status via being a saddhana siddha via the appearance of chanting sixteen rounds, odd attendance at the morning program and speaking about elevated subject matter.
3) That they are jiva baddha who received their (top secret) siddha pranali from either the sahajiya Babajis of Radhakund or Govardhana.
4) That you can only have a relationship with Krsna if you have diksa initiation by an ISKCON appointed guru.
No matter which myth is in play they are all alluding to the gurus being on the same spiritual platform as Srila Prabhupada. This ultimately affords them, in the eyes of their followers, the right to make any changes / engage in any behavior or activity whether it is; criminally, sexually, materially, philosophically, ethically or morally deviant or not. This is even though there is no sastric or historic basis for this speculation.
Another vital aspect of the divinity myth of the ISKCON appointed guru is the emphasis that the guru places on elevated subject matter such as rasalila etc. Many gurus and senior ISKCON devotees speak on these high subject matters to their disciples and followers even though we never find Srila Prabhupada speaking and writing at length on these subjects to his disciples or followers/enquirers. This subject matter is considered highly confidential and the qualification of the speaker and listener needs to be suitable to hear such intimate details either individually or in group. There is no restriction on reading this matter except that it is better understood if the reader is qualified or has it explained to them by a truly self-realized soul.
Thus to ‘preach’ at this level to followers or disciples when one is not on the appropriate spiritual platform is considered sahajaism. To speak on this subject matter from the platform of siksa or diksa guru within the ISKCON Society infers that one is ‘not’ on the same platform as Srila Prabhupada but on a higher platform.
This begs the question who is this person who is speaking such high and intimate pastimes of the Lord? They are either a pretender trying to make out that they are very advanced in Krsna Consciousness or they are in fact seemingly a more elevated soul than Srila Prabhupada. It infers that their mission is greater or more intimate than that of Srila Prabhupada. Perhaps they are incarnations of Ananga Manjari the little sister of Srimati Radharani?
GURU BY APPOINTMENT
The present system of officially appointing a guru by a group of their peers is by no means based on Sastra and the teaching of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada and by no means can a Vaisnava guru be determined simply on whether or not the person is a ‘team player’ which has been the case up until now.
The selection of a Vaisnava guru is accomplished according to the person’s spiritual adhikara and not something that can be gained via a peer group selection process or by course or seminar packages.
Srila Prabhupada wanted that all his disciples become guru and initiate disciples all over the world as would any Vaisnava Acarya. There is only one proviso… First you must become qualified. Deserve before you desire. If you are truly free of your material desires and you are actually conscious of Krsna then there is no restriction to become a guru. Srila Prabhupada did not emphasize anything less in his books.
Anything less than a self-realized soul would be assisting another person on their spiritual journey, nothing more. The role to assist another person on their spiritual journey is usually filled, in our Vaisnava tradition, by the position of a siksa guru.
The only ‘appointed’ positions (management infrastructure) that Srila Prabhupada mandated are:
1) Founder Acarya: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada who is the supreme spiritual and managerial authority of ISKCON for the Kali yuga. No one shall share or occupy his position. His role is to be the spiritual master of all who take shelter of ISKCON.
2) GBC: – Which is appointed term by term by the vote of Temple Presidents who managed the Society
3) Sannyasis: – Who were given Sannyasa to provide spiritual leadership for the international devotional community, in particular the various Temples and projects etc.
4) Executive Directors: – Who are voted in for life by the existing executive directors who were appointed by Srila Prabhupada himself in his manifest Lila to oversee the various Temples and Projects.
5) Temple President: – Who are elected by the ‘local’ devotee community to provide spiritual and managerial direction for the Temple Community on a term to term basis.
Apart from the number 1 position all positions are answerable ‘to’ and not independent ‘of’ Srila Prabhupada as the supreme authority in all matters to do with the ISKCON Society ad infinitum. Srila Prabhupada did not delineate in his managerial or spiritual guidelines for the operation of his Society that anyone can occupy his position in any manner shape or form. What he left us is what we must do. Do not add or subtract anything.
Only someone who is on the similar platform than Srila Prabhupada can change even one single word of his books / mandates / edicts and general instructions. However, Srila Prabhupada did not leave any room in his ISKCON Society for anyone to occupy his position other that he himself.
It is very interesting to note that in the management structure Srila Prabhupada established he did not leave any position for a guru… The GBC’s ‘addition’ of the pseudo acarya guru – little Prabhupada/Mini ISKCON Franchises, is nowhere to be found in the infrastructure that Srila Prabhupada left for us to follow. Nor did he allow them to use ISKCON in any way to create their private projects or to manufacture a position for benefice of the position holder. He in fact strictly forbade them to use ISKCON’s name for their private enterprises. The guru franchise is very a sound business stratagem for the creation of a cheating religion and it has proven to be very lucrative for the ISKCON guru. So long as the peer appointed ISKCON guru pays some lip service to Srila Prabhupada and his peers enable him or her to use ISKCON name / resources / manpower they are guaranteed of making their fortune.
Even if they stayed in their families business or started their own and not joined ISKCON and become a guru they would never bathe in the ‘lurks and perks’ and stardom status of an Indian guru.
He did say that first you become pure and then you can start your own movement and make your own disciples and call it what you like but not ISKCON. ISKCON belongs to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada and no one else…
The GBC’s usual excuse for ignoring the DOM is; when Srila Prabhupada set up his Society he had no idea whatsoever that it would get big and the management system that he established was only designed for a minor INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY; or – that Srila Prabhupada left them in charge and they could now do whatever they deem fit to His Divine Grace’s Society for they know better as they are living in the modern world and Srila Prabhupada came from another era.
Ultimately the GBC had and have no authority to change anything that Srila Prabhupada left us. Their role is simply to make sure that we all cooperate together to do his will and become Krsna Conscious. The DOM empowers you, the devotional community member, to make decisions on who you want as your Temple President and subsequently GBC. Srila Prabhupada gave us this power. It is his legacy to us so please avail yourself of this matchless gift.
Temple Presidents should also take heed of the documentation in this presentation for it is in your hands that the future of ISKCON lies. It is vital that you do your research and find out in truth what Srila Prabhupada wanted for his movement.
Srila Prabhupada knew full well what it would take to develop an International Society (his society) and the DOM is more than equal to the challenge of handling a Society one thousand times as large as ours.
I refer to the GBC’s ISKCON as FISKCON for good reason. The GBC have sought to deceive us by superimposing, a system of their own design, under the auspices of an undisclosed authority. FRAUDULENT ISKCON (FISKCON) is what I believe the correct term to use to describe the intentions of the GBC and ‘peer appointed’ FISKCON gurus.
If anyone is able to provide more official documentation that either proves or disproves the above presentation then I would be more than happy to obtain it.
Sri Vrndavan Dham
Originally published: November 2010