Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of ISKCON's GBC - Mayapur 2008
Posted April 30, 2008
Registration Number S/74662 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961
P.O. Shree Mayapur Dham, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal 741313
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
SRI MAYAPUR DHAM, FEBRUARY 24 MARCH 4, 2008
Section 100: APPOINTMENTS
101. GBC Officers, Members, and Candidates
1. Ramai Swami is elected GBC Chairman.
2. Romapada Swami is elected First Vice-Chairman.
3. Madhu Sevita Das is elected Second Vice-Chairman.
4. Bhakti Purusottama Swami is elected GBC Secretary.
5. Kavicandra Swami is elected Special Duty Officer.
6. Hrdaya Caitanya Das is appointed as an Acting GBC member.
7. Tamohara Das is appointed as an Assistant GBC member.
8. Candrasekhara Das continues as a Candidate for GBC.
9. Kaunteya Das continues as a Candidate for GBC.
10. The resignation of Satsvarupa Das Goswami as GBC Emeritus is accepted.
102. Sannyasa Waiting List
That the following are the candidates for sannyasa for 2008:
Acala Das3 year waiting list
Brhat Mrdanga Das1 year waiting list
Carudesna Das3 year waiting list
Gaurahari Das3 year waiting list
Hrsikesa Das2 year waiting list
Jagat-Caksur Das2 year waiting list
Jagat Guru Dasapproved to take sannyasa this year
Jaya Govinda Das1 year waiting list
Mahadyuti Das1 year waiting list
Makhanlal Das2 year waiting list
Nitai Caitanya Das2 year waiting list
Prabodhananda Sarasvati Dasapproved to take sannyasa this year
Purnacandra Das approved to take sannyasa this year
Sarvaisvarya Das1 year waiting list
Siddhartha Das2 year waiting list
Vasudeva Das 1 year waiting list
Visuddha Sattva Das2 year waiting list
Yadunandana Das1 year waiting list
103. Assignments to Ministries and Standing Committees
That the following shall be the Ministry and Standing Committees and their membership assignments for 2008-09:
Ministry of CommunicationsMinister Anuttama Das
Ministry of Health and WelfareMinister Prahladananda Swami
Congregational Development Ministry Minister Jayapataka Swami
Vaisnavi MinistryInterim Committee Malati Dasi, Prasanta Dasi, Laxmimoni Dasi, Dina Sharana Dasi
ISKCON Youth Ministry Minister Manu Das
Ministry of Sannyasa Services Minister Prahladananda Swami
Sannyasa Standing Committee: Hrdaya Caitanya Das, Sivarama Swami, Guru Prasad Swami, A.C. Bhaktivaibhava Swami, Bhakti Caitanya Swami, Prahladananda Swami
ISKCON Ministry of Deity Worship Minister Nrsimha Kavaca Das
Ministry of Book DistributionMinister Vijaya Das
Ministry of Cow Protection and AgricultureMinister Balabhadra Das
Ministry of PadayatraMinister Lokanath Swami
Ministry of Educational DevelopmentMembers Sesa Das (Minister), Laxmimoni Dasi, Saunaka Rsi Das, Braja Bihari Das, Yadunandana Das, Radhika Raman Das
Sastric Advisory Council Members Purnacandra Das (Chairman), Gopiparanadhana Das, Drutakarma Das, Urmila Dasi, Mukunda Datta Das
Ministry of Justice Minister Sesa Das
ISKCON Property Office Members Current GBC Executive Committee, Bhaktarupa Das (Member-Secretary)
ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection Director Tamohara Das
GBC Vaisnava Calendar CommitteeMembers Bhanu Swami, Gopalapriya Das, Sadasivananda Das, Bhaktarupa Das (Convener)
BBT Construction Grant Allocation Committee (BBTCG)Members Ramai Swami, Bhanu Swami, Devamrita Swami, Current GBC Chairman, Hrdaya Caitanya Das (Convener)
Guru Services CommitteeMembers Prahladananda Swami (Chairman), Anuttama Das, Visakha Dasi, Virabahu Das, Ravindra Svarupa Das, Bhakti Caitanya Swami
For the more effective functioning of the Board of Examinations, it shall no longer function as a separate entity but shall now function under the direct control of the Ministry of Educational Development.
Section 200: FINANCE
201. GBC Budget
The GBC budget for 2008/2009 is as follows. All amounts in Indian rupees:
EC Secretariat 2,69,500
GBC Corresponding Secretary 2,31,000
GBC Database 96,250
Emergency Fund 1,15,500
EC Travel 2,69,500
GBC Deputy Travel 77,000
ISKCON Resolve 3,08,000
Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture 1,92,500
ISKCON Ministry of Deity Worship 3,08,000
Ministry of Educational Development 1,92,500
Ministry of Health and Welfare 38,500
Vaisnavi Ministry 57,750
World Holy Name Day 19,250
Vaisnava Calendar Web Site 13,475
Annual General Meeting 1,92,500
Mayapur GBC Meeting Facilities 38,500
Mid-Year Meeting 0
Mayapur Office 38,500
202. Appointment of Auditor
Sri A. K. Shah, F.C.A., Chartered Accountant, of 125, Netaji Subhas Road, Room No. 45, Kolkata 700 001, is appointed as statutory auditor for the year 2008-2009.
Section 300: INTERNAL ISKCON
301. Extra Meeting 2008
A five-day extra meeting for 2008 will be held in at Juhu, Mumbai, starting on Sunday morning, the 19th of October 2008, and ending on Thursday evening, the 23rd of October 2008.
302. Annual General Meeting 2009
The Annual General Meeting for 2009 in Mayapur will start on the 12th of February 2009 and end on the 23rd of February.
February 12 February 23GBC Meetings
February 14 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's Appearance Day
March 11, Gaura Purnima
303. Mayapur Management
Whereas the following resolution was passed in New Vrindaban in June 2007 and requires AGM ratification;
The number of GBC Zonal Secretaries for Mayapur shall be expanded to include the following GBC members:
Gopal Krishna Goswami
Bhakti Charu Swami
Bhakti Purusottama Swami
GBC Chairman (ex-officio)
The co-GBCs shall meet regularly as a team and be empowered to make policy decisions for Mayapur in both management and development areas. The individual co-GBCs may have designated areas of oversight, but generally the policies will be set by the entire team.
The Mayapur GBC Team assumes the functions of the SPMDC. The SMPDC shall cease to exist as a sub-committee of the GBC. The GBC expresses its gratitude to the members of the SMPDC for their devotional service to ISKCON.
The Mayapur GBC Team shall meet at least three times a year.
An annual report from the Mayapur GBC Team shall be presented each year at the AGM at Mayapur.
304. Long Island Trustees
1. Whereas the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc., a New York religious corporation, was established by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami (Srila Prabhupada) in New York City in 1966 as the first corporation of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON); and
2. Whereas the doctrine that Srila Prabhupada desired to continue to act as diksa-guru after his departure from this world, and did not desire any of his disciples to give diksa, or initiation, in succession after him is an errant philosophical deviation (known as ritvikism); and
3. Whereas ritvikism directly contradicts the principle of parampara itself (of successive diksa and siksa-gurus), which sustains the pure teachings and practices of Krsna consciousness; and
4. Whereas this principle has been established by Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, and is upheld by all of the bona fide acaryas (teachers) in the Gaudiya Vaishnava religious tradition, as well as all followers of Vedic culture; and
5. Whereas in the informed ecclesiastical opinion of the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON, ritvikism has on numerous occasions been formally deemed to be an extreme deviation from the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and the Krishna consciousness religion; and
6. Whereas the GBC has found it necessary to replace former officers and directors of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. (such as Viswa B. Garuda) because of their advocacy of the ritvik doctrine on ISKCON temple property; and
7. Whereas after a thorough investigation, as well as information obtained in the ongoing litigation involving control and ownership of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. temple located at 197 South Ocean Avenue, Freeport, NY, USA, the GBC finds that persons asserting themselves to be members of the board of directors or trustees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. continue to actively espouse the ritvik doctrine, in direct defiance of the instructions of the GBC; and
8. Whereas the so-called or purported members of the board of directors or trustees referred to above are as follows: (1) Nathan Zakheim, who is also known by the name Nara Narayana Das, (2) Nikhil Gupta, who is also known by the name Nimai Pandit Das, (3) Madhusudan R.S., who is also known by the name Madhu Pandit Das, (4) John Hanton, who is also known by the name Jitarati Das, and (5) Amit Joshi;
9. Whereas the so-called or purported members of the board of directors or trustees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc., have violated numerous provisions of the governing laws of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, as found in the ISKCON LAW BOOK, (ISKCON GBC Press, Mayapur, 1997) including, but not limited to, sections 188.8.131.52.2, 5.2.1, 5.2.2, 5.2.3, 5.4.2, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168.2, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199.1 (4), 10.4.4.6, 10.4.4.7 and 10.4.4.8;
1. The purported board members referred to in paragraph 8 are hereby deemed to be in flagrant violation of the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON Law, and as a direct result of such "ritvik activities" are no longer members in good standing of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
2. The purported board members referred to in paragraph 8 are hereby expelled from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and prohibited from having any involvement, or serving in any official or unofficial capacity, including, but not limited to, officers or directors of the corporation.
3. To the extent that any of the purported board members referred to in paragraph 8 reside, work, visit, or otherwise occupy the ISKCON temple located in Freeport, NY, they are hereby prohibited from continuing such activities, as well as visiting or attending any function(s) at the Freeport temple, until such time as the GBC, in its ecclesiastical discretion, decides to allow the said directors to resume their involvement with ISKCON generally, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc., in particular, and the capacity in which they may resume such participation, if any.
4. The election in which the purported directors referred to in paragraph 8 were elected is hereby declared to be null and void.
5. The purported board members referred to in paragraph 8, and those acting with or in concert with them in the ritvik-related activities or in violation of the ISKCON laws described herein, shall, to the extent they have not already done so, vacate the temple premises within seven (7) days of receipt of notice to do so delivered to them by a GBC representative.
6. The purported board members referred to in paragraph 8 shall immediately take all steps necessary to return control of the temple premises located at 197 South Ocean Avenue, Freeport, NY, to the sole and exclusive control of the GBC, for the purpose of the GBC putting in place ISKCON members in good standing to serve as members of the Board of Directors or Trustees and as officers of the corporation, and to manage the corporation and its assets according to the directives of the GBC. In this regard, the GBC hereby delegates full authority to the North American GBC Executive Committee to determine those persons who are in good standing to become the new officers and directors of ISKCON Inc., as well as to reside in the temple located at 197 South Ocean Avenue, Freeport, NY.
305. Appointment of Trustees for ISKCON, Inc.
1. Whereas the bylaws of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. (hereafter ISKCON, Inc.), Article III Section 1, recognize that the Governing Body Commission (hereafter GBC) of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (hereafter ISKCON) establishes the ecclesiastical policies for ISKCON, Inc.;
2. Whereas the bylaws of ISKCON, Inc., Article III Section 2, clearly state that ISKCON, Inc. "shall not conduct itself in any way contrary to the ecclesiastical policies of ISKCON, as established by the GBC";
3. Whereas the bylaws of ISKCON, Inc., Article V Section 3.C, clearly state that, in the event that there are no valid trustees that the local GBC representative shall have the power to appoint new trustees;
4. Whereas there is an ongoing dispute regarding who is a valid trustee for ISKCON, Inc.;
5. Whereas Romapada Swami, the GBC representative for New York and Long Island, is hereby requesting the full Governing Body Commission to specifically name a Board of Trustees for ISKCON, Inc.;
6. Whereas the GBC in its role as the sole ecclesiastical authority for ISKCON, Inc., and the worldwide ISKCON movement, has the power to determine, relying solely on its own authority, the ecclesiastical qualifications for holding all posts within ISKCON, and has the authority to determine who is a congregational member or devotee in good standing, or not;
RESOLVED: That the following devotees are hereby appointed to serve as trustees on the Board of Directors of ISKCON, Inc., 197 S. Ocean Ave., Freeport, NY.
Adarsi Das - North Bellmore, NY (legal name Edward Kelley)
Romapada Swami - Brooklyn, NY (legal name Brian Rumbaugh)
Chandrasekhar Swami - Brooklyn, NY (legal name Chris Ostrowski).
306. Balabhadra Das
Whereas the GBC Executive Committee has compiled an extensive report on Balabhadra Das, formerly Bhakti Balabh Puri Goswami, based on the findings and recommendations prepared by its Monitoring Sub-committee, and have made decisions regarding his future relationship with ISKCON;
Whereas that report contained an agreement with Balabhadra Das in which he voluntarily submitted his resignations from the sannyasa asrama, as well as from his service as diksa guru and wherein he voluntarily agreed to move to Mayapur as his place of residence and future service;
Whereas Balabhadra Das subsequently chose to act independent of that agreement, the Monitoring Sub-committee, and the GBC Executive, although he was given every opportunity to rectify himself and remain in good standing in the society;
Whereas to protect the integrity of the society and regulate any future interaction between Balabhadra Das and ISKCON;
1. As per Balabhadra Das's request, he shall no longer function within ISKCON as a spiritual master or as a sannyasi.
2. Balabhadra Das shall no longer represent the Society in any position of authority now or in the future.
3. His membership in ISKCON is suspended until he personally contacts the GBC Executive Committee and makes appropriate steps to be re-instated as a member of the Society.
The GBC Body makes the following additional statements:
1. The Body expresses its deep gratitude to devotees previously initiated by Balabhadra Das, especially those in Scotland and Hungary, for continuing their important services to ISKCON and for remaining faithful to Srila Prabhupada. The body encourages these devotees to take shelter of senior Vaisnavas of their choice and to continue to work co-operatively with their local authorities.
2. The Body thanks the Monitoring Committee for making the best of a difficult situation in its work of the last three years and requests it to meet with Balabhadra Das and encourage him to contact the GBC Executive Committee in order to be reinstated as a member of the Society and encourage him to follow the agreement he made in August 2007.
3. The Body notes that Sivarama Swami, feeling responsible that Balabhadra Das's deviations took place for the most part under his jurisdiction as GBC, has thus tendered his resignation as a GBC member. The GBC Body, however, does not accept the resignation. Devotees who have any questions or concerns in this matter after reading the above-referenced report are also requested to contact the GBC Executive Committee.
307. Jurisdiction of ISKCON Centers
Whereas ISKCON has grown into an organization with multi-faceted preaching programs;
Whereas it may not be possible for a single temple or project to cover all such preaching programs;
Whereas the GBC would like to encourage ISKCON members individual initiatives to preach;
RESOLVED: That multiple ISKCON entities can be accommodated in a particular city or geographical area. Such entities should work cooperatively with existing ISKCON temples and projects. Any concerns that arise in the course of expanding ISKCON's preaching in this fashion should be worked out amongst the leaders of those projects, and/or by the Zonal Secretary(s) for that area.
308. The Garden of Inspiration
Whereas the following resolution was passed by the GBC in 1997:
504. 1. THAT the following guidelines are accepted for those who want their samadhi in the Sri Mayapur master plan area for all Srila Prabhupada disciple-gurus in good standing:
(a) they are to be located near Srila Prabhupada's puspa samadhi, and
(b) their size is to be three feet by three feet floor space and four feet to five feet high.
2. Non-guru Srila Prabhupada disciples are to have a memorial wall with plaques.
Whereas ISKCON Mayapur management has expressed that the current area designated for samadhis near Srila Prabhupada's Puspa Samadhi is already insufficient to adequately house the remains of any future exalted disciples of Srila Prabhupada;
Whereas there is presently no cohesive plan to properly commemorate those disciples of Srila Prabhupada who are not ISKCON gurus;
RESOLVED: That GBC resolution 504 of 1997 is hereby superseded by the following:
1. A two-acre plot of land should be designated in coordination with the ISKCON Mayapur Management to serve as a memorial garden for all disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada.
2. The memorial garden will include full samadhis, puspa samadhis, and memorial plaques in the form of a columbarium, in an inspiring, serene setting.
3. The ISKCON Mayapur Management is to present a proposal at the GBC AGM 2009 as to the location of the assigned plot, the landscaping design draft, standardized samadhi and plaque sizes and designs, and cost calculations.
4. The GBC Commemoration Committee is to decide which of the departed disciples of Srila Prabhupada will be interred in full or puspa samadhi or honored with a plaque.
309. GBC Commemoration Committee
Whereas there is a need of a committee to deal with the process of honoring departed Vaisnavas;
Whereas there is a need for a standard set of guidelines documenting the process for correctly honoring departed Vaisnavas;
Whereas ISKCON will benefit from remembering departed Vaisnavas and their services;
Whereas there should be a central committee that determines the level of honor ascribed to departed Vaisnavas at the place that is dedicated to their memory;
RESOLVED: That the standing Commemoration Committee is established with the mandate as follows:
1. To research and establish a standard set of guidelines documenting the process for correctly honoring departed Vaisnavas.
2. To maintain records of departed ISKCON Vaisnavas and a summary of their services for the society.
3. To determine the application of the guidelines in individual cases.
4. To decide which of the departed disciples of Srila Prabhupada will be interred in full, given a puspa samadhi, or honored with a plaque in the Mayapur Garden of Inspiration.
Praghosa Das (convenor), Bhakti Charu Swami, Bhakti Purusottama Swami, and Mahamaya Devi Dasi are assigned to the standing committee.
310. GBC Nominations Committee
Whereas the role and position of a GBC member is a highly responsible position within ISKCON;
Whereas it is desirable that members of the GBC Body be as highly qualified as possible;
Whereas a systematic evaluation of a potential GBC member is the most assured method of obtaining qualified members on the GBC Body;
RESOLVED: That a GBC Nominations Committee be made up of the following: Prahladananda Swami, Bhakti Vijnana Swami, Anuttama Das, Bhakti Caitanya Swami, Laxmimoni Dasi, Sivarama Swami, Praghosa Das, Madhu Sevita Das and Badrinarayan Das, to evaluate all nominations for membership of the GBC Body.
They will establish a system based on sastra and Srila Prabhupada's teachings to assess all proposed Candidates for GBC, plus Acting and Assistant GBCs regarding their qualifications to become members. Such evaluation will include at least:
A devotional history of the candidate.
Recommendations from senior devotees as to the candidate's qualifications.
The committee personally interviewing the candidate.
An appropriate aptitude test assessing the candidate based on these criteria:
Loyalty to Srila Prabhupada and his teachings
Understanding of Srila Prabhupada and his teachings
Ability to manage and understanding of the principles of management
History of management
Ability to cooperate with other devotees and work as a team player
Ability to preach and protect Srila Prabhupada's movement and his followers
Qualities such as honesty and integrity
Time they can devote to the service as a GBC member
Freedom from personal interest and material motivation
The committee can also work on appropriate educational tools that will train all GBC candidates to assume the service of GBC members within ISKCON.
The committee will receive recommendations for Candidates for GBC, Acting and Assistant GBCs at least two months before the AGM in Mayapur. They will interview the candidates and give a written evaluation to the EC during the AGM. This evaluation will be made available to all GBC members within two days before any vote on the proposed nomination.
311. End Notes or Appendices in Srila Prabhupada's Books
Whereas some of Srila Prabhupada's books contain sentences such as the following, which when taken in isolation may be considered derogatory to and offensive against women:
Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape. (SB 4.25.41, p.)
When a husbandless woman is attacked by an aggressive man, she takes his action to be mercy. (SB 4.25.42, p.)
Generally, when a woman is attacked by a man -- whether her husband or some other man -- she enjoys the attack, being too lusty. (SB 4.26.26, p.)
Whereas some ISKCON devotees may have used these statements out of context as an excuse to offend, neglect and abuse women;
Whereas some people who read such statements may consider them to be derogatory or offensive, may misunderstand what Srila Prabhupada actually means, and may not want to further read those books, notwithstanding the many other beneficial statements in them;
RESOLVED: That the GBC Body recommends to the BBT Trustees that the above quotes, and other such statements as determined by the BBT, be explained in endnotes or in appendices.
312. Moving San Diego Deities
Whereas Sri Sri Radha Giridhari, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai and Sri Sri Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra of ISKCON San Diego are to be moved to a much better facility;
Whereas the temple and the land it is on are owned by ISKCON and paid for in full;
Whereas the new temple ("ISKCON of Escondido is an ISKCON corporation with bylaws meeting the recommended NA GBC standard;
Whereas the requirement of GBC-appointed property trustees with full powers as outlined by GBC resolutions is included in the bylaws and recorded with the deed;
Whereas the board members and temple president, as directed in the bylaws, must all be ISKCON-initiated devotees in good standing;
Whereas the brahmanas and devotees currently maintaining the Deities worship will move along with the Deities to continue the current or an improved standard of worship;
Whereas the property trustees for the San Diego temple (Virabahu Das, Anuttama Das, and Badrinarayan Das) all approve the above move;
Whereas the devotees of ISKCON San Diego humbly appeal that the international GBC bless the new project with speedy completion and give their permission to move the Deities into Their new home when the new temple is done (assuming the above conditions are in place at that time and remain in place in perpetuity);
RESOLVED: That the GBC approves the moving of Sri Sri Radha Giridhari into their new temple upon completion, subject to the above-mentioned conditions.
313. Murali Krsna Das
Whereas in 1994 Murali Krsna Das was expelled from ISKCON for propagating the idea that HH Gour Govinda Swami was the only bona fide guru in ISKCON, but was later reinstated in 1996;
Whereas Murali Krsna Das, as a result of causing serious disturbances to the Estonian yatra, as well as a number of Russian devotees, has been banned from visiting ISKCON temples in those regions by both the Estonian and Russian National Councils in 2005 and 2007 respectively;
Whereas in 2006 Murali Krsna Das was ordered by the GBC EC to renounce his unauthorized sannyasa, and reintegrate himself within ISKCON, but never did so;
Whereas many devotees have reported that Murali Krsna Das consistently criticizes ISKCON gurus and other leaders and systematically uses his followers to canvass ISKCON devotees to join his group;
1. Murali Krsna Das is hereby suspended as a member of ISKCON.
2. During his suspension, he is forbidden to visit any ISKCON temples or affiliates or attend any ISKCON public programs, Nama Hattas, etc. He is also forbidden to represent himself as a member of ISKCON.
3. Should Murali Krsna Das wish to reintegrate himself with ISKCON, he must first:
sign an oath of allegiance accepting the authority of the ISKCON GBC
renounce his unauthorized sannyasa title and sannyasa dress
offer a written apology for the disruptions he has caused in the ISKCON society
instruct all his followers who have left ISKCON centers to return to their previous service engagements.
4. If, after becoming re-established as an ISKCON member, Murali Krsna Das wishes to serve in any part of ISKCON he must first get the approval of the local GBC/s and temple leaders.
5. All ISKCON managers are encouraged to also restrict the participation of those followers of Murali Krsna Das who are observed to be canvassing on his behalf amongst ISKCON devotees. They may be restricted from visiting ISKCON centers, attending ISKCON programs, or representing themselves as ISKCON members.
This resolution has immediate effect. It may be immediately published on all official ISKCON websites and posted on ISKCON temples notice boards.
314. Relocation of Sri Sri Radha Govinda
Whereas in 1998, the GBC Body gave permission for the relocation of Sri Sri Radha Govinda of ISKCON New York to "a property in Queens Whereas Sri Sri Radha Govinda have not yet been relocated, but an opportunity for Them to relocate may come soon, and it is necessary to modify the previous statement of permission;
RESOLVED: That Action Order 608 of 1998 is hereby modified to state, in full, as follows:
That permission is given to the Board of Directors of ISKCON New York (Bharati Center, Inc.) in consultation with the New York ISKCON Zonal Secretary, Romapada Swami, the ISKCON New York Property Trustees, and the Chairman of the North American GBC Committee, to sell the property at 305 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, and relocate Sri Sri Radha Govinda and Their vijaya vigrahas to a new property. This new property may be in Queens or in close outlying peripheral areas of New York City proper (e.g. Long Island, Lower Westchester, Yonkers, etc.) The GBC Body understands that in order to accomplish this relocation, it may be necessary to first shift the Deities to a temporary location within New York City while Their Lordships new home is being prepared for Them. In accordance with ISKCON law, any funds realized in the property sale shall remain under the supervision of the three property trustees until such funds have been fully utilized in preparing Their Lordships new home.
315. ISKCON International Fundraising
Whereas ISKCON as a society has expanded greatly in the last few decades without being able to provide sufficient and essential infrastructure to service the growing congregation and devotees;
Whereas managing the society requires resources in terms of administrative manpower and money;
Whereas ISKCON needs an international fundraising program along the lines of the ISKCON Foundation to raise funds for international projects, emergency expenses, and GBC Body expenditure;
Whereas Devakinandan Das and his team have offered to work cooperatively with temples worldwide in pursuit of raising funds for this purpose;
Whereas Devakinandan Das has offered to head a fundraising team with its initial office in Mumbai;
Whereas this will be further discussed in the upcoming Indian RGB meeting in April;
RESOLVED: That ISKCON establishes an Office for International Fundraising with the mandate to collect funds to support:
Devotee Heath and Welfare
Education and Training Programs
GBC Body expenditure.
The Office will work co-operatively with temples worldwide in the pursuit of raising funds for this purpose. Their team will not go anywhere unless invited and will seek to raise funds from new donors rather than existing ones.
The Office will work under and report to the GBC EC.
The GBC EC will manage and disburse the collected funds.
Devakinandan Das is appointed to head the Office with its initial premises in Mumbai.
This proposal will be subject to clearance from the Juhu Temple Management and the Indian RGB.
316. Moscow Temple Project Development Committee
Whereas the Moscow Temple Project Development Committee [hereinafter "MTPDC has been in existence for two years;
Whereas the MTPDC will likely need to remain in place for at least five more years;
Whereas the MTPDC will greatly benefit from being an official GBC standing committee;
1. MPTDC is hereby an official standing committee of the GBC.
2. The initial members of the MPTDC shall be Bhakti Charu Swami (chairman), Gopal Krsna Goswami, Bhakti Vijnana Goswami, Praghosa Das, Devakinandan Das, Hrdaya Caitanya Das, Gauri Das, Pranabandhu Das, Srutidharma Das.
317. Guru Seminar
Whereas there is a need for devotees who serve as initiating spiritual masters to understand clearly their role within the International Society for Krishna Consciousness as well as the need to work cooperatively within the society and the GBC leadership;
Whereas there is a need to build stronger bonds of association among the spiritual masters of ISKCON for their mutual benefit and the benefit of the society;
RESOLVED: That all devotees of ISKCON who, in the future take up service to the society as initiating spiritual masters, must first attend the ISKCON Guru Seminar, prior to initiating disciples.
That seminar shall be offered at least once per year, in Ujjain, India, or another location as determined by the GBC Guru Services Committee. All devotees currently serving as initiating spiritual masters in ISKCON are strongly recommended to attend this Guru Seminar.
In addition, all initiating spiritual masters, now and in the future, are strongly recommended to attend the four-day Guru Retreat on an annual basis, or at least bi-annually. The Guru Retreat shall be organized by the Guru Services Committee and held in Ujjain, India, or other locations as determined by the committee.
318. Annual World Holy Name Week
Whereas in 2007, the World Holy Name Day celebration was a successful program;
Whereas some temples observed the World Holy Name celebration for more than one day;
Whereas many temples celebrated on different days within a one-week time span;
RESOLVED: That the World Holy Name Day Resolution passed by the GBC in 2007 is modified to World Holy Name Week. Centers are encouraged to celebrate for one day within the one-week time frame. They are welcome to also celebrate more than one day, if desired.
World Holy Name Week is an annual program for all ISKCON centers. Different countries or continents can modify the title as needed. The observance of World Holy Name Week is to be held in connection with Srila Prabhupada's arrival in the USA (Sept. 17, 1965) to coincide with and commemorate his delivering the gift of the holy name to the world.
The Global Coordination Team for World Holy Name Day -- Lokanath Swami, Janananda Goswami, and Ekalavya Das -- shall coordinate this now-expanded festival.
319. Suhotra Das
We, the Governing Body Commissioners of ISKCON, express our bereavement at the passing of His Grace Suhotra Das.
We miss him deeply as we remember and glorify his life of service to Srila Prabhupada. Suhotra Das served Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON as a brahmacari and then sannyasi for over thirty-seven years, first in the United States and subsequently in Europe. As a member of the original BBT Library Party, Suhotra Das helped introduce Srila Prabhupada's books to universities and libraries in the United States. His preaching activities in Europe led to the spreading of Krishna Consciousness in countries such as Norway, Iceland, Germany, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. Gifted with a strong philosophical acumen, he wrote books exploring the philosophy of Krishna consciousness. He became a member of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission in 1991 and served the society in this position until 2001. During his tenure he served as Chairman of the GBC for the year 1996-97.
We pray that Suhotra Das eternally continues his service to Srila Prabhupada.
320. Latin American Regional Governing Body
Whereas the needs of the Latin American yatras are sufficiently uniform to be considered a single region, and the continent itself is similar politically, economically, and linguistically;
Whereas the existing leadership within the region is sufficiently mature to be able to assume such a responsibility of regional management;
Whereas the region has a track record of cooperative management, through the proper functioning of a Continental Committee, since the year 2007, and which was formed with the view of establishing a Latin American Regional Governing Body as per ISKCON Resolution 3.4.1;
Whereas the Latin American RGB wishes to be recognized, officially, by the GBC body;
RESOLVED: That the GBC Body hereby designates "Latin America as a "Region as defined under ISKCON Law 188.8.131.52. The region may consist of any or all of the following countries and areas, with notification to the GBC Secretary:
Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia
Central America French Guiana Ecuador Guatemala Guyana
Mexico Paraguay Peru Surinam The Caribbean
The Latin American RGB is officially recognized as a GBC-authorized RGB, with full authority to act as such under the Laws of ISKCON. The Latin American RGB will be initially constituted of the following members: HH Jayapataka Swami, HH Guru Prasad Swami, HH Bhakti-bhusana Swami, HH Paramgati Swami, HH Hridayananda Das Goswami, HG Virabahu Das, HG Kaunteya Das, HH Gunagrahi Das Goswami, HG Atmarama Das, HG Tirtharaja Das, HG Jagajivan Das, HG Jagat-Caksur Das, and HG Tridandi Das. It is hereby submitting its Rules and Regulations for approval as per ISKCON Resolution 184.108.40.206.
The Regional Governing Body (RGB) for Latin America, when duly constituted as per the new ISKCON Law, shall be authorized to nominate Zonal Secretaries for Latin America and to assign them zones. Such zonal assignments will be confirmed annually at the AGM of the GBC, beginning in 2008. The RGB shall only nominate devotees who are qualified as per the standards for membership of the GBC Body.
Zonal Secretaries appointed under this system shall have all the authority and responsibility as currently held by existing GBC Zonal Secretaries, and will be accountable to both the GBC Body (through the GBC Secretariat) and to the Latin American RGB.
The RGB shall at all times be a body under, and subject to, the rules and regulations of the ISKCON GBC Body. The GBC Body may override any decision of the local RGB by a majority vote. In emergencies the GBC EC may veto any decision taken by the local RGB.
321. Srila Prabhupada Puja and Murti Care Standards
Whereas Srila Prabhupada should be worshiped in ISKCON in a manner befitting his status as the founder Acarya of ISKCON. Our worship of His Divine Grace is an expression of our love and respect for him;
RESOLVED: That the document entitled Srila Prabhupada Puja and Murti Care Standards is adopted as an official guideline for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
322. Financial Reporting
Whereas at the 2000 AGM, the GBC resolved in Resolution 614 (amended by Resolution 305 of 2007) that all GBC Body members, gurus, sannyasis, and International Project Directors shall be required to file annual personal financial reports to the Executive Committee of the GBC Body, and, where requested, their National Executive Body;
Whereas there are devotees who are not GBC members, gurus, sannyasis or International Project Directors who also represent the society as a whole and handle the funds of the society under GBC Body authorization;
Whereas those ministries and committees that receive funding from the GBC budget are required to submit financial reports as part of the budgeting process, while others who do not receive funding from the GBC budget should also report.
Therefore it is resolved that resolution 614 of 2000 be amended to be applicable to "all GBC Body members, gurus, and sannyasis, as well as GBC-appointed Ministers, International Project Directors, and anyone else who receives funds for activities that are directly authorized by the GBC Body, regardless of the source of those funds. 323. Initiations where there are no Temples
Whereas the ISKCON Law Book includes the following under reference 220.127.116.11 (3):
[An ISKCON-approved initiating guru] must not initiate any devotee who has not received proper recommendation from the appropriate ISKCON spiritual authority.
And, under reference 18.104.22.168.1:
Before a candidate can receive first initiation, his prospective guru must receive a formal written recommendation from the appropriate ISKCON spiritual authority, as determined by the candidate's situation. And, under reference 22.214.171.124.5:
Qualified candidates for initiation who reside away from temple communities may be recommended for initiation (in the manner prescribed above) by one of the following spiritual authorities (excluding the prospective initiating guru) who knows them well: a local Zonal Secretary, the nearest Temple President, the local Regional Secretary, the concerned congregational preaching director, or an ISKCON sannyasi who is regularly preaching in that area.
Whereas sometimes the only senior devotee that knows such prospective initiates is the guru, and in such cases it is sometimes found that gurus are anyway initiating prospective initiates or making ad hoc arrangements for the functioning of "initiation committees for an area not served by a temple;
RESOLVED: That in a case when a prospective disciple who lives in such an isolated place that none of the spiritual authorities listed in ISKCON Law 126.96.36.199.5 can recommend him/her for initiation, requests initiation from an ISKCON initiating guru, then the guru is required to inform the National Council or the RGB body of the situation and receive their permission to go through all the applicable rules for initiation as the recommending authority. In the absence of such a national/regional body, such permission should be received from the Chairperson of the GBC Guru Services Committee who will then monitor that all applicable rules regarding initiation are followed.
A spiritual master who fails to follow this resolution will be reprimanded as per GBC rules.
Srila Prabhupada Puja and Murti Care Standards
Temple Room Srila Prabhupada Murti
Daily change Srila Prabhupada into clean clothes. Ensure the clothes are freshly washed and ironed, without holes, stains, and odor, or in disrepair. The clothes should fit properly. Pure silk or cotton are the best fabrics to use for Srila Prabhupada's clothes. Synthetic cloth should never be offered
Dress Srila Prabhupada in the style and color of clothes he wore when he was physically present
Devotees who dress Srila Prabhupada are encouraged to study photos of Srila Prabhupada, such as in the Vyasa-puja book, so they can learn the way Srila Prabhupada dressed himself.
Undress and dress Srila Prabhupada privately.
Where possible dress Srila Prabhupada so both his feet are showing.
The murti of Srila Prabhupada should be in the standard pose, that is sitting cross-legged with his hands together or with the hands apart and the right finger raised.
The murti must closely resemble Srila Prabhupada.
Keep the murti of Srila Prabhupada spotlessly clean. Pay special attention to his nostrils, in his ears, and in between his fingers and toes. The inside of the ears and nostrils can be cleaned with a moistened cotton bud (q-tip) or similar.
It is normal for resin murtis to sag over time. It commonly happens that the arms get closer to the legs. This is not something mystical and can make it more difficult to dress the murti. Sometimes it is necessary to replace resin murtis.
The murti needs repainting occasionally. Always keep the features of the murti, such as eyes, eyebrows, tilaka, lips, finger and toenails, etc. in good condition. It is helpful to keep a good quality photo of the murti, taken when the murti was properly painted as a reference for repainting. Repainting or touching up the paintwork should only be done by an experienced artist who has knowledge of the appropriate paints to be used for the murti.
Clean the vyasasana daily. The area immediately around Srila Prabhupada is best cleaned after removing his clothes.
Keep the vyasasana, including upholstery, cushions and woodwork, etc. in good condition. The vyasasana must be stable.
The vyasasana is the seat of the representative of Srila Vyasadeva. Cleaning items and devotees personal belongings such as beadbags, etc. must be stored elsewhere. It is acceptable to hang the camara and peacock fan (in season) on the back of Srila Prabhupada's vyasasana as these items are used daily in the worship of Srila Prabhupada.
Where possible, illuminate the vyasasana with suitable lighting. Keep Srila Prabhupada's comfort in mind, for example, it would be uncomfortable for Srila Prabhupada to sit under hot spotlights all day.
Keep the brass vases, incense holders, etc. bright and clean.
Keep at least one vase of fresh flowers near the vyasasana. On festival days when the deities are offered extra flowers, offer Srila Prabhupada extra flowers, more opulent garlands, and more vases.
As part of regular daily worship, Srila Prabhupada is offered guru-puja with full arati along with the singing of the Guru-vandana prayers written by Narottama Das Thakura. During guru-puja, devotees come forward and offer flowers or flower petals to Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet. The flowers must be fresh, not wilted or old. Do not use wet flowers or wet petals.
It is recommended that the flowers offered at Srila Prabhupada's lotus feet be removed after the temple morning program is completed.
Offer Srila Prabhupada a fresh flower garland or a maha-prasadam garland (in good condition) daily. This is normally done just before the start of the guru-puja. The garland is left on Srila Prabhupada until the temple is closed at night. Where possible, avoid garlands made with flowers that will stain his clothes. Do not use artificial flowers.
Srila Prabhupada's forehead can be anointed with sandalwood paste (candana) at the beginning of guru-puja. This is more commonly done during the hot season but may be done daily as part of the regular worship. This candana may either be prasada from the deities or freshly made for Srila Prabhupada. In some cases candana may eventually cause damage to the murti.
The large resin deity is generally not removed from the vyasasana. If there is a need to remove Srila Prabhupada, this must be done with care. Occasions that Srila Prabhupada may be taken from the vyasasana are Ratha-yatra (when he rides on the cart), or when there is a public abhiseka, such as on Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa-puja. The altar deity of Srila Prabhupada may be bathed for Vyasa-puja instead of the temple murti.
Items offered during the arati to the temple deities may also be physically offered to Srila Prabhupada on his vyasasana before being offered to any of the assembled devotees in the temple. However, this is not mandatory. This is done in the same manner the item would be offered to any other devotee, i.e. the lamp is not offered in arati style but held before Srila Prabhupada's hands so he may respect the prasada of the Lord. Care should be taken to avoid hot ghee staining the vyasasana.
a) Avoid rubbing offered scents from the deities on Srila Prabhupada's hands. This will eventually damage the murti. The scents may be held just before Srila Prabhupada's hands and devotees can meditate they are offering them to Srila Prabhupada.
b) During the morning japa period, Srila Prabhupada may be offered a beadbag.
c) Before the Srimad-Bhagavatam class, place Srila Prabhupada's glasses on him. Open the Srimad-Bhagavatam to the current verse and place it in front of Srila Prabhupada on a bookstand so he may read it.
d) Keep a glass of water and/or water pitcher near the vyasasana for Srila Prabhupada to drink. Clean the glass and refill it with fresh water at least once a day. Keep the glass covered. Do not put flowers on top of the cover.
e) Some temples also have on or near the vyasasana, a walking cane, a gong, and beadbag with beads, for Prabhupada's use.
f) Some temples have shoes for Srila Prabhupada on a footstool in front of his vyasasana. This is not mandatory.
g) If devotees would like to offer glasses to Srila Prabhupada according to the prescription he wore, his prescription is:
O.D. +3.5 -1.00 x 90
O.S. +3.5 - 1.00 x 90 Add +2.25
x90 is Axis
Add +2.25 is bifocal. Have the optometrist do the bifocal as a small circle in the bottom of the lens.
Respecting Srila Prabhupada:
While taking darsana of the Deities, as far as possible avoid standing directly in front of Srila Prabhupada's vyasasana or with your back directly facing Srila Prabhupada.
If there is a name plaque, use Srila Prabhupada's full name and title as it appears on BBT publications: "His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness." The name plaque must be kept clean.
Srila Prabhupada disliked the use of synthetic flowers. Use fresh flowers for decorating the vyasasana, for vases, and garlands and placing in Srila Prabhupada's hands.
Devotees and guests must be guided in principles of sad-acara. Just as it is inappropriate to sit with one's back to the deities, it is also inappropriate to sit with the back to Srila Prabhupada. No one should sit on the steps in front of Srila Prabhupada's vyasasana.
Altar Prabhupada Murti Standards
Srila Prabhupada requested that wherever his deity was present on the altar there should also be a deity of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. Where possible, temples should try to follow this standard. All aspects of care for Srila Prabhupada's deity should be extended to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura as well.
Offer the deity of Srila Prabhupada a fresh flower garland daily.
Daily change the deity of Srila Prabhupada into fresh clothes. A metal deity of Srila Prabhupada should be polished and bathed regularly according to the procedures in Pancaratra Pradipa (ISKCON's Deity Worship handbook.) However, deities made of all other materials should not be bathed with water; rather they should be wiped down with a dry or damp cloth after undressing. If wiped with a damp cloth, dry the deity before dressing.
Where appropriate, the small altar deity may be carefully taken on circumambulation of the temple as seen in Mayapur and Vrndavana. This may be done daily or weekly. Exercise care when moving and carrying the deity.
It is not necessary to offer bhoga plates to Srila Prabhupada on the altar. He will take the deities' prasada remnants. In temples that do offer plates to Srila Prabhupada, it is suggested that tulasi is put on all the preparations, as Srila Prabhupada will offer the bhoga to the Lord.
It is also acceptable to wake Srila Prabhupada and put him to bed when these services are being done for the Deities. This may be done according to the guidelines given in the Pancaratra Pradipa.
Srila Prabhupada's rooms
For temples fortunate enough to have rooms for Srila Prabhupada, it is important to understand that these rooms are a memorial to Srila Prabhupada. The appropriate mood while in the rooms is one of awe and reverence. This will help increase our appreciation for Srila Prabhupada. When guests enter Srila Prabhupada's rooms, they should become spontaneously appreciative of the devotees' love and devotion for Srila Prabhupada.
In a letter to Gurudas written in 1977, Srila Prabhupada gave the following instruction regarding his rooms at Radha Damodara:
"Everything should be kept neat and clean as if I am staying there."
As such, Srila Prabhupada's quarters must always be kept in a pristine condition: neat, clean, and everything ready as if Srila Prabhupada were just about to arrive.