ISKCON needs a constitution
by Prabhupada dasa Adhikari
Posted January 17, 2003
Of the 192 countries on Earth, fully 192 have a concise constitution that oulines the relationships between the people and the government. This includes a legal system, a political system, ennumeration of rights and duties of all and facility for provision of the legitimate needs of each person within the jurisdiction of the organization.
Of the 4,631,370 corporations in the USA fully that many have a concise constitution outlining the essential operating rules of the corporation and its members.
Of the 159,290 churches of the largest US denominations fully that many have a Constitution that regulates the actions of the church and its members.
It is obvious that the establishment of a Constitution is essential for the proper functioning of any kind of organization. In addition to Governments, Corporations, and Churches there are millions of other kinds of organizations and partnerships that are established on a concise set of rules.
It could be that many of ISKCON's problems are due to the fact that there is no constitution for the entire organization and that none of the local corporations are clearly defined in terms of relations between corporation, managers of the corporation and the devotees who sustain the corporation and feel part of it. Pehaps this "down home" loose management has some bearing on who becomes a member and how the organization performs in the real world?
Think of it:
If the people of the world create Constitutions for the effective conduct of their Countries, Corporations, Churches, Organizations and Partnerships, why does ISKCON leadership conclude that ISKCON does not need a Constitution? Those who form organizations do so in reference to a vast historical record in which success is best attained by setting up a Constitution. The historical record also shows that organizatons that depend solely on individuals or "Monarchs" under no legal regulation tend to flounder and eventually fail. In the face of these facts why do the devotees of ISKCON continue to allow their leadership to follow a course of management that has proven to lead to failure over time? Why do the members of ISKCON, out of a love for ISKCON, not confront the leadership and demand that they establish a Constitution? Why do few if any of the members of ISKCON both leaders and members, acknowledge that the founder acarya made it clear that a Constitution is essential in the process of establishing not only Temples but Varnasrama communities based on simple living and hight thinking? Considering these stark facts and the inevitable demise of any organization without a Constitution, how is it possible that the devotees in general expect success in their private endeavors if the central organizations for which they struggle is without a viable Constitution? One would think, as in a fire, that the central objective of everyone in the building would be to stop their private doings and focus on the matter of putting the fire out. In the same way one would think that the members of ISKCON would set aside their personal and private interests and bend their efforts to set up a working Constitution for ISKCON. Unless this is done history will show the demise of ISKCON over time along with the wasted time of so many personal and private projects.