Assistants of Quality
Posted September 7, 2006
Vrsabha's idea is very sound. It is important, however, that the GBC assistants be elected by the temple devotees themselves- otherwise they would be no better than the present day temple presidents, many of whom are only concerned with keeping their positions secure. We do not want GBC assistants who will gratify and delude their superiors by sycophancy, and cover up problems by expelling those who bring the problems into the light (the "trouble-makers"). So could I dare to suggest that these GBC assistants be also brahmans in the real sense of the word, which means thoroughly truthful and compassionate? Truthful-even if it means a threat to one's security, social status, means of livelihood and even service? Compassionate- even if the above all are threatened- just to give time to the difficulties, doubts and desires of all the members equally, even to those not clever enough or hard working enough to be of much contribution to the "mission"- yet who somehow see that something is wrong here- we do not practice what we preach. To be compassionate and truthful enough to want to hear the truth- however painful- from no matter where it is uttered. That is needed.
A brahman who is that truthful and compassionate would be most probably be found among the trouble-makers who have to date been expelled from ISKCON.. Vrsabha mentions there are many dharma-dvajis in our society. It's because we have had a dynamic in place, for the past three decades, that ensures they will prosper at the expense of others who are sincere. We know so many who have either left willing or been forced out, due to keeping their integrity in the face of corruption of leadership. They should lose their brand of being "in maya" or "offensive" and be brought back for discussion, their concerns analyzed for validity. If it is decided that they actually wanted something more Krsna conscious for the society, then they should be made into GBC assistants or at least become candidates for the position. I am suggesting this because even elections and the GBC assistant idea may not be good enough, as we have already lost our best men. We need people who are courageous and defiant when needed- "bold for Krsna" (Srila Prabhupada's definition of humility)
We are lacking a brahmana class. We have leadership that is based on control and on keeping the status quo -a symptom of the ksatriya paradigm which has its faith in its own legislative and punitive power, as opposed to the brahmans faith in God's Supreme power of maintenance, manifested through upholding His saintly qualities. Thus there is a social inbalance, and I think it can be rectified by sadhu sanga- finding all the disenfranchised sadhus- and taking their help.
Nevertheless Vrsabha's proposal is excellent, because it dismantles the
ISKCON bureaucracy, and allows for a more personal dynamic. We are so tired
of problems being ignored and of GBC's being too busy to attend to their
zones (and gurus, their disciples!). In addition an honest dynamic is
necessary and honest feedback welcomed. That will be a real assistance to
the GBC though I tend to doubt they would appreciate it- or allow it. But
one can only hope...