ISKCON GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION SOCIETY
Reg. No S/74662 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961
P.O. Shree Mayapur Dham, Dist. Nadia, W. Bengal
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE ISKCON GBC SOCIETY
SRI DHAM MAYAPUR, FEBRUARY 7 -19, 2001
1. THAT His Holiness Ramai Swami is elected as GBC Chairman.
2. THAT His Grace Ravindra Svarupa dasa is elected as First GBC Vice-Chairman.
3. THAT His Holiness Giridhari Swami is elected as Second GBC Vice-Chairman.
4. THAT His Grace Radha Krishna dasa is accepted as Assistant GBC member.
5. THAT His Grace Radha Krishna dasa is elected as GBC Secretary.
6. THAT the following devotees are appointed as Officers on Special Duty:
1) His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami
2) His Holiness Bir Krishna dasa Goswami
7. THAT the following devotees are accepted as Full GBC members:
His Grace Anuttama dasa
Her Grace Malati-devi dasi
8. THAT the following devotees are appointed as Acting GBC members:
His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami
His Grace Prithu dasa
9. THAT the GBC Body accepts the resignation of Manjari-devi dasi from the GBC Body and from her position as GBC Secretary. The GBC Body offers its unanimous vote of thanks for Manjari Mataji’s seven years of dedicated service as GBC Secretary and extends support and best wishes for her continued service as a Krishna conscious writer and teacher.
10. THAT the GBC Body accepts the resignation of Rohini Suta dasa from the GBC Body, as explained in the following letter. The GBC Body also endorses his decision concerning his disciples. We thank him for his many years of loyal and effective service as a GBC member and wish him well in his ongoing services to Srila Prabhupada.
17 February, 2001
Sri Mayapur Dhama
Dear Members of the GBC Body,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I would like to resign forthwith from the ISKCON GBC Society for the following reasons:
• I have recently entered the grhastha-asrama and have to deal with the natural responsibilities inherent in it, such as economic requirements, etc. I will, therefore, not have sufficient time to give attention to my GBC duties.
• I want to give more time to caring for my health.
• I want to strengthen my sadhana.
• I want to spend more time with certain Godbrothers.
• I want to do more reading and distributing of Srila Prabhupada’s books.
• I also desire to write articles and books.
• Finally, I wish to travel less.
I will still visit some of the areas I have been GBC for.
Also, because of my discrepancy in marrying one of my own disciples, I will not be initiating any disciples or accepting aspiring disciples.
I will keep in contact with my disciples—helping and encouraging them as I am able, within my capacity in Krishna consciousness, and according to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada and our guru-parampara.
I will be happy to continue to assist the GBC Body to the best of my abilities, as the need arises.
Hoping this meets you well.
Rohini Suta dasa
11. THAT His Holiness Suhotra Swami is granted his request for a two year leave of absence on grounds outlined in the following letter:
12 February, 2001
Dear Godbrothers of the GBC Executive Committee,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Herewith I request a leave of absence from my GBC duties, which the EC may review after two years. I intend to spend a good deal of time in India to enhance my spiritual life. Also, I will not be making disciples or giving initiation during my leave of absence. In two years I will reassess in consultation with my Godbrothers my situation as spiritual master.
I hope that this request meets with your kind understanding and approval.
Your humble servant,
12. THAT His Holiness Devamrta Swami is appointed as candidate for GBC.
13. THAT His Grace Praghosh dasa is appointed as candidate for GBC.
14. THAT His Grace Srutakirti dasa and Her Grace Kusha-devi dasi are appointed as Ministers of Grhastha and Community Development.
Section 100: BASIC PREACHING
101. [ACTION ORDER] Sannyasa Waiting List
Waiting period for the following candidates for sannyasa:
Gaura Narayana dasa 1 year
Gauranga Prema dasa 1 year
Maha-mantra dasa this year
Pariksit dasa 1 year
Radha Ramana dasa 2 years
Ramacandra dasa 3 years
Sarvaisvarya dasa 4 years
Simhesvara dasa 3 years
Tribhuvanatha dasa 3 years
Vaidyanatha dasa this year
Visvambhara dasa 4 years
102. [GUIDELINE] Sankirtan Newsletter
The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International (BBTI) Resolution, June 2000 states:
“We share the concern expressed by HH Danavir Goswami that more temples ought to provide their book distribution scores to the World Sankirtan Newsletter. The BBTI directors will work with the temples in their areas to promote such reporting. We encourage the GBC to give attention to this matter as well. We hope to work together with the GBC in this effort.”
Therefore it is resolved THAT: each ISKCON temple, nama-hatta group, or individual book distributor should report monthly book distribution scores to the World Sankirtan Newsletter.
103. [STATEMENT] Statement on ISKCON’s Building Vaisnava Community
ISKCON is a sankirtana movement oriented toward building Vaisnava communities with different types of members: devotees resident in asramas/temples (ideally brahminically inclined and/or under training), home-based practicing devotees (financially self-sufficient, regularly attending temple functions, and actively practicing sadhana-bhakti), and home-based well-wishers who may not practice sadhana-bhakti regularly but support the temple financially or otherwise.
104. [STATEMENT] Appreciation
On behalf of our beloved Founder-acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission Society extend our grateful appreciation to Sriman Srinathji Prabhu, Sriman Radha Giridhari Prabhu, and Sriman Kesava Prabhu. These three devotees of the ISKCON Chowpatty temple, with encouragement from their diksa-guru Radhanatha Swami, gave this year a very generous donation to help the ISKCON GBC Society in its service to ISKCON.
Section 200: SPECIALIZED PREACHING
201. [GUIDELINE] Congregational Book Distribution
THAT the Book Distribution Ministry and all ISKCON temples and yatras shall explore and adopt, as possible, methods to train and engage the congregation in distributing books.
A special section should be included in the World Sankirtan Newsletter to highlight distribution by the congregation.
[ACTION ORDER] THAT a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the World Sankirtan Newsletter.
202. [GUIDELINE] Congregational Preaching Newsletter
THAT all ISKCON temples and yatras should report on a quarterly basis their activities in relation to congregational preaching in the Congregational Preaching Newsletter.
[ACTION ORDER] The Congregational Development Ministry shall be responsible to establish the scoring system (assigning specific values for specific preaching activities) and to publish the Congregational Preaching Newsletter.
Section 300: EDUCATIONAL AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
301. [ACTION ORDER] Leadership Assessment and Training
Whereas there is a need for increased training and assessment of leaders in the ISKCON society, including at the GBC level.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: a subcommittee is hereby formed consisting of Anuttama dasa (convener), Radhanatha Swami, Ramai Swami, Ravindra Svarupa dasa, Sivarama Swami, and Svavasa dasa to research and develop a process for ongoing, regular assessment and training for GBC members. Emphasis will be on character and competence with a view to developing the full potential of individual leaders.
This shall be executed in consultation with the GBC Executive Officers and others.
The committee will strive to complete its recommendations and attain GBC Body approval of the recommended processes prior to the Mayapur 2002 meetings for initial implementation during the meetings.
If prior approval is not possible, the GBC will review the assessment process during the 2002 Mayapur meetings for implementation at Mayapur 2003.
302. [ISKCON LAW] Conflict Resolution
Whereas equipping ISKCON devotees with the knowledge and skills of conflict resolution may help them in their service.
Therefore it is resolved THAT:
1. The GBC create a division under the Ministry of Justice for conflict resolution with responsibility to:
(a) be well informed about the process of conflict resolution;
(b) acquire and, if necessary, adapt resources on conflict resolution;
(c) disseminate information and guidelines on conflict resolution within ISKCON;
(d) provide education and training on conflict resolution;
(e) make their services available, when possible, to ISKCON centers and individuals;
(f) train a network of devotees as conflict resolution consultants who may be able to assist, when requested, in different areas of ISKCON.
2. The mandate of the division is strictly to serve ISKCON centers and members when requested. Its primary function is educational, with no executive mandate whatsoever.
3. [ACTION ORDER] Braja Bihari dasa will oversee this implementation.
N.B. Entering into the process of conflict resolution only occurs when both parties agree to do so.
4. [ACTION ORDER] In order to achieve the above, an amount of US$500 will be allotted from the GBC budget to cover the acquisition of necessary materials.
303. [STATEMENT] Definition of Illicit Sex
- Many devotees have become confused as to what constitutes illicit sex;
- Srila Prabhupada has clearly stated that “purity is the force” and that it comes from following the four regulative principles strictly; and
- It is important to properly train new devotees according to Srila Prabhupada’s standards and to maintain their faith in the necessity of adhering to those standards.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: the GBC Body wishes to clarify that according to Srila Prabhupada’s teachings, sex life according to religious principles followed by Gaudiya Vaisnavas is for the propagation of children, not for any other purpose, and that the responsibility of the parents is then to make their offspring Krishna conscious. As stated in the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, “Sex is allowed only for the begetting of children, not for enjoyment. One can indulge in sex to beget a good child for the benefit of the family, society and world. Otherwise, sex is against the rules and regulations of religious life.” (SB 5.14.9 p)
While Srila Prabhupada’s definition of illicit sex is clear, it is also clear that some devotees have difficulty maintaining this initiation vow. The GBC recognizes this, and suggests that rather than trying to adjust Srila Prabhupada’s definition we should go on with devotional service and humbly and sincerely keep endeavoring to reach the proper standard. In this regard, Srila Prabhupada writes, “In the beginning of Krishna consciousness, one may not fully discharge the injunctions of the Lord, but because one is not resentful of this principle and works sincerely without consideration of defeat and hopelessness, he will surely be promoted to the stage of pure Krishna consciousness.” (Bg. 3.32 p)
It is also said in Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.20.27-28, “Having awakened faith in the narrations of My glories, being disgusted with all material activities, knowing that all sense gratification leads to misery, but being unable to renounce all sense enjoyment, My devotee should remain happy and worship Me with great faith and conviction. Even though he is sometimes engaged in sense enjoyment, My devotee knows that all sense gratification leads to a miserable result, and he sincerely repents such activities.”
Section 400: ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR PREACHING
401. [ACTION ORDER] Strategic Planning
Whereas the GBC wants to focus more time and energy discussing and developing pro-active preaching and development strategies.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: the GBC Executive Committee is directed to focus time during 2001 on strategic planning and analysis, thus assisting the international GBC in developing its long-range goals and priorities. Any specific proposals and recommendations should be discussed and reviewed during the Mayapur 2002 meetings for further refinement, approval, or disapproval. GBC Members suggest the following preaching strategies for consideration:
- Training and education for children and adults.
- A comprehensive preaching plan for India based on development of Mayapur.
- Social issues like welfare for aged devotees, hospices, gurukula, youth, etc.
- Helping the GBC act more in a leadership capacity and less as a managerial body.
- Helping the GBC improve teamwork, accountability, and integrity.
- Developing Vedic culture in ISKCON rather than “Krishna-izing” western culture.
- Reviving book distribution, harinama, and prasadam distribution at all temples.
- Better communication of the positive contributions of ISKCON and of the GBC.
- Improving the quality and training of gurus.
- Helping devotees make the transition from brahmacari/carini asrama to grhastha life.
- Developing more of an economic base for ISKCON.
- Bringing Vaisnavism to the religious and philosophical forefront through academic initiatives.
402. [ACTION ORDER] Disciples Initiating in the Physical Presence of Their Guru
Whereas GBC resolution No. 610/2000 requesting a definitive paper on the subject has not been completed;
Therefore it is resolved THAT: an expanded subcommittee be formed to further research the question of a disciples initiating in the physical presence of their guru, presenting a detailed study encompassing various viewpoints. The subcommittee members are:
Prahladananda Swami, Praghosh dasa
Ajamila dasa, Braja Bihari dasa, Danavir Goswami, Drutakarma dasa, Hari Sauri dasa, Purnacandra dasa, Ramabhadra dasa, Ravindra Svarupa dasa, Urmila-devi dasi, Virabahu dasa
Basu Gosh dasa, Bhakti Caitanya Swami, Bhaktividya Purna Swami, Bhanu Swami, Dravida dasa, Suhotra Swami.
403. [RULE OF ORDER] Preaching Vision Council
- Srila Prabhupada said the GBC annual meetings should produce preaching strategies;
- The GBC meeting is an ideal time to brainstorm ideas for global preaching;
- Often the GBC does not allocate sufficient time to produce preaching strategies during their meetings;
- There is a need to provide preaching vision to the society to enliven the GBC and the entire society, and to inspire preaching and development of Krishna consciousness.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: as part of the agenda of every annual GBC meeting, there shall be a Preaching Vision Council that shall plan strategies, define standards, and improve the quality of all ISKCON preaching.
Among the duties of the Council shall be: 1) Devising systems to encourage/develop the devotees’ skills/abilities/proclivities through training and education, 2) Finding ways for the GBC and other leaders to facilitate preaching, 3) Discussing ways to increase the number of festivals, 4) Initiating or planning global events (like Srila Prabhupada’s Centennial).
The method of implementing this shall be that every Subcommittee of the GBC shall dedicate at least one full session to such work. The results of this shall then be presented in plenary for straw votes for at least one full session, then returned to each Subcommittee for final work, and presented again to the plenary for final votes.
404. [GUIDELINE] Improved Regional Organization
Whereas the GBC is encouraged by efforts to strengthen and develop ISKCON’s cooperative efforts at the regional, national and/or continental levels, thus improving ISKCON’s local effectiveness while also facilitating the leaders’ sharing preaching vision and experience amongst themselves.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: the GBC encourages ISKCON temples and regional, national and/or continental bodies to develop their cooperative networks, thus enhancing coordinated preaching and development strategies.
405. [ACTION ORDER] GBC Secretariat Office in Mumbai
Whereas there is a need to increase the administrative support systems of the International GBC.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: Radha Krishna dasa shall establish an office for the GBC Secretariat in Chowpatty in Mumbai. He shall serve the Secretariat by providing his part-time services under the direction of the GBC Executive Committee. He is also hereby authorized to hire office staff as necessary with a first-year allotted budget of US$6,000.
406. [ISKCON LAW] ISKCON Administrative Regions
- Owing to necessary preaching considerations, present GBC zonal assignments overlap and are not geographically configured;
- For smooth global administration, ISKCON needs sensible and consistent administrative regions separate from other hierarchical considerations;
Therefore it is resolved THAT:
The GBC Secretariat, in cooperation with the GBC Zonal Secretaries and ISKCON Continental Committees, shall organize “ISKCON Regions,” each consisting of approximately ten to twenty geographically contiguous ISKCON branches.
Each Region shall have one GBC Deputy assigned to it who resides in the Region and interfaces with the GBC Secretariat on ISKCON administrative issues. This assignment implies no administrative authority for the GBC Deputy, whose sole responsibility in this role is to communicate effectively with the Regional Temple Presidents and the GBC Secretariat.
The GBC Secretariat has drafted a list of such Regions, summarized below. The GBC Body provisionally accepts this list, with the understanding that their exact composition may be changed at any time by consensus of the local GBC Zonal Secretaries and the GBC Secretariat or by direction of the GBC Executive Committee.
Draft summary of ISKCON Regions: Africa (2 regions), Australasia (2 regions), India (4 regions), CIS (6 regions), Europe (6 regions), South America (2 regions), North America (4 regions).
407. [RULE OF ORDER] GBC Deputy Duties
THAT the GBC Body affirms the mandate of the GBC Deputies as the body responsible for facilitating the legislative process on behalf of the GBC.
1. Primary Duties at the Annual Meeting. Prior to the GBC meetings, the GBC Deputies forum shall screen, refine, analyze, craft and process proposals and other items accepted by the GBC Executive Committee for its annual meeting agenda.
2. [ISKCON LAW] Additional Duties. Before and after the annual GBC meeting Members shall:
- Collect annual reports from all temples in their region
- Interface between temples in their regions and the GBC Executive Committee and the GBC Secretariat.
Section 500: HOLY PLACES AND SPIRITUAL COMMUNITIES
501. [ISKCON LAW] Mayapur and Vrindavan Goshallas
- No proper quarterly reports have been sent to the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture from ISKCON Mayapur and Vrindavan;
- GBC members are often overburdened with managerial responsibilities;
- The GBC Body wishes to delegate responsibility to responsible devotees; and,
- There must be a system of accountability for ensuring that cows in ISKCON are properly protected.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: the following amendment be made to ISKCON Law concerning the procedure for collecting cow reports and sending them to the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture:
ISKCON Law 507, Section 3, Standard 14 now reads:
“THAT the GBC meet quarterly (or designate a monitor to meet for up to 3 of 4 quarters) with the project’s cowherd and submit a cow protection report to the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture.”
ISKCON Law 507, Section 3, Standard 14 shall be amended to read:
“THAT Temple Presidents are responsible to see that local Goshalla Managers send quarterly reports to the Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture. The local GBC Deputy/Deputies shall validate these reports by either personally visiting or appointing an accountable and reliable representative to do so.”
502. [ACTION ORDER] Cow Protection in Mayapur and Vrindavana
- ISKCON is dedicated to cow protection;
- The Minister of Cow Protection has not received any quarterly report from the Vrindavan goshalla, and has received one out of eight from the Mayapur goshalla, in spite of repeated requests over the past 2 year period;
- It is alleged that neither the Vrindavan goshalla nor the Mayapur goshalla have secured sufficient land for the ever-increasing number of cows;
- The Ministry of Cow Protection’s quarterly reports are necessary to accurately assess Vrindavan and Mayapur goshalla’s standard of cow protection.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: Temple Presidents in Vrndavana and the Chief Executive Officers in Mayapur shall be responsible to see their local goshalla managers send quarterly reports to the Minister of Cow Protection and Agriculture beginning April 30, 2001. It is the responsibility of the local GBC Deputies to validate these reports by personally visiting or appointing an accountable and reliable representative to do so.
If the Minister of Cow Protection and Agriculture does not receive reports from either Vrindavan or Mayapur temples regularly during 2001, starting on the above date, then all breeding, purchasing, and acceptance of donations of cows shall be stopped for the delinquent temple until proper compliance is met.
Section 600: INTERNAL ISKCON
601. [ACTION ORDER] Relocation of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda from Inis Rath, Ireland
- Inis Rath island is in a strategically poor location;
- The journey from mainland to island presents both a physical and psychological barrier for both visitors and residents alike to venture across to receive darsana;
- The property has an old rambling building that is hard to maintain and requires substantial investment to bring it up to a fit standard; and
- Relocation to a purpose built facility near the capital city of Dublin will provide unlimitedly more opportunity for the mass population to get the mercy of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda and is strategically a better location for expanding the preaching;
Therefore it is resolved THAT: provisional approval be given for this relocation. This provisional approval will in no way oblige the GBC Body to agree to full approval in the future. Full approval will be totally at the GBC’s discretion and dependent on the thoroughness of the detailed plan for the relocation and how much of an improvement it will be both for the Deities, the devotees, and the preaching.
602. [ACTION ORDER] Relocation of Sri Sri Radha-Parisisvara, France
THAT the Deities of Sri Sri Radha Parisisvara, installed by Srila Prabhupada; Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra; and Sri Sri Nitai-Saci Suta be relocated from the present rented facility to a new place, a property owned by ISKCON, closer to the center of Paris.
The Property Trustees are specifically responsible, according to ISKCON Law, to oversee the relocations to ensure that a) any funds realized from the sale of ISKCON property are not mismanaged or in any way diverted so as to decrease the Deity’s equity, and b) the new property is adequate to the needs of the Deities and the community.
603. [ACTION ORDER] New Vraja Mandala, Spain
- The majority of devotees in Spain and the local GBC member have requested permission to sell the New Vraja Mandala temple and farm in Spain;
- Srila Prabhupada directed that in principle ISKCON temples should not be sold;
- The proposal to sell failed to receive the unanimous consent of the Property Trustees responsible for the property;
- The impartial three-men committee appointed by the GBC to study the proposal recommended that if a senior capable devotee would make a significant commitment to the project the farm should not be sold;
- We recognize a clear and longstanding need for the Spanish yatra to receive greater spiritual and managerial assistance; and
- Kadamba Kanana Swami is prepared to take full responsibility for directing the project.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: we recognize the difficult situation at New Vraja Mandala, we respect the concerns of the Spanish National Assembly and Council and we appreciate that the Spanish devotees have put many years of sincere effort into trying to make New Vraja Mandala a viable and successful project. Nonetheless, considering Srila Prabhupada’s strong reservations about selling properties, we direct that New Vraja Mandala not be sold. We request, also, that the devotees in Spain forgo all differences and work together in a cooperative spirit for the service of Lord Krishna and the benefit of the Spanish yatra.
605. [ACTION ORDER] Legal Defense
THAT the GBC Body and its respective members pledge their support and assistance to Bhakti Caru Swami in his endeavor to raise US$10,000 per month towards the legal defense of North American ISKCON temples. It is requested that all local temple and regional leaders give him their full support. In turn Bhakti Caru Swami shall coordinate his efforts in cooperation with the local authorities and adjust the campaign according to local circumstances.
606. [RULE OF ORDER] Appeal Process of the Office of Child Protection
The system delineated below is the procedure for appealing an Official Decision of the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection (ICOCP). This system supplants any previously defined appeal system, including the appeal system described in the ISKCON Child Protection Task Force Report. This resolution will now be incorporated in the ISKCON Child Protection Task Force.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: an alleged perpetrator may appeal the ICOCP’s Official Decision against him to the GBC Executive Committee. If that committee decides that there is sufficient cause to appeal the case, such appeal shall be handled by a second team of three trained, independent judges, appointed by the ICOCP, who were not involved in the original case, and who are impartial to both the alleged victims and the alleged perpetrator. All parties involved in the case, including the alleged perpetrator and alleged victims, shall be made aware of the choice of judges in advance of any proceedings, and shall have the right to appeal a judge’s participation in the appeal panel. Such an appeal may be submitted to the ISKCON Justice Minister, and the Justice Minister will decide whether the appealed panel member will be replaced.
This second panel of judges shall review all of the evidence presented to the first panel, the Official Decision of the first panel, plus any new evidence, objections, or recommendations from any party involved in the case, and shall make a final ruling in the case.
The director of the ICOCP will not be a member of the appeal panel. The appeal panel of three trained ICOCP panel members will determine the validity of each allegation of child abuse, and the appeal panel will also write the final version of the Official Decision for the case. This final version of the Official Decision will include directives and recommendations concerning the alleged perpetrator’s relationship with the ISKCON organization. The Official Decision of the appeal panel shall be final and binding on all parties, and this Official Decision cannot be appealed by the GBC or by any ISKCON entity.
607. [ACTION ORDER] Bhakti Gaurava Narasimha Swami
- Several ISKCON leaders have had discussions with Bhakti Gaurava Narasimha Swami (Jagat Guru Swami);
- ISKCON is open to dialogue with Narasimha Swami;
- Narasimha Swami feels that there were inappropriate actions directed against him by some ISKCON members in the past;
- Some ISKCON members feel that Narasimha Swami has performed some inappropriate actions against ISKCON.
Therefore it is resolved THAT:
1. A committee be formed to open a formal dialogue with Bhakti Gaurava Narasimha Swami, including at least one face-to-face meeting.
2. The committee should initially consist of: Bir Krishna dasa Goswami, Guru Prasad Swami, and Vaidyanatha dasa, and they may co-opt additional members as required.
3. The committee should conclude its assignment and present a report at the Annual GBC Meeting in February 2002.
608. [ACTION ORDER] Vaisnava Calendar
- The reasons why the GBC has resolved to use a multi-calendar system for ISKCON worldwide seem not to be understood by all devotees;
- The difference of tithi calculation between the Gaudiya Math and ISKCON is a source of confusion;
- There is a need to clarify that the ISKCON calendar calculated with the VCAL program is more accurate than the Gaudiya Math’s; and
- The VCAL program needs upgrading to ensure accuracy.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: the GBC appoints a Vaisnava Calendar Committee headed by Bhaktarupa dasa to execute the following tasks:
1) Produce a report by the annual GBC meeting 2002 clarifying the reasons why the GBC adopted a multi-calendar system rather than a global calendar based on Mayapur time, and why it is more suitable for today and the future.
2) Check the VCAL program and do the necessary upgrading or replacing to insure accuracy.
3) Hold a dialogue with Gaudiya Math and appropriate Indian pandits toward using a common calendar system.
Furthermore it is resolved THAT: the GBC allot US$2,000 from the GBC budget in order to cover the committee’s expenses related to:
• Hiring a C-programmer to document the algorithms in the VCAL program;
• Communication with Syamasundara dasa and Markandeya Rsi dasa and others involved;
• Upgrading or replacing the VCAL program.
609. [ACTION ORDER] Brahminical Advisory Council
- The GBC could benefit from the support and advice of devotees who are particularly knowledgeable in scripture;
- The GBC decision-making process and resolutions could be reinforced by more comprehensive sastric evidence.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: permanent, pro-active body of trusted, brahminical devotees without managerial commitments be formed to research philosophical issues for the purpose of advising the GBC and giving them feedback. This Brahminical Advisory Council (BAC) would be an advisory body only, subordinate to the GBC. Its conclusions and advice would be in no way binding on the GBC.
Steps toward forming the BAC:
1) A GBC subcommittee composed of Mahadyuti dasa, Prasanta-devi dasi, Purnacandra dasa, and Vaidyanatha dasa will compile an outline of the BAC specifying (though not limited to) the following:
a) Functions and duties of the BAC;
b) How the BAC will interact with the GBC and other managerial bodies;
c) The qualifications and job description of members;
d) Names of devotees who seem to fit the qualifications and who are willing and able to fulfill the job description;
e) Procedure for selecting and endorsing members (who selects them, how, in what forum, etc.); and
f) Term limits of members and procedure for reviewing their performance (who reviews, how often, according to what criteria, etc.).
2) The subcommittee will solicit feedback on the rough draft of the outline mentioned above, from GBC members and deputies.
3) Based on this feedback, the subcommittee will revise and refine the outline, aiming at a consensus of the GBC.
4) The subcommittee will submit the finished outline to the Secretariat by Janmastami 2001 for circulation among the GBC for their consideration.
5) The outline will be voted on by the GBC at its next annual meeting (2002).
610. [GUIDELINE] Local Coordinator of Youth Programs
- There is an increasing need for engaging our youth in all aspects of our movement;
- There are more and more youth growing up and coming of age in our movement;
- ISKCON Youth Ministry requires the help of local representatives to effectively minister to and engage youth at local levels.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: every temple, when possible, should have a Coordinator of Youth Programs to reach out to and engage the youth of the local congregation.
This Coordinator of Youth Programs shall coordinate his/her efforts with the Youth Ministry.
611. [ISKCON LAW] Global Excellence Awards
THAT “Global Excellence Awards” be established to recognize outstanding contributions within ISKCON. The purpose of the awards is to recognize excellence in a field of devotional service and to encourage devotion in the various aspects and fields of Krishna conscious activities.
[ACTION ORDER] Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Swami shall establish the system for gathering nominations for the awards for Global Excellence and for the details for implementation of this resolution for an initial period of three years.
The GBC Preaching Subcommittee shall make the final selection of award recipients. During the annual Gaura-purnima Festival there shall be one or more evening programs dedicated to bestowing Global Excellence Awards on the main stage.
Areas may include: Service attitude; enthusiasm and achievements in the following fields: Innovative sankirtan and book-distribution strategy; academic preaching amongst scholars; academic preaching amongst students; academic publications; risk-taking; festivals, conventions, and seminars; use of art, culture, and performances in preaching; Food for Life programs; congregational preaching; high achievement in areas like gurukula work, pujari service, cooking, etc.
The categories for the awards are normally generic, however, in some special cases, awards may be given in any or all of the following categories, at the discretion of the award givers: GBC members, Sannyasis, Grhasthas, Brahmacaris/inis, Matajis, Youth, Temple Presidents/Project Managers, and Congregation Members.
Recognition shall also be given for long periods of dedicated devotional service in different positions or devotional services, including steady service within a particular asrama for a significant period of time.
612. [STATEMENT] BBT Recognition
- The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) resubmits, from last year, the following request to the ISKCON Governing Body Commission; and
- The BBT requests the ISKCON Governing Body Commission to affirm, by resolution, the following principles to clarify BBT/ GBC – ISKCON relationship:
Therefore it is resolved THAT: we, the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON recognize that the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust was created, and should be operated, exclusively for the benefit of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, of which the Founder-acarya is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. We recognize that the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust should and does exist independently of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and that the functions and duties of the BBT Trustees, as stated in the BBT founding document, should be and are legally and managerially separate from, and not dependent on, the Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. These functions and duties include the publishing of books, the allocation of funds, and the appointment of new Trustees, as needed. We recognize that, in practice, the BBT Trustees or the BBTI Directors allocate construction funds with due respect and regard for the construction priorities conveyed to them by the ISKCON GBC.
[Note: By "the BBT founding document," we mean the "Bhaktivedanta Book Trust Agreement," executed in California on 29 May 1972 by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.]
613. [ACTION ORDER] BBT Construction-Grant Allocation Committee
- The trustees of BBTI have informed the GBC Chairman that it does not want any ex-officio BBT representative on the BBT Construction-Grant Allocation Committee, nor does it wish to nominate a member;
- A BBT resolution of 1999 states that the members of a BBT Construction-Grant Allocation Committee should be selected by the GBC Chairman and the BBTI trustees Chairman;
- The GBC wishes to harmonize its decision with that of the BBT trustees; and
- The two Chairmen have duly met and agreed upon their selection.
Therefore it is resolved THAT:
The 2000 Action Order Resolution 623 which now reads:
“A BBT Construction-Grant Allocation Committee is hereby formed and empowered to decide the allocation of the annual BBT construction and renovation grant to ISKCON, according to the principles established by Srila Prabhupada. The members of this committee are: Ramai Swami, Bhakti-tirtha Swami, Sivarama Swami, Hrdaya Caitanya dasa, the GBC annual chairman, the BBT treasurer, and a member nominated by the BBT trustees.”
Shall be amended to read:
“A BBT Construction-Grant Allocation Committee is hereby formed and empowered to decide the allocation of the annual BBT construction and renovation grant to ISKCON, according to the principles established by Srila Prabhupada. The members of this committee are:: Ramai Swami, Bhakti-tirtha Swami, Sivarama Swami, Hridaya Caitanya dasa (as convener), and the annual GBC Chairman.”
614. [ACTION ORDER] GBC/BBT Relations Committee
- The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) is a legally and managerially independent organization, as per the trust deed drafted by Srila Prabhupada;
- Srila Prabhupada also stated that the BBT exists for the exclusive benefit of ISKCON.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: a committee of the GBC shall be established for GBC/ BBT relations. This committee shall be appointed by the GBC, and their term of office shall be three years. Their purpose is to interface with the BBT trustees, offering ideas or concerns about book publications, communication about ISKCON’s payments of debts to the BBT, and so on. These suggestions are non-binding on the BBT.
The goal is to maintain a respectful and efficient channel of communication between the BBT and the GBC/ ISKCON.
This committee is under the GBC Executive Committee’s authority.
615. [ACTION ORDER] Show Cause Notice
- The Executive Committee in conjunction with the local Zonal Secretary sent a Show Cause Notice to Adridharan dasa on 13 September 2000;
- Adridharan dasa filed a petition challenging the same in the Calcutta High Court dated September 28, 2000; and
- The Hon’ble Justice P.C. Ghosh of Calcutta High Court by his order dated September 28, 2000 directed Adridharan dasa to reply the Show Cause Notice and injuncted the GBC Body from taking any further steps against Adridharan dasa till disposal of the application.
Therefore it is resolved THAT: the GBC Body insists that the Executive Committee (EC) take appropriate steps for an early hearing of the case relating to Show Cause Notice regards removal of Adidharan dasa, temple president (also known as “branch president”) of the ISKCON temple/branch situated at 3C, Albert Road, Calcutta, which is now pending before the Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta. There is no need of any further discussion regards the issue of Show Cause as it has been done correctly by the Executive Committee, in conformity with ISKCON Law.
It is further resolved THAT: the EC shall take further suitable and appropriate steps regarding the issue of Show Cause after the disposal of the case now pending before the Hon’ble High Court, without any further concurrence and reference of the GBC Body.
616. [ACTION ORDER] Executive Committee’s Delegated Representative
THAT the GBC delegates Ravindra Svarupa dasa specifically to represent the Executive Committee in dealing with issues involving ritvik temples and court cases in India and with issues involving the Turley lawsuit in the United States.
617. [ACTION ORDER] Letter of Censure
THAT the GBC hereby censures Advaita Krishna dasa, Sumitra-devi dasi, and Govinda Candra dasa, and has issued a letter of censure to each one of them stating:
“Please understand that an ISKCON devotee is a member of Srila Prabhupada’s family and as such has the duty to act in a befitting Krishna conscious manner demonstrating concern for your own and others spiritual welfare and for the well-being of ISKCON. Due to the reasons stated below you have been censured. A censure expresses disapproval of your conduct. A censure is an official note of caution. Please take due notice thereof and rectify the situation.
“Reasons for censure.
“Based on a preponderance of evidence provided, the GBC Body has found you along with others to be responsible for writing to the Immigration Department of Mauritius requesting that Trivikrama Maharaja be barred from entering the country.
“This has already happened once before in Mauritius when Bhakti-tirtha Maharaja was barred from entering the country.
“Whilst this in no way suggests you are responsible for the earlier event this is a warning that this type of action is not condoned by ISKCON.
“It is also a warning that you have to be diligent in adhering to the orders and guidelines given by the GBC and GBC Representative.
“You must not abuse the authority conferred upon you as a Temple leader and spiritual authority within ISKCON.”
618. [ISKCON LAW] ISKCON Property Office
THAT an ISKCON Property Office be established under the GBC Executive Committee Governing Body. The ISKCON Property Office shall consist of the GBC Executive Committee (ex-officio) plus Naresvara dasa and Bhaktarupa dasa. All the functions assigned to the Executors Committee in the GBC laws related to ISKCON properties are hereby transferred to this office and are no longer under the Executors Committee. The Executors Committee shall now exclusively concern itself with the various terms of Srila Prabhupada’s will which do not deal with the protection of ISKCON properties.
[ACTION ORDER] The Executors Committee has been without a permanent chairman for two years, so Gopal Krishna Goswami is appointed as the permanent chairman and shall meet annually during the GBC meetings in Mayapur.
GBC ZONAL ASSIGNMENTS 2001-2002
Minister of Communications
GBC for USA: California (South), Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah.
Co-GBC for USA: Los Angeles.
BB Govinda Swami:
GBC for: Mauritius, all Arabic speaking countries except UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudis Arabia, and Kuwait.
GBC for: Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan,
Co-GBC for Russia Volga Region, Ural Region.
Bhakti Caitanya Swami:
GBC for: Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Malawi, Angola, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia;
Co-GBC for Russia: St. Petersburg, Murmansk, Arkangelsk.
Co-GBC for Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia: Siberia; South Africa.
Bhakti Caru Swami:
Two-year leave of absence from zonal assignments. Assignment “Abhay Charan” Video production.
Acting GBC for Canada.
Bhakti Svarupa Damodara Swami:
GBC for India: Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh.
Co-GBC for India: Tripura, Andra Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Orissa, U.P. (Kuruksetra); Burma.
GBC: Switzerland, Dole (France).
GBC: USA: West Virginia, Michigan (Detroit), Pennsylvania (Gita Nagari), Washington D.C., Potomac, MD.
Co-GBC for Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Zaire.
AC Bhaktivaibhava Swami:
GBC for Mongolia.
Co-GBC for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania;
Russia: Siberia, Far East; Ukraine, Belarus.
Bir Krishna dasa Goswami:
GBC for USA: Virginia, Southeast United States (except Florida), Tennessee Hawaii; Fiji,
GBC for Slovenia.
Candidate GBC for Ecuador, Peru, Chile [with Virabahu dasa and Jayapataka Swami] and for Bolivia [with Jayapataka Swami].
European Executive Committee:
GBC for Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Cyprus, Greece, Norway.
Co-GBC for USA: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas; China (including Hong Kong), South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan, Philippines.
Gopal Krishna Goswami:
GBC for India: Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Punjab (Chandigarh), West Uttar Pradesh, , Vrindavana, Himal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh;
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda;
GBC for Azerbaijan;
Co-GBC for India: Maharashtra (including Mumbai), Jamnu-Kashmir, Lucknow, Hardwar, Goa, Uttar Pradesh (including Vrndavan,); Mayapur;
Co-GBC for Moscow, Russia;
Co-GBC for Russia: South, Golden Ring;
Co-GBC for Canada: everywhere except Quebec.
Guru Prasad Swami:
GBC for Colombia, Amazon region in Brazil, USA: Arizona; Central America, Mexico, Trinidad; Roraima and Amapa region of Amazon.
Co-GBC for Venezuela.
Hari Vilas dasa:
Co-GBC for USA: Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Vancouver (Canada);
Co-GBC Armenia, Pakistan,Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, North and South Yemen, Afghanistan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkino Faso, Niger, Chad;
India: Jamnu and Kashmir, Uttar Karelha (Hardwar and Rishikesh), Goa, Himacal Pradesh;
USA: State of Washington, Alaska.
GBC for Bolivia; India: Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, West Bengal (other than Mayapur and Calcutta); Maldives, Bhutan, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Co-GBC for Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Chile, Ecuador, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Peru, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates;
India: Bihar, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, Orissa, Belgaum (Karnataka), West Bengal (Mayapur and Calcutta).
Minister of Congregational Preaching
GBC for Japan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Israel.
Co-GBC for Indonesia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Benin, Togo, Liberia, Cameroon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Zaire, Gabon, Rio Muni, Central African Republic, Congo, Thailand, Singapore.
Madhu Sevita dasa:
GBC for Italy.
Co-GBC for Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands.
Co-GBC for USA: Ohio, West Virgina, Kentucky, Detroit, Indiana, Western Pennsylvania.
GBC for USA: New England, Festival of India; Moldova;
Co-GBC for Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia Ukraine, Belarus, Russia: Moscow and St. Petersburg, west of Nijniy Novgorod and north of Voronesh.
GBC for Brazil (including Amazon Region except Roraima and Amapa) including Nova Gokula.
GBC for France, Portugal; New Vraja Mandala in Spain.
Co-GBC for Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Russia: Far East, South; Latvia
Burma; India: Bihar, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh (only Tirupati), Uttar Pradesh (East); Bangladesh,
Nepal, Malaysia, Brunei.
Candidate GBC for France.
Co-GBC for USA: Hawaii, Oregon,Washington, Murari Sewak.
Co-GBC For: Nrsimha-ksetra (Germany)
GBC for Austria.
Radha Krishna dasa:
Assistant GBC; GBC Secretary
GBC for India: Mumbai Chowpatti.
Co-GBC for India: Belgaum (Karnataka), Maharastra;
USA: West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky.
Co-GBC for Australia, New Zealand; New Caledonia, Indonesia
GBC for Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomons.
Ravindra Svarupa dasa:
GBC for USA: Michigan (except Detroit), Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania.
Co-GBC for USA: Washington DC, Pennsylvania (West, Gita Nagari), Ohio,
GBC for Denmark, Sweden, Germany
Co-GBC (with Prithu dasa) for: Nrsimha Ksetra.
GBC for USA: New Jersey, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, New York, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
GBC for Alachua (Florida)
Co-GBC Mayapur for Educational Development
Minister of Justice
Minister of Educational Development
GBC for United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Ireland, Hungary.
(on leave of absence) Co-GBC for Greece, Cyprus, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Norway, Finland.
Co-GBC for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Holland.
Tamal Krishna Goswami:
Co-GBC for USA: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, China (including Hong Kong),
North Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, South Korea, India: Mayapur and Calcutta.
Co-GBC for Russia, Abkhazia, Georgia and Armenia.
GBC for USA: Florida (except Alachua); Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Guyana; Caribbean (except for Trinidad).
Co-GBC for USA: Los Angeles; Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela.