DOM is a sideshow – BBT is at the center

Just yesterday, Praghosa Prabhu forwarded a copy of his email to Rocan das regarding the GBC and the Direction of Management (DOM). This is a discussion as to the constitution of the GBC and managerial duties related to ISKCON and their relationship with the BBT. There are devotees who think that all that’s dysfunctional within ISKCON can be fixed by reforms to the GBC, putting new guidelines in place, setting up committees to watch over the GBC members and make sure they perform their duties, etc. The call for implementing the DOM – whereby GBC members are elected by temple presidents – carries the same expectation, that all of ISKCON rides on the GBC.

But something is missing from this picture. And that is the BBT. ISKCON will never be right again as long as the BBT is not put right. The two are separate, yet BBT at the core of ISKCON. Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again without the heart beat.


On Tue, May 28, 2013 at 9:07 AM, Patrick Hedemark wrote:

From: Patrick Hedemark Subject: On the subject of the DOM
To: sun _at_ harekrsna.com
Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 12:02 PM

Hello Rocan Das.

Obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada

I have been following this DOM issue a bit over the years.

So I have found your recent posts (now numbering some 11 posts and counting) interesting.

Thus far what appears to be missing in all of this discussion (and which you might be getting to in fact) is EXACTLY what is the singular relevance of the DOM to present day ISKCON?

In all you have offered – this single most important facet is conspicuous in its absence.

You have correctly pointed out that in the 1975 Mayapur GBC meetings – Srila Prabhupada did not ask for much less order the DOM’s “particulars” on the election of GBC members.

In addition to this – as late as May of ’78 Srila Prabhupada stated that GBC’s should not be whimsically changed, but such changes could be implemented if a GBC man’s faith or practice of Krsna Consciousness suffered a serious fall down. He said their appointment was “for life”.

So this aspect of the DOM appears to have been adjusted – though the history does not seem to provide any formally mandated statement from Srila Prabhupada or the GBC asserting this. Only the conversations between HDG and some GBC men remain as evidence of this. To most this is enough.

This change however appears to be relatively less important (at least to myself) than the fact that WHAT constituted the actual reason for Srila Prabhupada’s forming the GBC in the first place – and WHAT the GBC’s actual enumerated responsibilities were ( and are) and what (if any) subsequent disabilities or limitations were established – as they are given in the DOM itself.

Up to this point – much back and forth has arisen over supposed term limits to any GBC man’s serving as such – and whether or not Srila Prabhupada built in any remedy to the Temple authorities’ dissatisfaction with either a particular GBC rep’s performance of his duties – or even the GBC in the aggregate.

This issue of elections by TP’s of new or changed GBC men appears to have been adjusted and settled by Srila Prabhupada.

Likewise – and in my humble view – more importantly – the particular duties and limitations he expected of the GBC appear to be very simple and UNCHANGED.

Here they are – so stated verbatim within the DOM itself.
PARTICULARS OF THE GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION
“The purpose of the Governing Body Commission is to act as the instrument for the execution of the Will of His Divine Grace. And further,

1. The GBC oversees all operations and management of ISKCON, as it receives direction from Srila Prabhupada and His Divine Grace has the final approval in all matters.

And previous to this initial “particular” Srila Prabhupada stated that the simple responsibilities he assigned to the GBC body and each of its executors were the following:

“As we have increased our volume of activities, now I think a Governing Body Commission (hereinafter referred to as the GBC) should be established. I am getting old, 75 years old, therefore at any time I may be out of the scene, therefore I think it is necessary to give instruction to my disciples how they shall manage the whole institution. They are already managing individual centers represented by one president, one secretary and one treasurer, and in my opinion they are doing nice. But we want still more improvement in the standard of Temple management, propaganda for Krishna Consciousness, distribution of books and literatures, opening of new centers and educating devotees to the right standard. Therefore, I have decided to adopt the following principles and I hope my beloved disciples will kindly accept them. There was a meeting in San Francisco during the Ratha Yatra festival 1970 and many presidents of the centers were present.”

“But we want still more improvement in
1.The Standard of Temple management
2. Propaganda for Krishna Consciousness
3. Distribution of books and literatures
4. Opening of new centers
5. Educating devotees to the right standard”

That’s it. THOSE are the GBC’s enumerated duties. If they confine themselves to these – everything will go nicely or as SP said there will be “more improvement”.

The rest of the DOM’s “particulars” pertains to their specific authority and/or – absence of authority in dealing with the local ISKCON management – as well as their relationship with the Srila Prabhupada’s separately organized BBT.

It appears to myself at least – that the issue of “elections of GBC men” while relevant PERHAPS at some earlier point in ISKCON’S history – was made moot by Srila Prabhupada himself in 1977, BUT that the GBC itself – and specifically its actual and only real duties and the limitations to their authority or “jurisdiction” were retained by Srila Prabhupada: in the abstract of all his statements and encouragement on the matter – and concretely – in his having only addressed the election matter directly – and his never having “formally” rescinded the balance of the Direction of Management’s very clear cut guidance.

If the above is not viewed by you as the case – then might I suggest that you offer your own view as to what possible relevance the DOM actually represents to anyone anywhere in today’s ISKCON?

And if you share my basic views so stated – then why not offer that?

So far – you have offered 11 pages on the subject – and if the DOM is in fact not relevant to ISKCON today other than its formation of the GBC and their assumption that it establishes them as what they now clearly view themselves to be – then why discuss it at all?

The GBC’s presumption of a veritable “blank check” where it pertains to their authority – is all they appear to have extracted from the remnants of the DOM and other documented abstracts from Srila Prabhupada. It has cost the aggregate of ISKCON centers and their congregations millions and millions of dollars – and the faith and support of countless devotees over the years.

This alone is reason enough in my view to study and emphasize WHAT the DOM actually does to help guide the mission and not be distracted by a tiny aspect of its original construct (elections of additional or changed GBC men by TP presidents) which quite clearly was rendered irrelevant by none other than Srila Prabhupada himself in May of 1977.

Respectfully,
Praghosa Das


Dear Praghosa Prabhu, obeisances, all glories to Srila Prabhupada. Nice letter. Of course, writing anything to Rocan is like urinating on your garden plants and expecting them to grow because you are irrigating them personally with warm water.

You wrote:

“That’s it. THOSE are the GBC’s enumerated duties. If they confine themselves to these – everything will go nicely or as SP said there will be “more improvement”.

The rest of the DOM’s “particulars” pertains to their specific authority and/or – absence of authority in dealing with the local ISKCON management – as well as their relationship with the Srila Prabhupada’s separately organized BBT.”

The BBT Trust supersedes ISKCON spiritually, legally, morally and practically.

Prabhupada did not just verbally organize a separate department of his existing ISKCON corporation.

He registered BBT as a LEGAL, IRREVOCABLE TRUST, and funded the trust with his ESTATE PROPERTY – namely, his copyrighted works: Bhagavad gita As It Is, Srimad Bhagavatam, Chaitanya-charitamrita, and all his other writings.

What most naive and sentimental devotees have never understood, even to the present day, is that this trust (BBT), legally registered by Srila Prabhupada, is a seperate LEGAL ENTITY. BBT is 100% independent – autonymous – and actually superior (supersedes) by an order of magnitude to the first legal entity registered by Srila Prabhupada, known as ISKCON – a non-profit corporation meant for propagating the philosophy and culture of Krishna consciousness world wide.

The legal difference between ISKCON and the BBT is the same as the difference between the car manufacturer – say Ford, Dodge, Toyota or Mercedes &#8211 and the dealership authorized by Ford, Dodge, Toyota or Mercedes. Simply put, WITHOUT THE MANUFACTURER, there is NO QUESTION OF THE EXISTENCE OF ANY DEALERSHIP that would be selling the cars. Common sense? Of course! NO CAR MANUFACTURER, NO DEALERSHIP TO SELL CARS.

For years we have begged the devotees to help in the re-establishment of Prabhupada’s BBT Trust.

Restoration of the BBT would automatically include the concerns devotees have about the illegal book changes made by Jayadvaita & Company. It would also include resolution of the ongoing conflict over guru acharyas or ritvik representatives of THE ACHARYA, SRILA PRABHUPADA.

Every discrepancy, adulteration, deviation and consideration for the future of ISKCON rests on restoring and preserving the INDISPUTABLE, IRREVOCABLE SANCTITY and AUTHORITY of the BBT as ESTABLISHED BY SRILA PRABHUPADA.

The BBT manufactures Srila Prabhupada’s books. In this analogy, BBT is akin to the manufacturer of the FORD automobiles. The ISKCON movement is the worldwide network of dealerships (authorized dealers) who sell Srila Prabhupada’s books, akin to the numerous authorized FORD dealerships who sell FORD cars world wide.

Till now, this fundamental focus (BBT as manufacturer or publisher, ISKCON as dealership or distribution network) continues to be ILLEGALLY PLUNDERED BY A CRIMINAL GANG OF LOOK-ALIKE (“BBT – International for profit corporation”) IMPOSTERS. And a staff of meddling, office boy clerks and WANNA-BE editors continue to whimsically change and adulterate the transcendental texts of the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON and BBT, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

If every effort to correct this fundamental crime against Srila Prabhupada continues to be eclipsed, or ignored by the devotee population, then there will continue to be no ISKCON, neither now, nor in the future.

If anything, we will expand as another cheating religion into the future of Kali Yuga, as described in Srimad Bhagavatam – a fantasy, a hallucination, a fanatic, dogmatic, religious movement like Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and Mohammedans have done from their early days to the present. ISKCON has already become a caricature of the original dynamic force that was centered around Srila Prabhupada in the first 10 years. Srila Prabhupoada was orchestrating every devotee and activity, big and small, world wide.

I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get off this basic point of the BBT’s primary and exclusive importance in the scheme of Srila Prabhupada’s movement, for the present and in the future.

Help me out here. Am I missing something? If so, let me know what it is. I just can’t seem to get beyond this point. Some friends, devotee friends, have said to me, “Oh Hansadutta, why are you still hung up on this stuff? Fogeddabouddit. Let it go. It’s time you moved on. Devotees are tired of hashing this over and over. Krishna will sort everything out. Krishna is in control. Everything is exactly as it should be.” Still, I can’t seem to fogeddibouddit.

Right now all I see is everyone engaged with secondary, at best auxilliary issues, like the passengers of the TITANIC squabbling over the arrangement of the deck chairs.

Thank you in advance. Either I need help, or we all need help, but something is seriously wrong. I’m open for guidance and light.

Your humble servant,
Hansadutta das
In and for Srila Prabhupada

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One Response to DOM is a sideshow – BBT is at the center

  1. Ishan das says:

    Obeisances. Thank you. Your comments are like those of the only sane person in a nut house, where the rest of the inmates are too sedated to take notice. After some 35 odd years of cultivating Krishna consciousness in seclusion, I decided to check out a few “temples”. You have written that there is a danger of KC “becoming” ………… but when my partner asks me (with tongue in cheek), “Well, are you looking forward to another visit to your movement?”, I have been saying, “No thank you. It is just like visiting any other “religion”. It is all over. KC has become another church. Plain and simple. Everyone living on the property in Alachua, has a private room, with a lazy-boy chair, and a bed with a 14 inch mattress. And they are all ON SALARY. From the president, to the pujaris, to the cooks, to the maintenance man, everyone is on salary. And the biggest subject of concern is HOW TO PLEASE THE EAST INDIAN COMMUNITY SO THAT WE CAN OBTAIN LARGE DONATIONS FROM THEM. Cooking in the main kitchen is an opportunity for talk on every topic under the sun. And the “Deity Kitchen” (with a $4000 stainless steel stove) is never cleaned. When I asked the head pujari why those who come to cook for the Deities are not cleaning the Deity kitchen after cooking, breaking down the stove, etc., I am told that if those conditions are imposed, no one will come to cook for Krishna. One can immediately see so many things that could and should be changed, but no one wants to hear about it, from the top down. Those who give class are those who have memorized the most verses. And if one tries to make kirtan INTERACTIVE, the devotees will look at you like you have a problem. Everyone is standing in his private telephone booth with the door closed. The feet never move. And many have taken to sitting at the back of the temple room in chairs. Some sit outside on the walkway. That is their idea of attending mongal arotik. The beat goes on. Out of a community of more than 1000 devotees, there are never more than 15 devotees at mongal arotik. And it is like going to a funeral. So it is finished. It may be different elsewhere, but that is the atmosphere in the few places I have visited.

    But, I do not understand people like Jayadvaita. If they don’t really have faith in Srila Prabhupada and what he is teaching, why are they here, why are they wanting to be part of this movement? And if they do have this faith, how would they dare to make changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books? How can they think for one moment that they know better than Srila Prabhupada as to what is the best way to present our teachings to the public?

    Anyway, I thought to look up your name on the web, as you were the one who brought me to Krishna consciousness, so many years back. I always have this memory of you. So that is how I came to visit this site. I will explore it. Maybe I’ll write an article.

    Hare Krishna! Your servant,

    Ishan das

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