Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”

"Moving Forward"
Section "Two"

The Management of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission” Issue?

Segment 32.1
How Can the Direction of Management [DOM], be Applied Today,
In The Absence of Srila Prabhupada? 
Part 1

The Direction of Management is a legal document that was written and signed into effect by Srila Prabhupada, Founder-acharya of ISKCON, on July 28th, 1970, shortly after the Ratha Yatra festival in San Francisco.  His purpose, in doing so, was to establish the group now commonly referred to as “GBC”, or the Governing Body Commission, for the purpose of executing His Instructions for the management, and growth of ISKCON, during both, the time before and after he departed from this world, when he could no longer be personally present to direct the functions and activities of ISKCON.

Srila Prabhupada wanted that a Constitution for ISKCON be written, with the DOM, being its inspiration and guide.  The Constitution would have to “reflect”, like a mirror, the “intent”, “spirit”, “soul”, “essence”, and “heart”, of the DOM, if you will.

There are 9 Articles comprising the Direction of Management, and some of them specifically state his personal involvement.  Hence, these would have to be amended in light of his absents.  This Treatise will propose such amendments for your consideration; just as a starting point, so to speak.

 Article 1 states:

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.” 

In light of the fact that Srila Prabhupada is no longer physically present; the implication is that the instructions in his DOM are all there is, and he has approved them.  So, what if there was some relevant need to make some kind of “amendment” to the DOM?   To facilitate this this Article could be present in a constitution as,

The GBC oversees all operations and management of ISKCON, as it has received direction from Srila Prabhupada in his DOM, books, letters, lectures and conversations, which all has had his final approval.  Due to time, place, and circumstance, there could be a valid need to make amendments to the DOM, as long as the amendment does not violate the intent and spirit of the DOM.”

The DOM is similar to the USA Constitution.  The words of this document cannot be changed. However, there is a practical protocol for amending it; and it has been amended 27 time in the history of the USA.

Article 2 states:

His Divine Grace will select the initial 12 members of the GBC. In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents, who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple. Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of GBC. Srila Prabhupada will choose to retain four commissioners. In the event of Srila Prabhupada’s absence (after his departure from this mortal world), the retiring members will decide which four will remain.”

The Article could be reflected in a Constitution as,

“Before the election of new GBCs, the 12 current presiding GBC members will decide, amongst themselves, which four will remain. Each retiring GBC will vote for 4, who will remain for the next term.  The 4 with the highest number of votes will remain.  In the case of a tie for the 4th, position, there will be run-off election, from a ballot of those tied for 4th place; this run-off election would take place until one of the GBC on this ballot, get a simple majority.  The new GBCs will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents, who will vote for 8, from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple, and the 8 retiring GBCs as well. Those 8 with the greatest number of votes, will be members for the next term of the GBC.

Article 3 states:

The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period.”

The Article could be reflected in a Constitution as,

The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period as provided in Article 2.”

Article 4 states:

“The chairman is elected by the GBC for each meeting. He has no veto power, but in even of a vote tie, his vote will decide. The same will apply for votes cast by mail between regular meetings.”

No need to amend this Article.

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