A Treatise; Making a “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
Comments on the Direction of Management. Part 1
The relevant portions of this letter (the DOM), are in “Bold, Italics, Underlined, & Blue Font”. My comments will follow in normal font.
As we have increased our volume of activities, now I think a Governing Body Commission (hereinafter referred to as the GBC), should be established.
In the early years from 1965 to 1970, Srila Prabhupada was basically the King of ISKCON. In 1970, the movement had spread wide and far in this world, and in order to be able to spend more time translating Srimad-bhagavatam etc., he became aware, that ISKCON was now large enough, that it was required to establish a GBC for his institution, just like his own spiritual master wanted a GBC for the Gaudiya Matha. At that time there was a lot of enthusiasm amongst his disciples. He also could see that many of his disciples had the inclination to be a leader, and they were also were, more or less, intelligent. Hence, it was time to establish the GBC, so they could relieve him of the general management of his institution, or at least assist him in that regard.
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.
Knowing that he “may be out of the scene” due to his advanced age. It is my opinion, that if Srila Prabhupada had not written these instructions, ISKCON would have regressed into anarchy, a state of disorder due to absence or nonrecognition of authority. It is possible that Srila Prabhupada might have felt the same way. Importunely, Srila Prabhupada worst fear has certainly manifested since his disappearance. Today, ISKCON is an institution that is riddled with “anarchy”, “Chaos”, and “Controversy”.
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.
Since Srila Prabhupada said “we want still more improvement in standards” in the categories he then describes; certainly, implies that he was not satisfied. He said that the current temple management system comprising of Temple president, Secretary, and Treasurer, was doing nicely. Nevertheless, he wanted them to “step-up-their-game”, so to speak. In other words, “improve their skills and talents in the Art of Management”. Little known is the fact that Srila Prabhupada wrote a letter giving details to this statement just made, which will be presented later. In this letter he wrote at the end of his instructions, “this is the Art of Management.”
Therefore, I have decided to adopt the following principles and I hope my beloved disciples will kindly accept them.
Here Srila Prabhupada says that he “hoped”, (feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen), that his “beloved disciples”, (those disciples who loved him), would “kindly”, (in a kind manner), “accept”, (consent to receive a thing offered), them.
No doubt that Srila Prabhupada is not dictating or demanding that his disciples accept these instructions. He is humbly requesting that his disciples accept them out of love for him.
In that meeting, it was resolved that an ad hoc committee be set up to form the constitution, which is taken into consideration.
This particular sentence, it can be understood that the meeting of the current leaders of ISKCON, decided to form an “ad hoc committee”, for the purpose of developing and writing a “Constitution for ISKCON”.
“When necessary or needed.”
Therefore, it could be understood that at that time these leaders felt it was a good idea to write a formal constitution. However, when would this committee, decide that it was “necessary or needed”?
“A body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed”.
At that time, these leaders did not know if such a constitution was needed or even necessary. Since they never wrote a constitution, ever, simply logic and reason tell us that these leaders did not think a constitution was needed or necessary.
After Srila Prabhupada’s departure, there have been several attempts in writing a constitution for ISKCON. All of them have failed, due to the reason that there could be no consensus amongst the GBC and the rank-and-file disciples who initiated such effort. To this date, a Constitution for ISKCON does not exists; other than the DOM it self.