“Moving Forward”

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

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Segment 38.7

Comments on The Art of Management. Part 7

Each center remains independent, that’s all right, but the president and other officers must themselves follow and see the others are following the regulative principles carefully, and giving them good instruction so they may understand nicely why this tapasya is necessary.

Srila Prabhupada says that it is OK if each center remains independent. 

Independent means,

“Free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority.”

What I read by this, is that Srila Prabhupada is saying,

“Each center, if they so desire to, can remain free from the outside control of the GBC, and Sannyasis; and not to be dependent on their authority..”

Then Srila Prabhupada gives the responsibility to the Temple president when he says,

“But the president and other officers, (secretary, treasurer, temple commander) must themselves follow and see the others are following the regulative principles carefully, and giving them good instruction so they may understand nicely why this tapasya is necessary.”

Seven months later Srila Prabhupada wrote another letter to Karandhara dasa in 1973.

Letter to: Karandhara — Bhaktivedanta Manor19 July, 1973: 

“Regarding incorporation of our ISKCON centers, we want to run all our centers as nonprofit religious organizations; that is the main point. Keeping this point in view too much official control is not good in spiritual life. The centers should remain spiritually fit and independent. Some control must be there as is now. Too much control means so many vouchers. Gradually it will become a mundane institution. All our managers should be spiritually advanced simple and honest in carrying out the orders of the spiritual master and Krishna. That will be a nice standard. Democracy in spiritual affairs is not at all good but breeds power politics. We should be careful about power politics. Our only aim should be that each and every devotee is full dedicated to Krishna, then things will go on nicely.

In this letter Srila Prabhupada said,

“The centers should remain spiritually fit and independent.”

This is basically the same as in his previous letter.  However, he then says,

“Some control must be there as is now.”

In a quick read, without study, reading in the mode of passion or ignorance, one can conclude that Srila Prabhupada desire for all ISKCON centers to be fully “independent” does not hold here; he did say “some control must be there”.  However, I believe that he is referring to “control” by the Temple officers, because he says “as is now”. He was not referring to control by the GBC, or Sannyasis.  He is stating that control by the center’s officers would continue as he has instructed.

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