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Does he mean to say that Srila Prabhupada didn't say what Caitanya Candra quotes him as saying?
The debate: Should Temple Presidents be Elected?
CHAKRA wants to thank all the devotees who have contributed their time and thoughts to this debate. The debate is now over on CHAKRA, but we hope it has stimulated discussion and improved communication about these important issues in your local communities.
Did Prabhupada want temple presidents
By Narottama dasa
response to Ramabhadra's
article, I wanted to mention that the dynamic he's using here is
the same dynamic used in dealing with the jiva issue. That is that
Prabhupada clearly said that temple presidents should be elected.
Prabhupada said it in black and white as he also said that, 'no one falls
from Vaikuntha'. Yet Ramabhadra is trying to make policy that Prabhupada
didn't want it. The fact is that in many cases there are many sides to the
issue. Prabhupada didn't want us to get caught up in these issues at the
cost of our pursuit of Krsna consciousness. But it is unfortunate that
people want to change Prabhupada's message for various reasons.
may be that Ramabhadra feels threatened by the concept that temple
presidents should be elected. Indeed, he offers a correction to CHAKRA to
'protect us from unnecessary anxieties caused by inaccurate claims.' Does
he mean to say that Srila Prabhupada didn't say what Caitanya
Candra quotes him as saying? Srila Prabhupada clearly said
something and it appears that Ramabhadra is trying to get around it by
further elaborate this point if we read the selection that Ramabhadra has
provided from Srila Prahupada's 'Direction of Management', there is
nothing that Prabhupada wrote that contradicts any of Caitanya Candra's
points, nor does it support Ramabhadra's point. For example, in 'Direction
of Management' SP writes, "8. Removal of a Temple president by the
GBC requires support by the local Temple members." That seems to give
quite a bit of support to Caitanya Candra's point and not conversely.
addition Ramabhadra makes it out that it is Caitanya Candra's,
"inaccurate reference/claim". If we re-read Caitanya Candra's
article we'll see that it isn't Caitanya Candra's personal reference to
'Direction of Management', rather Caitanya Candra quotes a letter wherein
Prabhupada references the 'Direction of Management' document. Prabhupada
himself wrote a letter that supports Caitanya Candra's point by
referencing the 'Direction of Management' document. All Caitanya Candra is
doing is questioning, 'What happened to this practice of voting in temple
presidents? Why aren't we doing it now if that's what Prabhupada wanted
(which appears quite clear)?' Ramabhadra's reply seems to simply voice his
disagreement with the idea, trying to support it by something that gives
more support to Caitanya Candra.
think this is an interesting dynamic and I think it is something we need
to be more aware of in ISKCON. The dynamic being that if someone brings up
something that Prabhupada wanted us to do which we aren't doing, we should
try to incorporate that no matter how painful it is. Otherwise it seems to
be symptom of desiring nectar in the beginning, which leads to pain in the
end. Note how the reference Ramabhadra cites from Prabhupada brings up
quite a few other things Prabhupada wanted that we don't do. Maybe this
dynamic has something to do with the state of affairs in ISKCON today?
hope this meets the Vaisnavas well and if anyone would like to contact me
you can do so at <Narottama@usa.com>.
© CHAKRA 23-April-2000
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