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By Krsnacandra dasa
accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
commending the desire to seek reform I believe that in order to understand
not only what in ISKCON needs reform, but also how will that reformation
be accomplished is a matter of perspective and prioritizing. Setting
priorities are extremely important. Especially when aligned with a
developmentally sound plan. We must first learn to crawl before attempting
are three main points that I would like to present with this in mind;
we have two aspects to our preaching mission. For the sake of this point both may be considered as external
(internal is becoming Krsna Conscious ourselves).
first external aspect is to give Krsna Consciousness to others. The second
is to provide an environment that will enable not only us but also others
to be able to practice and experience Krsna Consciousness in their daily
first aspect is already being prosecuted with some success (although it
will always be in need of improvement and growth). The second is an aspect
that we have not yet fully embraced.
Yet it is one that forms the basis of all the other aspects. One may
call it our foundational operating principle - daivi varnasrama dharma
(said at the risk of sounding repetitive).
questions that we must ask in order to see if we have in fact embraced
this aspect of our mission;
Do we have a system for ascertaining
a person's varna? Are the various positions within ISKCON
structured according to varna?
Do we place devotees in these positions according to their varna?
Do we train devotees according to their varna?
Do we educate our children according to their varna?
Do we provide educational curriculum and syllabus according to varna?
we have not adopted daivi varnasrama dharma then what are we
embracing? How are we appointing devotees? How are we training our
children and adults?
are questions that must be answered before we attempt any further
re-arrangement of our present systems.
important factor in effecting change is to understand how we are
interacting with each other. Since
our process can be described as descending. That is descending both in
knowledge and in authority, then it is vitally important how the upper
levels, of our earthly authority, interacts with others.
way of looking at what I am saying is to look at how a person in authority
interacts with others. This can be divided into two general methods. One
method is to talk at someone. This is the authoritative method
commonly used by parents lecturing their children (This method is
effectively used as a part of an intimate relationship between guru and
disciple). The second method is to talk with someone. This method
immediately forms a consultative relationship.
first method is extremely open to abuse and more or less places the person
being talked at in a dependant/subordinate position, while the second
method while demanding honesty, caring and sharing primarily places the
other person in an empowered position.
believe that how we interact with each other is a vital aspect of change
and one that needs to be addressed on an individual as well as
1997 as a member of the Social Development Committee established by the
GBC to look into restructure, we developed and submitted a comprehensive
this plan I was pushing for the formation of local community
representative councils to be established both locally and
internationally. These would provide not only support for local temples
but also much needed feedback to the upper echelon. The councils would
also provide more involved and decision making service options for
congregational (grhastha) devotees.
should train and place devotees in positions (and careers) that are in
accordance with their natural propensities. We should relate with each
other in a more open, sharing and caring manner. And we should have
structured systems of feedback to exchange information and resources from
a more grass roots level. Then we would have a very good chance to look at
reform that will be both effective and relevant to Srila Prabhupada's
in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
© CHAKRA 16-May-2000
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