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“Srila Prabhupada advised us that the temple should have three officers: a preisdent, a treasurer and a secretary... He said that these officers could be voted in by the temple devotees and rotated each year.”

RANCHOR DAS
Ranchor das is a senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada living in London, England.


Prabhupada Favored Self-Sufficiency
By Ranchor das

Regarding voting for temple presidents, I believe Prabhupada was not dogmatic about practical matters. When he spoke or wrote letters on such affairs he often did so in such a way as to offer his advice, and leave it to his followers to decide. He wanted to foster self-sufficiency and independent thoughtfulness in his disciples, which explains why he sometimes favored democratic processes.

As a matter of fact, in London in 1972, Srila Prabhupada advised us that the temple should have three officers: a president, a treasurer and a secretary (though the treasurer and secretary could if necessary be the same person). He said that these officers could be voted in by the temple devotees and rotated each year. In time every devotee could hold office, he said. This was common knowledge at the time, but as I recall we were not mature enough to put it into practice: we wanted to be told what to do, rather than have to decide for ourselves. Later, at Bhaktivedanta Manor in 1974, when there was extreme controversy over who should be president, Srila Prabhupada reiterated his wish that the community of devotees should vote on who they wanted as temple president. Again it was not really followed, at least only half-heartedly. We simply were not ready to take responsibility for our own lives and preferred to be told what to do by someone in authority. Such blind following inevitably   leads in time to recriminations, such as those which have contributed so much to ISKCON's troubles over the years.

© CHAKRA 21-May-2000

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 elected?
Temple Presidents Elected?
Temple Presidents not to be elected - by Ramabhadra dasa
Response to Ramabhadra by Narottama dasa
Electing the temple president - issues behind the debate
TP Elect: Round Pegs in Square Holes? - by Krsnacandra dasa
TP's elected: Response to Narottama das - by Ramabhadra das
A President Can Only Be Changed by Vote - Chaitanya Chandra
My Impression of the TP Debate - Prananantha
Removal and Appointment of TPs - Jayapataka Swami
Prabhupada Favored Self-Sufficiency - Ranchor das
Elected by Members of the Center
Response to Jayapataka Swami
Prabhupada said: Elect the TP

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