Reply to Krsnacandra's Article on
By Jayapataka Swami
accept my humble obeisances. All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!
was browsing CHAKRA today and read your article dated May,
2000. I was
surprised to find your strident and aggressive tone against the GBC. I
think you fail to understand how the GBC operates in ISKCON. The GBC as a
body meets once a year and sometimes more on emergencies or through
correspondence. Only a decision of the GBC should be considered a decision
of the GBC. The GBC has an EC (Executive Committee), which is supposed to
implement the approved policies of the GBC and deal with emergency issues
on an adhoc basis. The acts of the EC should not be deemed as the acts of
the whole body, but the acts of the EC. The EC is responsible for its own
acts and should get the praise or the question for what they decide to do.
Ultimately the EC is accountable to the GBC body and if you think that the
EC didn't act properly you can present that for consideration of the GBC
body in their next meeting.
asked: "How does our GBC expect us to respect them when we see them
treat the decision of our ICOCP in such a disrespectful manner?"
think Ravindra Svarup Prabhu, the GBC & EC Chairman, gave his reasons
for the decisions he made. It was his or the EC's decision and not a
decision of the whole GBC body.
is accorded to an individual for many reasons. They range from respect in
a persons position or status to respect for a persons integrity, courage
and honesty. It seems that the GBC would like us to emphasize respect for
a persons position and status at the expense of respect in a persons
integrity, courage and honesty."
did the GBC ever say such a thing? Your statement "it seems"
means it is your own interpretation on what you think the GBC would like
you to do. It isn't fair to put words in the GBC's mouth that the GBC
didn't say and then criticize the GBC for things they didn't say. The GBC
wants to do whatever Srila Prabhupada wanted us to do and if you have some
practical suggestion on how that can be achieved I am sure your
constructive suggestion with be listened to.
that the GBC is saying to us is that the lower level devotees who commit
crimes against other devotees are penalized accordingly, however, once you
have made it up into the upper echelon you can become more or less
this is your interpretation, which goes against what Ravindra Svarup
Prabhu has stated. Had the issue been brought up to the GBC most probably
the GBC would have supported the ICOCP decision as it stands, but in their
wisdom the EC decided to make a change they considered to be something
minor in nature. Had they to do over again after all the feedback maybe
they would make a different decision. In any case we should accept that
they did what they did not out of some ego trip or to create some elite
above all discipline, but rather in a sincere attempt to perform their
duties as the EC. They can decide if they did the right thing, but
feedback could also be more constructive then accusative.
would like to ask the GBC how I should actually represent ISKCON at this
Child Abuse seminar that I will attend in a few days time? Should I speak
with openness and honesty? Or should I say how we too are facing problems
with our leadership not wanting to deal properly with the matter of child
my knowledge the GBC does want to deal properly with the matter of child
abuse. Sometimes it is a bit unclear when one says "the
leadership" who is responsible for a particular act and for resolving
it. Since ISKCON is a federation or confederation of independent temples
and corporations while the GBC is supposed to oversee that member
organizations follow Srila Prabhupada's standards. Where are the local
organizations responsible and where is the GBC responsible? These are the
kind of constitutional issues that need to also be addressed. The GBC
established the Child Protection initiatives and office. Isn't that an
expression of wanting to "deal properly with the matter of child
abuse?" If you have some more ideas on how practically the GBC can
"deal properly with the matter of child abuse" would be
interesting to know what they are. Whatever is presented to the GBC in its
annual meetings on the subject has been accepted up to the capacity of the
GBC financially and otherwise to implement such proposals.
maybe I should not say anything, as I am not seeing this matter the way
that they would desire me to see this matter?"
would prefer you say something constructive, but I am speaking as an
individual. I don't like seeing the GBC criticized for something they
collectively didn't do and being interpreted in a particular manner and
then criticized for the caricature that you create.
GBC is operating under the system we have inherited from Srila Prabhupada
and this year we are meeting to see how things can be structurally
improved to better deal with the needs of the society. If you have any
practical suggestions about this I would like to hear it.
should I weave a web of sweet words praising our leaders for their honesty
and integrity and decisiveness!"
would be nice wouldn't it! I don't expect that, but if at least you would
give credit where it is due and criticize constructively where it is due
then it would be more useful. Otherwise it is easy to attack the GBC whose
members usually don't read these things, since they are off in some corner
of the world preaching, etc. and most likely most don't have the
resources, time or facilities to log onto the WWW to read CHAKRA. If you
want your suggestions read by the GBC better to send a copy to its
corresponding secretary, or maybe he has some arrangement to read all the
CHAKRA postings. I didn't hear about it, but you never know...
would personally think that all of the leaders and devotees of ISKCON do
feel seriously concerned about any form of abuse and deviation going on in
our society and its precincts. I consider this concern to be genuine. How
to best deal with it is another question. I never heard the GBC say it
wasn't willing to consider any practical suggestion on how to resolve
ISKCON problems. You can submit your suggestions through any GBC member,
GBC Deputy or through the GBC office. To better interface and serve the
worldwide members of the society a permanent office is being established.
Kalakantha Prabhu can explain about this.
these are my own personal perceptions based on my experience. I read this
article and felt it wasn't being objective or fully constructive in
regards to its references to the GBC. I appreciate Krsnacandra das trying
to do something to resolve the child abuse problems in ISKCON.
© CHAKRA 9-July-2000
Go to the Child