Go to the GBC Page
There seems to be a major theme before us this year. That is to take the GBC further along a process of restoration and renewal.
GBC Chairperson Ravindra Svarupa
Meeting 2001 Begins
(Mayapur, India) - February 7, 2001: The GBC plenary session started at
noon with an auspicious Vedic inauguration ceremony led by three brahmanas
from the Mayapur community. A reading followed guru-puja to Srila
Prabhupada and chanting of auspicious mantras from the Srimad-Bhagavatam,
5th Canto, Chapter 18, Text 9. GBC Chairman, Ravindra Svarupa Prabhu,
conducted the reading.
Ravindra Svarupa opened the meetings with a blunt challenge to GBC members
that they need an honest assessment of the issues that confront ISKCON.
seems to be a major theme before us this year," GBC Chairperson
Ravindra Svarupa told the GBC members and guests this morning. "That
is to take the GBC further along a process of restoration and
hoped that all decisions would be made with a clear head and detached
mood. "We should think about the welfare of the entire society in a
detached way to do what is best," he said.
has been a difficult year for our movement," Ravindra said. He
pointed to several primary issues, including the Ritvik breakaway group,
especially in India, and the antagonism directed against ISKCON by
Narayana Maharaja and his followers. Another issue facing the movement is
the lawsuit filed against various ISKCON entities by Windle Turley on
behalf of his clients who are former Gurukula students.
problems are not strictly speaking coming from the outside, but are
spurred on by our own disaffected or former members," said Ravindra.
"There is a commonality among these issues. The breeding ground for
them seems to be a lack of faith in the spiritual leadership in ISKCON.
There is a crisis of confidence for many."
went on to say that too many people have had experiences that shook their
faith in ISKCON. "Devotees are worried about their salvation,"
he said. "They worry about our leaders being able to give appropriate
also pointed out that the sannyasa body has yet to look at itself and
undergo self-reform. There is too much alienation and dissatisfaction of
our own second generation, he added. "Whatever happens with the
lawsuit," Ravindra said, "the sense of dissatisfaction needs to
concluded that restructuring and reorganization of our leadership is one
of the major issues that need to be addressed. "We must work to
regain the faith of our disaffected devotees," Ravindra said.
Significant reform work was undergone in 1987. More was begun in 1998, but
it was aborted with the departure of Harikesa Prabhu.
critical goal of restructuring should be to answer the deep desire in the
movement for spiritual leaders who are exemplary sadhus, he said. Another
is to plan strategically for the future. A third is to be able to more
effectively and efficiently deal with problems as they arise, from top to
bottom, through regular and reliable administration.
require structural changes and a new vision how we conduct the society's
affairs," Ravindra said. "This should be the ultimate aim of
this year's meetings."
FROM AROUND THE WORLD
then gave reports of progress from projects around the world. Some of the
highlights included the ISKCON presentation at Kumbha Mela, which was a
grand success. Devotees distributed 5 to 10 thousand plates of prasadam a
day, hosted huge crowds for pandal programs, and one hundred Manipuri
drummers performed harinama sankirtan enlivening the Mela crowd.
Mauritius Temple opened in the presence of the Prime Minister. Over 50,000
people attended the Janmastami celebration that followed. The World Hindu
Federation was hosted at Mayapur in December 2000, and world leaders
attended from several dozen countries. It takes place every five years.
The president said he liked Mayapur so much that he wanted to come back
for his personal spiritual benefit.
Prabhu reported that Moscow doubled its book distribution last year. 35000
books were distributed during Christmas.
Tamal Nadu, in South India's thriving industrial area, opened their new
temple on 8 acres in the city near the universities. 10,000 attended the
opening. We have two acres of prime property in the city center of Dhaka,
Bangladesh. The first phase of the temple has been completed and further
work will commence soon. There were also reports of many large festivals
around the world.
the reports, Ravindra Svarupa outlined basic "rules" of the
meeting to make the meetings work efficiently. The role of the
subcommittees was elaborated.
with previous years, the GBC, Deputies and invited guests will split into
subcommittees. The subcommittees will give analysis of the proposals that
have been submitted, outlining the good, bad and interesting points for
each proposal. They will then present those findings to the GBC for a
straw vote, leading to further discussion, and eventually a final vote.
plenary sessions, discussions will be limited to GBC members. Deputies and
guests will be present as observers only at that stage. Ravindra Svarupa
Prabhu said that it is much too large a body to manage a discussion for
everyone. Guests and Deputies may speak in the subcommittees or through a
the lunch break, the plenary session reconvened.
resignations and new voting members was the first order of business.
devi dasi, who has served as a non-voting GBC member and secretary, has
asked to resign so she can dedicate herself to other services such as
writing. The resignation was accepted. She will receive a thank you letter
by unanimous vote.
Krishna Prabhu, from Bombay, was accepted as a replacement for Manjari as
GBC secretary by unanimous vote.
proposals to make Malati and Anuttama Prabhus voting GBC members was
tabled until a later discussion about the appropriate number of GBCs in
North America is reviewed as part of the GBC restructuring proposals.
the GBC will split into the subcommittee meetings to discuss various
© CHAKRA 08 February 2001
Go to the GBC Page
© Copyright November, 2003 by oldchakra.com. All rights reserved.
about this website or to report an
error, write to email@example.com