Proposed Agenda for Mayapura '89
GBC men must put an end to the process of manufacturing gurus during the
annual Mayapura meetings and reconsider this concocted practice which has no
scriptural sanction. The history of this malpractice has its beginning
after the passing of Shrila Prabhupada.
Prabhupada never recommended anyone to be acharya of the International
Society for Krishna Consciousness movement, but his idea was to form a
Governing Body Commission to manage the worldwide affairs of the society.
Unfortunately, the Governing Body Commission immediately recommended that
eleven disciples act as spiritual masters and thus created the first rank of
In the eleven years that have gone by since Prabhupada's passing, a most
dangerous philosophy has emerged which--if adopted as fact--will mark the
end of the ISKCON organization.
In a letter dated 29 January 1988, Tamal Krishna Goswami writes this reply
to the editor:
"I am afraid I cannot agree with you when you say that a bona fide guru
cannot be under the jurisdiction of the GBC. Shrila Prabhupada himself was
under the jurisdiction of the GBC, as he demonstrated when one day in a GBC
meeting His Divine Grace called for votes and himself raised his hand and
cast a vote, saying that he is also under the GBC. The GBC is an authorized
Vaishnava sanga, composed of many qualified devotees, some of whom may be
gurus themselves. Hopefully their deliberations will always agree with that
of an individual bona fide guru. But if for some reason there is a
difference of opinion, the conclusion reached by the GBC should be adhered
to by everyone, including gurus. If there is some mistake in their
conclusion, gradually Krishna will give them the intelligence to rectify it.
Without this system, there will be no possibility of unity for ISKCON, which
is essential for fulfilling Shrila Prabhupada's vision of a Krishna
There seems to be no end to the various unsubstantiated theories
concerning implementation of Krishna philosophy. This particular philosophy
mentioned here by Tamal Krishna Goswami, former chairman of the GBC, is
especially surprising. It is not a fact that Prabhupada was ever under the
jurisdiction of the GBC. Not only was Prabhupada a prolific religious and
cultural writer who established a hundred Krishna centers worldwide, he was
a life-long devotee of Krishna who had attained to an expert level of
devotion at a mature age of over 70 years old. Why would he place himself
underneath the jurisdiction of young American neophyte devotees, most of
whom were formerly addicted to psychedelic drugs? There is no good reason
for it except to set an example for those young members who denied to
cooperate peacefully. Otherwise, that philosophy amounts to nothing short
of minimizing the authority of the guru which is one of the ten offenses to
be strictly avoided in the matter of progressing in spiritual life. The GBC
has never had any authority above the authority of Shrila Prabhupada who was
specially empowered to spread the Krishna consciousness movement throughout
the world. In every respect, each individual member of the GBC is simply
aspiring to come to the level of a bona fide disciple of Prabhupada. How
can it be that such aspiring disciples--either individually or even
collectively--can have authority over Prabhupada? It is absolutely not
Any GBC member who thinks it is possible to supersede Prabhupada's
authority and instructions through a legislative process must be advised to
reconsider such idea very carefully.
The following quotes given by Prabhupada clearly deny any hint of
purported submission to the GBC:
"Now has the GBC become more than Guru Maharaja? As if simply GBC is
meant for looking after pounds, shilling, pence. The GBC does not look
after spiritual life. That is the defect. All of our students will have to
become guru but they are not qualified (Alanath 11-10-75)."
"My only grievance is that I appointed GBC to give me relief from the
management but, on the contrary, complaints and counter complaints are
coming to me (Jayatirtha 10-16-75)."
"You must be very careful to make sure that my name is registered there as
the founder acharya and that I am to be the ultimate authority. In other
words, in any case of necessity of vetoing or cancelling any decision made
by the other trustees, I should be able to do like that. My decision should
overrule all the other trustees combined (Kurusrestha 12-20-74)."
"What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC?
"I made the GBC to give me relief, but if you do like this, then where is
the relief. It is anxiety for me. This is the difficulty, that as soon as
one gets power, he becomes whimsical and spoils everything. What can I do?
"Under these circumstances, I authorize you to disregard for the time
being any decision from the GBC men until my further instruction. Finally,
I beg to repeat that all GBC orders are suspended herewith by me until
further notice (to all temple presidents 4-8-72)"
How, then, is it possible to conclude that Prabhupada was under the
jurisdiction of the GBC? Therefore, the acceptance of all GBC regulations
should first come under the scrutinizing power of Prabhupada's instructions.
Kirtanananda Swami has also somehow concluded that women should be offered
the sannyasa order of life by twisting the messages of the Bhagavad-gita and
thereby denying to accept the authority of Prabhupada. It remains with the
GBC to catch various deviations like this, but first beginning from the
first major GBC deviation: The creation of elected gurus. They must
seriously review such decisions and decide whether they'll continue to
accept themselves as bona fide authority with power to make new and newer
policies and establish them as divine will that even Prabhupada must accept.
However, the Vedic Advocate cannot accept such creations when it is contrary
to the authoritative policies Prabhupada has clearly written down.
Prabhupada was never under the jurisdiction of the GBC. If the bona fide
guru and his messages are neglected, minimized, superseded, needlessly
interpreted and considered less important, there is no possibility of
successfully propagating the sankirtana movement.