INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS, INC.
(Incorporated by His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya, 1966)
197 SOUTH OCEAN AVENUE, FREEPORT , NEW YORK 11520
Continuing from "Constitution of ISKCON - Part 1"
(Note: In Part 1, we covered the FIRST PART of the constitution of ISKCON, namely the "Constitution of Association" - the Basic Principles on which ISKCON is based upon. It was made by Srila Prabhupada in 1966. GBC and TPs are there to manage the fulfillment of THESE principles in cooperation with the Temple Members . The basic duties and powers and the rights of temple members are delineated by Srila Prabhupada via the "Direction of Management", as FURTHER PART of the constitution of ISKCON, made on July 28, 1970, quoted below and attached)
“In this way, we have to form International Society. So practically now we are in the making of, so you go on drafting the constitution, but don't distribute now. Whatever you do, you first of all show me, and the final copy will be distributed, then we shall call for a meeting and then we shall adopt. Don't distribute immediately. Anyway, try to do it conveniently, there is no haste. But don't distribute anything without showing me. So far the constitution goes, my instruction for the present is this.”
(Letter to Rayarama, October 17, 1968)
(Note: this meeting was held in San Francisco in July 1970 Rath Yatra time)
“NB: Please ask Janardana to immediately send me the constitution notes which I had given him to read in Boston .”
(Letter to Isana, May 23, 1969)
(Note: Janardan Prabhu was in Montreal at that time)
“There was a meeting in San Francisco during the Ratha Yatra festival 1970 and many presidents of the centers were present. In that meeting it was resolved that an ad hoc committee be set up to form the constitution which is taken into consideration.
(Srila Prabhupada in the Direction of Management, July 28, 1970)
(Note: the Direction of Management is part of the original constitution of ISKCON-given by Srila Prabhupada- for the purpose of delineating the duties and powers of managers in ISKCON and the basic rights of ISKCON members.)
Note for below: Part of the Direction of Management is quoted below. The full original version is attached
PARTICULARS OF THE GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION
"The purpose of the Governing Body Commission is to act as the instrument for the execution of the Will of His Divine Grace. And further,
1. The GBC oversees all operations and management of ISKCON, as it receives direction from Çréla Prabhupäda and His Divine Grace has the final approval in all matters.
2. His Divine Grace will select the initial 12 members of the GBC. In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple . Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of GBC. Çréla Prabhupäda will choose to retain four commissioners. In the event of Çréla Prabhupäda's absence, the retiring members will decide which four will remain.
3. The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period.
4. The chairman is elected by the GBC for each meeting. He has no veto power, but in even of a vote tie, his vote will decide. The same will apply for votes cast by mail between regular meetings.
5. Throughout the year, each of the commissioners will stay with His Divine Grace for one month at a time and keep the other commissioners informed of His Divine Grace's instructions.
6. The primary objective of the GBC is to organize the opening of new Temples and to maintain the established Temples .
7. Advice will be given by the GBC in cases of real property purchases, which will be in the name of ISKCON, INC. (Trucks or other vehicles will be purchased in the name of the local president).
8. Removal of a Temple president by the GBC requires support by the local Temple members.
9. The GBC has no jurisdiction in the publication of manuscripts, which will be handled by a separate committee; profits to be returned to Çréla Prabhupäda."
(Direction of Management, July 28, 1970)
“GBC does not mean to control a center. GBC means to see that the activities of a center go on nicely. I do not know why Tamala is exercising his absolute authority. That is not the business of GBC. The president, treasurer and secretary are responsible for managing the center. GBC is to see that things are going nicely but not to exert absolute authority. That is not in the power of GBC. Tamala should not do like that. The GBC men cannot impose anything on the men of a center without consulting all of the GBC members first. A GBC member cannot go beyond the jurisdiction of his power. We are in the experimental stage but in the next meeting of the GBC members they should form a constitution how the GBC members manage the whole affair. But it is a fact that the local president is not under the control of the GBC. Yes, for improvement of situations such as this I must be informed of everything.
Hoping this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
(Letter to Giriraj, August 12, 1970)
(Note: The part of the ISKCON constitution, REGARDING the duties and powers of GBCs and the TPs is the "Direction of Management”, given just 12 days prior to this letter. The POWERS of the GBC are to be FURTHER delineated in the Constitution. Srila Prabhupada also calls it the "Broader Constitution of the management by GBC" in a letter to Jayatirtha quoted later below)
“I wanted that the GBC would be a chosen body of men for that purpose, to see how the students are learning and reporting to me as my secretaries. I do not know how you could have missed these points, as they are clearly spelled out in my original constitution.”
(Letter to Satsvarupa, May 2nd, 1972)
(Note: Here we see Srila Prabhupada referring to the Direction of Management as "my original constitution"-‘But we want still more improvement in the standard of Temple management, propaganda for Krishna Consciousness, distribution of books and literatures, opening of new centers and educating devotees to the right standard.’ –Srila Prabhupada in the Direction of Management, July 28, 1970)
16 December, 1974
My dear Jayatirtha,
Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter dated Dec. 5, 1974. Regarding the GBC meeting to be held in Mayapur 1975, the meeting should be held five days before the actual festival is to begin and it will be held in my presence. As far as your proposals are concerned, the real thing is that we must make broader constitution of the management by GBC. But the difficulty is that our GBC men are falling victim to maya. Today I trust this GBC and tomorrow he will fall down. That is the difficulty. If the GBC men are so flickering then what to speak of the others. Unless this problem is solved whatever we may resolve it will not be very useful. We shall discuss this at our meeting. If the GBC men can ever manage properly then I shall get some time for writing my books.
I hope this meets you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
(Note: Here we see again Srila Prabhupada's stated desire to make "broader constitution of the management by the GBC". This means:
a) A basic Constitution, dealing with the part about the management by the GBC, already exists. (i.e. safe to say it is the "Direction of Managemnt", as there was nothing else AT THAT TIME.)
b) More details are to be added, especially for the powers and duties of the GBC, in the matter of how they are to manage ISKCON(so that ISKCON members can practice the original principles laid out by Srila Prabhupada in the "Constitution of Association").
The statement "Unless this problem is solved whatever we may resolve it will not be very useful" also gives hint as to why Srila Prabhupada did not enforce the elections of GBC according to the Direction of Management and also why he did not expand on the Direction of Management duties and powers of the GBC - as long as neophyte GBCs are present, it cannot be implemented fully. "But the difficulty is that our GBC men are falling victim to maya. Today I trust this GBC and tomorrow he will fall down. That is the difficulty. If the GBC men are so flickering then what to speak of the others. "
"I have decided to adopt the following principles and I hope my beloved disciples will kindly accept them." (Direction of Management, July 28, 1970)
For its 10,000 years of existence, ISKCON has to run by a constitution given by Srila Prabhupada which, apart from the basic principles for the organizing of ISKCON, delineates the duties and powers of the GBC, the management structure. THE ONLY WRITTEN DOCUMENT, GIVING THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE GBC AND GIVEN BY SRILA PRABHUPADA HIMSELF, IS THE "DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT"