Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Dear Bh. Mark Prabhu

Dear Bh. Mark Prabhu, Please accept my humble obeisances! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

It is nice to hear from you and see that you have interest in understanding legal/corporate documents and in ISKCON, Inc. Perhaps it would be good idea Prabhu if before trying to appear like an expert, you would have made a study of the basic legal corporate documents related to ISKCON, Inc. and what is the basis of the above written and proposed. I do not want to make you embrassed by citing ALL the many factually wrong statements and inferences you have promulgated. But a couple I will show below so that you can begin to understand.

You write to say that
"The most crucial misunderstanding is found in Paragraph 3, where the unknown author states…

“The ISKCON, Inc. society or Long Island temple…”

Here he erroneously equates Iskcon Inc. with the Long Island temple. As I pointed out in my post (#2) above, this is a pure concoction. Iskcon Inc. was originally “associated” with a different temple in NY and ONLY for the purposes of having a physical address on the Societies’ Incorporation registration form."

The "OR" between ISKCON, Inc. society and Long Island temple is not meant to equate the two, but they are taken as EITHER OR i.e  in essence, if anyone fears either ISKCON, Inc. OR Long island temple (which is a separate entity but as many devotees generally do not differentiate between the two, one may think Long Island temple may try to overlord over other temples, as was proposed by Karandhara in 1970s for LA temple, if not the ISKCON, Inc.).   Both scenarios are being rejected by this statement. Not that the statement wants to show ISKCON, Inc and LI temple are one and the same. If you would have cared to read the current Certificate of Incorporation of ISKCON, Inc. you would have seen the difference CLEARLY and then VERY CLEARLY set about. Section 16(d) clearly states:

"The Trustees and Officers of ISKCON, Inc. have jurisdiction only over the principal place of worship. [i.e. currently LI temple]. The rules governing this control are laid out in the Bylaws of the corporation. Apart from that, the trustees or officers cannot interfere in any administrative or financial matters of the temples maintained by a Branch. They have no jurisdiction over the branches. ..."

Therefore the rest of your exposition seems to go in a wrong direction --- "As I proceed, you will come to understand how terribly crucial this wrong assumption actually is."

You also write:
” They only voluntarily affiliate to ISKCON, Inc. by a resolution passed by them”
This is completely wrong. Each temple or preaching center was absolutely beholden to the rules of ISKCON (aka Iskcon Inc.) Srila Prabhupada never wanted anyone to start their own society with its own rules. “
You are correct to say that all the independent societies were to form by the same rules as of  ISKCON, Inc., not by their own rules. That is what we have implemented in ISKCON, Inc. and have advised all affiliates to incorporate. Again, if you would have cared to read the current certificate of Incorporation of ISKCON, Inc. which has been sent to all affiliates, and publicly posted many places, then you would not be making these comments:
“Any organization, whether or not named ISKCON, Inc. or not, whether in the state of NY, outside of USA or in any other country of the world, who wish to be AFFILIATED with ISKCON, Inc., may do so by adopting or amending their certificate of Incorporation (or equal document) to be made to be the same as the Certificate of Incorporation of ISKCON, Inc. , NY., including this certificate of Amendment – adapting it to the local laws.  (Ref Annexure G—letter to Mukunda from Srila Prabhupada instructing this procedure for establishing ISKCON Ltd in London). These organizations will be known as Affiliates.”.. (Section 16(c))
They were to be independent, yet following the same rules as ISKCON, Inc. otherwise they cannot be considered to be part of worldwide ISKCON. It is a voluntary decision. As far as our information goes, Srila Prabhupada never legally enforced the voluntary desire on the part of a local organization to part of or go away from “ISKCON”. If you find any example that he did, I would like to know. Based on this understanding, the above has been conceived.
In the end, we would request all respected Vaisnavas that it may better serve our Spiritual Master's mission to work on a solid basic plan to cooperate, a solution to the continued infighting, i.e. to discuss AND POINT OUT DEFICIENCIES, FOR THE PURPOSE OF HARBORING BETTER COOPERATION, GIVING SOLUTIONS, rather then the excruciating habit plaguing the Prabhupadanugas to try to bring down every sincere attempt to bring about cooperation. Let us go forward being discriminatory, but let us come up with positive suggestion/solutions that would really work to bring about cooperation in the Prabhupadanugas World.

This mood would be reflected in the above critique if the critique had found AT LEAST 1 GOOD POINT, 1 GOOD ATTEMPT TO SERVE SRILA PRABHUPADA.

Personally when I read any critique, which does not point good and bad points together in a balanced objective manner, I would normally look at the critique to see if I missed something, but do not usually take the author too seriously as he appears to be biased by some other motive, there can be many- to show feeling of importance, to want attention, to prove oneself better then everyone else, wanting others to listen to him only, dahdadah….etc.

Mark Prabhu, I would humble suggest that, with all your good qualities and intelligence, good heart to serve Srila Prabhupada, this could be a quality which could have prompted devotees at the LI Temple to let you go within 1-2 months of being there. I was not there at the time, but did speak to you a couple of times from India and this was my impression too.

If you like, Gaurangasundar prabhu can send you all the corporate documents of which you can make a thorough study. Then if you have some questions, pls make a list and send me and I will be glad to answer them on any public forum. Then after that, if you have any suggestion or correction and it is supported by majority of the Prabhus worldwide then we will incorporate it likewise in whichever corporate document or Constitution. WE WANT TO BE DECENTRALIZED as Srila Prabhupada desires and as this is the only way to train Brahmanas. If there is any mistake in our direction, we would respectfully take all corrections to better serve this aim.

Nimai Pandit Das
and (also of )LI Temple

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