Sunday, 13 January 2013

Why obstruct formation of a true decentralized worldwide ISKCON, Inc.?

The basic misunderstanding again is stemming from the fact that what Srila
Prabhupada did and as what we have followed is that affiliations make the
affiliates only ONE IN THINKING with that of ISKCON, Inc. NOTHING ELSE.
There is no centralization, no other control on these centers by ISKCON,
Inc. Only the GBC's role is there who supervises these independent

Srila Prabhupada in Direction of Managemnt uses the term "Branches" of his
society ISKCON, Inc. for the new centers coming up across the USA as well
as OUT OF USA, which were not registered as ISKCON, Inc., nor were most of
the times registered even in those countries at the time. The New York
temple, which was not a bought building but a rented storefront was listed
as one of the branches of this Society. In legal terms, this was not a
branch, but the Principal office(temple) of the Society. Some temples in
USA were actually legally branches at the time, which later on Srila
Prabhupada asked to register separately.

So seeing the way Srila Prabhupada combined all the new centers around the
world in his Direction of Management and many other documents/letters from
those years, whether principal place of worship(NY temple), or legally
branches(A few in USA), or independently incorporated in USA or other
countries, or not even incorporated into ONE ORGANIZATIONAL PLATFORM, i.e.
linking them to ISKCON, Inc., we have done the same, treating them legally
as AFFILIATES which is the legal term that correlates to the "Branches"
used by Srila Prabhupada in Direction of Management.

Then in 1966, July, I incorporated the Society under the name and style the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness, briefly ISKCON. The lawyer
was Mr. J. Goldsmith. Gradually the Society increased, and one after
another branches were opened. Now we have got thirty-four (34) branches
enlisted herewith:

Amsterdam                 Holland                                  [Just
starting, No address even, of course not even registered]

Atlanta                                    Georgia                        1476
Oxford Rd. N.E. 30322 – [Husband and wife (Not registered)]

Baltimore                    Maryland                    1300 N. Calvert
St. – [Husband and wife center, not registered]

Berkeley                      California                    2710 Durant
Avenue 94704  [Registered as ISKCON, Inc., NY and property in the name of
ISKCON, Inc., NY, hence legally a branch of ISKCON, Inc., NY]

Berlin                          West Germany  [NO address even, just
starting, not registered]

New York City           New York                   61 Second Ave. 10003
[Principal Place of Worship]

Srila Prabhuapda called them "branches" due to their being NOT LEGALLY
BRANCHES necessarily, but they were ONE IN THINKING with the original
ISKCON, Inc. purposes (the famous 7 purposes of ISKCON) and also the
Constitution of Assocaition written by Srila Prabhuapda in 1966 and is
attached, which expands these 7 purposes in detail.

*“10 b. A copy of the Constitution...under which the Society is presently
operating is annexed hereto.”*

(Letter to IRS, November 14, 1966(attached 1), Steven Goldsmith, Attorney
representing International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. Letter
authenticated by Gregory Scharf(Gargamuni Das), Treasurer. The letter to
IRS was accompanied by these Constitution of Association referring to them
as the Constitution of the Society.

When ISKCON, Inc. was incorporated, there was only 1 center-NY. As ISKCON
expanded, especially out of USA, Srila Prabhupada started asking the new
incorporation's in other countries to incorporate ONE IN THINKING with
ISKCON, Inc. as reflected in letter to Mukunda for England, Also later for
Germany and Kenya it was done, similarly.
I am little concerned about your attempt to form ISKCON Ltd. My idea is
that we should not form a separate organization in London. The same
International Society for Krishna Consciousness as we have branches in
different places in USA, a similar branch may be opened in London or in
Germany. The basic principle of our preaching work, methods and management
must be the same.

So my final desire is that whatever you do, you must do it strictly on the
principles of our society as we are doing in the US .

So I hope you will take necessary precautions in the matter of registering
ISKCON Ltd. ISKCON is the short cut of our society's name, but when you
actually register, the full name, the aims and objectives as they are
stated in our prospectus, must be mentioned *

Srila Prabhupada asked them to take the Constitution from NY and copy that
while amending them for local laws.

Letter to: Mukunda


13 October, 1968



My Dear Mukunda,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter
dated October 7, 1968. And I have noted the contents carefully. I think the
process which you have adopted is quite all right. Now everything is clear
to me; you can go on with your procedure. *So far the original text of our
aims and objects of the society, I have read it and I don't think there is
any need of changing the preamble. But so far section of the law is
concerned, that has to be altered according to the English law.* So do it
and execute the document as soon as possible, and I think Krishna is
helping you in the proper channel, and *as you were the first signatory in
the document which was registered in New York, and you shall be the first
signatory in the document which is to be registered in England, along with
your good wife*. So three male members and four Englishmen members, it is

Later in Direction of Management he lists 7 Bury Place in London as one of
the "Branches" of ISKCON, Inc., NY.

London                        England                       7 Bury Place,
Bloomsbury, W.C. 1

Constitution means Certificate of Incorporation and Constitution of
Association. This lays down -WHAT IS THE SOCIETY, WHAT IS IT SUPPOSED TO
DO, how is it going to be run. Principles and Methodologies of Governance.

“My Dear Mukunda,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your detailed letters
(2) dated November 28th, 1970, with regard to the Regent Park land.

*We sent you a telegram to send the certified copy of our constitution and
you also confirmed by telegram, but it is not received yet.”*

(Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Mukunda in London, 7th December, 1970)

“So far registration is concerned, we have got our society registered in
Kenya in three days. The procedure followed was*: If you want to base the
registration on the London constitution,* you should write to London to get
an *original certified copy of the articles of association and articles of
memorandum. *You can write Dayananda in this regards. The thing is that the
International Society for Krishna Consciousness was registered under the
companies act with limited liability. The above mentioned articles of
association and memorandum were presented here and were immediately
accepted and the certificate of registration was given.”

 (Letter to Sudama, October 3, 1971)

(*Note: Here we **see the constitution of ISKCON includes the original
Constitution of Association of 1966(adapted according to English laws as
the Article of Association) and the Certificate of Incorporation** made by
Srila Prabhupad on July 13, 1966,attached 5,  **adapted according to
English laws as the Articl**e of Memorandum) which includes the 7 purposes
of ISKCON.)*

* *

*At that time there was no organizational framework for the different new
centers to work together, none had been given by Srila Prabhupada, and none
had been incorporated in NY Constitution papers, hence none was told to the
separately incorporating organizations to copy.
It was a simple Constitution -AT THAT TIME.

But as the movement expanded and the years went by, more
constitution/managerial level instructions were given by Srila Prabhupada. *The
basic organizational framework for his worldwide centers was given by Srila
Prabhupada in the Direction of Management of 1970. Also the 1972 letter of
Organization of ISKCON sent out by Karandhara to all TP's counter signed by

Many other official letters were written by Srila Prabhupada, to do with
the real estate, to do with separate incorporation's, to do with powers of
GBC, to do with relationship between GBC and TP, even some GBC resolutions
were made in Srila Prabhupada's presence which addressed further details of
the constitution etc.

*So are we to now ignore those further instructions and freeze the
Constitution and affiliation requirement to only the original 1966
*No. *

“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.) *

*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

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 manageme**nt 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


Los Angeles

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 po**wers 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")**.*

*We amended the Incorporation Document of ISKCON, Inc. of 1966, to reflect
the further instructions in the Constitution, to the best of our ability at
the time, in keeping with the desires and instructions of Srila Prabhupada such
that there is a starting point for independent centers around the world to
at least start finding common organizational ground to start working
together. As is planned, the new elected GBC, will form a Constitution
Committee and they will coordinate a public debate on adopting the final
Constitution(the detailed procedure has been laid out in the Decentralized
ISKCON, Inc. article) and then this combined Constitution will replace the
current Incorporation Papers of ISKCON, Inc.*

So when that happens, the existing and the future affiliates, if they
formally register - would copy THAT constitution as per their local laws,
and register it there OR at least attach that constitution as the
Constitution of their Society with their basic normal Incorporation
document. Local organizations will consult with lawyers how best to do it.
If the devotee association is not registered yet, then they will just pass
a resolution to agree to this Official constitution.

*In that manner, the whole Society will be ONE IN THINKING. And the
representational elected GBC will supervise, based on a commonly accepted
principles and procedures.
The rest of below email has many other misunderstanding and insinuations
and creating clouds of suspicion where none actually exist. As the reality
WILL ADOPT IN  public, transparent, discussion and involvement. Any
objective reader will see the sincerity to adopt ALL the principles by a
common discussion and resolution by the worldwide Community of
Prabhupadanugas. *But there has to be a starting point somewhere, some form
of format which can give clarity to others on the form the organization can
possibly take as per Srila Prabhupada's instructions. So that has been done.

I will not address any more misunderstandings (Except one) as the time will
come to address these points at the time of discussion of the constitution,
which will start pretty soon( within a couple of months). So at that time,
Marc or any other concerned devotee, can join and are encouraged to join
those public discussion groups, and voice their concerns and point out
faults to their hearts content. Of course as we are trying to FORM
SOMETHING, we would also like some SOLUTIONS to all these supposed faults,
something, some manner of decentralized international structure which
actually will work for years and decades while also keeping Srila
Prabhupada's direct instructions and desires in as guidelines and

 So again, I am sorry to disappoint Marc, but he needs to wait while
keeping his pen sharpened to attack, for a couple of months more.

As for the misunderstanding which I want to address now, it is to do with
the function of Trustees of ISKCON, Inc. While incorporating in 1966, the
Trustees function was to run the principal place of worship. Gradually more
assets were added to ISKCON, Inc., including temples(As branches in LA, San
Diego, SF etc.) but also the safeguarding of the exclusive beneficiary
status of BBT, the Original Constitution as well as the name ISKCON.

ISKCON, Inc. did not remain a local society. It went Global.* Hence the
function of trustees expanded to be global function, especially if we add
all those instructions which Srila Prabhupada gave AFTER 1966 to the
Article of Incorporation.

Actually, a historical point to note is that from 1975 onwards till 1977
Nov, Srila Prabhupada was the chairman of ISKCON, Inc., a trustee, and also
6-7 of the other Trustees were GBCs from diff regions of the world, only
1-2 trustees were from local leaders. What is the need of this heavy duty
Governance of the Society, ISKCON, Inc., if there were only Local Assets to
Even the membership of ISKCON, Inc. expanded to have global membership.
This ISKCON, Inc. was actually Srila Prabhupada's Society when one says I
am a member of ISKCON, that means a member of ISKCON, Inc. So the trustees
of ISKCON, Inc. need to reflect all these in their makeup.

But the problem is that Trustees of ISKCON, Inc. have to care for the local
Principal place of worship *too apart from these above mentioned
assets.*So how do global Trustees, reflecting global members,
safeguarding global
aspects of ISKCON, Inc., attend to local temple matters that were to be
left to local members?

We have been discussing various laws, ways means to do that. The current
thinking reflects careful thinking and legal guidance in that manner. What
we want to do is to amend the Incorporation Document to remove the post of
the Corporate President(which has always been, and is By Law a separate
official post from the local Temple President--Karandhara was Corporate
President while NY TP was Bali Mardan...and also likewise diff
combinations) and then form two classes of members--one local and one
global. These in turn will elect 2 classes of governing board, 1 the normal
trustees who would be the global GBC or a subset of it as was in 1977, and
the other class elected but the local members taking care of the local
temple. But this has to wait till the trial is over, hence I have not put
too much detailed thinking in this regard. Again, after trial this will be
done, and then whenever the Constitution is made, that would replace the
whole Amendments anyway, and will also address the issue of local function
vs. Global function.

Below i address an attitudinal problem of this email which is one of the
symptomatic reason why we Prabhupadanugas are not able to work together.
This is done only for the puposes of serving Srila Prabhupada to "If you
love me, you will work to keep the Society together(paraphrased)".

New Amendment says:

"He[TP] can only be changed by the vote of the temple members, the election
being conducted by the GBC."

The email author finds a conspiracy in that or at least a centralization

The background of this clause is that this was done to keep the DOM point 8
"removal of a temple president by the GBC requires support by the local
temple members."

AND to prevent local politics when this point 8 could be used to remove the
sincere TP by collecting a majority by a politically minded devotee. There
was a precedent in that regard when Srila Prabhuapda himself had to
intervene in the case of Nityananda Prabhu being removed as TP of New
Orleans temple by a new politically minded brahmcari by collecting the
majority of votes of temple devotees. Srila Prabhupada wrote to Satsvarupa
and Nitaynanda Prabhu both in this matter, and sent Satsvarupa Swami to go
intervene in this manner. Someone can find those letters in Vedabase and
post them here. I think from 1972.

Hence to ensure that members right to righfully and fairly change the TP is
kept intact and IN ADDITION, he is not removed by the members in a
political coup, the GBC was sought to become involved, as Srila Prabhupada
instructed above in Satsvarupa case and his precedent of having GBC conduct
the elections of TP change in Bhaktivedana Manor dealign with Madhavananda,
Hansaduta etc. in 1974.

*So this is a starting point to assuage fears of devotees so that they
affiliate without fear understanding that there is good faith and maturity
involved in trying to apply Srila Prabhupada instructions with practical
difficulties and aberrations that could and did happen. THEN, once there is
enough common ground to work together, there is all the opportunity to
discuss all these, get more background checks dones, think of more
scenarios that could happen, and then build a constitution that could
hopefully stand the test of time.
Again, instead of Marc or any other devotee seeing motive to centralize in
it, brings up the points in a mood of understanding the background, and
then once getting the whole picture, then offer a Complete Solution,all
devotees would appreciate that much more.

*For example, most of these points have been addressed in the 2 articles
dealing with Constitution of ISKCON Part 1 and part 2. they are widely
available on Public sites and maybe Gaurangasundar Prabhu can post the
links of these here. Before going on this barrage of emails wouldn't it
have been proper to inquire about all reading material, go through it
fully, and then make one's inspired commnets, offering practical solutons.

*The author makes the point that his memory was fuzzy after 4 years so
forgot some points from the Corporate documents hence made a mistake in
earlier emails. *Well the question is then why not read first and then
comment? Why not find out all the information that is there to read and
then comment publicly accusing of dire centralizing plot? *

I am just finished with trigger happy critical mentalities which STOP or
hinder cooperation. *What is the MOTIVE of these emails? Where are the
Practical ALTERNATIVE Solutions being offered?
The emails are using the word "centralize" when none is desired or
incorporated as all devotees know Srila Prabhupada did not want
centralization. This purposefully creates a counter productive propaganda
from creating a mood of mutual inquiry and revealing one's mind in
confidence and taking suggestions from each other. And unfortunately
putting obstacles to creating a truly decentralized Society.

I do not like this mood, this is not the mood of a Vaisnava Society, what
to speak of creating an environment of love and trust to build a
cooperative Society from among the Prabhupadanugas back again. Unless we
are critiquing in a mood of love and trust, how are we going to be able to
bring together a worldwide society?

I respectfully put forward that our duty is to cooperate in an
organization, and that is the discussion about, BUT the SOCIETY HAS TO BE
BASED ON LOVE AND TRUST, based on Vaisnava princples that FOSTER THAT LOVE

"Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, *revealing one’s
mind in confidence, inquiring confidentially, *accepting prasāda and
offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and

*Even in ordinary social activities, these six types of dealings between
two loving friends are absolutely necessary*. For instance, when one
businessman wishes to contact another businessman he arranges a feast in a
hotel, and over the feast openly expresses what he wishes to do. He then
inquires from his business friend how he should act, and sometimes presents
are exchanged. *Thus whenever there is a dealing of prīti, or love in
intimate dealings, these six activities are executed.* In the previous
verse, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī advised that one should renounce worldly
association and keep company with the devotees (saṅga-tyāgāt sato
vṛtteḥ). *The International Society for Krishna Consciousness has been
established to
facilitate these six kinds of loving exchanges between devotees. *This
Society was started single-handedly, but *because people are coming forward
and dealing with the give-and-take policy, the Society is now expanding all
over the world."*

 IT IS PRETTY CLEAR FROM THIS VERSE that unless the mood of inquiry and
revealing in confidence are there, the Society is not going to expand all
over the world. *"because people are coming forward and dealing with the
give-and-take policy, the Society is now expanding all over the world.""

*What is the purpose of the Society then anyway?
As Srila Prabhupada says "* The International Society for Krishna
Consciousness has been established to facilitate these six kinds of loving
exchanges between devotees."
I am asking the Author directly, is that your goal or not?
Do you think your emails foster this loving spirit of cooperation that
Srila Prabhupada is desiring in his Society?
What is your solution to a worldwide cooperative Society? *Please give an
alternative solution, whether without ISKCON, Inc. or with. Please be
forwarned- Any critiquing email from you:

a. NOT First collecting all the necessary background information, and
b. NOT giving a simultaneous alternative solution

 will be ignored.
Even Srila Prabhupada, when meeting a new philosophy, asked them or
devotees "What is their Philosophy?" and after understanding it by asking
pertinent questions, he would then sharply cut them from the root and would
then generally give the Vedic Version to counter the false arguments or
complete the incomplete philosophy. Am awaiting for you to follow that

Adios, my friend. It would behoove you to wait for a few weeks for the
website to be up where we are in the process to put all these
documents, articles, FAQs etc. to delieate all these points.

Hare Krishna.

Nimai Pandit Das

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