Original Ideas and Directives of Srila Prabhupada

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Going back to a subject touched upon in terms of what a GBC’s duties are, let’s look at the first directive of ISKCON.

The incorporation document states Seven Purposes of ISKCON:

“(1) To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large and to educate all peoples in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values in life and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.”

One can ask the difference between knowledge and education. Srila Prabhupada gives the answers in his teachings. Knowledge of spiritual life is a question of revelation. Krishna reveals to the devotees knowledge of Himself and how to intelligently serve the spiritual master. After all, Prabhupada said Krishna is not found in the bushes of Vrndavana, but in following the instructions of the spiritual master.

It appears the first qualification of a GBC is he must have sincerely understood this first directive and see the importance of it. And, he is dedicated to carrying it out, constantly meditating on how, in the respective countries he serves, it is to be done.

One would assume for instance he would look at how Krishna consciousness could be introduced through:

1) POLITICS, i.e. the Varna Ashram system;

2) ECONOMICS, i.e. free market or controlled economies;

3) SOCIOLOGY, the social and spiritual mobility of all;

4) SCIENTIFIC MATTERS, how Vedic science parallels modern scientific thinking;

5) RELIGION, comparative studies;

6) THE ARTS, music, drama, film and visual arts; and

7) THE SANKIRTANA movement, festivals, book publications and distribution, Harinama Sankirtana, opening of new centres, restaurants, door to door. Number 7 can be sub-divided, each carrying importance for ISKCON;

8) Simple living, high thinking.

No doubt other categories could be included, but ISKCON has got something to say big time on all topics. Currently we are silent.

One would suggest to the GBC in each country that a devotee should be appointed to each category on a national level, and that person can be responsible to build teams of like minded enthusiastic devotees who can brainstorm each category and build strategy and working parties to carry them out, taking advantage of social media, promotional films, etc., etc.

The GBC are fond of big show boat propaganda preaching meetings at big venues like Mayapur, but it’s a huge talking shop. What they talk about 99% of devotees never hear. Nothing carries through to individual yatras. Therefore stagnation has taken place in ISKCON throughout most of the world, as over-reliance on successful preaching to small minorities of local Hindu groups, who naturally donate funds, has become the goal in ISKCON.

First thing to do, I would suggest, is look at what a GBC is supposed to do. Re-appointments need to take place as reactive reactionary centralisers are retired. And dynamic preachers who have knowledge by revelation as to what Prabhupada wanted are appointed to systematically spread Krishna consciousness in a multitude of ways in their zones. It’s goodbye to the old and in with the new, new but old, the original ideas and directives of Srila Prabhupada.

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