GBC Protects Guilty Guru


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 56, Summer 2017

When those claiming to follow spiritual life undertake an action that is motivated by ambition, power, the desire for control of property and money, and other non-spiritual reasons, they usually will not openly admit to such motives. Rather, they will try to project a veneer of high-minded philosophy and spirituality to "dress up" the actions as being taken as a matter of spiritual principle. However, such machinations can be uncovered by applying a detailed analysis, or "spiritual audit", which the IRM specialises in. In the next two articles we apply such an audit to the fight for control over an ISKCON temple between the GBC and a Temple President. All emphases and headings added.

Serious transgressions

The GBC had voted three times that the ISKCON temple in Brooklyn, New York, was not to be sold. However, the board members of this temple (Bharati Board members) still voted unanimously to sell the temple. The "GBC Brooklyn Temple Sale Committee" issued a statement claiming that this vote to sell constituted serious transgressions:

Not loyal to ISKCON

"All eight members of the Bharati Board attended a "special board meeting" on March 19, 2017 and voted unanimously to reconfirm the sale behind locked temple doors. What made this board meeting so "special" was that it would have taken just one vote loyal to ISKCON to instantly void the sale. Sadly, not a single board member was willing to vote against reconfirmation."

Against the GBC and Srila Prabhupada

"Furthermore, the sale of the Brooklyn temple constitutes a flagrant repudiation of ISKCON as a society in which the GBC is the ultimate managing authority, as ordered by Srila Prabhupada."

Against ISKCON

"Finally, the GBC also acted to signal unambiguously to the ISKCON-Brooklyn congregation that the path taken by Ramabhadra Prabhu* was and is contrary to the ecclesiastical policies of ISKCON, as established by the GBC."

*Ramabhadra Dasa ("RB") is one of the members of the temple board and Temple President of ISKCON Brooklyn.

GBC rejects GBC

As just noted, though the whole temple board voted to sell, and any one of them alone could have voted to stop the sale, the GBC has decided to target only RB, framing the vote taken by the whole temple board as being "the path taken by Ramabhadra Prabhu". Thus, the GBC removed RB as the Temple President of ISKCON Brooklyn due to this vote to sell taken by the whole board:

"On March 19, Ramabhadra and the "Bharati board" held such a meeting, with directors Ramabhadra Dasa and Romapada Swami in attendance. Despite the GBC's decisions, they voted unanimously to reconfirm the pending sale. This, in particular, led the GBC to resolve that Ramabhadra be removed."
("GBC Brooklyn Temple Sale Committee")

However, as the statement reveals, another member of this board committed exactly the same supposedly serious transgression of voting for the sale that led to the GBC removing RB. And this was HH Romapada Swami ("RPS"), who is the GBC member for this temple. The GBC stated very clearly, as detailed in the previous section, that those who voted to sell the temple are guilty of being:

Disloyal to and against ISKCON;
Against the GBC;
Against Srila Prabhupada.

Thus, according to the GBC, a GBC member, RPS, was guilty of being against the GBC, and against ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada, by voting to sell.

Double standards

In BTP 51, we detailed GBC voted-in diksa guru HH Jayadvaita Swami ("JAS") criticising his GBC guru colleague RPS in regards to the latter's involvement in attempting to sell the temple (please see "Maintaining False Gurus at All Costs"). We showed how JAS's accusations meant that RPS did not fulfil the GBC's standards for being a diksa guru. Now, the GBC itself has gone much further and claimed that by voting against them to sell the temple, RPS is effectively guilty of directly opposing the GBC, ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada. Which would also mean that according to the GBC, RPS is not fit to be a GBC diksa guru. Yet, RPS was not removed as a guru by the GBC.

And, though RB was removed as Temple President for voting to sell the temple on March 19th, 2017, RPS was not removed as GBC for casting exactly the same vote! The GBC voted *3* times that the sale should not go ahead, and RPS still voted that it could go ahead, even though he could easily have stopped it. To claim that the GBC needed to remove a temple official because he defied the GBC by voting for the sale, and to then not remove the official who also voted for the sale but should have been the most loyal to the GBC, being a GBC member himself, is a clear hypocritical double standard.

The fact that RPS is now belatedly stating he is against the sale does not change the fact that he already committed the same action for which RB was removed, by voting for the sale. And there would not even be a sale if RPS had just voted against it! Those claiming to be bona fide gurus and GBC members are supposed to display the highest standard of behaviour and spiritual integrity. Thus, they should not even think of engaging in the open defiance that the GBC believes RPS engaged in. His later actions do not change this fact.

Hence, the GBC has revealed it is acting according to double standards, rather than spiritual principles, by excusing its own voted-in diksa gurus and members for engaging in exactly the same behaviour that it will punish lesser leaders for.

Service contradiction

Whilst removing RB, the GBC claimed that he did "service":

"The GBC recognizes Ramabhadra's many years of devoted service to the temple"
("GBC Brooklyn Temple Sale Committee")

Yet, we quoted the GBC claiming that RB is now a deviant who is defying ISKCON, the GBC and Srila Prabhupada. Thus, the GBC is absurdly claiming that the result of RB's many years of service is that he has now become a deviant. But service does not turn us into deviants. Rather, it has the opposite effect of purifying us and advancing us spiritually:

"Prosecution of devotional service means gradual purification and proportionate revelation of Krishna Consciousness."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, 9/11/69)

Thus, again the GBC is not being guided by spiritual principles. If it was being consistent with Srila
Prabhupada's teachings, it would have to concede that if RB had actually been performing service previously whilst working under them for many years, then he would have been purified instead of having turned into a deviant.

Return to Romapada Swami Index

Return to GBC Index

Return to IRM Homepage


Please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare,
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare.
And be Happy!