Spring 2006

Every year our supposedly very wise and learned GBC (Governing Body Commissioners) gather at Mayapur in India to pass resolutions which are meant to guide ISKCON towards greater fidelity to the teachings of Srila Prabhupada. And every year they pass resolutions which are a mix of tragedy, comedy and outright deviation, and this year was no exception. (please note we have also included unpublished resolutions which would not be available to the regular rank and file devotees – sent to us courtesy of a sympathetic GBC member).

 Though the number of ISKCON gurus has steadily been increasing over the years, so that at the current rate of expansion we will soon have over 100, the GBC still feel this is nowhere near enough:


401. Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples Encouraged to take up Spiritual Master Role [Action Order]

[…] Whereas the already small number of ISKCON spiritual masters are steadily decreasing each year due to unforeseen accidents and disease […] Whereas within ten years time, we could conceivably lose up to half of our remaining Srila Prabhupada disciples who are actively preaching, […] It is resolved that:
the GBC wishes to encourage all of Srila Prabhupada’s initiated disciples in good-standing to seriously consider taking up the role of spiritual master.
Each individual GBC member should look for and identify Srila Prabhupada’s disciples in good standing and urge them to take up the role of spiritual master even if only in their local areas.
Srila Prabhupada’s disciples in good-standing who are willing to become gurus shall go through the usual authorisation procedure and all local ten person committees shall be aware the GBC has already encouraged them to embrace this service.
a) Here the GBC states that the number of gurus is decreasing due to “unforseen accidents and disease.” Yet the largest cause of the decrease has not been “accidents or disease”, but downright deviation, with gurus escaping (on their broomsticks or otherwise), with young females and ISKCON money.

b) The GBC states that within 10 years we could lose half of the current gurus, due presumably to the effects of old age. But how would adding to their number with devotees of the same age group help this? Most of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples now are approaching their 60s.

c) Considering that this belated call to push all their Godbrothers to be guru has come almost 30 years after the fact, and especially when many of these persons are themselves getting ready to leave their bodies soon, this move can only be seen as a cynical attempt to try and “buy off” devotees before they join the growing band of support for the IRM.