Report from the 2nd day of the GBC meetings 2008

5,665 Views / EMail This Post / Print This Post / Home » Report from the 2nd day of the GBC meetings 2008

By Ananda Tirtha Das

Bhakti Marg Swami began today’s meeting with a vigorous kirtan following which Bhakti Vaibhava Swami read from Srimad - Bhagavatam 4.11.27:

“My dear boy Dhruva, please surrender unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is the ultimate goal of the progress of the world. Everyone, including the demigods headed by Lord Brahma, is working under His control, just as a bull, prompted by a rope in its nose, is controlled by its owner.”

Chairman Bhanu Swami welcomed everyone and announced that today being HH Bhakti Tirtha Swami’s Vyasa Puja, his disciples have sponsored feast prasadam for all devotees and GBC members at the Gada Kitchen. Bhanu Swami thanked Radhanath Swami for his moving tribute to Bhakti Tirtha Swami in class this morning, and announced that ISKCON Juhu was voted to host the next GBC meeting in October.

“Report of ISKCON Guru Seminar”

Anuttama Das, a member of the Guru Services Committee, reported that the committee had been studying how to help prepare devotees to serve Srila Prabhupada as initiating and instructing spiritual masters. The committee also considered how to offer support and peer association for devotees currently serving as gurus. To this end, in May 2007, about two dozen senior devotees met in Washington DC for four days of intensive planning. Attendees included ISKCON leaders, scholars and educators including Radhanath Swami, Bhakti Charu Swami, Ravindra Svarupa Das, Jayapataka Swami, Rukmini Dasi, Braja Bihari Das, and others representing a cross section of international devotees. Based on the work of that group and in coordination with Vaisnava Training and Education (VTE), the Guru Services Committee prepared a four-day seminar that was launched in Ujjain just prior to the current GBC meetings.

Anutttama’s report prompted a discussion of the need for ongoing learning and Vaisnava association for all members of ISKCON. In this regard, Anuttama shared the following illumination from Prabhupada Lila (7-7):

“Every morning Prabhupada would take a stroll to one of the nearby parks, sometimes with a few disciples and sometimes with only Sivananda. Sometimes while he walked along the waterfront, Prabhupada would ask about shipbuilding and related industries, and Krsnadasa would answer. When Prabhupada asked Krsnadasa what the population of Hamburg was, he knew. Prabhupada began to jokingly call Krsnadasa “Stats,” because he knew so many statistics.

“One morning, while Stats was answering Prabhupada’s questions about various cranes used in shipbuilding, Prabhupada turned to the others and said, “You see, although I am the guru and I am taking you back to Godhead, that doesn’t mean that I cannot learn from him.”

Attendees from the Ujjain seminar, including GBC members and gurus Prahladananda Swami and Madhu Sevita Das, expressed their strong endorsement of the seminar. They also offered their appreciation for the facilities provided at the new Ujjain temple, and commented how appropriate it was to hold the Guru Seminar in Ujjain, the place where Lord Krishna Himself attended the school of Sandipani Muni.

“This seminar will assist spiritual leaders to always remember that they are first and foremost servants of Srila Prabhupada,” said Madhu Sevita. “We can feel Prabhupada’s presence through spiritual association with our peers. I strongly suggest the GBC encourage all ISKCON gurus to attend this seminar.” Bhakti Charu Swami offered to host the seminar annually in Ujjain and expressed his own need and gratitude for such association.

Topics covered in the seminar were then discussed. They include twelve core principles of spiritual leadership in ISKCON such as fidelity to Srila Prabhupada, allegiance to ISKCON, brahminical leadership, cooperation, unity, empowering disciples, and peer association and support. Other topics included care for disciples, relationship of the guru with ISKCON, maintaining spiritual health, and improving association with devotees.

Some GBC members suggested that attendance should be made mandatory to avoid the problems that arise when senior devotees become isolated, or lack peer support.

Based on the Ujjain experience, the Committee is fine tuning the seminar program and is planning a second level, or Guru Retreat, for leaders. It was suggested to schedule the next seminar alongside the next GBC meeting. This will be decided before the GBC meetings end.

Next was a Bhaktivedanta Institute powerpoint presentation by Rasaraja Dasa on “Scientifically Proving God’s Existence,” specially prepared for the GBC. He presented examples of his current research to bridge the historical gap between science and religion. Science admits only entities of this world as causes, whereas religion is based on God beyond this world and thus scientifically not provable. Rasaraja presented the Vaisnava concept of the Deity, an apparently material object, yet accepted as God himself, as amenable to scientific proof. Traditionally, science and religion battle over God and soul. But Vaisnava religion, Rasaraja argued, can challenge science even in the realm of matter. The presentation generated a lively discussion amongst the GBC members. He is preparing a version of the same presentation for release to the general public.

The GBC Deputies, with Aniruddha Prabhu facilitating, next presented several proposals to the GBC body for straw voting. Topics included:

* Annual Holy Name Week: Temples worldwide to celebrate one day during the anniversary week of Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in the US.

* Anukalpa [Ekadasi] Prasadam, or fasting from grains, on Visnu Tattva Appearance Days: There was a discussion that the recommended standard for Prabhupada’s followers is for devotees to fast from grains on Gaura Purnima and Janmastami. Other days are optional and guests are not required to follow this.

* Jurisdiction of ISKCON Centres. Discussion about several ISKCON entities operating in the same geographical area.

* Eligibility to be Guru-special cases were discussed, covering Srila Prabhupada first initiates, disciples of gurus who have resigned or left ISKCON, etc.

In the afternoon and evening, additional meetings of the GBC-BBT Committee, Sannyasa Committee, and Latin American Regional Governing Body were held. Many GBC members also attended the graduation ceremony of the Mayapur Academy (of Deity Worship) this afternoon. During that ceremony the first graduates of the Academy, twenty one in total from fifteen different countries were honored for having completed ISKCON’s first three-month brahminical and pujari training program.

Please click the "Like" button below if you haven't done so already!
5,665 Views / EMail This Post / Print This Post / Home » Report from the 2nd day of the GBC meetings 2008

Comments • [comment feed]

1 Pandu das

Hare Krishna. There’s one thing I want to say, and I hope it’s not too petty. Almost always when I see devotees mention His Holiness Bhaktimarga Swami in an article, they split his name and drop the final ‘a.’ One can see from his blog ( ) how he spells his name, not to mention plenty of inspiring writing and multimedia. I’m sure he would think this quite trivial, but I’ve seen the error so many times that I can’t help but mention it. There are many ways to show respect for advanced Vaishnavas; let’s not miss the little one about spelling their names correctly. 8^) Hare Krishna.

Comment posted by Pandu das on February 27th, 2008

Comments are closed. Please check back later.

Home » Report from the 2nd day of the GBC meetings 2008
  • Post Details

Author: Administrator Administrator's website Administrator's email
Post Date: Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
Categories: Editorial, GBC
Trackback: Trackback
  • Last update: Thu September 18

  • Who is online

    • 23 currently online
    • 170 maximum concurrent
    • 12131627 total visitors

    Registered users online

Giri-nayaka das -
  • Registered users: 6390

  • Navigation

  • BC VTE Bhakti Sastri Online
  • Bhaktimarga Swami's blog
  • Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
  • Bhaktivedanta College
  • Bhaktivedanta Institute (Alachua)
  • Bhaktivedanta Manor
  • Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Network
  • Bhaktivedanta Vedabase Online
  • Cooking with Kurma
  • Darshan of SS Radha-Londonisvara
  • Dharmapatnis
  • Diary of a Traveling Preacher
  • Euro GBC
  • Forbidden Archeology
  • Gaudiya Vaisnava texts
  • Indradyumna Swami Media
  • ISKCON Bangalore Official
  • ISKCON Deity Worship Ministry
  • ISKCON Health & Welfare Ministry
  • ISKCON Ministry of Educational Development
  • ISKCON's Congregational Development Ministry
  • Iskcon-desire-tree
  • Jayadvaita Swami's personal site
  • Krishna Dharma's website
  • Krishna Lila Entertainment
  • Mayapur Academy
  • Mayapur Days
  • Mayapur International School
  • Ministry of Educational Development
  • Our Spiritual Journey
  • Parisisvara
  • Radio Krsna Central
  • Saligrama Sila site
  • Sridham Mayapura
  • The Bhaktivedanta Archives
  • The ISKCON Sannyasa Ministry
  • The Official GBC site
  • Trivikrama Swami
  • Vaisnava Calendar
  • Vaisnava Calendar Reminder
  • Vaisnava care website
  • Vanipedia
  • Vedic Astrologer
  • Vedic knowledge online
  • Vedic view on controversial issues
  • Website in Bengali language
  • Yadunandana Swami's personal site
  • Alachua Temple Live Podcast
  • Comments by author
  • Donate through searching
  • Founder Acarya
  • Incoming Links
  • Iskcon News TV Channel
  • Iskcon Radio stations
  • Iskcon Universe Feed
  • Jaya Srila Prabhupada!
  • Krishna conscious "youtube"
  • Krishna Conscious Media
  • Most commented articles
  • Most read articles
  • New Dwaraka Archived Lectures
  • Polls
  • Stats
  • Temple webcams
  • Thanks!
  • The last seven day's most read articles
  • Thousands visit ISKCON Leicester for Kirtan Fest and Heritage Open Days
  • Hare Krishna Festival brings colour to Croome, Pershore, UK (160 photos)
  • Spiritual Culture - Krsna’s Divine System for Devotee Care
  • Ghee (mother)
  • A special gift for you and your friends!
  • I am looking for a job that I can work with devotees, this is my resume
  • 24 hour kirtan and maha harinam in Bali
  • NASN August 2014 - North American Sankirtan Newsletter
  • ISKCON Pune Targets 1.18 Billion Holy Names for World Holy Name Week!
  • NEW BOOK: Vaktrtavali

    "Artwork and photos courtesy of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc. Used with permission"