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GBC resolutions 2006

Thursday, 08 June 2006 / Published in Editorial, GBC / 6,728 views

ISKCON GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION SOCIETY

Registration Number S/74662 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961

P.O. Shree Mayapur Dham, Dist. Nadia, West Bengal 741313

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

SRI MAYAPUR DHAM, FEBRUARY 16 – 26, 2006

Go to 2006 Zonal Assignments

101. GBC Members

RESOLVED:

1. His Holiness AC Bhaktivaibhava Swami is elected GBC Chairman.

2. His Holiness Bhanu Swami is elected First Vice-Chairman.

3. His Holiness Bhakti Bhrnga Govinda Swami is elected Second Vice-Chairman.

4. His Grace Bhima Das is elected GBC Secretary.

5. His Holiness Kavicandra Swami is elected Special Duty Officer.

6. His Grace Hrdaya Caitanya Das continues as assistant GBC member.

7. His Grace Bhima Das is elected as assistant GBC member.

102. Sannyasa Waiting List

RESOLVED:

That the following are the candidates for sannyasa for 2006:

Acala Das

5-year waiting list

Brhad Mrdanga Das

2-year waiting list

Carudesna Das

5-year waiting list

Gaurahari Das

3-year waiting list

Jagat Guru Das

2-year waiting list

Janananda Das

1-year waiting list

Mahadyuti Das

2-year waiting list

Makhanlal Das

3-year waiting list

Nitai Caitanya Das

4-year waiting list

Partha Sarathi Das

this year

Prabhodananda Saraswati Das

2-year waiting list

Purnacandra Das

1-year waiting list

Ramacandra Das

3-year waiting list

Sarvaisvarya Das

1-year waiting list

Siddhartha Das

3-year waiting list

Simheswara Das

this year

Yadunandana Das

2-year waiting list

Vasudeva Das

3-year waiting list

103. Ministry and Standing Committee Assignment Renewal for 2006

[Action Order]

Whereas, GBC resolution 2005-414 states in part:

Effective with the 2006 Annual General Meeting, all membership and committee assignments in ministries, committees, task forces, etc., shall be deemed as one-year assignments, valid until the end of the next Annual General Meeting, unless the GBC Body specifically states that a particular assignment shall have a different duration. Ministries, committees, task forces, etc., whose mandates are not renewed at an Annual General Meeting, shall be deemed as closed and disbanded.

And whereas, in pursuance of the above-mentioned resolution, the GBC Deputies have taken up a review and assessment process for the ISKCON Ministries that will extend at least until the 2007 Annual General Meeting, and there is a need to renew the mandates of currently functioning ministries and standing committees for 2006.

Therefore it is resolved that:

The following ministries and standing committees and their respective appointments are confirmed until the 2007 Annual General Meeting:

Ministry of Communications Minister – Anuttama Das
Ministry of Health and Welfare Minister – Prahladananda Swami
Congregational Development Ministry Minister – Jayapataka Swami
Women’s Ministry Minister – Sudharma Dasi
ISKCON Youth Ministry Minister – Manu Das
Ministry of Sannyasa Services Minister – Prahladananda Swami

Sannyasa Standing Committee: Hrdaya Caitanya Das, Sivarama Swami, Guru Prasad Swami, A.C. Bhaktivaibhava Swami, Bhakti Caitanya Swami, Prahladananda Swami

Ministry of Deity Worship Minister – Nrsimha Kavaca Das
Ministry of Book Distribution Minister – Vijaya Das
Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture Minister – Balabhadra Das
Ministry of Padayatra Minister – Lokanath Swami
Ministry of Educational Development Members: Sesa Das (Minister), Laxmimoni Dasi, Saunaka Rsi Das, Braja Bihari Das
Board of Examinations Members: Sesa Das, Laxmimoni Dasi, Saunaka Rsi Das, Braja Bihari Das
Sastric Advisory Council Members: Purnacandra Das (Chairman), Gopiparanadhana Das, Drutakarma Das, Urmila Dasi, Mukunda Datta Das
Sri Mayapur Project Development Committee Members: Chair of GBC Executive Committee (ex-officio), Badrinarayan Das, Bir Krishna Das Goswami, Jayapataka Swami, Gopal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Charu Swami, Bhakti Purusottama Swami, Praghosa Das, Ambarisa Das, Bhima Das, Gopal Bhatta Das, Anuttama Das, Radhanath Swami (six month leave of absence), Dayarama Das
Ministry of Justice Minister – Sesa Das
ISKCON Property Office Members: Current GBC Executive Committee, Bhaktarupa Das (Member-Secretary)
ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection Director – Tamohara Das
GBC Vaisnava Calendar Committee Members: Bhanu Swami, Markandeya Rishi Das, Bhaktarupa Das (Convener)
BBT Construction and Renovation Grant Committee Members: Bhanu Swami, Devamrita Swami, Current GBC Chairman, Krsna Naam Das (Secretary), Hrdaya Caitanya Das (Convener)
Guru Services Committee Members: Prahladananda Swami (Chairman), Anuttama Das, Vishakha Dasi, Virabahu Das, Ravindra Svarupa Das, Bhakti Caitanya Swami

201. GBC Budget

[Action Order]

RESOLVED:

The Corresponding Secretary will present the GBC budget 2006/2007 with all received details to the GBC members for correspondence vote before 21 March, 2006.

202. Appointment of Auditor

[Action Order]

RESOLVED:

Sri A. K. Shah, F.C.A., Chartered Accountant, of 125, Netaji Subhas Road, Room No. 45, Kolkata 700 001, is appointed as statutory auditor for the year 2006-2007.

401. Srila Prabhupada’s Disciples Encouraged to take up Spiritual Master Role

[Action Order]

Whereas Srila Prabhupada wrote that the world needs thousands of spiritual masters, and he desired his disciples to take up this role,

Whereas many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples possess the qualification to function as spiritual masters,

Whereas there exists a somewhat restrictive approach to empowering spiritual masters in ISKCON,

Whereas the already small number of ISKCON spiritual masters are steadily decreasing each year due to disease and unforeseen accidents,

Whereas within ten years time we could conceivably lose up to half of our remaining Srila Prabhupada disciples who are actively preaching,

Whereas some qualified Srila Prabhupada disciples find the present system awkward and are too humble to solicit sponsorship for the role of spiritual master,

Therefore 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 GBC member should look for and identify disciples of Srila Prabhupada in good standing and urge them to take up the role of spiritual master, even if only in their local areas.

A disciple of Srila Prabhupada in good standing who is willing to become a spiritual master shall go through the standard authorization procedure, and all local ten-person committees should be aware the GBC has already encouraged him to embrace this service.

402. Long Island – Nimai Pandit Expulsion

Whereas ISKCON Inc. was established by Srila Prabhupada in New York City in 1966 as the first corporation of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness; and

ISKCON Law (see below) condemns the ritvik doctrine as antithetical to the teachings of Krishna consciousness as taught by Srila Prabhupada; and

Viswa B. Garuda has been replaced as the President of the Long Island temple by Nikhil Gupta; and

After a thorough investigation, the GBC finds that Nikhil Gupta has embraced and is actively propagating the ritvik doctrine in the ISKCON Inc. temple located at 197 South Ocean Avenue, Freeport NY; and

Nikhil Gupta has been instructed by GBC representatives on numerous occasions to cease and desist such ritvik-related activities on the temple premises; and

Nikhil Gupta has openly defied and rejected the instructions of the GBC to cease any further ritvik activity in the ISKCON Inc. temple premises;

Therefore it is resolved:

That Nikhil Gupta is deemed to be in flagrant violation of ISKCON Law (see below) and as a direct result of such activities is no longer a member in good standing of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness;

That Nikhil Gupta is hereby removed from his position in ISKCON Inc.

That the election of directors held on Sunday, 20th February 2005 is once again (per resolution of last year) hereby deemed to be null and void;

That Nikhil Gupta shall immediately take all steps necessary to return control of the temple premises located at 197 South Ocean Avenue, Freeport, NY to the sole and exclusive control of the GBC, for the purpose of the GBC putting in place ISKCON members in good standing as Board of Directors and as officers to manage the corporation and its assets according to the directives of the GBC. The GBC hereby delegates full authority to the North American GBC Executive Committee to determine who are in good standing to become officers and directors of ISKCON Inc., as well as to remain as residents of the temple located at 197 South Ocean Avenue, Freeport, NY.

That Nikhil Gupta and those acting in concert with him in the ritvik-related activities herein shall vacate the temple premises within seven (7) days of receipt of notice to be delivered to him by a GBC representative.

The relevant ISKCON Law in this connection is as follows:

6.4.7 Specifically Outlawed Doctrines and Practices

6.4.7.2. Ritvikism, aka posthumous ritvik theory, post-samadhi ritvik theory, proxy initiation theory, no change theory, etc.

“The doctrine that Srila Prabhupada desired to continue to act as diksa-guru after his departure from this world and did not desire any of his disciples to give diksa in succession after him is a dangerous philosophical deviation. Ritvikism directly goes against the principle of parampara itself (of successive diksa and siksa-gurus), which sustains the pure teachings and practices of Krsna consciousness. This principle has been established by Krishna and is upheld by all acaryas. Indeed, it is accepted by all followers of Vedic culture. Ritvikism is thus an extreme deviation. It is utterly erroneous to espouse it, deluding and misguiding to teach it, and blasphemous to attribute it to Srila Prabhupada. No one who espouses, teaches, supports in any way, or practices ritvikism can be a member in good standing of ISKCON.

6.4.7.3 Enforcement of ISKCON Law regarding Ritvikism

1. The GBC Body unequivocally rejects in principle any proposals that Ritvikism be in some manner or another accommodated or tolerated within ISKCON.

2. The GBC Body hereby makes known its strong determination to enforce ISKCON Law in the matter of Ritvikism and it enjoins upon all its members and other official bodies, officers, and other authorities in ISKCON such as Regional Governing Boards, Regional Secretaries, GBC Ministers, Sannyasis, Initiating Gurus, Temple Presidents, and Temple Officers, the responsibility to take every appropriate action, according to ISKCON Law to enforce the prohibition against Ritvikism in ISKCON.

3. A. The GBC Body declares that to espouse or preach Ritvikism includes the following censurable offenses under the provisions of ISKCON Law: (8.4.1.3)

1. Conscious and serious philosophical deviation from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings and

2. Willful violation of GBC Body resolutions.

B. Further, the GBC Body hereby rules that in relation to the espousal of Ritvikism these offenses are of a sufficiently serious nature as to warrant immediate imposition of the penalty of probation, including its attendant program for rectification.

C. Further, the GBC Body hereby empowers the Executive Committee for the year 1999-2000 to place any ISKCON member who espouses Ritvikism on probation, and in consultation with that member’s immediate local authority, or local GBC Member, to establish a specific program of rectification as provided in ISKCON Law 8.4.2.2 which can include:

1. Disciplinary or remedial transfer to another location;

2. Reformatory change of service,

3. Prohibition from visiting or living in a specified temple or community,

4. Specific spiritual remedial programs

5. A divestiture of certain actions for the period of probation,

6. Reasonable and just reformatory programs.

403. ISKCON Managers’ Meeting

[Rule of Order]

Whereas

  1. The GBC Body is much more consultative in its functioning than it was thirty years ago.
  2. The GBC Body has delegated many of its functions to various continental and national bodies wherein ISKCON managers have a direct voice.
  3. The Deputies provide a voice of the middle management in GBC deliberations.
  4. The movement has expanded such that it is no longer possible to have a good cross-section of ISKCON managers present in Mayapur each year, and as a result the International Managers’ Meeting is no longer effective in providing a check-and-balance system.

And whereas the GBC Body still sees the need for a practical system of checks and balances,

And whereas the International Managers review of, and contribution to, GBC resolutions, created an open, healthy flow of mutual good will, keeping and bringing ISKCON managers “on board”, with a cooperative working relationship with the GBC.

Therefore let it be resolved that beginning in 2006, all continental and or national leadership conventions shall designate time, in at least one meeting per year, to a review of that year’s GBC Resolutions. The relevant minutes from such regional leadership meetings shall be sent to the GBC Secretariat for review. If there are objections to any GBC resolution, they shall be forwarded to the GBC Deputies for an automatic GBC Deputy/GBC evaluation at the following year’s international
GBC meeting.

404. Addition of Srila Prabhupada’s Palace, New Vrindaban, to Shrines and Memorials of ISKCON

[Law]

Whereas the ISKCON Law Book presently states:

2.3.2 Shrines and Memorials

  1. Places of Srila Prabhupada’s pastimes shall be maintained as permanent shrines, and his paraphernalia shall be collected and preserved in memorials to him.
  2. The responsibility for maintaining the worship of Srila Prabhupada shall be borne by ISKCON as a whole and distributed among the temples and initiated devotees of the Society.
  3. There shall be a committee named “The Bhaktivedanta Swami Memorial Committee” whose members are appointed by the GBC. It will determine where and how Srila Prabhupada’s rooms and paraphernalia shall be preserved. Srila Prabhupada’s
    rooms in the following places shall be maintained as permanent shrines in remembrance of his pastimes:
    • Vrndavana-dhama
    • Mayapura-dhama
    • Bombay
    • Los Angeles
    • Honolulu
    • Atlanta
    • Detroit
  4. Srila Prabhupada’s original grass hut (bhajana kutira) at Sri Mayapura shall be a Bhaktivedanta Swami memorial shrine.(81)

And whereas Srila Prabhupada personally named New Vrindaban, spent quality time there, and left behind a legacy of instructions;

Whereas, Srila Prabhupada mentions New Vrindaban in a Srimad-Bhagavatam purport as being non-different from Vrindaban, thus placing emphasis on the project;

Whereas, Srila Prabhupada indicated that he would live in the Palace when it was completed;

Whereas, Srila Prabhupada’s Palace at New Vrindaban is the only monument anywhere in ISKCON North America built for and directly dedicated to the glorification of Srila Prabhupada.

Therefore, it is resolved:

That Srila Prabhupada’s Palace, New Vrindaban, West Virginia, USA, be given official recognition as a Shrine and Memorial and included in the Law Book 2.3.2 Shrines and Memorials.

405. Definition of “Clergy”

[Action Order]

It is resolved:

That the GBC authorizes the North American GBC members to define for their purposes in North America the standards of clergy operating in ISKCON temples in North America.

To remain in effect, this definition must be endorsed at the AGM 2007. Otherwise it shall lapse.

406. Last Wills for ISKCON Leaders

[Guideline]

Whereas, ISKCON members and leaders are naturally passing from this world, and ISKCON leaders sometimes, personally or otherwise, hold ISKCON assets;

And whereas, many ISKCON sannyasis, gurus, GBC members, temple officers and others who handle ISKCON assets do not have wills making clear their intention that the ISKCON assets that they handle shall remain the property of ISKCON after their demise;

And whereas, such a situation is a potential source of confusion in the future;

Therefore, it is resolved:

That all ISKCON sannyasis, gurus, GBC members, temple officers or others handling ISKCON assets, movable or fixed, are recommended to write a will insuring that all ISKCON assets under their care remain within ISKCON. Each person will take a full inventory of all assets gained through his or her ISKCON service while an ISKCON member. Assets obtained via employment or inheritance are exempt. If an asset was inherited as a result of one’s ISKCON service or because of being an ISKCON member, that asset shall be passed to ISKCON. The will shall identify each asset, its location, how it is maintained, and who is maintaining it. Furthermore, it shall state who has access to the asset and who the beneficiaries shall be upon the demise of the said member.

Local legal advice is best sought to ensure maximum security of all assets.

407. Child Abuse Cases Mandatory Restrictions after going through the Criminal System

[Law]

Whereas, in certain cases ISKCON devotees have been found guilty of child abuse in criminal courts. These cases may or may not have involved ISKCON temples and projects. Many of these cases occurred within the congregational setting. As our movement increasingly expands to include a greater congregation, risk from child abusers may come more from people joining our movement from the outside rather than from those who have perpetrated abuse within our gurukulas or temples. Also, as our local Child Protection Teams are becoming better trained to report abuse to local authorities, many cases will be decided in the courts rather than in our ISKCON Child Protection Office (CPO) system. Also, some of these cases may be technically outside the jurisdiction of the Child Protection Office as they do not occur on ISKCON property or involve ISKCON officials. Nevertheless, the perpetrators, even if now taking up the process of devotional service, may still constitute a threat to our children. Further, if they become involved in any type of leadership positions, regardless of the degree of actual risk, it will become an embarrassment to our Society, bring about further loss of faith from our second generation and other devotees, and constitute needless legal risk to ISKCON. In these cases of clear finding of guilt by the civil legal process, it is not necessary to go through a lengthy and time-consuming full Child Protection Office investigation and adjudication.
It is logical that those found guilty in criminal courts should automatically receive similar levels of restrictions and sanctions as cases which have received CPO Official Decisions.

Therefore it is resolved that:

  1. Devotees who have been convicted, or found guilty, in legitimate criminal or civil court proceedings, or who have been determined by a government agency to have perpetrated sexual or physical child abuse, will be restricted in their relationship with ISKCON temples and projects in the following manner:
  1. They may not reside in temples or stay overnight.
  2. They may not assume a position of leadership, or publicly represent ISKCON in any way.
  3. They may not give class or lead kirtan in any ISKCON-sponsored activity or event.
  4. They may not engage in service involving children.
  5. They may not be present at a temple if their victims are also present.
  • In certain cases where the individual has been pronounced guilty of severe criminal child abuse (such as defined in the “zero tolerance” section of the CPO Policies and Procedures), the offender may be restricted entirely from participating in ISKCON projects or visiting ISKCON temples. Invoking this restriction would require the normal full CPO adjudication process and would be a decision of the CPO judges assigned to the case. In any case, consistent with current policy, any temple may impose further restrictions on an individual. A temple is free to totally restrict an abuser from the temple if they so choose.
  • If there are extenuating circumstances that would warrant the relaxation of the restrictions in #1 above, that case would need to be appealed by the individual devotee or a local temple to the ISKCON Central Office of Child Protection (ICOCP), and the decision would be made by the CPO Appeals Review Board.
  • 408. Use of the Name “Bhaktivedanta College”

    [Law]

    Whereas the Ministry of Educational Development is developing a strategy to establish systematic education for ISKCON members.

    Whereas the Ministry of Educational Development has the Bhaktivedanta College at Radhadesh, Belgium, as a model that will be replicated in other places as part of its strategy.

    Whereas the Ministry of Educational Development desires that ISKCON preserve the name “Bhaktivedanta College” for quality educational initiatives to be operated under its direct supervision.

    Therefore it is resolved that the name “Bhaktivedanta College” can be used only with prior written permission of the Ministry of Educational Development. This resolution does not apply to those projects that have been using the name prior to this resolution, such as the (BCEC) “Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture” in South Africa. BCEC is using the name since 1991 and is by this resolution explicitly exempted from any further registration.

    However all other projects using the name prior to this resolution can also receive permission for using the name provided that they apply to the Ministry of Educational Development before December 31, 2006.

    409. Youth Initiatives

    Whereas the child abuse lawsuit filed against ISKCON temples in North America has been resolved, yet more needs to be done to resolve the lingering issues surrounding the tragic history of child abuse in ISKCON;

    A series of meetings, including three formal sessions between GBC leaders and Gurukula Alumni, were held in North America to reach out to the youth, hear from them, and learn what additional steps the youth think ISKCON needs to take;

    A comprehensive report of recommendations has been presented to the GBC Body by the ISKCON Communications Minister, Anuttama Prabhu;

    Considering all these, it is resolved that:

    1 [Action Orders]

    • The GBC Body will issue a formal apology letter to the gurukula alumni signed by all GBC members.
    • All GBC members shall insure that by 2008 all ISKCON centers in their respective zones have child protection teams (CPTs) in place. Each GBC member will send the names of the CPT members for each center to both the GBC Secretariat and the Child Protection Office prior to the 2008 Annual General Meeting.

    2 [Guidelines]

    The GBC recommends that ISKCON leaders worldwide:

    • Act in a way that is sensitive to the needs of those who were abused, while treating them with respect, love, patience and understanding
    • Take steps to improve the care and facilities for children in our communities, including Sunday schools, parental training, and other educational programs, as well as providing appropriate facilities like playgrounds, etc.
    • Conduct annual child protection awareness training at every temple
    • Encourage, value, facilitate and engage the youth and gurukula alumni
    • Train and mentor youth and second-generation devotees with the goal of engaging them in responsible positions

    GBC members are recommended to:

    • Meet regularly with youth and gurukula alumni, listen to them, encourage them, and help the society build better relationships with our second generation

    Leaders of ISKCON educational venues are recommended to

    • Provide and promote all educational programs at reduced rates for gurukula alumni and youth. (This includes VIHE, MIHE, VTE, BC, etc.)

    All ISKCON leaders are recommended to utilize the Child Protection Office’s Employee-Volunteer Screening Form. This document may need adjustments to accommodate local requirements.

    410. Proper Accounting

    [Guideline]

    Whereas proper accounting of Krishna’s money is our collective duty

    Whereas Srila Prabhupada set an exemplary standard in accounting for Krishna’s money

    Whereas there are varying standards around the ISKCON world in regards to accountancy practice

    Whereas proper standardized accounting would greatly help us in identifying the financial health of any given temple or project

    Whereas ISKCON law states in the section on Zonal Secretary duties:

    3.5.5.1.3.7 In Relation to Temple Presidents

    To collect from each Temple President in his zone, a monthly report, and verify that it contains an itemized account of income and expenditure, the preaching highlights including the number of books sold, and inventory of books.(75)

    Therefore it is resolved that:

    HG Krsna-nama Das will design a simple financial report format that each ISKCON temple or project may utilize, complete and return to its local GBC and others as needed.

    He may also follow up on an annual basis to ensure that these reports are in fact being completed and submitted.

    411. Waiving Interest on the George Loan

    [Action Order]

    Whereas in 1993 the North American GBC took from the Construction Fund a loan of US $1.5 million, to be repaid with 8% interest per year;

    Whereas a substantial portion of that loan has yet to be repaid;

    Whereas funding the Turley case and the Youth Fund has since the start of the Turley case heavily burdened the finances of the NA GBC and will most likely continue to do so till 2011,

    Therefore it is resolved:

    That the loan interest starting from a date to be determined by the BBT trustees and extending till now is hereby waived.

    That the interest from now till 31st December 2011 is hereby waived, provided that the NA GBC faithfully makes at least a token payment on the loan every month.

    412. Release of BBT Construction Funds after Presentation of Accounts

    [Action Order]

    Whereas BBT funds are entrusted to the GBC Body to be spent for the correct purpose as well as prudently,

    Whereas BBT funds have not always been accounted for in a systematic way,

    Whereas the GBC Executive Committee has the ultimate responsibility to ensure that BBT funds are properly accounted for,

    Therefore it is resolved:

    That before the GBC releases any BBT funds to any given project, the GBC Executive Committee must first receive an up-to-date set of accounts from that project. In particular, if that project has previously received funds from the BBT Construction Fund then a detailed account of how those funds were used must be provided. Once the GBC Executive Committee is satisfied with the accounts received then the current allocated funds can be released.

    413. Responding To Reports From The GBC-BBT Relations Committee

    [Action Order]

    Whereas from time to time the GBC-BBT Relations Committee reports to the GBC Body specific temples or geographical areas where book distribution or repayment of BBT debts needs attention,

    Whereas the GBC Body considers these reports worthy of a diligent, active response,

    Whereas the GBC Body considers it necessary and expedient to request the regional bodies to act on these matters,

    Therefore it is resolved that:

    When the GBC Body receives a report from the GBC-BBT Relations Committee that book distribution or the repayment of BBT debts in a particular temple or geographical area has an outstanding need for attention, the GBC Executive Committee (GBC EC) will assign the matter to a local Regional Governing Body (RGB), Divisional Council (DC), or Continental Committee (CC) as appropriate.

    The local body will assign a competent person or persons to audit the situation, with regard to income, expenses and any managerial issues that might be involved. The persons assigned to prepare the audit will report to the RGB, DC or CC with recommendations.

    The RGB, DC or CC will consider the recommendations and work with the local ISKCON authority to bring about necessary changes.

    The Regional Governing Body, Divisional Council or Continental Committee will keep the GBC Executive Committee and the GBC-BBT Relations Committee informed of progress in the matter.

    In the event that no appreciable progress is made within six months, the GBC EC, or eventually the GBC Body, will consider what further action to take.

    414. GBC Annual General Meeting and Mayapur Festival Scheduling

    [Action Order]

    Whereas Srila Prabhupada established the Mayapur Festival to purify and enliven devotees so that they could return to their preaching fields with renewed strength and enthusiasm; and

    Whereas this festival is ISKCON’s most important international event and inspires devotees from around the world to increase their dedication to the service of Srila Prabhupada, Sri Pancha-tattva, and their sankirtan movement, and

    Whereas the Mayapur Festival stabilizes and strengthens ISKCON through the MIHE Sat-sanga Seminars and Gaura Purnima Courses that help devotees from around the world develop closer relationships with their leaders and enables them to further their education and training.

    Therefore it is resolved that:

    1. The GBC gives high priority to facilitating the Mayapur Festival Committee and the Sri Mayapur Project Development Committee in preparing for and developing the Mayapur Festival, and

    2. Every year at the AGM, the GBC Executive Committee shall schedule establishing the dates for the next year’s AGM towards the beginning of the agenda, and

    3. The GBC will come to a decision on these dates by the end of the fifth day of the AGM, and

    4. Praghosa Das and Jayapataka Swami will become Co-Chairmen of the Mayapur Festival Committee and will work vigorously with Bhakti Purusottama Swami, the Festival Coordinator, to increase the involvement of other ISKCON leaders in the festival, and

    5. The schedule for the 2007 meetings and festival will be as follows:

    2007 GBC Meetings / Mayapur Festival Schedule

    January 31

    Lord Nityananda’s Appearance

    February 5 – 15

    GBC Meetings

    February 7

    Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s Appearance

    February 16

    Festival Inauguration

    February 16 – 19

    MIHE Sat-sanga Seminars (Sponsored)

     

    Second Annual World Sankirtana Festival

     

    Third Annual Srila Prabhupada Disciples Reunion

    February 20 – 26

    Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama

    February 27 – March 2

    MIHE Sat-sanga Seminars (Sponsored)

     

    Festivities

    March 3

    Gaura Purnima /Lord Gauranga’s Abhisheka

    415. Guild of Artists

    [Action Order]

    Whereas the previous Ministry of Culture is now defunct;

    And whereas there is a need for a link between ISKCON leaders/devotees who are involved in temple construction, beautification projects, and other related works with the creative artists who can provide needed services such as architectural guidance, sourcing sculptures, paintings, etc.;

    And whereas Bhaktisiddhanta Das has 50 years of professional experience in the fields of art, architecture, sculpture, etc. and is willing to network with other devotees around the world who have expertise in various areas related to the architectural arts and design, such as painting, temple décor, temple design, setting up museums, sculpture, and much more;

    And whereas Bhaktisiddhanta Das is ready to set up an office in Vrindavan to provide these coordination services;

    Therefore it is resolved:

    That the GBC encourages Bhaktisiddhanta Das to establish an ISKCON Guild of Artists by setting up an office in Vrindavan.

    416. Discipline of Officials

    [ISKCON Law]

    Whereas, current ISKCON law on removal of ISKCON leaders presently states:

    5.5.6 Removal

    Under normal circumstances, an ISKCON Leader will be removed from his position only after being suspended andunable to rectify his situation. Such cases should be resolved by the GBC Body.

    There should ideally be no change of Presidents or ISKCON Leaders. If there are any difficulties they should be resolved by careful mediation. However, in an urgent situation the GBC Executive Committee, in conjunction with the local GBC Zonal Secretary (if he is in good standing, and if not they may do it on their own) shall be empowered to remove an ISKCON Leader. An urgent situation shall be defined as:

    1. Any violation which endangers ISKCON’s stability and security locally, nationally or internationally which cannot wait for the usual process of suspension and removal.
    2. Severe spiritual, philosophical or moral deviation.
    3. Rebellion against the authority of Srila Prabhupada and the GBC Body.

    It is resolved that the wording of current GBC Law 5.5.6 shall be amended to read as follows:

    5.5.6 Removal

    Under normal circumstances, an ISKCON Leader will be removed from his position only after being suspended and unable to rectify his situation.

    There should ideally be no change of Presidents or ISKCON Leaders. If there are any difficulties they should be resolved by careful mediation.

    However, in urgent situations, an ISKCON Leader may be removed by

    1. Three GBC’s, which must include the GBC(s) of that area, or
    2. A two-thirds majority of a Regional Governing Body or Divisional or National Council.

    The reasons for any disciplinary action must be given in writing to the disciplined leader by the disciplining body or persons, who may define a situation as urgent when it involves any of the following:

    1. Any violation of either ISKCON, local or national laws which endangers ISKCON’s stability and security locally, nationally or internationally and which cannot wait for the usual process of suspension and removal.
    2. Severe spiritual, philosophical or moral deviation.
    3. Rebellion against the authority of Srila Prabhupada, the GBC Body or other regional, national or local ISKCON authorities.
    4. Incompetent management over an extended period of time, giving rise to an emergency situation.

    5.5.7 Appeal

    If an ISKCON Leader is disciplined by a National or Divisional Council, he shall have the right of appeal to the Regional Governing Body (if one exists in the area) or the GBC Body (if there is no Regional Governing Body in the area). If he is disciplined by three GBC’s or a Regional Governing Body he shall have the right of appeal to the GBC Body. Any disciplinary action taken against an ISKCON Leader by any of the above-mentioned entities shall stand unless and until it is overruled by a higher body.

    417. Srila Prabhupada’s Specific Divine Instructions to Individual Disciples

    [Statement]

    Whereas many disciples of Srila Prabhupada received personal instructions from him;

    Whereas specific verifiable instructions of Srila Prabhupada given to individual disciples should be carefully taken into consideration when the GBC makes managerial decisions;

    Whereas over time certain instructions may not be relevant to current circumstances;

    Therefore it is resolved that:

    The GBC, taking time, place and circumstance into consideration, shall support and reinforce those specific instructions given by Srila Prabhupada to individual disciples.

    418. Rules for Voting by Correspondence

    [Rule of Order]

    Whereas the present Rule of Order describing how correspondence proposals be processed and voted on by the GBC during the year (aside from the AGM) requires updating to take advantage of the facilities provided by email.

    And whereas, due to the difficulty in discussing matters adequately over email, the voting rules need to be tightened so that proposals cannot pass easily when many voting members do not participate in the voting.

    Therefore, it is resolved that email shall be an official medium for dealing with correspondence proposals of the GBC Body during the year. This shall be ideally for resolving simple matters requiring prompt attention.

    Any matter can be taken up for discussion and voting via correspondence if required by the GBC Executive Committee. Any three voting GBC members may also insist that a matter be taken up via correspondence. The following procedures shall apply:

    1. The Executive Committee and/or the sponsoring GBC members must take care to present the proposal in the standard format.

    2. The Corresponding Secretary shall circulate the proposal in the GBC Discussions conference and invite discussion. A brief announcement of the fact that a proposal is being discussed in GBC Discussions shall be posted on the GBC Conference (GBC Members only) so that those GBC members who do not regularly follow GBC Discussions shall be informed. A minimum of three weeks shall be allowed for discussion so that all conference members, which include GBC members, Deputies, and Ministers, have the opportunity to read the proposal and offer their comments. The GBC Executive Committee can extend the discussion period beyond three weeks if the discussion is ongoing and fruitful.

    3. At the end of the discussion period, the Corresponding Secretary shall announce the end of formal discussions in the GBC Discussions conference. The Executive Committee, or the sponsoring GBC members if applicable, shall then prepare a final wording of the proposal in the standard format. After any necessary legal review is complete, the Corresponding Secretary shall post the proposal in the GBC Conference (GBC Members only) with a call for votes.

    4. Votes shall generally and preferably be sent by private answers addressed only to the Corresponding Secretary and the GBC Chairman, although votes received in the GBC Conference will also be valid. Voting period shall be three weeks. At the end of the three weeks, the Corresponding Secretary shall tabulate the votes. Missing votes shall count as abstentions. If a simple majority of the total number of eligible voting members vote in favor, then the resolution passes. If a simple majority of the total number of eligible voting members vote against the resolution, then the resolution is defeated. In either case, the results shall be announced. If due to missing votes the result is inconclusive, then the Corresponding Secretary shall announce the names of the missing voters in the GBC Conference and encourage them by private email to vote. In this case, the voting period shall be extended by an additional two weeks from the date of announcement of the preliminary tabulation to allow for missing voters to record their votes. At the end of this additional period, the final tabulation shall be announced.

    5. Special rules applicable to plenary sessions wherein second balloting is required on inconclusive matters shall not be applicable in the case of correspondence voting. In other words, for matters requiring a simple majority, a simple majority of the total number of eligible voting members must vote in favor during the initial voting; similarly for matters requiring a two-thirds vote.

    419. CCO Mandate Modification

    [Action Order]

    Whereas, in 2005 the GBC Body passed resolution number 419 establishing the post of Chief Coordinating Officer for ISKCON, appointing Praghosa Das to that post, and inviting Praghosa Das to suggest modifications to the mandate for the post at the 2006 AGM;

    And whereas, he suggested a more focused mandate, more directed to the current pressing needs of the society;

    Therefore it is resolved that the mandate for the international Chief Coordinating Officer (CCO) for ISKCON, as adopted under 2005-419, be modified to state as follows:

    1. Coordinate and oversee the functioning of the GBC Secretariat and Standing Committees;
    2. Raise awareness and understanding of GBC policies and service in ISKCON;
    3. Study how the GBC currently relates with the ISKCON public and suggest improvements.

    420. Task Force on Abuse of Women

    [Action Order]

    Whereas it is the duty of the leadership of a spiritual society to protect its members so that they can peacefully perform devotional service to Sri Sri Radha Krishna

    Therefore it is resolved that:

    The GBC Body hereby directs the GBC CCO and Tamohara Prabhu to coordinate a Task Force to define and deal with abuse against women in ISKCON.

    421. Women’s Ministry Regional Representatives

    [Guideline]

    Whereas women reside in ISKCON temples and communities across the globe where customs, culture, and facility vary greatly. While the basic principles of full engagement in devotional service, protection, and freedom from exploitation are foundational principles for all women, how they are applied locally may vary. Thus, it is imperative that the Women’s Ministry
    is properly represented in each region of the globe.

    Whereas the original GBC resolution forming the Women’s Ministry directs the Ministry to appoint regional Women’s Ministry representatives.

    Therefore the GBC Body hereby recommends that the Regional Governing Bodies (RGBs) work with the ISKCON Women’s Ministry to designate, at their determination, either a Women’s Ministry representative or a Women’s Ministry Council for their respective region. This representative or Council will operate under the direction and auspices of both the Women’s Ministry and
    the RGBs.

    422. Bhaktivedanta Institute Dispute

    [Statement]

    It is resolved that in the matter of the dispute within the Bhaktivedanta Institute between Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Maharaja and Rasaraja Prabhu, the GBC Body accepts the determinations of the arbitration panel that met during the Annual General Meeting, 2006. The findings of the panel will be published in a letter from the GBC Executive Committee.

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