By Parijata devi dasi
ISKCON Juhu shall host the GBC Meetings dedicated to Strategic Planning from 15 â 23 October at Hare Krishna Land, Mumbai.
ISKCONâs GBC (Governing Body Commission) was founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada since 1970 to manage the movement with the aim to help its members to factually become conscious of Krishna and love for Him. The GBC meeting is held annually in Mayapur during the Gaura Purnima festival.
The meetings in Mumbai are specifically dedicated to Strategic Planning, in other words, planning for the future direction and management of ISKCON, beyond the life span of any person or group of persons.
While Strategic Planning was always an integral part of GBC agenda, it was rejuvenated in 2006 when the then GBC Chairman Bhakti Vaibhava Swami felt the urgency to plan for ISKCONâs future and called a meeting in Prabhupadadesh, Italy. Thereafter, the GBC body meets at least twice a year to discuss the future vision and has set up the following sub committees which oversee significant aspects of strategic planning:
a. Establish Srila Prabhupadaâs position Committee: It helps to ascertain the special nature of Srila Prabhupada as Founder-Acharya and its implication practically, theoretically and theosophically to new and existing members of ISKCON.
b. Succession Committee: It shall identify future leadership, inspire and train them.
c. Constitution Committee: It shall formulate a constitution for ISKCON.
d. Core preaching strategies: It will determine and implement core strategies Srila Prabhupada passed down including book distribution, varnasram, educating our children, etc
e. Devotee care: It will care for devotees, provide for sick and
elderly, and make every devotee feel comfortable and happy within ISKCON.
f. Parallel Lines of Authority and Finances: This Committee aims to strike a balance between various levels of leadership in ISKCON. It helps to facilitate smooth operation between GBC members, initiating spiritual masters (gurus) and members of renounced order of life (sannyasis). They will particularly offer criterion for clear lines of authority as well as
write job descriptions and financial guidelines for members of ISKCON’s leadership on various levels.
g. GBC Team building: The GBC team building committee is striving to develop initiatives for team building that respects and increase human relationship on a spiritual level and work together towards common goals.
h. GBC Organizational development: This team is working to organize the management structure from the GBC down in order to maximize the efficacy of management at all levels of ISKCON’s governance.
Besides the above mentioned subcommittee meetings, selected GBC members shall also attend the Guru Seminar, Kirtan Standard meeting, Team Building Strategies meeting, BBT meetings and Law Book meeting respectively. Kauteya Das, Core Member â Strategic Planning Team informed âThe Strategic Planning Committee works under the direction of the GBC Executive Committee. The focus of Strategic Meetings is not limited only to planning but also working towards fulfilling the strategyâ.
The meetings shall conclude with a presentation on Prabhupadaâs Office by Gopal Krishna Goswami, GBC â Mumbai; felicitation of GBC meeting delegates and cultural program by students of Bhaktivedanta Swami Mission School. Braj Hari Das, President â ISKCON Juhu mentioned âWe are honored to host the meetings. Srila Prabhupada said âBombay is my officeâ and thus it is only relevant that the GBC meeting are held here. The expansion of the temple through the âHeaven on Earthâ project has facilitated more space at our disposal and we invite the Strategic Planning Team to hold their meeting annually in Mumbaiâ.