GBC Meeting Report 2

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By Sraddhadevi dasi

GBC AGM—February 25th, 2011

After concluding four days of strategic planning, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness’ (ISKCON) Governing Body Commission (GBC) resumed their regular Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Mayapur, West Bengal.

Friday, February 25th was entirely dedicated to reviewing proposals submitted to the GBC by various ISKCON members and committees. Proposal topics have a wide range- from adjusting temple standards, to refining the role of particular committees, to establishing new offices and services in ISKCON.

GBC deputies, a second tier GBC body composed of approximately twenty-five devotees from around the world, assist the GBC in managing proposals. Deputies gather in Mayapur several weeks before the GBC’s Annual General Meeting and work long hours to review and clarify all proposals. For each proposal, deputies discuss in-depth and generate a list of pluses, minuses, and points of interest, which are later presented to the GBC along with the specific proposal. The GBC body then discusses each proposal at great length and takes a straw vote in favor or against a proposal. GBCs can also vote to send the proposal back to the initiators for more information or clarification. Toward the end of the AGM, these proposals are again presented to the GBC body for a final vote on the issue.

As with most years, this year’s proposal topics covered a wide range, from the relationship between ministries and standing committees to guidelines for kirtan standards in temples. One proposal in particular addressed a service that many ISKCON members may not be aware of—the ISKCON Resolve’s Ombuds Office.

ISKCON Resolve was established by the GBC in 2002 as an independent office to assist devotees in resolving problems or concerns that they feel they can otherwise not resolve on their own. The Ombuds Office is a more recent service offered by ISKCON Resolve to provide an opportunity for devotees to confidentially voice any questions or concerns, or to simply request clarification or information on an ISKCON-related topic. The Ombuds Office does not process formal complaints, but it is an independent, neutral, informal, and free resource to all devotees affiliated with ISKCON.

Braja Bihari dasa, one of the founders of ISKCON Resolve, presented to the GBC a proposal for the Ombuds Office “Terms of Reference”, meaning an official document describing the structure, systems, and purpose of the Ombuds Office. Braja Bihari dasa explained that since its inception in 2002, ISKCON Resolve has processed 2300 cases. Of further significance is that, although ombuds offices are becoming common within universities and corporations, ISKCON is the first spiritual organization to establish an ombuds office on an international basis. If you would like more information on services provided by ISKCON Resolve and its Ombuds Office, please visit

The remainder of the meeting session was spent continuing the review process of additional proposals. Final voting on proposals will most likely take place on March 2nd.

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1 varahanarasimha

would the GBC kindly make sure that no temples serve grains on Gaura Purnima as this is against Srila Prabhupadas instructions:

“So far the Advent Day of Lord Caitanya is concerned, I have written a full suggestion to Montreal, in which the main points are that we should all observe strict fasting up till moonrise, and at that time, an offering is made to Lord Caitanya of Ekadasi foods, fruits, peanuts, milk, and so forth. Then, on the next day, Friday the 15th, a full-scale feast is held to celebrate His Advent Day. On the 14th, chanting, reading of Srila Bhaktivinode’s book, Life and Precepts and Caitanya Caritamrta, Introduction to Bhagavatam, may be held all the day in the Temple.” (San Francisco, written 12th March 1968 letter to Balai)

“The injunction to fast on Ekädasi is especially meant for devotees; on Ekädasi there are no restrictions regarding food that may be offered to the Lord. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahäprabhu took the food of Lord Vishnu in His ecstasy as vishnu-tattva”.(CC Adi-lila 10:71 purport.)

“Lord Caitanya’s Appearance day falls on March 22 (1970), that is on a Sunday. The devotees should fast until evening, when there is a ceremony and offering of a small amount of Ekadasi preparations. The next day, the devotees should celebrate amongst themselves with a small scale feast. You may hold the celebration open to the public on the following Sunday. The preparation to be offered specially on this occasion is bhuni kichri: Fry equal parts dal and rice in ghee and massala. Add two times water as dal and rice, and add vegetables (if you use more ghee, use less water). Cook it until it is dried and the rice is soft.”(Letter to Krishna dasa. 18th February 1970. Los Angeles.)

“P.S. No feasting in the evening of Caitanya’s birthday. Fasting all day till evening moon rise. Then take Prasadam like Ekadasi. Next day you can have full swing feasting. On the birthday if can take a procession of Kirtana on the street it is very nice.” (Post Script to Letter to Rayarama dasa. September. Unknown place unknown date Ref:91-05-14.)

Comment posted by varahanarasimha on March 7th, 2011

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