Update: According to sources in New York, while the GBC have issued Ramabhadra Dasa an official notice of his removal and replacement as temple president of ISKCON Brooklyn, he has not accepted their direction and continues to run the temple. It is not clear at present what legal recourse the GBC can take. We will keep our readers updated on the story as it comes in.
The GBC, ISKCON’s ultimate managing authority, has officially removed Ramabhadra Dasa as president of the ISKCON Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Temple at 305 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn.
Ramabhadra Dasa may no longer act as president under ISKCON’s authority. He is not authorized to collect donations for ISKCON or perform any other functions as temple president on ISKCON’s behalf.
The GBC (Governing Body Commission) was established as ISKCON’s ultimate managing authority by ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
The GBC recognizes Ramabhadra’s many years of devoted service to the temple, and it appreciates that serving as the president of this temple has often been a difficult task.
Nonetheless, after receiving an unprecedented number of complaints, the GBC has taken this step, for the following reasons:
Ramabhadra caused the temple board to enter into contracts to sell the temple, without the knowledge of the GBC or the congregation.
Ramabhadra motivated the temple board to reaffirm the sale during a “vote of reconsideration” held on March 19, 2017 – in spite of three GBC resolutions opposing the sale.
In various ways, he has opposed the will of the GBC and ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya.
For several years, he has failed to ensure that a full spiritual program is held at the temple every morning, and he himself has not regularly attended such a program.
As required by GBC law, the order for Ramabhadra’s removal was signed by three GBC members, including the local member, His Holiness Romapada Swami. The GBC’s Executive Committee also approved the removal. Romapada Swami and Sesa Dasa reached out to Ramabhadra Prabhu to hear from him before the removal went into effect.
The GBC Chairman, His Holiness Bhakt Charu Swami, has said, “We love and respect Ramabhadra Prabhu as a devotee, and we are willing to do whatever we reasonably can to help him as he moves forward in his devotional life.”
The GBC has asked the other members of the temple board, and the devotees living in the temple, to cooperate with the GBC and follow its directions.
Acting on a power of attorney received from the GBC Body, the GBC Brooklyn Temple Sale Committee has appointed Hamsarupa Dasa to serve as acting temple administrator of the ISKCON Radha Govinda Mandir to replace Ramabhadra Dasa, the former temple president.
Hamsarupa is a past president of the Radha Govinda Mandir. He has also served as president of ISKCON’s temples in Alachua, Florida, and Vrindaban, India. The GBC has asked the devotees of Sri Sri Radha Govinda to give Hamsarupa their full support.
We look forward to a re-enlivened future for this temple of Sri Sri Radha Govinda and for Their devotees.
Chairman, GBC Brooklyn Temple Sale Committee
Jan 22, 2023
Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies