Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Highlight Report of GBC Meeting Held on February 7, 2024
By GBC Communications   |  Feb 16, 2024

Revati Raman Das, GBC Chair, welcomed members and initiated the meeting by inviting Niranjana Swami to read excerpts from two ‘Conversations with Srila Prabhupada,’ one from Geneva 1974 and the other from Mayapur, January 1977.  The meeting agenda focused on continuing the reading of the ‘Guru Projects and Guru Dakshina’ paper presented by Badrinarayan Swami.

Several years ago, the international GBC identified the need to establish clarity in the relationship between ISKCON and its diksha-gurus. A committee consisting of Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Bhanu Swami, Guruprasad Swami, Niranjana Swami, Prahladananda Swami, Ramai Swami, Sivarama Swami, Badrinarayan Swami, and Vraja Vihari Das, was established to work on this issue. The first result of their efforts was the “Harmonizing Lines of Authority” paper, officially approved as an ISKCON position paper in 2015.

After completing the “Harmonizing Lines of Authority,” the GBC tasked the committee to focus on issues related to “guru-dakshina and guru projects.” The paper presented by Badrinarayan Swami at the meeting has evolved from that effort. The committee conducted two worldwide surveys involving diksha-gurus, GBCs, ISKCON deputies, temple presidents, and others.

It may be recalled that during the GBC meeting on 24 January 2024, a step-by-step review of the “Guru Projects and Guru Dakshina” paper presented by Badrinarayan Swami was initiated. During that meeting, Badrinarayan Swami read the preface and the main section, along with examples of challenges concerning lines of authority in relation to ISKCON as a society, gurus, and disciples. The remaining sections of the paper were reviewed at this 7 February, 2024 meeting.

Badrinarayan Swami addressed challenges related to guru services and projects, such as the 2018 GBC resolution requiring diksha-gurus to share disciples’ databases (with due consideration of data privacy), the mandate for financial accountability and transparency in managing funds, discouraging diksha-gurus’ involvement in developing businesses to generate funds for ISKCON, fostering a sense of a broader ISKCON community among disciples, and emphasizing the priority of publishing and distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books, highlighting him as siksha-guru for all.

Throughout the paper reading, Badrinarayan Swami received feedback and comments from the GBC members on the respective points.  The committee’s outlined action includes updating the paper with inputs and comments received from the GBC, initiating a survey to the GBC on unresolved issues relating to the paper, and discussing the need for the GBC to develop principles and practices for guru led ‘affiliated’ and ‘associated’ projects at the upcoming GBC Annual General Meeting.

Tag: gbc , iskcon