After concluding the three-day Sanga for GBCs, Gurus and Sannyasis, ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission began its Annual General Meetings (AGM) on 6th February, in Mayapur, India.
Participants arriving were greeted with garlands by the GBC Chairman Anuttama Dasa and then proceeded to perform a Guru Puja of Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of ISKCON.
The meetings began with a presentation on the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust (BBT) by Badrinarayan Swami, congratulating the devotees for the best book distribution year since 1996. He emphasized the importance of distributing Srila Prabhupada’s books and shared encouraging reports of book distribution including that by second-generation devotees and devotees in conflict regions.
Badrinarayan Swami emphasized that the power of the local GBC / BBT trustee / and leaders of the temples in a community all coming together to meet and set an annual goal and making plans how to reach it. As an example of this process of shared team spirit, book distribution in North America has increased by 64% in 3 years and by 46% in UK.
The other highlight of the presentation was that for the first time, reports are now available that outline the annual level of book distribution for the last five years for each GBC member / zone. With the help of this important tool, leaders can now track how book distribution is doing (growing, decreasing, or staying the same) under each GBC member. This, he said, was the essence of the meetings, to come together to make a plan for the upcoming year and reviewing the execution of the previous year's plan.
The GBC body then spent the major part of the day reviewing submitted proposals and casting straw votes. Several weeks before the GBC AGM began, GBC Deputies organized and reviewed all proposals sent to the GBC by the members of ISKCON. These proposals were then presented to the GBC for an initial discussion and a straw vote. Later in the AGM, the proposals with any necessary modifications would be again presented to the GBC body for a final vote. Those proposals that receive a majority votes then becomes official GBC resolutions, guidelines or laws.
After four days of Strategic Planning Networks (SPN) meetings, which commenced today, the GBC members will reconvene on 11th February. During the SPN meetings, the GBC members who are part of various committees such as Devotee Care, Srila Prabhupada’s Position Committee, Outreach, Rural Development, will focus on a number of areas to help the Society move forward progressively into the future[ gbc ] [ mayapura ]