The Governing Body Commission of ISKCON, in conjunction with ISKCON leaders in South Asia, has launched a Covid Relief Appeal to provide funds to aid devotees and others in need in the Mayapur region and Bangladesh. Below is an appeal letter from the GBC, as well as PDF and PPT files with more specific information about the relief efforts and where to send your donations.
The GBC has encouraged devotees for many months to take all precautions necessary to protect their health. This includes wearing masks, social distancing, limiting visitors to temples, providing hand sanitizers, and following government guidelines and mandates.
Regional ministers serve as the liaisons for the Vaishnavi Ministry and develop programs for the care of Vaishnavis in their areas.
Chaitanya Chandra Charan Prabhu and his wife Gourachandrika Devi are already feeling better and recovering.
The Safe Re-opening Guidelines contain safe practices for ISKCON leaders and devotees to use while visiting or doing devotional service at the temple, as well as while doing day-to-day activities such as going to work or the grocery store.
The GBC's Strategic Planning Team have compiled a celebrate-at-home Janmastami portfolio, which consists of resources to make devotees' Janmastami experience delightful and filled with personal loving service to the Lord.
With ISKCON Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa-puja, or Appearance Day, coming up soon on August 12th, his society’s Governing Body Commission Strategic Planning Team (GBC SPT) is organizing a special Vyasa-puja online event entitled “Srila Prabhupada’s Journey to the Far Corners of the World: The Mystery Behind the History.”
The hallmarks of ISKCON, its seven purposes were reaffirmed through a series of interviews and dialogues by the exemplary leaders of ISKCON who personify these seven purposes in their own exquisite ways. This symposium was the brainchild of a brilliant disciple of Bhakti Charu Swami who embodied Srila Prabhupada’s instructions and worked towards uniting everyone.
GBC Strategic Planning Team is set to host a six-day series of Facebook Live events celebrating ISKCON Incorporation Day from July 10th to 15th. The theme of the events will be “Reaffirming the Seven Purposes of ISKCON.”
The aim of the RRP is to examine all proposed and previously accepted text changes to Srila Prabhupada’s books in the English language—a painstaking service being approached by panel members with commitment, time, and critical analysis. However, the emphasis will be on reviewing any posthumous editing or particularly controversial edits.
In a video released today featuring Gopal Krishna Goswami, Bhakti Charu Swami, and Jayapataka Swami, these three initiating gurus and senior members of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) explain why they support the GBC resolution empowering women to serve as initiating spiritual masters in ISKCON.
ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) has released the minutes from its February 11th to 22nd Annual General Meeting in Mayapur, West Bengal (which took place before the Coronavirus pandemic).
ISKCON Strategic Planning Support Team, which is a unit of the GBC Strategic Planning Team is extending their support to help devotee communities worldwide to survive, maintain and grow
To help devotees stay safe and cope with the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the GBC Strategic Planning Team has put together a global task force team that gathers and disseminate both spiritually uplifting and materially useful information.
A few weeks ago, Dhanurdhara Swami approached the GBC Executive Committee with the idea of possibly being reinstated as a member of ISKCON. The GBC EC has discussed the topic and issued a statement.
On March 12th, 2020, the Executive Committee of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission issued a statement about the suggested protocol for temples and individuals to follow during the corona virus pandemic.
The SABHA - Spiritual Advisors Bhagavata Assembly - invites devotees to take part in a brief survey.
The GBC Organizational Development Committee is a standing committee of ISKCON’s GBC. It strives to provide proper organizational structure designed to create global alignment and ensure devotional standards and ethos throughout the society.
The ISKCON Leadership Sanga will be held in Sri Dham Mayapur between February 14-20 2020, with 75 unique seminars and discussions, uplifting kirtans, wonderful prasadam, and 45 stalls displaying various projects and services from all over the world.
“More consultation, dialogue and interaction can be conducive to better, wiser and more acceptable decisions,” the group writes in its manifesto. The idea stemmed from the GBC’s own Organizational Development Committee, which was established and mandated to thoroughly review ISKCON’s current leadership model.
ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) recently ended a lengthy, detailed consideration of the Vaishnavi diksa guru question that has been under consideration since 2003. The Vaishnavi Ministry welcomes the new resolution, which upholds important spiritual principles and Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition while accommodating concerns about local communities having different cultural standards.
Twenty-five devotees from all over the US and Canada began a Zonal Supervisor Training program, run by the GBC College for Leadership Development, to learn how to become top leaders in ISKCON recently.
ISKCON's Governing Body Commission (GBC) has released a resolution approving that "a mature, qualified, female devotee may accept the role of an initiating spiritual master."
A group of forty devotees have completed the first one-year GBC College Course in Latin America, which included online classes and two residential courses, preparing them to become ISKCON’s future leaders.
Domestic abuse is defined as a pattern of emotional, mental, or physical abuse that is used by one person in a relationship/marriage to control an intimate partner.
Throughout the year, ISKCON members are able to submit proposals to the GBC. These proposals go through a review process and are vetted and voted on by GBC Deputies and committees. The final proposals are then submitted to the GBC body for majority voting.
People who appreciate proper standards of Deity worship tend to look to ISKCON as an example. Over the years, ISKCON has established a reputation of having high standards of Deity worship. However, the Deity Worship Ministry warned the GBC that if proper care is not taken to maintain and improve standards of worship, this reputation could slip.
The first topic up for discussion in the afternoon March 7th, was ISKCON’s Radha-Govinda Temple in Brooklyn, NY. The last few years have seen conflict over the managerial authority of the temple, prompted by an earlier proposed sale of the property.
Vaisesika Dasa made the presentation on behalf of the BBT’s new Marketing Communications Innovation department. This relatively new area of the BBT focuses on ascertaining how to assist and inspire ISKCON members around the world to distribute books.
Ambarish Dasa, the ToVP Chairman, and other members of the ToVP team presented an hour-and-a-half report on the progress made in the past year and described the plans and projections that will see the ToVP to its grand opening in 2022.
Nearly eighty top ISKCON leaders from around the world met at the society’s global headquarters in West Bengal for three full days, March 4-6, to discuss opportunities and challenges in expanding the ISKCON movement.
The fifth day of the GBC Meeting was evoked with the auspicious spiritual initiation ceremony by Bhakti Charu Swami and it marked the fourth installation ceremony of the ISKCON Kanpur temple.
On September 1st, 2018, the Executive Committee of ISKCON’s Governing Commission has issued the following statement about Bhakti Visrambha Madhava Swami.
By releasing a Vyasa-puja pack, with its booklet, posters, postcards, banners, videos and more, the Srila Prabhupada Position Committee aims to inspire and facilitate ISKCON temples and communities worldwide to enhance the celebration of Srila Prabhupada’s annual Vyasa-puja festivities.
From March 24 to April 6, 2018, GBC College For Leadership Development was held for the first time in Latin America at the Jaladuta Institute (Campina Grande, Brazil), delivered in the Spanish language.
Russian-speaking ISKCON leaders from all over the country (and beyond) assembled in Moscow, in January 2018, for continuing their Zonal Supervisor course, an offering of the GBC College for Leadership Development.
Twenty-three leaders from various locations in Africa, Bangladesh, China, India, Italy, Russia and Singapore, received their GBC College Graduation certificates and gifts in the presence of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, Srila Prabhupada, and over 600 ILS devotees including many ISKCON Gurus, GBCs and sannyasis.
During the eight day long series a total number of 65 presentations were delivered by different ISKCON leaders, addressing current issues and also issues that the society will face in the future
According to Laxmimoni Dasi, who is in charge of registering the guests at the ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS), there are 950 devotees attending the event, coming from all around the world, including Brazil, Nepal, Bangladesh, Australia, South Africa, South America, USA, Canada, Europe, Russia, India and a delegation of 75 people from China.
ISKCON Leadership SAnga is a gathering of gurus, temple presidents, GBC members and other formal and informal ISKCON leaders from around the globe where unity in diversity is discussed as was desired by Srila Prabhupada.
The 2018 ISKCON North American Leadership Conference was held last week at Camp Geneva outside of Orlando Florida with 27 temple presidents from the US and Canada attending.
The Devotee Care Committee of ISKCON Governing Body Commission has invited everyone to take part at the Devotee Care Course this Spring in Mayapur
ISKCON devotees may already know what an amazing event ISKCON Leadership Sanga is, with over a thousand ISKCON leaders and potential leaders, from around the world attending.
Many years ago, a relatively small group of devotees claimed that some of Srila Prabhupada’s devoted servants had poisoned their beloved guru. Recently, an attempt has been made to resurrect this dark accusation.
ISKCON Leadership Sanga is a wonderful event, with over a thousand ISKCON leaders and potential leaders, from around the world attending. Many will share their skills and knowledge through a wide variety of presentations, seminars, and workshops.
The GBC Executive Committee joins the devotees of ISKCON Fiji in honoring the life of His Grace Vasudeva Prabhu, a pioneer in establishing Krsna consciousness in Fiji.
Good communication brings about a healthy relationship, as ISKCON’s Governing Body Comission and ISKCON guru Hridayananda Das Goswami found this month. Hridayananda Maharaja’s Krishna West project began in 2013. But due to ill health, he had not had the chance to meet with the full GBC body about it until this October 15th and 16th, during their mid-term meetings in Ujjain, India.
On October 15th and 16th, Hridayananda das Goswami and Brahma Tirtha Das met with the GBC body and a special subcommittee to discuss some mutual philosophical concerns and Krishna West. While those discussions are a work in progress and will continue up to and during the 2018 GBC Annual General Meeting, the meeting in Ujjain was conducted in a very polite, cordial, and Vaisnava way and a statement was unanimously agreed by all.
On October 6th, the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, visited ISKCON Ujjain, and met with ISKCON leaders taking part in the GBC's mid-term meetings.
Zonal Supervisors, an important leadership role created by the Governing Body Commission (GBC) to improve management in ISKCON around the world, was the first topic of today’s GBC meeting. Working directly under an individual GBC member, a Zonal Supervisor assists that GBC member by supervising a number of temples and projects within a particular geographical zone.
Members were presented with a 94-page document or “Meetings Manual,” and a second 23-page guide on “Decision Making.” Both texts were drawn from research conducted by the GBC Strategic Planning Team (SPT). In preparing the manuals the SPT underwent a detailed analysis of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings on management as well as a review 40 professional studies and books on meetings and decision-making.
ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission (GBC) began its “Mid-Term Meeting” this morning in Ujjain, India. Approximately thirty GBC members, and fifteen other leaders and guests will be meeting in this historic and holy city for nine days, until October 17.
The case began in 2004 in Freeport, New York, when persons from outside Long Island, through deception and subterfuge, took control of the Long Island ISKCON Temple board of trustees. Those persons opposed GBC authority and taught a philosophical system called ritvik, which the GBC declared a deviation from traditional Hare Krishna, or Vaishnava Hindu teachings.
The ISKCON Brooklyn Temple President has refused to comply with the GBC's recent notice for his removal and has locked the Brooklyn Temple and removed the "ISKCON" sign from the face of the building
The GBC, ISKCON’s ultimate managing authority, is attempting to remove Ramabhadra Dasa as president of the ISKCON Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Temple at 305 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn.
On Monday May 15th ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission hosted a Town Hall Meeting to explain why it is opposing the pending sale of Brooklyn’s Radha Govinda Mandir, and what it plans to do about it.
At the recent GBC Meetings in Sridham Mayapur, the ISKCON Governing Body (GBC) College was pleased to present 32 graduates from the GBC College to the assembly of GBC members. As Rupanuga Das (President of the GBC College) called out the names of the graduates, Romapada Swami handed them their graduation certificates, Bhakti Charu Swami gave them a pavitra (in the colours of the GBC College and offered to Lord Nrsimhadev) and Gopal Bhatta DAs gave them a GBC College bag.
Problems. Complications. Difficulties. We all have them. Usually they occur 365 days a year. Being a leader means dealing with the added responsibility of societal and institutional issues and finding viable solutions as well. But the first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is one. On the second and third days of the GBC, sannyasi and guru sanga, the participants began to untie this Gordian knot.
Most religious organizations fail to survive past four generations. These generations are tasked with challenge of preserving the original teachings of their founder. How each generation successfully navigates issues that arise provide the foundation for the next generation. On February 12th, senior ISKCON leaders comprised of GBCs, sannyasis and gurus assembled in Mayapur to discuss the challenges the organization faces.
The average GBC member is now in his or her 60s, and some are in their 70s. ISKCON is an obvious need for younger generations of devotees to gradually take over the reins of the movement, and the Global Duty Officer service is one which will facilitate competent devotees to become trained and gain experience which will allow them to take up GBC service in due course.
On October 16th, a well-known devotee of Krishna and successful Indian businessmen Sri Nathji Das (Dr. Narendra Desai) has left his body at the age 76 due to heart failure while traveling in Bhutan. The Executive Committee of ISKCON Governing Body Commission has expressed their greatest appraciation for him in a statement.
"His Holiness Krishna Das Swami's life reads like a story from the scriptures, much like his glorious departure from this world." The Executive Commitee of ISKCON's Governing Body Commission has issued a following statement appreciating the service of Krishna Das Swami, who has recently passed away in Vrindavan.
In celebration of ISKCON's 50th Anniversary, the Executive Commitee of ISKCON's Governing Commission reccommends all ISKCON centers all over the world to include 'ISKCON's 50th Anniversary Celebration ki jaya!' in their daily prayers.
ISKCON's Governing Body Commission (GBC) held its annual general meetings in Mayapur between February 22 and March 5th, 2016. Among many other topics they have discussed the new zonal configuration of Northern America, including the administrative responsibilities of the zonal supervisors, as well as topics concerning ISKCON's 50th Anniversary celebrations.
From Beijing to Belgium, from Bulgaria to Buenos Aires, from Canada to Karnataka, from Nairobi to Naperville, from Istanbul to England, From Delhi to Gaborone, to Slovenia, to Switzerland, to Ecuador, to Romania, Poland, etc., four dozen leaders assembled in the Govardhan Ecovillage outside of Mumbai, learning for thirteen days at the GBC College for Leadership Development how to serve as Zonal Supervisors.
The concluding day of the ILS started with a presentation on the position of Srila Prabhupada by Akrura Das. Bhaktivaibhava Swami encouraged temples to ensure that Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa puja celebrations were celebrated with the importance they deserved. Gauranga Das from ISKCON Chowpathy and Govardhan Eco Village described several training courses designed to ‘lead ISKCON with tradition and intelligence’.
At the pre-launch of ISKCON Connection on the 7th day of the ILS, Praharana Devi Dasi explained that the new initiative will help connect every devotee to our worldwide community. ISKCON Connection, which will be formally launched on Gaura Purnima day this year, is a 50th anniversary initiative.
After screening a short film about Mayapur on the sixth day of ILS, Brjavilasa Das spoke to the ILS delegates on behalf of the Temple of Vedic Planetarium (TOVP), stressing the importance of Mayapur in the eyes of Srila Prabhupada. He mentioned that Prabhupada had wanted to establish Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu as the yugavatara for this age from the precincts of this temple.
The fifth day of the ILS was the Appearance Day of His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, the spiritual master of Srila Prabhupada. ILS delegates were given a break from seminars on this holy day so that they could spend a day in prayers, meditation, hearing and chanting.
On the fourth day of the ILS, delegates at the plenary session heard a presentation by Anuttama Das, GBC Minister for Communications on the topic, ‘Srila Prabhupada, the greatest communicator’. He explained that we normally associate Prabhupada with his books, letters, conversations and speeches, but we should also remember that Prabhupada was a skilful communicator.
The third day of the ILS started with a presentation on ISKCON’s 50th anniversary by Anuttama Das, GBC Minister for Communications and Pancharatna Das, Executive Member of the International Fiftieth Anniversary Committee. They spoke about the importance of the 50th as an opportunity for glorifying Prabhupada, educating the public, celebrating achievements, and appreciating devotees.
On the second day of the ISKCON Leadership Sanga, Praghosha Das, the GBC Chairman presented several quotes of how Srila Prabhupada’s appearance was predicted in many scriptures and by several spiritual masters. Titled, ‘The greatest story ever told’, his presentation pointed out the five steps Srila Prabhupada had taken to make his institution more effective.
The grand annual Mayapur festival began today with the inaugural session of the ISKCON Leadership Sangha (ILS 2016) with 1,200 delegates attending 87 seminars spread over 12 venues at ISKCON Mayapur. ILS 2016 features a spectacular 50th Anniversary Expo highlighting the achievements of ISKCON, and stalls from various international projects such as Vanipedia, ISKCON Congregation services, TOVP and several others.
Several nights ago there was an incident in Mayapura outside the Conch Building where tempers flared and a scuffle ensued among several dozen devotees. Angry words were exchanged and some began pushing and shoving. One devotee was hit in the head with a stick. There were no serious injuries. However, that such tension has manifest in the Dhama raised concern for many devotees.
The seminars will cover a wide variety of topics such as book distribution, devotee care, communications, team-building, fundraising, and temple administration.
ISKCON Communications Director Anuttama Das and Bhumi Project Director Gopal-Lila Das presented a proposal for a new ISKCON Environmental Initiative at the North American GBC meetings in Chicago this August. The proposal was unanimously accepted, and if successful will see ISKCON temples reducing waste, and increasing renewable energy use.
From the holy day of Janmastami – September 5th -- this year, devotees wishing to take initiation from an ISKCON guru will be required to first pass the ISKCON Disciples Course. The course grew from the ISKCON Guru Seminar, created by the GBC Guru Services Committee in 2008 to educate those taking up the service of guru in how to be effective in caring for their disciples.
The first ISKCON GBC college for leadesrsip and management held at Govardhan Ecovillage, Maharastra, India was a great success. “It’s been a life-changing experience to attend these GBC College sessions,” said Gauranga Simha Das, Co-director for ISKCON Mayapur. “This training has motivated me in such a way that I want to rededicate myself to serving the movement of Srila Prabhupada with more seriousness and vigor.
The GBC College for Leadership Development isn't specifically or exclusively designed to groom future GBCs (ISKCON Governing Body Commissioners). The intention of the GBC is to assist in creating better leaders; devotees who can deeply imbibe Srila Prabhupada's mood and instructions and who can give shelter to devotees and help them feel happy in Krishna-consciousness.
The GBC College for Leadership Development started its first day of its first year of operations today, 8 March 2015, at the Govardhana Ecovillag on the outskirts of Mumbai. The College’s primary focus shall be on contributing to prepare devotees to serve in crucial leadership roles within ISKCON. The hand-picked selection of about 25 devotees traveled from different parts of the world to attend the course.
The GBC’s Strategic Planning Network (SPN) recently concluded its five-day bi-annual meeting in Mayapur. Facilitated by the GBC’s Strategic Planning Team, the numerous SPN committees, made up of GBC members and ISKCON leaders and thinkers from across the globe, continued to explore new ideas and initiatives with the view to providing documents that will form a comprehensive plan for the future of ISKCON.
In a gesture expressing unity of purpose for the service of ISKCON Founder-Acharya, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Praghosa Das, the newly appointed Chairman of the GBC, has announced in Mayapur that 2015, the 50th anniversary of Srila Prabhupada’s arrival in the Western world, is the Year of the TOVP.
On the third day of the ISKCON GBC’s Annual General Meetings there were presentations about a mega kirtan festival, entitled as “Chant for Change”, about the work of ISKCON Deity Worship and Youth Ministries. The GBC members also visited the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium and the Sri Mayapur International School.
On this third and last day, participants took on the task of looking seventy years into the future, when all of Srila Prabhupadas disciples – and even most of the devotees who took initiation not long after Srila Prabhupadas departure – will certainly have left the planet. The participants were asked to envision what kind of ISKCON they would like to see – what a highly successful ISKCON would look like.
After four days of Strategic Planning Network meetings, the GBC Body reconvened with presentations on the ISKCON Disciples Course, the Bhaktivedanta Hospital in Mumbai and Mayapur and on ISKCON's Child Protection Office.
Bhaktivijnana Swami, a GBC leader and preacher in Russia and Israel expresses his appreciation of the strategic planning process, personally witnessing how the culture of strategic planning has dramatically changed the work of the GBC, allowing it to put energy into addressing important issues relevant for the whole Society and its direction for the future, particularly in the area of succession.
Gauranga Das, an experienced trainer and preacher from ISKCON Chowpatty. Here he explains how Lord Caitanya and Srila Prabhupada went to great lengths to ensure that the Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy was properly documented.
Romapada Swami, GBC member of over twenty-two years leading ISKCON in New York, New Jersey and the Midwest of the USA, and also a member of the SPN’s Organizational Development Committee, speaks on how strategic planning has helped him in his GBC service and how it can better assist ISKCON’s leadership to respond to what is required of it.
On Day One of the ISKCON sannyasis and gurus in Mayapu,r participants explored ISKCON’s past, examining the trends in and influences on ISKCON. Following from that, on the second day participants began to look at ISKCON’s present. The meeting’s facilitator’s started with a question: How well do the four groups in the room address the trends in ISKCON.
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. 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.
Today saw the start of the much-anticipated Sanga of Sannyasis, Gurus and GBCs, (SGGS). Over eighty of ISKCON’s most senior leaders and preachers from across the globe gathered in Sri Dhama Mayapur for three days of association, contemplation, and in-depth discussion in response to Srila Prabhupada’s directive to find unity in diversity.
Badrinarayan Swami, a veteran GBC member, with zonal responsibilities in Southern California, Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Idaho, USA, while also taking on service in a number of SPN committees speaks of the steps the GBC is taking to compile “legacy” papers that will compile for future generations answers to a number of the crucial spiritual and managerial questions that have shaped and continue to shape ISKCON. These papers are based on a study of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on particular matters.
Tamohara Das, a GBC member overseeing ISKCONs work in the South East of the United States of America, and serving in the SPN’s Succession Committee, introduces an exciting new project that responds to the growing need to train new leaders for every strata of the ISKCON Society. As a generation of leaders look toward retirement, the need for new leadership is becoming ever more pressing.
Sivarama Swami, a GBC leader, preacher, and educator in Hungary, Romania and Turkey and a member of the SPN’s Organizational Development Committee and Lines of Authority Committee speaks on strategic planning work helping to insure that ISKCON can become the movement Srila Prabhupada and Lord Caitanya envisioned it to be. After all, he says, everything in the spiritual world is strategically planned and organized to the highest standard, for Krishna’s pleasure.
Devakinandana Das from ISKCON Singapore, an international lawyer speaking of his service at ISKCON GBC's Organizational Development Committee and the benefits he takes home to his prabhu-datta-desh from the various initiatives coming out of this work.
As part of the lead up to the ISKCON GBC meetings in Mayapur that will be taking place soon, the Community Relations Office of the Strategic Planning Network published videos taken during last year’s mid-year meetings in Tirupati. In this video Anuttama Das, current GBC Executive Committee chairman and head of the SPN’s Communications Committee speaking on the significant work of the Strategic Planning Team that planned and hosted the successful ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS), which attracted devotee leaders from across world. He also speaks of the positive emphasis during the ILS on the concept of servant leadership.
A Letter to All Devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness from the Executive Committee of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC).
317. Action and Public Statements of Hridayananda Dasa Goswami : The GBC has carefully reviewed the recent action (giving blessings) and the public statements of Hridayananda Maharaja concerning homosexuality. These remain controversial and divisive in ISKCON, and the GBC does not endorse or support them. Teaching obligations have kept Hridayananda Maharaja from attending the GBC meetings this year, so the GBC has not been able to discuss this issue with him.