The GBC Was the "Enemy" of Srila Prabhupada from 1970 Until Today.
The (11) "Zonals
" so-called successor Acaryas demanding equal worship
Dec 11, 2012 CALIFORNIA, USA (SUN) --
The GBC Was the "Enemy" of Srila Prabhupada from 1970 Until Today.
BY: NARA NARAYAN DASA VISHWAKARMA & ROUPA MANJARI DEVI DASI
In 1970 there had been some disturbance in ISKCON which caused Srila Prabhupada to send out a Letter stating He was retiring from ISKCON management in order to write His Books. He segued almost immediately to the meeting in 1970 after Ratha Yatra in San Francisco, in which He created the DOM on official legal document papers, and signed by 3 witnesses, and named 12 men to be the first "round" of GBC (the simple fact is that Srila Prabhupada becoming more and more embroiled by the so-called "managers" that He appointed to various posts, or who had climbed into those posts on their own, wished to relieve THEM of the karmic reactions of bringing such dissatisfaction and fault-finding to their Spiritual Master, who was simply meant to be worshiped and obeyed without question, according to ancient Vaisnava practice). So the GBC was created partly so that they could fight amongst themselves, instead of essentially fighting with Srila Prabhupada over various issues, instead of His writing Books.
The GBC hid their founding document, the Direction of Management, from the Temple Presidents. My husband Nara Narayan dasa Vishwakarma happened to be in New Vrindavan for the first GBC meeting in 1971. (The GBC meetings were later transferred to their present location, which is in Mayapur, West Bengal, during the spring.) The President of that first GBC meeting was excited by the existence of the DOM, and because my husband had an education in literature and legal matters, was excited to show the DOM to my husband. His eyes were twinkling, and he said, "I'm not supposed to show you this document. It is a top secret document, and only meant for the eyes of the GBC to see." My husband quickly glanced through it (he was not allowed more than a glance) and he noticed that Srila Prabhupada had arranged for the GBC to be elected from a "sleight" of Temple Presidents, and that they were to serve only 3 year terms, at which point they would return to their temples to continue their duties. The meeting between the GBC president and my husband was hurried, but my husband was left with a very uneasy feeling. "If the Temple Presidents were to elect the GBC from amongst themselves, then why were they not allowed to see the DOM, or know of its existence?"
At every opportunity, my husband would ask GBC men if he could have another look at that DOM document, and in 1975, one of those GBC snarled at my husband and said: "It is locked in a safe, and you will never have a chance to see it."
The document was basically unknown and unread (what to speak of obeyed) until 1992, when my husband found it online in the Vedabase. No one knew what it was or if it had any significance in particular, but when my husband found it, it seemed to him like accidentally discovering a diamond mine. From that day onward, he propagated awareness of the DOM, to the point that it has now (in 2012) become known and read by practically everyone in the Krishna Consciousness Movement.
The problem is, no one knows what to do.
Four years after Srila Prabhupada brought the DOM into existence as the ISKCON Constitution, the Temple Presidents still had not seen a copy, nor realized that they had the power to vote for the GBC. That is when Srila Prabhupada wrote His (probably) most important Letter marked "TOPMOST URGENCY", pertaining to His desired structure for the Krishna Consciousness Movement.
In that Letter, Srila Prabhupada clearly marked with "TOPMOST URGENCY", that the DOM be installed in the government filing papers of every ISKCON chapter, as the Only Constitution of ISKCON.
The GBC that Srila Prabhupada created flatly refused to accept the Direction of Management, and no one at the time knew about this, because no one had yet seen that document. In 1977, when Srila Prabhupada entered His Samadhi, the GBC announced that they had inherited absolute power from Srila Prabhupada, and that from now on, strict and absolute obedience to the GBC would be required as a condition for membership in ISKCON or even living in a Temple. No one in any of the Temples knew about the DOM.
At the same time that the GBC declared their absolute authority, the 11 "ritviks" named in the July 9th Letter, and selected by Srila Prabhupada from the most dangerous (and most likely to destroy ISKCON) in the whole Movement, declared themselves to be "Pure Devotee" successor gurus to Srila Prabhupada, and announced that they were on the same level of spiritual realization as Srila Prabhupada.
In 1978, just before the GBC meeting in Sridham Mayapur, the "ritvik" "would-be gurus", went to visit Srila Prabhupada's "iffy" Godbrother Sridhara, who had a small ashram in Navadvipa. They boldly sat with Sridhara Maharaj, and announced to him that not only had Srila Prabhupada made them ritviks in His Lifetime, but that His actual intent was that they would become "genuine" successor gurus to Him, after He was gone.
Sridhara Maharaja was totally bewildered by their statement, as he was certain that their ritvik status was supposed to remain and continue with future initiations in the ISKCON Movement. Persistently, the ritvik/would-be "successor acharyas" gradually convinced him that Srila Prabhupada had indeed given them that mandate of Succession. Sridhara Maharaja had already been instrumental in the destruction of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur's clear Directions for the Gaudiya Matha after He was gone, to be run by a Governing Body Commission known as "GBC". Sridhara conspired with other leading Matha managers at that time, and actually elected a ridiculously unqualified man to be "acarya" (this unauthorized "acarya" later on committed suicide, when he realized that he was to be exposed as a complete homosexual fraud).
So now Sridhara Maharaj had somehow been "given" the opportunity to destroy 2 transcendental Missions, in his 1 lifetime. (Considering that he was a "jnani", who would "rather be reading books than be a guru", this was no small feat.)
The next move by the "ritvik"/soon-to-be "successor acarya" gurus was to hold the Mayapur meeting (after the meeting with Sridhara Maharaja) and announce themselves as the successor gurus to Srila Prabhupada, that they were each individually on the same level as Srila Prabhupada, and that Sridhara Maharaja had instructed them to arrange for individual vyasasanas for them in each of the ISKCON Temples (that means 11 vyasasanas besides Srila Prabhupada's Vyasasana in each Temple!).
The devotees in Mayapur in 1978 were astonished by this "revelation", but when they were assured that Srila Prabhupada had requested them to go to Sridhara Maharaja in Navadwipa, specifically to receive "instruction" as to how to establish themselves as "bona fide successors" to Him, the devotees chose to accept this horrendous lie as the truth, and in the GBC "Report" for that year, they began the report with the mysterious statement that "The GBC, in consultation with "Higher Authority" determined that Srila Prabhupada had actually ordered the 11 Ritvik gurus to become actual successors to Srila Prabhupada, and that each one of them was to be considered a pure devotee on the same level as Srila Prabhupada.
GBC representatives paraded themselves through all the ISKCON Temples, explaining in kindly and gentle terms how the etiquette should be there that although these "gurus" were formerly our Godbrothers, that we must understand and be sensitive to the fact that their disciples would see their "guru" the same way that we regarded Srila Prabhupada, and that we should not only respect their adoration, but politely not mention Srila Prabhupada as superior to them by saying such thing as "All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!"
Everyone was bewildered, reeling from the absence of Srila Prabhupada (at that time the GBC had not released any photos from Vrindavan, showing Srila Prabhupada emaciated to the point of skin and bone, with His Face "copper colored", allegedly from metallic poisoning by arsenic). Practically speaking, all the ISKCON devotees imagined Srila Prabhupada to be looking as He did in 1975 -- hale and hearty, and filled with that wonderful rosy energy that everyone adored when they saw Him in Person.
To make matters more confusing, many devotees received instructions directly from Srila Prabhupada, even up to the end of 1977. He gave completely lucid and cogent Instructions and responses to questions that did not give a single hint that He was lying practically comatose and emaciated, with no doctor's prognosis for His ever being able to recover. [At that time, my husband had been in charge of the BBT Art Department (which created the paintings that were used to illustrate Srila Prabhupada's Books from 5th Canto onward) and he (with Ramesvara Maharaj as his immediate superior) would ask questions through Ramesvara, and receive incredibly perceptive and insightful Instructions as to how to design these paintings down to the last detail.]
My husband had heard from so many sources that Srila Prabhupada was "sick" and "not feeling well", but this had been going on for a year, and no one took it that seriously, because everything He wrote did not reflect the presence of illness at all.
So it was a great surprise to everyone when it was announced that Srila Prabhupada was "gone", particularly after His Request that all 5,000 of His disciples be present with Him in Vrindavan, had been rescinded, with everyone told "Just do your service in your Temple instead". We all thought that this meant that Srila Prabhupada was "on the mend".
So thus, this came into existence: Those we now refer to as the bogus "ISKCON gurus".
In less than 2 years from Srila Prabhupada's Departure, trouble began to brew amongst the bogus gurus, who had been "rapturously" accepted by most devotees as their replacement for Srila Prabhupada. (This euphoria extended way beyond the actual "disciples" "initiated" by these new bogus gurus, to the heartbroken disciples who had been initiated by Srila Prabhupada Himself.)
Three of these new "gurus" had begun to exhibit behaviors completely "out of sync" with standards expected of a Pure Devotee. That year, the GBC Resolutions announced that "the new successor gurus were actually not individually Pure Devotees of the Lord on the same level as Srila Prabhupada, because each one of them might have an occasional discrepancy or other, but when the 11 assembled together, that collectively they amounted to being Pure Devotees on the same level as Srila Prabhupada.
Weirdly, no one seemed to notice, and even when some of these "pure devotees" fell down, all that the various Temple devotees would say is, "Jaya Prabhu, all glories to your service Prabhu." From that, the "new gurus", who had thought that once one of their "guru" brethren had fallen down, that the devotees would turn on them in mass rage and "rip the flesh from their bodies" and "gnaw on their bones", concluded that they could do pretty much anything, and the devotees would never suspect how badly they were being cheated by these "frauds".
The GBC created what they called a "Zonal Acarya" system. This meant that each one of the 11 "gurus" held permanent dominion over a certain part of the world. This system went on until 1986.
When Bhavananda was "caught" performing homosexual and pedophilic acts, the assembled Temple Presidents from around the world came to voice their concern for a meeting held by the GBC during the Mayapur festival (1986) that would determine whether or not Bhavananda would be permanently removed as "guru", or whether he would be reinstated after his transgressions had been discovered.
The Temple Presidents lobbied for his further expulsion, and they were assured that they could go back to their Temples, because Bhavananda being expelled was a "sure thing". Treacherously, the GBC who assured the Temple Presidents that Bhavananda would be permanently expelled, voted instead for him to be reinstated as guru in good standing. The Temple Presidents had left days before the vote, and so had no way to further influence the vote, and they sincerely believed the GBC representative who had spoken to them, because that representative had told them that Bhavananda could not be a guru anymore.
My husband attended a meeting of Temple Presidents who had come especially to Mayapur to demand the expulsion of Bhavananda as "diksa guru".
There were 3 reasons why Bhavananda was not permanently expelled, but instead reinstated as guru:
1) He had an avid following amongst the millionaires and billionaires of Calcutta, who gave millions and millions of dollars per year for the Mayapur Temple project.
2) Bhavananda was the initiating guru for Australia, and if he were to be expelled, the GBC feared that his "disciples" would leave the Movement en masse, removing all ISKCON activities from Australia on a permanent basis.
3) The most decisive reason for Bhavananda being reinstated, was that Ambarisa, who had already given millions and millions of his Ford motor company inheritance to fund many important ISKCON projects, stated that if Bhavananda were expelled, that he would never donate another penny to the ISKCON Movement again.
Bhavananda was reinstated, and that evening and all night long, a horrendous deluge came out of nowhere, and winds tore at the palm trees until they were almost sideways. The large, sacred fire in front of the Temple, burned down the shrine in which it had been burning, and in the morning, it was found that the prize Bull in the Goshala had strangled to death on the rope around his neck.
A few months later, Bhavananda was caught once again, and this resulted in the most important shift in the "Guru/GBC" dynamic, in the last 8 1/2 prior years.
Dramatically, the Zonal Acarya system was eliminated by the GBC, and gurus, instead of having their individual "fiefdoms", now came squarely under the absolute authority of the GBC, which then became the most powerful force in the newly hierarchical structure of the post-Prabhupada ISKCON Movement.
Before the dissolution of the Zonal Acarya system, it could be argued that the new "gurus" were the most powerful force in ISKCON, and therefore the greatest problem in terms of obeying Srila Prabhupada's July 9th Letter. After the dissolution of the Zonal Acarya system, the GBC clearly held complete dominion over the successor ISKCON "gurus", and due to their fear that "falldowns" and transgressions amongst these fake gurus would cause major problems for ISKCON, they begin to rule the gurus with an iron hand.
When you read the Mayapur Resolutions every year concerning the gurus, the worship of the gurus, the authority of the gurus, the duties of the gurus, you will find that the Resolutions practically swim around, as they change, reverse, go forward, go sideways, as each year's guru problems have to be solved by the GBC.
As of 2012, the Gurus do not hold very much individual power. They are constantly being "put on probation", "suspended", "reinstated", "sent away to this location or that location", just to keep up the illusion that the system works, and that new devotees can expect some sort of guru to be there for at least a time before that guru falls down.
The disciples of new gurus are told that although their guru is performing diksa, that Srila Prabhupada is their main Guru (although one is told they cannot attain the Mercy of Srila Prabhupada without being first initiated by the bogus guru), who is the Siksa Guru of all those who are initiated. With that acrobatic new concept in place, the GBC had every reason to expect that no matter how many times their gurus fell down, that "disciples" could always rely on Srila Prabhupada being there as the Siksa Guru, who would always be there infallibly on the Absolute Platform, no matter how many times the bogus gurus would fall down, be replaced, and then fall down again.
There are Ritvik devotees that widely publicized that the new ISKCON gurus were bogus, and even accused them of being "child molester gurus", even though there was no noticeable child molestation by gurus since the early 1980s. What these Ritvik devotees exposing the gurus did not grasp, was that by the time they began "exposing" the ISKCON "gurus", was that the Zonal Acarya system had already dissolved, and the bogus gurus had ceased to be the primary problem. The problem was now the GBC.
The incessant (and often highly imaginative) attacks on the "bogus gurus" "as good as Jesus" etc., went a long way to strengthening the "authenticity" of the gurus within ISKCON, as each attack shocked and horrified the disciples, and made them want to defend their "boy scout leader", in the mood of "my dad can beat up your dad".
These constant attacks on the bogus gurus created a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction for the unelected GBC, because the gurus, by this time, had been reduced to the level of "puppets", and no one was attacking the "puppeteer", who was the GBC.
Because of the attacks on the bogus gurus, the GBC was free to act behind the scenes, to increase their autonomy and power exponentially, while none of the Ritviks even noticed.
A second problem occurred, because of the "Ritvik attacks on the gurus". There were only 50 or so Ritviks in the world, whereas there were thousands of devotees who had become disgusted with what appeared to be endless deviations from Srila Prabhupada's Instructions when He was personally present. These thousands of angry devotees were ready to act, but most of them found the majority of attacks on the bogus gurus to be very distasteful and lacking in sattvic or Brahminical quality. They wanted to see a more intelligent approach, but they did not know where to find it.
Once the DOM became known and read by practically every devotee, it was not difficult to turn these dissatisfied non-Ritvik devotees' attention to the fact that the problem, all along, was the GBC, rather than the gurus. Leaving the gurus out of the equation while exposing the horrible, illegal acts of the GBC, has turned out to be a very effective strategy, as there are very few devotees inside or outside of ISKCON who do not have deep and compelling issues with how they have been treated by the GBC. So the rank and file devotees (and even a certain number of the bogus gurus themselves) might find themselves rallying behind the DOM, simply so that they may have free and unfettered space in which to live and breathe.
It is argued that the new disciples are like robotic clones of their guru and will do anything that their guru says. Examination of the lives of those initiated by the bogus gurus proves that this is not a fact. For most initiates in ISKCON today, the guru either is a cliche, a source of brainless quotes to justify whatever the devotee wants to do, or the guru is largely ignored, and certainly not worshiped, except on rare occasions.
We have met many of these initiated devotees, and they often express their "absolute devotion" to their guru. But their behavior demonstrates that except for their "appearance of loyalty to their guru", that they pay little or no attention to their guru at all. That further undermines the mistaken notion that the gurus have the complete and absolute control of those they have initiated.
Further exposure of the bogus gurus has now become an exercise in futility. They were all "fully exposed" 20-30 years ago, so there is no point in continuing this charade. The important fact is that when the bogus GBC (GBC Society of West Bengal) is challenged, not in a court of law but in the Court of Public Opinion, these demoniac controllers of the ISKCON Temples and ISKCON devotees, as well as the ISKCON bogus gurus, will not be able to effectively defend themselves, anymore than the French royalty was able to defend themselves against the uprising of the "fourth estate", which actually was comprised of the peasantry and citizen folk of Paris.
Before the French Revolution, everyone would be terrified at the thought of stepping out into the street and throwing a "rock" at a member of the French Royal Family. They knew they would be dragged away and killed, because their individual act could easily be repelled.
The French Revolution is an extraordinary example of the Court of Public Opinion, because the revolutionaries did not wait for the King to come up with a constitution, but killed him, and all of those around him, numbering in the many thousands. That is the Court of Public Opinion, and once the population, both the present devotees, the "Ritvik" devotees, and those who would love to become devotees, but refuse to join ISKCON because they dread the oppression of the GBC, when joined together, will create that "all-powerful" Court of Public Opinion, and when the present GBC is confronted by this Court of Public Opinion, devotees will flood into their offices, and physically drive them out.
"Exposing" of the bogus gurus by the congregation or "expatriated" devotee population has produced an alarming side effect: NOT ONLY HAVE FEW GURUS BEEN DRIVEN OUT OF ISKCON IN 35 YEARS, BUT THEIR POSITION HAS ACTUALLY BEEN STRENGTHENED. What HAS actually been "accomplished" is that devotees who were within ISKCON, who could have stood their ground to remove the GBC and obey the DOM, were taught by the "exposers" to revile their bogus gurus, with the result that they LEFT ISKCON, rather than staying in ISKCON, to RECTIFY ISKCON for Srila Prabhupada, which would have occurred had they been instead guided to expose the GBC, which would have gained much support within the present ISKCON Temples. The devotees, seeing that their gurus were bogus, and leaving the ISKCON Temples, was very much like a man seeing a thief inside the house, and as a result, choosing to go out into the freezing cold backyard, with others who have done the same.
Now there are exfoliated Ritviks all over the place, who are trying to pursue some form of spiritual life with great difficulty, while the GBC and their guru-slaves are living off of the "fat of the land" in the ISKCON Temples that they stole.
This has not proven to be an effective plan. The gurus are still there. The GBCs are still there. And so many "exfoliated" initiated disciples of Srila Prabhupada are shivering out in the cold.
Gradually, we have come to understand that the primary goal of bashing the gurus, was not to drive the bogus gurus and GBC out of ISKCON, but to drive the devotees themselves out of ISKCON, by which the Temples could be weakened, closed, and even destroyed. To this end, one of the chief "bogus gurus as good as Jesus" proponents has actually tried his best to convince the Indian Secret Service to close all of the ISKCON Temples in India. This is in no way a plan that could be calculated to please Srila Prabhupada, what to speak of Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
We invite everyone who is feeling the pinch of today's gross exploitation and tormenting of the people of this world (which means everyone) to join together to create the Court of Public Opinion to bring Srila Prabhupada's Movement back to its Original Purpose, of being the House, built by Srila Prabhupada, in which the whole world can live.
How can we settle for less?
Your eternal servants,
Roupa Manjari devi dasi and Nara Narayan dasa Vishwakarma --
"Truth means Absolute Truth. Relative truth is conditional and when the conditions fail, the relative truth disappears. But Absolute Truth does not exist on conditions; it is above all conditions. So when we speak of truth, we may take it for the Absolute Truth. And when we speak of approaching the Truth by new ways, we may take it for granted what we want to approach the Truth by the inductive way."
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada,
Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Letter to Jawaharlal Nehru -- Allahabad 20 January, 1952
Please also see:
Direction Of Management
What is the Direction of Management [DOM] ?
Direction Of Management For An Elected GBC