What is the Direction of Management [DOM] ?
What is Iskcon (International Society for Krishna Consciousness)
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is the creation and property of its Founder and Acarya, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who incorporated the institution as a nonprofit religious organization in the year 1966. Srila Prabhupada, as He is called by His followers, physically departed in the year 1977, leaving the ISKCON movement in the hands of a small group of His leading disciples known collectively as the Governing Body Commission (GBC), appointed previously by Srila Prabhupada to oversee operations within ISKCON and maintain the standards and precepts established by Him. Since that time there have been numerous controversies, scandals and criminal activities throughout the worldwide ISKCON organization (managed by the GBC), resulting in dramatic reduction of membership and worldwide defamation. The original spiritual purpose of this institution has been seriously diminished due to social stigma, and the current standards and practices of ISKCON reveal a dramatic departure from those of the institution bearing the same name 40 years ago when Srila Prabhupada was personally present. To reconcile the ISKCON of 40 years ago with the ISKCON of today, and to restore the ISKCON intended by Srila Prabhupada, it is necessary to analyze the chain of events that took place between then and now.
On July 28th, 1970, Srila Prabhupada presented to the ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC) (which He has formed himself) a signed order that was to function as the essential Managing Structure for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) from that point onward – The Direction of Management. This order went ignored by the GBC, and failed to reach the thousands of individuals composing the rest of the ISKCON membership, most notably the Temple Presidents (one per temple), to whom the document specifically pertained. When Srila Prabhupada discovered the GBC’s rejection of His Direction of Management order in 1974, He again issued the order for the Direction of Management in a letter marked "TOPMOST URGENCY". Just as in 1970, this second order for the Direction of Management went ignored and largely uncommunicated to the ISKCON public.
The ramifications of the disobedience of the 1970 Direction of Management order are complex, and at the root of all ISKCON activities of a questionable nature that have transpired from its inception to the present day. This website is created by disciples of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, to reveal the Direction of Management and its re-statement, the "TOPMOST URGENCY" letter to the public, and associated items. Our goal in presenting this information is to create a surge of interest throughout ISKCON leading to public advocacy for the establishment of the Direction of Management, and all other orders of ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya Srila Prabhupada, into the incorporation papers, charters, and legal contracts of all ISKCON temples.
Every written order of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada is to be followed "As It Is", just as His Bhagavad Gita presents Lord Krishna’s Order "As It Is". His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada, by virtue of being an Uttama Adhikari, exists and speaks on the same exact platform as Sri Krishna, and therefore can be known and understood as the “Person Bhagavat”. As such, we can consider His Divine Words to be equal to and as substantive as Divine Scripture. For this reason, His Direction of Management of 1970 must be considered to be equal to revealed scripture itself. Disobedience of the direct order of the Pure Devotee, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, is not in any way different from direct and deliberate disobedience of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krishna Himself.
What is the Direction of Management [DOM] ?
The Direction of Management is a legal document that was written and signed into effect by Srila Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, on July 28th, 1970, shortly after the Ratha Yatra festival in San Francisco. His purpose in so doing was to establish the group now commonly referred to as “GBC”, or the Governing Body Commission, for the purpose of executing His Instructions for the management and growth of ISKCON during the time after He departed from this world and would no longer be personally present to direct the functions and activities of ISKCON.
There are 9 Articles comprising the Direction of Management, and they are as follows:
PARTICULARS OF THE GOVERNING BODY COMMISSION (GBC)
“The purpose of the Governing Body Commission is to act as the instrument for the execution of the Will of His Divine Grace. And further,
1. The GBC oversees all operations and management of ISKCON, as it receives direction from Srila Prabhupada and His Divine Grace has the final approval in all matters.
2. His Divine Grace will select the initial 12 members of the GBC. In the succeeding years the GBC will be elected by a vote of all Temple presidents who will vote for 8 from a ballot of all Temple presidents, which may also include any secretary who is in charge of a Temple. Those 8 with the greatest number of votes will be members for the next term of GBC. Srila Prabhupada will choose to retain four commissioners. In the event of Srila Prabhupada’s absence, the retiring members will decide which four will remain.
3. The commissioners will serve for a period of 3 years, and they may be re-elected at the end of this period.
4. The chairman is elected by the GBC for each meeting. He has no veto power, but in even of a vote tie, his vote will decide. The same will apply for votes cast by mail between regular meetings.
5. Throughout the year, each of the commissioners will stay with His Divine Grace for one month at a time and keep the other commissioners informed of His Divine Grace’s instructions.
6. The primary objective of the GBC is to organize the opening of new Temples and to maintain the established Temples.
7. Advice will be given by the GBC in cases of real property purchases, which will be in the name of ISKCON, INC. (Trucks or other vehicles will be purchased in the name of the local president).
8. Removal of a Temple president by the GBC requires support by the local Temple members.
9. The GBC has no jurisdiction in the publication of manuscripts, which will be handled by a separate committee; profits to be returned to Srila Prabhupada.”
These 9 Articles make clear the jurisdiction of the GBC, and subjects them to election every 3 years by the ISKCON Temple Presidents, making the GBC little more than a rotating group of elected officials who have no real power other to oversee the growth and maintenance of the ISKCON Movement, and to implement Srila Prabhupada’s Will via His Instructions during the length of their tenure.
The group presently known as the "GBC" is self-appointed, non-elected, and has members who have held their positions for decades. The DOM procedure of election by Temple Presidents for a temporary term has never been enacted, and the power structure of ISKCON is such that all control is in their hands, rather than the hands of the congregational members worldwide, numbering 6-7 million. This centralized structure is against the wishes of Srila Prabhupada, who wrote specifically and repeatedly His Desire for independent, autonomous, self-governed ISKCON Temples with only mild oversight by the GBC,to ensure the upholding of the standards and principles set by Srila Prabhupada for devotees worldwide. Srila Prabhupada stresses repeatedly the limitation of jurisdiction of the GBC, that they are simply there to make sure things are going on nicely, but the position the GBC has assumed as of today is far beyond what Srila Prabhupada authorized them to have. Instead of a loose supervisory board, the GBC has illegally assumed dictatorial powers, consolidating all of ISKCON’s assets, finances and properties under names separate from Srila Prabhupada’s non-profit incorporation, ISKCON, Inc., and rule ISKCON in the form of a dictatorship, while freely changing Srila Prabhupada’s Books and Vani via stolen copyrights and false attribution.
People around the world are beginning to learn more about the existence of the Direction of Management, and when enough voices begin to call out for the immediate enactment of this vital Instruction from Srila Prabhupada, the DOM, the sooner we can have ISKCON as it was intended to be by Srila Prabhupada, not what it has been unauthorizedly reduced to by the self-interested “GBC”. In fact the group that we refer to presently as “GBC” is not actually a GBC at all. 1993 was the last year ISKCON had its GBC, when this group left ISKCON altogether and began their own group, a private corporation based out of India: ”GBC Society of West Bengal”. This group is not actually the Governing Board Commission, founded by Srila Prabhupada in the Direction of Management of 1970, but a “GBC” in name only: They are not related to ISKCON at all. This leads us to the conclusion that ISKCON, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, does not have a GBC at all, but is the subject of a group artificially referring to themselves as “GBC”, who are actually nothing more than people who were once initiated followers of Srila Prabhupada, but who now unauthorizedly control His ISKCON Movement, and utilize their stolen power in order to enact changes (such as Book modifications, property transfers, Kirtan Melody replacement and deviant worship standards) that have zero approval from Srila Prabhupada.
The first step to reclaiming the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is to implement the DOM, our God-given constitutional rights from Srila Prabhupada, and electing a true GBC. Such a GBC will act as the servants of the Temple Presidents, who will act as the servants of the congregations, rather than the other way around. ISKCON by the DOM means a perfectly internally balanced system of checks and balances, giving autonomy and self-rule to each Temple and in fact to every individual comprising the ISKCON body. In this way ISKCON can spread unlimitedly without threat from any person or group, inside our outside, giving its members the freedom to work cooperatively together to expand the Movement and gradually take over the modern world with the highest Vedic standards of Daiva Varnasrama Dharma, Srila Prabhupada’s Vision for the world in this Golden Age of Kali Yuga. This is our first step to a Krishna Conscious world, and the deliverance of mankind from this world of illusion. By the Direction of Management, we can and will pave the path to a perfect world, through the total prevention of corruption and deviation found only where one man believes himself to be inferior to another. We have the responsibility to liberate ourselves from such a material conception of life via the implementation of Srila Prabhupada’s DOM order, and thus embark upon the path of self realization, which exists exclusively upon the Spiritual Platform, and is available to all living beings.
Srila Prabhupada's "Direction of Management"
From: Nara Narayan Vishwakarma das [Nathan Zakheim]
Date: Sunday, August 14, 2005
Aug 10, USA (SUN) -- Presented at Gathering for Apologies to Gurukulies,
New Dwarka, August 5, 2005.
My dear Gurukul alumni, fellow parents, and GBC representatives.
I feel deep appreciation for the opportunity to address a subject
of such great importance to the healthy continuation of our Krishna Conscious
Society. The subject at hand is the "Direction of Management", introduced
by Srila Prabhupada in 1970, with the first GBC meeting held in the spring of
1971 at New Vrindaban. This vital document, virtually unknown to the Temple Presidents
and Congregations of our Iskcon society, was meant by Srila Prabhupada to be the
Constitution of Iskcon for the next ten thousand years. Its absence has created
a great chasm in this movement; and its introduction, after a lapse of thirty
five years, will help to heal the wounds suffered by one and all during that exact
same span of time.
Today, the GBC is appearing before us to deliver a formal Court
ordered apology to you, the abused victims of a Gurukula created by Srila Prabhupada
to bring you to the highest order of Brahminical training. And what was this Brahminical
training supposed to do?
You were meant to not only take up the management of the world
wide Iskcon Movement, but to lead the Humanity at large Back to Home Back to Godhead
in His name.
This Brahminical training was effectively crushed by those who
wished to remain in perpetual power in non-elected positions that guaranteed two
No accountability to your mothers and fathers for how you were
being treated in the Gurukula.
A virtual guarantee that the unelected GBC's would cover
up (to protect Iskcon!) any crimes committed against you.
Did Srila Prabhupada provide a protective "safe place"
for you, your parents and your families?
YES HE DID!
What was this called?
It was called "THE DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT" (DOM),
and although well known by the GBC and the leaders of Iskcon, your parents and
temple leaders were never shown a copy of it or told you and your families that
the Direction of Management GUARANTEED YOU CERTAIN PROTECTIONS AND "GOD GIVEN
RIGHTS" that were kept secret over the last thirty five years.
It may surprise some of you to learn that after a 1970 attempt
by four sanyassis to overthrow Srila Prabhupada and declare themselves to be Acharya,
Srila Prabhupada, together with the remaining loyal Iskcon leaders created a document
which He named "THE DIRECTION OF MANAGEMENT" by which He created the
the same GBC that covered up your molestations and abuse two or three
years after this sacred document was created by Srila Prabhupada.
So, What is the "Direction of Management" and why should
we be interested in this neglected Order of the Spiritual Master thirty-five years
The Direction of Management does two things:
The Direction of Management creates a democratically elected
GBC to represent the Iskcon Temples, just as the US Senate represents the 50 states
of the United States. The GBC is to be elected every three years from a slate
of candidates nominated by the Temple Presidents. Far from having "Absolute
Powers" the GBC is meant to be the SERVANT of the interests of the Iskcon
Temples and their Congregations.
The Direction of management PROTECTS the individual temples and
congregations from potential abuses by the GBC. If the GBC were not subject to
"checks and balances" from the Temple Presidents and Congregations,
abuses would inevitably occur. The very significance of the meeting in which we
find ourselves today rests on the fact that THESE ABUSESDID INDEED OCCUR!
I attended a 1971 meeting in New Vrindaban where the Direction
of Management was introduced to the GBC and the first GBC meeting took place there
with Rupanuga prabhu as the chair of the meeting. He showed me the DOM and proudly
stated that it was the "new constitution for Iskcon". I read it, and
remembered many important passages. I particularly read the part about the GBC
being an elected body.
So what happened to the Direction of Management (DOM) ?
After 1971 I tried to find a copy, but there were none nor were
the GBC of 1975 willing to let me see a copy.
Even to this day, I do not know of anyone who had ever seen the
Constitution of Iskcon (DOM) at that time. (Surely, each and every Iskcon member
would be given a copy of it before taking initiation
1n 1972, a secret GBC meeting (referred by Srila Prabhupada as
a "conspiracy") effectively replaced the DOM with a centralized corporate
structure. Srila Prabhupada was neither informed of the meeting nor invited to
it. When Srila Prabhupada learned of the meeting, He disbanded the GBC and ordered
all temples to ignore any directives generated by the GBC until further notice.
In 1974, He issued a paper marked "TOPMOST URGENCY"
that ordered that the DOM be added to all Iskcon temple non-profit corporation
charters. In other words, in the Iskcon world, the DOM was once again to be introduced
as the LAW OF THE LAND" under Srila Prabhupada's order.
THAT ORDER WAS ALSO NOT OBEYED.
It was only after deep contemplation that it occurred to me that
had the Direction of Management been in place, FEW IF ANY OF THE ILLS OF ISKCON
WOULD HAVE OCCURRED! (Or at least such things would have been minimal). The molestation
and abuse of the Children of Iskcon on the part of such "absolute" leaders
as Bhavananda, Kirtanananda, Jagadish, etc. clearly led to PREVENTING THE NEW
CROP OF BRAHMINS FROM TAKING LEADERSHIP POSITIONS WITHIN ISKCON, WHICH WOULD HAVE
TAKEN AWAY THE FIRST GENERATION'S POSITIONS OF POWER, DUE TO THE HIGHER QUALIFICATIONS
THAT SRILA PRABHUPADA CLEARLY STATED THAT THE PURE BRAHMIN GURUKULA GRADUATES
As a result, very few Gurukulies have taken over any positions
of power within the movement, even though they themselves are approaching middle
age; ages double those of us who started the Iskcon temples in the first place!
Simply put, if we clarify the history of Iskcon into "pre-DOM"
and "post DOM" we can see that there is no way that the GBC could have
legally or ethically take on the absolute" powers that enabled them
to "pull the wool" over your parent's eyes.
I made my "breakthrough" in the matter of understanding
what an ISKCON obedient to the Direction of Management would have been like, by
using my imagination to create a "proto-movement" that had joyfully
and obediently accepted the DOM starting with summer 1970 and continuing until
(Of course, if we had accepted the DOM in 1970, we would have
probably been observing Srila Prabhupada's disappearance day in 1988!)
I saw good GBC's elected, I saw little, if any, child abuse and
molestation, I saw no drug dealing, murders, cults illegal money rackets etc.
I saw millions and millions of books printed, and saw many thousands of temples
opened. I saw second generation Brahmins training the public in thousands of temples
to accept the principles of Krishna Consciousness. I saw 'Nagar Sankirtan"
conducted by thousands of men and women daily in all the major cities of the world!
Most importantly, I saw the movement run by second and third generation Gurukula
graduates who had learned the art of the "Rajarshi" !.. I saw the Gurukula
graduates advising current heads of state or become elected as heads of state
I saw the "Acharya in the center" in hundreds of thousands
of Iskcon temples all over the world, and I saw India rising up as a Krishna Conscious
nation. I saw whole islands such as Madagascar becoming Krishna Conscious states,
I saw the High Court Judges wearing Tilak, and I saw a reduction in war, abortion,
animal slaughter, atmospheric pollution... and many other wonderful things.
.....And then I opened my eyes, and saw what greed, sexual perversion
and plain stupidity had done to mis-represent what Srila Prabhupada offered to
us in the first place....In 1970, he wrote, "I have given you Vaikuntha,
and you have turned it into Hell"
He introduced the DOM in 1970 to counteract that "Hell"
but the document was never released to the Temple Presidents and Congregations...
to the immense loss to ourselves and the entire humanity at large.
This paper has been presented to you for your consideration.
I hope that the GBC will make part of their apology an apology for having deprived
you of your basic Rights guaranteed by Srila Prabhupada himself at a time that
would have made your Gurukula sufferings very unlikely to occur.
Both we, your parents, or those of your parent's generation
as well as the GBC must apologize to you for this!
So I beg all of you; GBC, parents, and graduates of the Gurukula
to read this Direction of Management carefully, and to let yourselves dream and
imagine a Krishna Conscious world such as Srila Prabhupada envisioned for us when
He wrote the Direction of Management; free from the type of abuses for which you
are receiving an apology today.
Your humble and eternal servant,
Nara Narayan Vishwakarma das
Please also see:
Direction Of Management
Direction Of Management For An Elected GBC