ISKCON Management

Gopakumara Das - August 8, 2010 5:33 pm

I should probably be more patient, but I can't help wishing we had 10 more minutes on today's call to hear GM's answer to this question by Arcana-siddhi prabhu: How would things be done differently in ISKCON if you were in charge?


GM's first answer was: "I am in charge!" which I took to be a charming moment of GM's yuddha-vira-rasa or his fighting spirit of chivalry which is manifesting in him in the discussion. However, I also think that despite GM's small group amongst a very large sanga of ISKCON... he carries a very loud voice that is self-effulgent and very big in the greater scheme of ISKCON. This may be the main reason his voice is subjected to 'management' by ISKCON leaders and GBC.


Still, what else might GM say about how things would be different in ISKCON if they knew that he is in charge? Who amongst the current leaders would be utilized in his vision and in which ways?


Here is a sample of something he has recently said about some of the things that would be different in regards to book publishing and management:


In my opinion, Iskcon's BBT should become the premier Gaudiya Vaisnava book publisher in the world, such that other sects and all Gaudiya authors would feel they were most successful if the BBT elected to publish their manuscript. And the BBT should seek out such manuscripts. In other words, if a manuscript on Gaudiya Vaisnavism is worthy of print, the BBT should seek to acquire it and participate in its distribution. Such a policy would bring new life to a sleepy publishing organ that was intended to be the soul of Iskcon's body. This policy would enable Iskcon to interact with other Gaudiya sects on the basis of siddhanta while maintaining its own institutional integrity and style. Rather than pretending that there is no Krsna consciousness outside of itself, Iskcon should be the over-reaching institution that points out Krsna consciousness wherever it is and celebrates and participates in it in a way that affords simultaneous integration and separation.


I am suggesting a bhedabheda unity/diversity policy, one that is both internally bhedabheda and also bhedabheda in relation to other similar institutions. The internal bhedabheda is realized in Prabhupada's policy of decentralization of management (diversity) and centralization of publishing (unity)—one philosophy and many appropriate expressions of it. My suggestion of taking the BBT to a new level of publishing allows Iskcon to make a statement as to its oneness in philosophy with other Gaudiya sects and at the same time maintain its difference with regard to its own institutional integrity, management policies, and so on. Unfortunately, such a revolutionary bhedabheda idea may be acintya (inconceivable) to the present leadership of Iskcon. However, Iskcon's present administration will eventually be replaced by another administration and what may be inconceivable to the present administration may not be so to a future administration.