Varnasrama Ministry Formed !


On November 10th, The IRGB passed a resolution establishing the national ministry for varnasrama development in India.

This is good news for devotees who are trying to push the Varnasrama development movement in ISKCON. With the world everyday slipping into Recession and stock market crashes, the days are not far when people will have to simplify their lifestyle, rather adopt the village or rural model for a happy living. Continue reading

ISKCON GBC Representatives Meet With Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja


A Joint Statement of: The BHAKTI Trust Public Affairs Office and the ISKCON Communications Ministry

October 24, 2009,

Vrindavana, India – On October 17, five representatives of Governing Body Commission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), founder-acarya His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, forming an official delegation, met with Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaja, founder-acarya of the BHAKTI Trust Mission, near the pilgrimage site of Govardhana Hill, just a few miles from Vrindavana, India. The meeting, which had been planned for several months, was held at Narayana Maharaja’s Sri Sri Gauranga Radha Giridhari temple at Giridhari Gaudiya Math. Continue reading

‘Building Bridges’ Conference Heralds Bold Take on Outreach



Washington, DC – For the more than fifty ISKCON devotees who gathered here to attend the “Building Bridges” conference last month, there was good news and bad news. The bad news was that – judging by comments made by almost all of the conference’s esteemed presenters – the “good old days” of ISKCON’s in-your-face preaching have been officially declared dead. The good news, of course, was that the “good old days” of ISKCON’s in-your-face preaching have been officially declared dead.

ISKCON Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada. The Building Bridges conference explored how best to serve his mission of sharing Krishna with an increasingly post-modern world. (The deity pictured here is at the home of Anuttama Prabhu and Rukmini Devi, who helped to organize the event.)

“I wonder if we might not just retire the word preach altogether,” suggested participant Rukmini Devi Dasi, an ISKCON devotee since 1968. “It has such a negative connotation these days, and seems so condescending. I think we should just stop using it.”

How did a conference dedicated to outreach end up offering the funeral eulogy for “preaching” as-we-know-it? By challenging participants to re-vision what it means to share Krishna with others in the 21st Century.

“We [in ISKCON] are doing too much navel-gazing these days,” keynote presenter Devamrita Swami playfully complained to the packed temple-room audience during his talk on Sustainability Outreach. “We need to learn how to get back in touch with people in a way that is relevant to where they are at.” Continue reading

February 22-23, Final Days of the GBC Meetings


[Note from ATD: I apologize and take responsibility for the prolonged delay in sending out this final report.]

February 22-23, the last two days of the 2009 GBC meetings, predominantly consisted of final voting and zonal assignments.

Every year, each GBC member’s zonal areas of responsibility are reviewed and ratified for the coming year. It is interesting to note a gradual shift over the years with an increasing number of GBC members preferring to share their zonal duties with one or more “co-GBCs”. This holds true not just for major projects like Mayapur, which has a six-man GBC committee, but even for smaller yatras like Latvia, Bangladesh, and Honduras. Another recent development is a number of non-GBC members holding zonal responsibilities. Continue reading

ISKCON Leadership Education And Development System (ISKCON LEADS)



JUHU, INDIA – Under the direction and inspiration of the GBC Succession Committee, Indian Regional Governing Body Members and Zonal Secretaries met with top ISKCON educators in India on numerous occasions since November 2008. This resulted in the birth of the ISKCON LEADS training program. ISKCON LEADS is an acronym for ISKCON Leadership Education And Development System.

ISKCON LEADS gives current leaders an excellent opportunity to identify potential leaders within their temples, regions and zones. Selected candidates enter a comprehensive training program of seventeen courses of four or five days each. This totals 89 days to be completed within a period of three years. The program covers Inter-Personal Spiritual Development, Missionary & Family Spirit Development and ISKCON Institutional Development. Please see attached document for details of the ISKCON LEADS program. Continue reading

AGM – Minutes of ISKCON GBC (12-23/2/2009)

ISKCON devotees shall instruct new members to take shelter of Srila Prabhupada and to receive guidance, training and assistance from those who are practically and directly instructing them in Krishna consciousness. ISKCON members shall choose when and from whom they wish to request initiation. They must focus their attention on Srila Prabhupada as the Founder-Acarya and as their preeminent siksa guru. After having established a solid relationship with His Divine Grace’s vani, and after a minimum of six months of strict sadhana, they may accept an authorized ISKCON devotee as a prospective diksa guru, and after a subsequent minimum of six months, accept vaisnava diksa from him or her. It should be understood that the purpose of siksa and diksa within ISKCON is to strengthen the devotee’s relationship with Srila Prabhupada in terms of fidelity, attachment, and affection…..CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

AGM – ISKCON GBC 17/2/2009 (Day 6)


MAYAPUR, INDIA – February 17 was the final day of the strategic planning portion of the AGM. After the opening kirtan, Srimad-Bhagavatam reading and quorum check, the subcommittees met and then reported back to the meeting hall at 12:30 pm. There are nine strategic planning subcommittees, seven of which made presentations:
1. Succession and Leadership Training
2. Srila Prabhupada’s Position
3. Constitution
4. Preaching (formerly Core Strategies/Book Distribution)
5. Parallel Lines of Authority
6. Devotee Care
7. Organizational Development
8. Global Development
9. Team Building Continue reading

AGM – ISKCON GBC 15-16/2/2009 (Day 4-5)


MAYAPUR, INDIA – For the last several years, strategic planning has been a major theme of the GBC meetings. Several days of the Annual General Meeting, as well as the second GBC meeting later in the year, is exclusively focused on this important theme. This year was no exception. Days four through six saw all regular work shelved and the entire Body, plus many other devotees, come together to proactively discuss the best way for the GBC and ISKCON to prepare for the future. Continue reading

AGM – ISKCON GBC 13-14/2/2009 (Day 2 and 3)


mandirMAYAPUR, INDIA – The second day of the GBC meetings opened with a presentation by the Law Book Committee. Aniruddha Prabhu presented the progress of the committee in revising the current law book which contains constitutional principles, action orders, rules of order, administrative guidelines and governing law. The committee is working to classify and update the new law book for ease of use. A major highlight of their work has been the creation of a searchable wiki with the last ten years of GBC Resolutions and previous version of the Law Book. Continue reading

AGM – ISKCON GBC 12/2/2009 (1st Day)


mandirMAYAPUR (INDIA) – The 2009 Annual General Meeting of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission commenced with arati and guru-puja kirtana to Srila Prabhupada, who is present in murti form in the meeting hall. Apart from the large murti, this year there is a small murti of Srila Prabhupada fixed on a beautiful altar near the Chairman’s seat. After the reading of Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.16, Ramai Swami, Chairman, began the proceedings by explaining the absence of several members, mostly due to health issues. He also gave a brief summary of the Executive Committee’s work during the year. Continue reading