GBC: Communicating Effectively – Establishing ISKCON Legislation – Establishing Checks & Balances

Hare KrishnaBy the GBC

Srila Prabhupada wrote: “A GBC member cannot go beyond the jurisdiction of his power. We are in the experimental stage but in the next meeting of the GBC members they should form a constitution how the GBC members manage the whole affair.” (Letter to Giriraja, August 12, 1971) The constitution will enshrine the underlying fundamental principles on which all ISKCON laws should be based. Srila Prabhupada established the GBC as the “ultimate managing authority” for ISKCON. A structure that gives final, ultimate, and supreme authority to the GBC may raise concerns about the possibility of a dictatorial or oppressive governance. But “ultimate” does not mean the GBC has “absolute” authority. In fact, an essential element of Srila Prabhupada’s teachings is that ISKCON leaders, including the GBC and its members, must recognize and respect the dignity and rights of the individuals and communities. Srila Prabhupada wrote: “I have chosen my best men to be GBC and I do not want that the GBC should be disrespectful to the temple presidents.” (Letter to All Governing Board Commissioners, May 19, 1976)