What is the GBC?

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), established the Governing Body Commission (GBC) to be the ultimate managing authority for the society. In ISKCON’s Direction of Management written on July 28, 1970, Srila Prabhupada states:

As we have increased our volume of activities, now I think a Governing Body Commission (hereinafter referred to as the GBC) should be established. I am getting old, 75 years old, therefore at any time I may be out of the scene, therefore I think it is necessary to give instruction to my disciples how they shall manage the whole institution. They are already managing individual centers represented by one president, one secretary and one treasurer, and in my opinion they are doing nice. But we want still more improvement in the standard of temple management, propaganda for Krishna consciousness, distribution of books and literatures, opening of new centers and educating devotees to the right standard.

Srila Prabhupada reaffirmed the position of the GBC in his final will drafted in June, 1977:

The Governing Body Commission (GBC) will be the ultimate managing authority of the entire International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Through legal documents, training, and discourse, Srila Prabhupada clearly identified the GBC as the highest managerial body in ISKCON.

At present, the GBC body is comprised of thirty-four members who are individually responsible for overseeing the management and spiritual standards of ISKCON centers in assigned geographic regions. GBC members also supervise specific projects, initiatives, and ministries. Following the instructions of Srila Prabhupada, the GBC body convenes yearly in Mayapur, West Bengal for their Annual General Meeting, during which time they discuss proposals, specific issues and projects within ISKCON, and pass resolutions by way of a voting process.

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ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC)

ISKCON Governing Body Commission (GBC)

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-Acarya of the International Society for

GBC MEETING HIGHLIGHT REPORT 7 February 2024Revati Raman Das, GBC Chair, welcomed members and initiated the meeting by inviting Niranjana Swami to read excerpts from two 'Conversations with Srila Prabhupada,' one from Geneva 1974 and the other from Mayapur, January 1977.The meeting agenda focused on continuing the reading of the 'Guru Projects and Guru Dakshina' paper presented by Badrinarayan Swami.Several years ago, the international GBC identified the need to establish clarity in the relationship between ISKCON and its diksha-gurus. A committee, consisting of Bhakti Bhusana Swami, Bhanu Swami, Guruprasad Swami, Niranjana Swami, Prahladananda Swami, Ramai Swami, Sivarama Swami, Badrinarayan Swami, and Vraja Vihari Das, was established to work on this issue. The first result of their efforts was the "Harmonizing Lines of Authority" paper, officially approved as an ISKCON position paper in 2015.After completing the "Harmonizing Lines of Authority," the GBC tasked the committee to focus on issues related to "guru-dakshina and guru projects." The paper presented by Badrinarayan Swami at the meeting has evolved from that effort. The committee conducted two worldwide surveys involving diksha-gurus, GBCs, ISKCON deputies, temple presidents, and others.It may be recalled that during the GBC meeting on 24 January, 2024, a step-by-step review of the ‘Guru Projects and Guru Dakshina’ paper presented by Badrinarayan Swami was initiated. During that meeting, Badrinarayan Swami read the preface and the main section, along with examples of challenges concerning lines of authority in relation to ISKCON as a society, gurus, and disciples. The remaining sections of the paper were reviewed at the 7 February, 2024 meeting.Badrinarayan Swami addressed challenges related to guru services and projects, such as the 2018 GBC resolution requiring diksha-gurus to share disciples' databases (with due consideration of data privacy), the mandate for financial accountability and transparency in managing funds, discouraging diksha-gurus' involvement in developing businesses to generate funds for ISKCON, fostering a sense of a broader ISKCON community among disciples, and emphasizing the priority of publishing and distributing Srila Prabhupada's books, highlighting him as siksha-guru for all.Throughout the paper reading, Badrinarayan Swami received feedback and comments from the GBC members on the respective points. The committee's outlined action includes updating the paper with inputs and comments received from the GBC, initiating a survey to the GBC on unresolved issues relating to the paper, and discussing the need for the GBC to develop principles and practices for guru led 'affiliated' and 'associated' projects at the upcoming GBC Annual General Meeting. - Issued by GBC Communications ... See MoreSee Less
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GBC MEETING HIGHLIGHT REPORT 24 January 2024(This is an updated version from what was posted previously)We are pleased to present the 24 January 2024 GBC Meeting Highlight Report, offering a comprehensive overview of the online GBC meeting and the key topics discussed.The meeting commenced with the reading by Madhu Sevita Das. The main agenda discussed during the meeting was Guru Projects and Guru Dakshina.Several years ago, the international GBC held a series of strategic planning sessions and one of the key areas the GBC determined was in need of clarity and established procedures was the relationship between ISKCON and its diksha-gurus. A committee was established to work on this issue, and the first fruit of its efforts was the “Harmonizing Lines of Authority” paper (approved as an official ISKCON position paper in 2015).After the committee completed “Harmonizing Lines of Authority,” the GBC requested them tofocus on issues regarding guru-dakshina and “guru projects.” The paper presented by Badrinarayan Swami at the meeting has grown out of that effort. The committee has conducted two worldwide surveys of diksha-gurus, GBCs, ISKCON deputies, temple presidents and others. Badrinarayan Swami clarified how the paper focuses on the relationship between ISKCON, the GBC, the diksha guru, and the disciple, emphasizing defining principles for spiritual masters, disciples, and various managerial authorities. The paper is divided into two parts: part one outlines principles related to guru services, while the second part aims to build on the foundation of these principles. During the meeting, Badrinayaran Swami read the preface and the main section outlining conduct for gurus, managers, and disciples, along with examples of challenges concerning lines of authority. He invited valuable feedback from the GBC to adjust and improve the paper.The ongoing step-by-step review is being conducted by GBC members through Zoom meetings arranged by GBC EC for paper review and the remaining sections of the paper will be addressed in the next meeting.This paper will be presented and discussed more broadly at the upcoming Sanga for GBC, Guru, and Sannyasis (SGGS) in March 2024 at Mayapur. Once the paper is approved by the GBC, a committee will be established to lead the implementation of these principles and establish the relevant supporting structures.- Issued by GBC Communications ... See MoreSee Less
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Dear Devotees,Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.In honor of the upcoming 150th anniversary of the appearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, we request you to please encourage your congregations to gloriously celebrate this auspicious occasion.Some suggestions for the observance of this festival are shared herein.Please forward them to your temple leaders and communities:-- Organize an exhibition within your temple showcasing the life,achievements, and teachings of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur through multimedia presentations and exhibits that can be displayed in the temple.-- Host a spiritual and cultural festival dedicated to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur — a week full of seminars, kirtans, retreats, drama, discussions all focused on teachings of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta.-- Children's events can be hosted by the local Sunday school.-- Host a kirtan festival where devotees from various ISKCON temples come together for congregational chanting of the holy names in honor of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta.-- Create engaging content for your social media platforms. This could be carousel posts or Instagrams reels, such as: ‘5 facts about Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur’ ‘3 teachings from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur.Thank you very muchHare Krsna,Your servants,Revati Raman DasGuru Prasad SwamiTapana Misra Das,GBC Executive Committee ... See MoreSee Less
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The Governing Body Commission (GBC) hereby encourages and directs all ISKCONleaders, temples, and communities to arrange special celebrations for the150th Anniversary of the appearance of His Divine Grace SrilaBhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja during the months of February and March 2024. This is an important celebration for ISKCON recognizing the very special and unique importance that His Divine Grace Srila BhaktisiddhantaSarasvati Goswami Maharaja has for ISKCON, as the Guru Maharaja of ourFounder-Acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. ... See MoreSee Less
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