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 HIGHLIGHTS REPORT 29 May 2024We are pleased to present the GBC Meeting Highlight Report for the GBC Meeting held on 29 May 2024. This report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the online GBC meeting highlighting key topics discussed. The meeting commenced with Prahladananda Swami leading the pranams (invocation prayers) followed by a reading by Krishnadas Kaviraj Das from SB 6.15.26. The GBC addressed four important topics at the meeting: 1. Ratify the Appointment of Secretary for West Bengal Society: Every year the GBC appoints the Secretary for West Bengal Society, Gopal Krishna Goswami served as the current Secretary for the GBC West Bengal Society, and with his passing, the GBC discussed the appointment of a new Secretary. At the AGM 2024, Revati Raman Das was appointed as the second-in-line signatory for the West Bengal Society. Members voted in favor of his appointment as the Secretary until the next AGM 2025. 2. Prioritize the Appointment of Two GBC Members to India Governing Council (Bureau):In relation to GBC members participation on the India Governing Council (Bureau), the appointment of new GBC members to the Bureau is long overdue. The recent departure of Gopal Krishna Goswami, combined with the recent resignation of Radhanath Swami, has accentuated the need for GBC members appointment at the Bureau. The GBC therefore formally recommends to India Governing Council (Bureau) to appoint two GBC members, namely Gauranga Das and Tapana Misra Das, both Indian citizens, as India Governing Council (Bureau) members on priority.3. Ratification of Regional Secretary Assistants in India as Zonal Supervisors: The GBC reviews and approves Zonal Supervisors serving in respective RGBs and National Council. Despite the system being introduced since 2015, no such formal recommendations were made by India Governing Council (Bureau) till date. It was therefore discussed and agreed by the GBC that the Regional Secretary Assistants in India be considered as Zonal Supervisors. The GBC, in its next zoom meeting, will examine and approve an updated list of Zonal Supervisors that India Governing Council (Bureau) has previously appointed.4. Appointment of Govardhan Das as GBC for East Africa: The local East Africa leadership has extended an invitation to Govardhan Das to visit and inspire devotees in the region. Gopal Krishna Goswami had verbally expressed desire for Govardhan Das to serve as Co-GBC for East Africa. The global zones of Gopal Krishna Goswami are managed by the GBC EC until AGM 2025 as previously reported. The GBC voted in favor of Govardhan Das taking on the service of GBC for East Africa temporarily until AGM 2025, with approval and support from the local management. - Issued by GBC Communications ... See MoreSee Less
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GBC MEETING HIGHLIGHTS REPORT 15 May 2024We are pleased to present the GBC Meeting Report for 15 May 2024, providing a comprehensive overview of the online GBC meeting.The meeting commenced with a reading by Bhakti Caitanya Swami of Srila Prabhupada’s letter of 5 November 1972 to Satsvarupa Das Goswami, emphasizing the need for leaders to be committed to their service. The GBC commended Gopal Krishna Goswami’s Will as an ideal example of this commitment and dedication.The GBC continued its discussion on the urgent actions required in light of the departure of Gopal Krishna Goswami. In the preceding week, the GBC convened a special general meeting to discuss the smooth transition of responsibilities for Gopal Krishna Goswami’s zone. This meeting focused on Maharaja's role as the chair of the India Governing Council (Bureau). The India Governing Council (Bureau) was established by Srila Prabhupada as the legal entity for ISKCON in India. The Bureau plays a vital role in ensuring legal and tax compliance and the effective functioning of ISKCON in India.Gopal Krishna Goswami was an important link between the GBC and the India Governing Council (Bureau). The members discussed the importance of furthering the alignment between the GBC and the India Bureau. A priority is ensuring greater inclusion of GBC members serving in India, as India Bureau members. Members suggested that the standing GBC-Bureau Relationship Committee which includes GBC EC representation lead these discussions. The need for GBC representation and integration is an existing requirement of all Regional Governing Bodies (RGB) and National Councils. This arrangement has been demonstrated to be highly effective in ensuring the harmonisation of global and regional contexts and priorities such as the RGBS in Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America, etc. A further priority is ensuring that the rules and regulations of all regional and national entities allow for a decision to be reconsidered, in the unlikely event of the majority of represented GBC members not supporting a particular decision. The meeting concluded with members voting in favour of a directional vote. The members underscored the need for this directive to be realized with sensitivity and reciprocal respect between the GBC and the respective RGBs. ____________________________________Footnotes: 1) Rules of Order for Regional Governing Bodies (ISKCON Law, provisional), Whereas it is important to ensure local decision making within ISKCON while maintaining the will of Srila Prabhupada that the GBC is the ultimate managerial authority of ISKCON;RESOLVED:That all Regional Governing Bodies (RGBs), Continental Committees, and Divisional and National Councils provisionally accept and function on the principle that whenever the majority of GBC members present in their respective meetings are not in favor of a proposed resolution, the said resolution will go for more discussion until the majority of GBC members present are in agreement.- 2010 GBC Resolution2). 3.4.1 ISKCON Regional Governing Bodies Definition:An "ISKCON Regional Governing Body" ("RGB") is a formally constituted body that performs certain managerial functions on behalf of the GBC Body for conduct of the affairs of the ISKCON society within a clearly designated contiguous geographical area, called a "Region," consisting of either a single country or a group of contiguous countries. Functions Delegated by the GBC Body to RGB's If the GBC Body delegates a particular function to a Regional Governing Body, then any decision of the RGB within the scope of that function is binding within the Region as if the decision had been made by the full GBC Body, but it may be overruled by majority vote of the GBC Body.There are minimum delegated functions as well as optional delegated functions3. Minimum Delegated Functions:The functions that are delegated to an RGB by the GBC Body shall include, as a minimum, the following: 1. To serve as a forum for increasing coordination of the overall preaching strategy in the Region.2. To serve as a forum for increasing the coordination of the implementation of GBC policies, guidelines and resolutions applicable within the Region.3. Subdivision of the Region into Divisions for the purpose of organizing Divisional Councils as described below, in consultation with all Zonal Secretaries actively functioning in the Region.4. Making recommendations to the GBC Body, where appropriate, for GBC legislation.5. Making recommendations to any Zonal Secretary or other ISKCON official functioning within the Region on matters concerning the affairs of the Region.6. Appointment of Regional Ministers, Committees, etc., as it deems necessary for the conduct of its delegated functions.7. Resolution of any conflicts within the Region that are beyond the scope of any Divisional Councils constituted within the Region. This includes handling of complaints on Regional matters referred to it by the GBC Body, the Divisional Councils, any ISKCON official or body, or from individuals.8. Where necessary and appropriate, undertaking disciplinary action against ISKCON officials and/or other devotees serving within the Region, as allowed under ISKCON law for such a body.- 2002 GBC Resolution Update 2010: That all Regional Governing Bodies (RGBs), Continental Committees, and Divisional and National Councils provisionally accept and function on the principle that whenever the majority of GBC members present in their respective meetings are not in favor of a proposed resolution, the said resolution will go for more discussion until the majority of GBC members present are in agreement. - Issued by GBC Communications ... See MoreSee Less
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GBC MEETING HIGHLIGHTS REPORT 10 May 2024 The GBC Executive Committee (EC) convened a special general meeting on 10 May 2024 to discuss two topics: 1) the smooth transition of responsibilities for Gopal Krishna Goswami’s zones following his passing, and, 2) Jayapataka Swami’s health update and additional support for his zones1. Smooth Transition Of Responsibilities For Gopal Krishna Goswami’s Zone Following His Passing:Members reflected on a lifetime of tireless services rendered by Gopal Krishna Goswami both in India, and in the West. A few members reminisced about Gopal Krishna Goswami and glorified his exceptional contribution to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON.Guru Prasad Swami, Chair of the GBC, conveyed his appreciation to the members for their participation in addressing this important issue. Tapana Misra Das shared a thorough narrative of Gopal Krishna Goswami's passing and the darshan and samadhi ceremonies held at ISKCON Delhi and ISKCON Vrindavan respectively. Tapan Mishra Das had read the GBC’s tributes on their behalf at Gopal Krishna Goswami’s memorial held at ISKCON VrindavanThe GBC reviewed the extensive list of zones managed by Gopal Krishna Goswami, including India, Central and East Africa, South Russia, and Canada, and discussed a way forward for transitioning leadership smoothly. Gopal Krishna Goswami recommended Guru Prasad Swami as his Co-GBC for India — an arrangement which Gopal Krishna Maharaja initiated some months ago.Guru Prasad Swami confirmed his willingness to assume this role, which the GBC members approved. The GBC resolved to appoint Guru Prasad Swami as the GBC Zonal Secretary for Gopal Krishna Goswami's Indian zones until the 2025 AGM, with a review at that time.For zones outside India, the GBC EC will temporarily oversee these zones until the 2025 AGM, working in consultation with relevant Regional Governing Bodies and other local leaders. This was accepted as a transitional measure and follows established GBC precedence. It was also resolved that the GBC Body recommends the nomination of Rishi Kumara Das, Rukmini Krishna Das and Sundar Gopal Das as Zonal Supervisors for the zones presented.The GBC is fully committed to supporting the disciples and zones of Gopal Krishna Goswami and serving in the spirit of unity and cooperation for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada, as Gopal Krishna Goswami exemplified.2. Jayapataka Swami’s Health Update And Management Of His Zones:Revati Raman Das and Tapana Misra Das provided updates on their visit to Jayapataka Swami in Delhi, where Maharaja remains hospitalised and continues to receive dialysis and other treatments. The GBC was relieved to hear that Maharaja's health was stable and improving. The GBC addressed the importance of strengthening the leadership capacity in the areas under Jayapataka Swami's management. The GBC resolved that the GBC EC will consult and engage with Jayapataka Swami and relevant leaders to support and where necessary reinforce leadership capacity in zones where Jayapataka Swami serves as the sole GBC and if required, in zones where Jayapataka Swami serves as Co-GBC.- Issued by GBC Communications ... See MoreSee Less
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Dear Maharajs & Prabhus,Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.This morning, at 9:20 am IST, His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami, one of theseniormost disciples of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta SwamiPrabhupada, departed from this world.Maharaj is a pillar of the International Society for Krishna Consciousnessand has served tirelessly in practically every leadership capacity tosupport and expand the mission of his spiritual master.Even before his first meeting with Srila Prabhupada in Montreal, Canada in1968, Maharaj, known as Gopal Krishna from his very birth, was given theservice of cleaning and preparing Srila Prabhupada's rooms for his arrival.Since then, Maharaj has literally and figuratively dedicated his life tokeeping Srila Prabhupada's house in order.Srila Prabhupada immediately took great interest in the thoughtful youngIndian man who sat attentively through every lecture and they soon beganregular correspondence. Soon thereafter, Srila Prabhupada initiated Maharajas Gopal Krishna Das and thus began a lifetime of service beyond compare.Maharaj served for years as Srila Prabhupada's personal secretary and wasappointed by Srila Prabhupada as a Governing Body Commissioner in 1975 withresponsibility to oversee all of ISKCON India. Srila Prabhupada thereafterentrusted Maharaj with the task so dear to his heart -- the printing of histranscendental books.From that time, Maharaj has been an emblem of book distribution, sharing ofKrishna consciousness, building beautiful temples, and managing theinternational affairs of Srila Prabhupada's mission, all the while remaininga gentle, humble Vaisnava who always has a moment to encourage others withhis genuine care and affection. In addition, Maharaj's sadhana isimpeccible, often on the temple altar offering mangala-arati to the deitiesbefore completing the morning program, taking a japa walk, and thenworshipping his own deities prior to commencing a full day of dynamicservice.His Holiness Gopal Krishna Maharaj personifies all that is at the heart ofISKCON and will remain eternally revered and loved for his matchlessservice, dedication, and expertise in knowing and serving Srila Prabhupada'swill. We can only pray that we may each be blessed with but a drop of suchcourage, focus, and sincerity to serve, though never will the void of hisphysical presence be filled in our hearts or in our society.Our hearts and heads remain at the feet of His Holines Gopal Krishna GoswamiMaharaj, a most exemplary disciple, devotee, godbrother, spiritual master,and friend.Maharaj has always encouraged us to work together cooperatively to supportand assist each other in Srila Prabhupada's service. In that mood ofservice, we offer our affectionate prayers and support to Maharaj'sdisciples and all those berefth in Maharaj's absence. We encourage you totake shelter of Maharaj's instructions and example of focused sadhana andservice in the association of our ISKCON family.His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj ki jaya!Srila Prabhupada ki jaya!Hare Krishna,Your servants,Guru Prasad SwamiTapana Misra DasGovardhana Das,GBC Executive Committee ... See MoreSee Less
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Respected Maharajas, Prabhujis, and Matajis,Jai Om Nitya Lila pravishtha Paramahamsa Parivrajakacharya Ashtottara Shata Sri srimad Srila Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja ki jai. With our hearts broken but reconciled to Krishna's plan, we seek to announce the unfortunate departure of Srila Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaja and his auspicious entry into the eternal pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi, Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Sri Sita Rama Lakshmana Hanuman and Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha.Gurudeva will travel to Delhi and then to Sri Vrindavan Dhama.We will send more details later. Please don't rush to Dehradun.Your servants HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Shishya Samooha5th May, 2024 9.20am ISTCamp: Synergy Institute of Medical Sciences Dehradun ... See MoreSee Less
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