Hridayananda Das Goswami: The GBC have become an obstacle to saving ISKCON

Badrinarayan Swami

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Key Points:

  • ISKCON is facing a grave historical crisis in terms of its survival as a relevant movement in the Western world.
  • The GBC are incapable of addressing the problem and in fact they have become an obstacle to saving ISKCON.
  • What's best for Prabhupada is to not serve under GBC.
ISKCON Denver, CO temple
ISKCON Denver, CO temple
Tusta Krsna dasa, the ISKCON Denver, CO temple president who stood up to "Mr. Poison" aka Badrinarayan Swami.
Tusta Krsna dasa, the ISKCON Denver, CO temple president who stood up to “Mr. Poison” aka Badrinarayan Swami.

When I went to Denver, because Mr Poison is the GBC there [Badrinarayan Swami], I don’t know what else to call him, I just can’t say his name, it’s just, anyway. He is GBC. So, he [Badrinarayan Swami] sent a message that I shouldn’t give class in the temple. It’s funny because Tusta Krishna obeyed him last time, but this time Badri [Badrinarayan Swami] burned out Tusta too. So Tusta and all the eight members of the  council decided unanimously that I should give class. They didn’t care what he [Badrinarayan Swami] said. So, I gave a class. Bhagavatam class, and it was like, you know, by Krishna’s mercy, it was a wonderful class. Krishna made it wonderful. And it wasn’t political. Someone asked about Krishna West, and I just kinda, avoided the topic. It was just a regular Bhagavatam class.

So, when Poison found out, he … I don’t know. The next thing I know, the North American GBC voted that I shouldn’t go to any North American Temple without the GBC permission. What’s interesting about this is, it is all very possitive, and I’ll explain why. What’s interesting about this is, that it kind of rolls back the agreement that I came to after about a year of discussion with the GBC EC. To just be a normal sannyasi, and go….so, when this happened, it was so…And again, they didn’t talk to me. In this case, also, no one spoke a word to me. In fact, they were kind of embarrassed about it. They asked Bir Krishna Goswami to inform me about it. But what’s interesting here is that, um, effectively, it puts me, well, I’ll get to the point.

Brahma-Tirtha-Prabhu
Brahma Tirtha Prabhu is a board member at Krishna House, a senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada, a professional mediator, and an advisor for the EPA, and the director of the City of Gainesville Planning Board.

I felt, “How can I be in ISKCON under these conditions!?” And then I realised what Krishna was doing. The situation is that ISKCON is facing a grave historical crisis in terms of its survival as a relevant movement in the Western world. The GBC clearly is unable to even address the problem, much less solve it. They are just incapable of doing it. In fact they have become an obstacle to saving ISKCON. Therefore, I realize, that at this point, there is no question of working under the GBC. I have completely given up that idea of working with them. You know, if they come to me respectfully, which they’re, even Brahmatirtha said they’re incapable of due process. I mean, he’s a, you know, world-class mediator, and he said they’re incapable of it. And so, if one day, they do become capable, then, sure, I’ll talk. But, at this point, I’m not under the GBC. I can’t follow them. Period. At the same time, for Prabhupada’s sake, because ultimately, I have to think of what’s best for Prabhupada. I can’t do anything which is not good for Prabhupada.