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Dear Devotees and Friends,

Please accept our dandavats pranams, all glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

Srila Gurudeva has been requesting that his society is properly established and structured since some years. He has preached for last 65 years, out of which world-wide for fourteen years, since 1996, providing shelter and instruction to so many Prabhupada and ISKCON disciples, as well as new disciples.

Much thought has gone into how we carry out the above request. We are mindful of the fact that on previous occasions when a great Acarya and Guru has disappeared, schisms and fighting have ensued. While none of us like to think about when Srila Gurudeva is no longer on the planet, it is his desire that preparations are made to continue his legacy so that we will continue to serve his mission effectively for the rest of our lives, and future generations will be able to do the same.

Srila Gurudeva has repeatedly instructed that we “stay together”. This is something he often emphasizes.

When embarking on this process we have been mindful of the following principles.
First, that the world-wide sanga is actively included in formulating the design of the society. Nothing should be imposed. The structure will benefit from the legitimacy earned by airing it amongst the sanga first and incorporating valuable feedback.

Second, the purpose of the structure is to facilitate the flow and growth of our bhakti.  If something does not do this or risks impeding bhakti, then it is not included.

Thirdly, we have a special respect for local initiative and service.  We wish to avoid overly centralized or authoritarian set ups. Seva is rendered by inspired devotees who come together as like-minded souls to serve Radha-Krsna and Srila Gurudeva.  Genuine seva is not inspired through hands on management and control.

With the above in mind we have produced a first draft of the proposed structure.  It needs to be read with today in mind but also within the context of a day, hopefully in many, many years, when Srila Gurudeva is no longer with us in his physical form.

Your comments or suggestions are important!

There is nothing final about this draft. It is for your feedback, both positive and negative. You are also invited to ask questions in case something is not clear or you want to understand why we have proposed this or that.

Take part in the discussion by submitting your comments on www.backtobhakti.com in the comments box below this post. (Feel free to speak your mind but please refrain from any Vaisnava aparadha and observe Vaisnava etiquette for a Krishna conscious outcome.)

As your feedback comes in, by mid September we will try to adjust and update the draft structure; once more we will ask for your feedback and thus hope to present a somewhat final draft when we are at Kartik time.

We humbly offer this as our service to Srila Gurudeva. We appreciate that we are very imperfect and ask you to forgive our faults in this endeavor.

Hare Krsna,
With love and affection.

Your aspiring servants,
Brajanath das & Yasodananda das

FIRST AND FOREMOST LIMB OF THE SOCIETY:

THE HEART

1st CHAMBER

The Presiding Board, consisting of:

  • Srila Gurudeva
  • Sripad BV Tirtha Maharaja & Sripad Premananda das Brahmacari
  • Sripad BV Madhava Maharaja & Sripad BV Vana Maharaja &
  • Sripad Rasananda das Brahmacari

2nd CHAMBER

Consisting primarily of our respected Sannyasis and Senior Preachers.

Responsibilities:

  • Teaching and Demonstrating Ideal Vaisnava Behaviour
  • Look After Publication and Distribution of Transcendental Literatures and Hari-katha in Organized Ways
  • Continuation of Kartik, Vraja Mandala Parikrama & Gaura Mandala Parikrama as well as Yearly Festivals

(THIS IS THE HEART OF THE SOCIETY)

SECOND LIMB OF THE SOCIETY:

SEVA TEAMS

Consisting of all Types of Transcendental Seva Teams Including:

  • Book Publishing Seva Team
  • Math and Preaching Center Seva Team
  • Regional Seva Team
  • Ombuds Seva Team
  • Book Distribution Seva Team
  • Communication Seva Team
  • Education Seva Team
  • Co-ordination Seva Team
  • Finance Seva Team
  • Trust Seva Team, Etc.

THIRD LIMB OF THE SOCIETY:

ADVISORY BOARD

Consisting of Srila Gurudeva, Respected Sannyasis, Senior Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas, as well as Representatives of the Different Seva Teams

Responsibilities:

  • Approve Methods and Guidelines to Nourish the Transcendental Life of the Society’s Members
  • Schedule and Conduct Official Meetings at the time of Kartika and Gaura Purnima

PLEASE TAKE PART IN THE DISCUSSION.

Send us your feedback and suggestions!

* Many thanks to Premananda prabhu from Italy
for using his picture in the banner above.

97 Responses to For Your Feedback

  1. mathuranatha das August 2, 2010 at 2:18 AM #

    Dandavat Pranams !Srila Gurudeva Ki Jay!

    “Organisation Chart” implies the organisation of the devotees activities . First we need agree upon what the prime activities of our Organisation are actually going to be .If its congregational chanting and Hari katar on at least daily basis , transcendental literature printing and distribution , outreaching and parakrama and festival organisation, gurukula,s etc —that will require a lot of infrastructure and an economic base .We will need land and buildings to accomodate those activities and an economic base to support those activities and support , feed and cloth those full time devotes undertaking them.

    Most of our functions require infrastructure .The activities that the Society is being created to organize will have to take place somewhere .

    Organisation also implies that protocol,format , location and time of day and time of week etc be somewhat standardized for the purpose of familiarizing the new persons and general public . And also to give the members a sense of uniformity , continuity and that their society has an identifiable shared culture .

    Therefore to be effective and efficient we need a blueprint . A practical plan as to how the activities we are intending to organize will in fact be instigated , enhanced and replicated .

    The present society at large was termed by Prabhupad as an “oil based society”and He indicated it was inherently unsustainable .Prabhupads vision was for Self sufficient Vedic farming communities

    It is my humble suggestion that we embrace Srila Prabhupadas model as a stable material platform for our new society .
    ..
    To reiterate :- [1] wee need our own permanent centers where daily kirtan and pravachand go on
    [2]we need places for the travelling preachers to be accommodate and speak hari katar and train and accommodate new people ,
    [3]places for the translators and publishers and book distributors to live and work and feed them selves .
    [4]places for our own schools and for the teachers and students to live and be supported
    [5]The preachers , publishers , pujaries , book distributers, teachers ,gurukula students all need somewhere to live and be supported to do their seva
    [6]house holders need a mode of goodness livelihood [farming , cottage industries]with the scope for attending devotional programs and the ability to support the preachers and those fully engaged in seva

    It is my fervent belief that all these aims can be achieved by implementing Srila Swami Maharaja Prabhupadas blueprint for self sufficient vedic farming communities .

    Without buildings land , and infrastructure we wont have a tangible society and wont even need any organisation – there will be nothing and no one to organize .And without a stable economic base [agrarian as opposed to oil brassed] we wont be able to support the infrastructure and the full time sevaks.We also need meaningfully engagement for our children , new devotees and householders .

    To not embrace Srila Prabupadas perfect plan and blueprint for a a perfect society is to really miss a golden opportunity to establish a society that will be really sustainable .If we create a unique and distinctive , sustainable culture ,separate and superior to the mainstream it will grow like wildfire . Otherwise we will remain invisible and soon disappear.

    I believe Srila Gurudeva sees His sanga collapsing after He leaves as a distinct possibility and thats why He is pushing for a new society . That means a substantial change in direction .A few cosmetic changes and business as usual wont do it .We need a substantial change of policy throughout .An agrarian economic base , support for our members , a district cultural identity and our own rural based temple/school/communities where as many devotes as wish can live a Vedic lifestyle

    Just my humble opinion — time will tell all.

    Radhe Radhe !![the fallen mathuranatha das australia]

    • Brajanath Das August 2, 2010 at 5:00 AM #

      Dear Mathuranath prabhu,

      please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

      Excellent point, thank you so much for your input. Your spiritual passion for developing the ideal blueprint is most welcome. I propose you form a small seva team and by your own example you establish an ideal farm community which possesses all the ingredients that you describe.

      aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

      Brajanath das

      One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
       
      Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

  2. Sacinandana Dasa August 2, 2010 at 4:42 AM #

    Temples or Maths and Centers

    We are YET to have procedures/policies/guidelines in place as to what our Maths (if any) should actually be in the west.

    Obviously in India we see the beautiful functioning Kesavji Gaudiya Matha and others, but we don’t have any real math in the west. Why is this??

    If we don’t establish some real math’s in the West then where are the single and sincere devotees supposed to go? There are so many devotees who want to be involved full-time, and who are not grhastas, and are not able to stay in India permanently.

    As a society we should take care of these people, and not only that, but in an organized, dare I say it, controlled way.

    In Houston they are building a Temple.. but they are unsure as to which direction to take. Though they are now building and have invested over $800,000 into the structure already, they are still un-sure if Bramacaris will stay there, how many kitchens to have (one for the deities and one for devotees) etc etc and basically the whole functioning of the place.

    In Los Angeles I recently asked if I could stay there and they said “no room”. I am trying to be a bramacari. If one is a bramacari and cant stay in a temple, then where is he supposed to go? Is he to go get a house and a job etc like everyone else??.. currently he really has to.

    I know one bramacari who has been a devotee for over 40years. He was with Srila Prabhupada, then Srila Sridara Maharaja, then Srila Gurudeva from the early 90′s. He was actually asked by Srila Gurudeva to take Sanyasa way back in the 90′s. But because there is nowhere for him to go, he is in saffron but has to stay with family! This is NOT RIGHT! As we are a spiritual society we have to look after the brahmans and the senior full-time devotees.. not continue to neglect them. I think this is one of the most important things that needs to be done right now in our sanga. It is a centralized thing around which our ‘society’ can live.

    To properly develop and maintain math’s in the west some ‘control’ from above must be there (in regards to defining their roles) and also financial support from the sanga at large must be there too, to help support and maintain them. Many millions of dollars has gone into building different math’s in India… but there is nothing in the west. Shouldn’t we also look after ourselves here in the west?

    Where are YOU going to go when you are ready to leave grhasta life?… India?… Very few can do that permanently.

    • Brajanath Das August 2, 2010 at 5:12 AM #

      Dear Sacinandana prabhu,

      please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

      Thank you for your excellent words, a cry out for shelter. As a reply may I suggest that we look at that what is working/functioning well and apply this in our own situation? We actually do have well functioning centers in the West where brahmacharinis and single mothers can go. In London, in Brighton, and now in Brazil, the single ladies can find shelter and be inspired in their bhakti. Srila Gurudeva is very pleased with his daughters for their selfless seva. And guess what, our sisters are also extremely eager for attending Harikatha festivals in India and other parts of the world.

      Why not follow that which is already working well? Perhaps the Gangamatas can share with us how they are performing this seva?

      aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

      Brajanath das

      One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
       
      Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

      • Sacinandana Dasa August 2, 2010 at 11:04 AM #

        Yes Prabhu, lets hope they do. I believe we are way overdue on this as an organization.

      • Bhavesh Das August 14, 2010 at 7:33 AM #

        Dandavats Brajanath & Sacinandana Prabhus.

        The Organization looks good to me so far. I have questions as to how effective the IPBYS will be in supporting new growth though.

        It’s great that groups of devotees can create groups/centers/temples in their areas. They can evenform legal organizations as many have done and as we are doing here in Salt Lake City, Utah.

        Being involved in the creation of the “Sri Rupa Raghunatha Ashram” here in Utah I have noticed a big opportunity for the USA. All the centers and groups in the USA could send 1-2 representatives to a gathering 1-2 times per year. At this gathering we could all discuss our strengths, needs,opportunities, plans etc. This will give the various groups opportunity to help each other.

        It feels to me at this time that the groups in the USA are isolated. Besides 1-2 main centers here I’m not aware of any other centers or groups. I know that there must be quite a few more. If this is the trend we really need to reach out and communicate with each other in order to grow and spread Srila Gurudev’s Mission.

        I don’t think it’s necessary that the IPBYS have such a detailed structure that we need it to do everything as ISKCON does. However, I think it’s necessary that all the independent groups that look to the IPBYS and Srila Gurudev for spiritual guidance work together.

        Aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaishnavas,

        Bhavesh Das

    • mathuranatha das August 2, 2010 at 5:31 AM #

      Some good points Sacinandana prabhu.Our model here seems to be falling into place gradually . A bunch of householders buy some rural land build a temple and live there permanently . Single , bramacharies ,vanaprastas , sannyassis ,single women come and go as they like .

      Hopefully IPBYS could help in terms of designing a model for householders to collectively buy tracts of rural land .Perhaps they , or the Bhakti Trust could also help with arranging finance and the legalities of some type of group ownership.

      At least then all the many devotees who feel the lack of a “spiritual home “[outside of India]will have a few options besides [re]joining ISKcon or living without the association of any devotees .

      Radhe Radhe !!

    • Syamapada dasa August 3, 2010 at 5:24 AM #

      Radhe Radhe!!

      Dear brothers and sisters, dear Brajanath prabhu… Jay Srila Gurudeva!

      We should follow the teachings of our acaryas on this matter. Srila Bhaktivinoda based on Sri Caitanya Caritamrta and other granta, says we should be all grhastas and all sudras, he also says we don´t need temples we just need harinama-sankirtana and nama-hattas.

      Money is not the issue, and I think everyone is concerned about money. We try to be bhaktas, and karmis are the ones worried about money (there is an excellent gurudeva´s class “give up your jobs”). But as baddha-jivas we still have to taste karma built in our previous lives and also we should try to follow varna and dharma. If one is married he/she should stay married no matter what, if someone practice illicit sex and an unplanned child is born, the mother and the father of this child should and will have to be responsible for the child, not the sanga. Temples should not be build to house divorcees and single mothers/fathers with their children.

      In the same way temples should not be build to house those who are lazy and mad, those who don´t want to work and those who don´t follow the principles estabilshed by our society. Only those wearing “red cloth” are those who should be housed in temples and such. Even those who are single and want to remain single, should not be maintained by sanga by any means. Everyone should look after themselves. Each one must be responsible to maintain his own family centered on krsna counsciousness. Every house should be a temple. Every srila gurudeva´s devotee should perform his bhajana and saddhana. We should practice every anga of bhakti we should be able to follow and practice detachment from senses and sense-objects.

      Why? Beacause if one renounce his life to do bhajana without the right qualification for it, he/she will do sinful activity, because the renounciation will be false, based on material intolerance instead of Srimati Radhika´s service attachment. And according to sastra, renouced vaisnavas should be taken care by grhasta, not by entire sanga. Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami used to take prasadam at grhasta´s homes, or they performed madhu-kari, collected a little bit from each family.

      I know everyone “wants” to be brahmacari after one hear some sweet hari-katha! That´s good! This should be our goal! But sometimes we don´t have samskaras for it, sometimes we don´t have qualification for it, sometimes our own karma don´t allow it and sometimes we just don´t have enough sukrt. We should accept that. We should accept our position and serve from that position. If we can´t perform pure bhakti than we should do misra-bhakti or something even lower. Dosen´t matter! Guru will accept if your service is sincere!

      I know everyones “wants” to do some serious seva for srila gurudeva! That´s also good! But again, who is qualified? What service we should do? How we should serve? We should serve gurudeva as we serve a bosom friend! If we chant our guru-mantra and guru-gayatri, and our rounds, bit by bit guru will manifest in our heart and then we will be able to see him as a friend instead of a master.

      My wife says, and I hear her advices a lot, we all talk too much, there is so much blah blah blah when the message is simple and clear. FOLLOW SRILA GURUDEVA´S INSTRUCTIONS! Whatever he says, just do it. There are personal and direct instructions and general instructions, some instructions are paradoxal to others and then we should look for sadhu or granta to pacify our doubts.

      Then, if we follow Srila Gurudeva´s instructions, if we read, know tattva AND siddhanta, chant our rounds and diksa mantras, stop our offences, follow vaisnava etiquette, and transform our homes into temples (with altar, tulasi, preaching, prasadam) the society will be formed. Is indeed very simple.

      Here in Brasil we have this very example. Some devotees accepted Srila Gurudeva when he came here in 2000; then they gathered and started home programs while practing their own bhajana and saddhana. Then they start to rent a place to receive sannyasis now and then; then they asked for Srila Gurudeva mercy and instructions to open a math and gurudeva gave them the name “Sri Gauravani Gaudiya Math” (tsk tsk Brajanath.. you just talk about Ganga-matha here and there). Now we are a temple and an official institution, directly guided by Sripad Vana Maharaja.

      Almost everyone here are grhastas. We have one Vanaprastha (Sriman Mahakala dasa) and a couple of single guys (who aren´t really brahmacari – no red cloth) who maintain themselves and the temple. Everyone maintain the temple with our donations of laksmi and seva. We bring sannyasis with our money, we have installed thakurji (Sri Jaganatha, Sri-Sri Radha-Ramana) and Srila Gurudeva expressed his desire to come here and visit us. Now each devotee is building his own home as a temple. We already are a growing society…

      Please I ask! Let us do our bhajana and saddhana! Let´s follow everything we are able to and be honest about it! Let´s cry for help! Let´s cry for mercy! The society is very simple to do, to serve Srila Gurudeva is very simple to do! Please let´s give up offences! Let us please do saddhana and bhajana!

      We don´t need money, we need faith… money krsna provides…

      RADHE RADHE!!!

  3. Krsna Das August 2, 2010 at 7:47 AM #

    Hare Krsna ! Dandavat Pranamas to Srila Gurudeva and all the Vaishnavas.

    Let me share my two cents:

    1. In the IPBYS organisational chart above, there does not seem to be a well defined place for the senior vaishnavis (like for example Syamarani Didi), atleast in first chamber. As fas as I know Gurudeva has already said that Vaishnavis should also be included in the IPBYS Managament. As far as I know, this is also one of the factors that have fostered discontentment in the ISKCON members, in the sense that it has simply become a ‘male-dominated-society’.

    2. Instead of bulding our temples/mathas with the names like this matha or that matha, we should simply name them as IPBYS Temple, – Dallas, IPBYS Temple – Delhi etc….that will give a sense of centalized management, and a feeling that we are all one, and not functionaing as a different entities.

    My suggestion is that evenn the existing mathas like in india should be known with the name ‘IPBYS’ and not just ‘Rupa-Sanatan Gaudiya Matha’ or ‘Sri Keshava ji Gaudiya Matha’. When devotees come to these exxisting or new mathas, they should know them by the name ‘IPBYS Temple/Matha’.

    3. In the organization chart above, the proper, detailed and well defined roles and responsibilities should be discussed (for each and every individual/team involved) and presented before Srila Gurudeva, and later on, they can also be published for everybody’s knowledge.

    4. We can let everybody know that we should now pronounce ourselves as IPBYS and not simply ‘Gaudiya Matha’(‘IP’ pronounced as the word ‘IN’ and ‘BYS’ pronounced as the word ‘lies’). We should start doing this already, so that everybody knows the name of the organization that we all now belong to.

    5. We should concentrate more on Hari Naam Sankirtan (instead of Gaudiya Bangla Bhajans or even Hari-katha). I am not saying that we should neglect bhajans written by our acaryas, but people in general are more attracted towrads Hare Krsna Mahamantra Kirtan instead of Bhajans or Katha, at least in their early stages of spirituality.

    For this, we can make a seperate dedicated team for propagation of Mahamantra Kirtan (we can consider the example of 24 hour kirtan in ISKCON vrindavana).

    6. We should list down the success as well as those areas where other such organisations have been a failure and then incorporate the processes/model where there shortcomings are properly checked.

    Daso’asmi
    Krsna Das

  4. Subal Krsna das August 2, 2010 at 8:50 AM #

    Dear Prabhus,

    Dandavat Pranams and all glories to Srila Gurudeva.

    I’d like to know how the local formal structures will fit into this IPBY structure.

    My humble idea is that local ‘government approved’ structures (such as Incorporated Associations in Australia, for example) function simply as seva teams facilitating the other local seva teams – as “Third Limbs” unde the seva teams.

    Most institutional distrust I see stems from the mixing of management (control) and spiritual (prema maitri krpopeksa) functions which has tended to obliterate the discriminative function of those under it.

    This model is very personal, and I feel that the test of this excellent model will be whether it will be able to be practically applied at local levels also.

    dina-hina, Vaisnava seva my only hope,
    Subal Krsna das

  5. Brajanath Das August 2, 2010 at 10:49 AM #

    Dear Krsna das prabhu and dear Subal Krsna prabhu,

    please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

    Krsna das prabhu, in the second heart chamber there is a mention of senior preachers, this implies all lady preachers who are actively taking responsibility by example and precept in the 3 areas that are mentioned. Personally I would say that Srimati Syamarani devi dasi is one of our most senior, renounced preachers. Other ladies are also in the category of senior preachers – Srimati Vrndavan Vilasini devi dasi, Vaijayanti Mala didi, Sudevi didi, Sita Thakurani, Caru Candrika didi and many others.

    By the way, in the Advisory Board, all ladies that head up a Seva Team, they can partake in the meetings and the decision making process. So, there really is no shortage of opportunities to excel and contribute for our dear aunties and sisters.

    As far as proper roles and responsibilities, this is entirely up to the individual devotees. The more they show interest and come forward, automatically seva teams will be formed around them as this is the result of the flow of Bhakti. In other words, we may see it that the emphasis is on ‘what can I contribute to the Society of Devotees’; next step we discover like minded devotees, roll up our sleeves and start serving, take 100 % responsibility and thus own our own offering of seva, without any bureaucratic obstructions.

    The IPBYS is focused upon nourishing the bhakti creeper of all its individual members as well as living entities in this universe. If any centralized program is needed for this, this is emphasized in our annual parikrams, in Srila Gurudeva and our preachers traveling everywhere on earth, performing spiritual relieve work wherever they are invited.

    If devotees feel the need of having a permanent building or property as a center, it is their responsibility and their opportunity to make this happen. According to the laws of each country they should act and form a legal entity which takes 100% responsibility for everything that is related to the center. It is not favorable for IPBYS to take this responsibility.

    Subal Krsna prabhu, thank you for your understanding and kind words. Your humble idea is perfectly possible within this structure. Actually, this is a very good suggestion.

    aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

    Brajanath das

    One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
     
    Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

    • Subal Krsna das August 3, 2010 at 9:31 AM #

      One important point in this model is that on the local level it means that there should be a local seniormost devotee. This is entirely natural and good, but might present challenges.

      For example, here Srila Gurudeva personally endorsed one such senior devotee repeatedly over many years at public assemblies and still some of the the more vocal local devotees ignored / rejected / rationalised that instruction – to this day, with a degree of malice that was quite unnecessary.

      Nevertheless, this model is proper and correct – each local sanga will need a leader and a group of ‘elders’, seniormost Vaishnavas. Here is our biggest challenge. Everyone can respect Srila Gurudeva as the Heart of our sanga from afar, but when it comes to properly respecting a senior devotee and devotees face to face on a regular basis, then our true colours will show and the real degree of advancement in Krsna consciousness of each and every one of us will become clearly apparent.

  6. Pirathib Dasa August 2, 2010 at 11:25 AM #

    Dear Godbrothers and Godsisters,

    My respects and Dandavats to all of you.
    I hope that the new society does not become a second ISCKON especially after the departure of Srila Gurudev from this world. I dont know if the other members without having any prejudices are qualified enough to lead a society. Last time when I went to the Italian Festival. All I can say our Srila Gurudev is a selfrealized soul but we devotees are still very far away. It was even difficult to feel the love in the atmosphere when Srila Gurdev was not there. I dont know if the other devotees mo matter if they are sannyasis, brahmacharis or grhastas are capable to lead the the society properly. We are still not clean enough in our heart and personally i would be afraid to accept the members of chamber one and two as advanced devotees within the society. Gurdev know what will be right. Please tell him about my fear.

    Regards,

    Pirathib Dasa

  7. Brajanath Das August 2, 2010 at 12:37 PM #

    Dear Pirathib prabhu,

    please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

    Thank you for your thoughtful expression. Srila Gurudeva says that these devotees in first chamber, they are so well trained by him personally over last 30 years, and some even longer. They know Srila Gurudeva’s mood and mood of many senior Vaisnavas such as Param Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Vaman Maharaja and Param Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikram Maharaja. Moreover, Srila Gurudeva says that among them there are Madhyama Vaisnavas whose inherent quality is that they will not hesitate a moment to serve, respect and hear from those that are self realized, Uttama Vaisnavas. Also, Srila Gurudeva said on more than one occasion that he is very confident that his mission will go on very smoothly with the wonderful spiritual guidance of these senior devotees.

    Of his sannyasis and senior preachers, Srila Gurudeva said in Miami 2008 that they will be able to continue his mission very well as long as they have no false ego that they possess anything in this world, whether it is position, wealth and/or followers.

    We all pray that Srila Gurudeva will be with us for many, many more years to come so that we will be able to receive his causeless mercy and personal association.

    aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

    Brajanath das

    One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
     
    Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

  8. mathuranatha das August 2, 2010 at 1:46 PM #

    Laaks and Laaks of Sashtang Dandavat Pranams in the dust at the lotus feet of all the past , present , and future Vaisnavas. All Glories to Sri Sri Guru-Gouranga-Gandavika- Giridhari-Radha-Vinoda- bihariji ki jaya ! Srila Gurudeva ki jaya !

    Dear Brajanath das & Yasodananda das and all devotees , please forgive me as I intend to be very strait-forward .

    Apart from the new name, in practical , real life terms , it doesnt seem like there will be any observable change .The new model appears to be pretty much a description of how things are now and have been for many years .At the moment its up to the individual seva teams and devotees in each area to be responsible for them selves, and the senior devotees have always been available to go to for advice . Formalizing an existing arrangement and preserving the status quo is quite normal though and to be expected .

    I may well be wrong , being a very conditioned soul .Some how I was under the impression that Srila Gurudeva wanted some significant progress and changes .

    quote:-” Yasodanadana dasa: You asked me to set up the Society. Why the Society, Gurudeva?
    Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If there is no society, everyone will be separated. They will scatter here and there; there will be no control.”

    The implication is that, from a practical perspective , we dont currently,have a functional society and that devotees are scattering here and there without any control , and Srila Gurudeva wants that problem addressed .I must be less intelligent but I just cannot see how just a name change and a nice diagram of how things are now at present will address that point .

    I dont know much about the rest of the world ,but here it is a very prominent problem.Murwillumbah area is rapidly evolving in the “scattering here and there without control “area and its so obvious why srila Gurudeva has expressed concern .A large percentage of Srila Gurudevas initiated disciples attend ISKcon on a regular basis and only a very small percentage attend programs organised for His sannyassis and for festival days .If we don’t want that to become the norm around the world [which seems to be Srila Gurudevas apprehension} then some actual changes need to be made .Basically by leaving the devotees to their own devices without any infrastructure and control most will feel abandoned and homeless and seek shelter where ever they can .

    .”If devotees feel the need of having a permanent building or property as a center, it is their responsibility and their opportunity to make this happen. According to the laws of each country they should act and form a legal entity which takes 100% responsibility for everything that is related to the center. It is not favorable for IPBYS to take this responsibility.”

    Thats the status quo.And that policy is delivering a subprime outcome and Srila Gurudeva has repeatedly requested a change .By Krishnas kind and merciful arrangement now its right out in the open and up for discussion .

    We have a philosophy and we have a religion .But a society is so much more than that .It has members who have responsibilities and as a result derive certain benefits .If our members receive no more care or benefits than the general population then we dont have a society and they wont stay . “They will scatter here and there; there will be no control.”.

    There is a definite aversion in our sanga to formalizing a system of putting some obligations on our members and giving our members some benefits .But thats what a society does , and Srila Gyrudeva wants a society .Otherwise all we have is a shared religion along with all the other Gaudia Vaisnavas but no distinct society for Srila Gurudevas own specific followers .

    Please forgive me if I [surely] have offended anyone . For an open and frank discussion there is some risk ,but no risk no gain

    Radhe Radhe !! [ the despicably mathuranatha das Australia}

    • Sacinandana Dasa August 2, 2010 at 4:46 PM #

      Dear Brajanatha Prabhuji,

      If I may be so bold (and please forgive me for being such but I do so only in the interests of improvement in our ‘society’) I too was disappointed in that comment.

      It has never been the case that such was left to be established by the poor and resourceless brahmans and bramacaris. It is an eternal system as explained all throughout the scriptures that Guruji establishes an ashram for the bramacaris and brahmans to take shelter. Our previous modern day Acarya’s have also done the same, Srila Prabhupupada Bhaktisiddhanta all over India, and Srila Prabhupada Swami Maharaja all over the world.

      We have established proper math’s in India, but for some reason we have neglected the west. Instead it has always been left as a local problem to be fixed. However look at the results of such a formula… 14 yrs later and still no real math in the west.

      Yes the amazing Gangamatas, by some extraordinary mood, have been able to establish something, but obviously that is quite uncommon as they are one of an EXTREME few in 14 years. Conversely Srila Swami Maharaja established more than 108 Math’s in 10 years all over the planet. It was never left soley in the hands of a few young boys.

      By posting such I am not saying we should replicate Swami Maharaja… but AT LEAST there should be 2 or 3 real Mathas in the west… at least. I dont understand why there shouldnt be. We have MANY more than that in India. The devotees in India are very lucky, there are Math’s everywhere they can go to, and NEVER were they left to there own resolve to establish these.. quite the contrary.

      Again Prabhu, please forgive my boldness. As I said, in the interest of ACTUALLY seeing tangible change and improvement I write this. I am not attacking you personally, I love you very much.

      Dandavats
      Sacinandana Dasa

      • Brajanath Das August 3, 2010 at 3:25 PM #

        Dear Sacinanda prabhu,

        please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

        Thank you for your honest and heartfelt observations. I do agree with you that in the West we need ashrams and temples, do not get me wrong. How to go about this is our challenge. We can follow the Indian concept and purchase buildings and land, I am all for it. The money for maintenance and man power is the other part that is important in order to have a well functioning place.

        If Krsna blesses us with lots of money and our devotees are dedicated to take responsibility, it will not be too difficult to have a few ideal centers in West, North, South and East parts of the Globe. In the meantime we do the best we can with what is there.

        Let us keep working towards this.

        aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

        Brajanath das

        One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
         
        Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

        • Sacinandana Dasa August 3, 2010 at 3:58 PM #

          Oh Wow Brajanath Prabhu, thats fantastic news! I had no idea!… I am ready to help! ;)

          Honestly I believe that if certain countries knew a temple/math was to be built in their country, then people would step forward. Also I dont think maintenance is anywhere near as big an issue as establishing the building itself.

          I may be wrong, but I think if people felt that the Sanga cared enough to build a matha in their country then they would take pride in it and try to maintain it nicely and use it as a preaching location. I honestly think it would inspire people to work, come and preach together, knowing the Sanga is behind them!!! ;) ;)

          • Raghava August 3, 2010 at 4:32 PM #

            Wonderful exchange.
            Also in Holland we’re trying our best as well to build/buy a temple-math-ashram-center for the cultivation of Pure Bhakti in this part of the world. What may work in one part of the world may not work at all elsewhere, but if there is a way to share such “best practices” and experience, than we can hope to avoid making the same mistakes and learn from others.

            All in all, it feels like a new day is dawning and change is about to happen.

            To quote a famous activist and documentary maker: “Governments are really great at getting together, and holding meetings and conferences and glad-handing each other, but they never ever seem to accomplish anything. … All social change comes from the passion of a few individuals.”

            Just my two cents for what it’s worth …
            Yas,
            Raghava

    • Raghava August 3, 2010 at 9:02 AM #

      Dear Mathuranath ji. Dandavat pranams. I appreciate your comments and active involvement. Your question of “What has changed besides a new name and re-stating what was already common knowledge….”, I would like to comment that there is definite change.

      For one, we have an open forum now where all things can be discussed in a transparent way and second, we as a group are communicating, which has long been not the case. This gives you, and others, the opportunity to share your thoughts as you’ve been doing. This process is quite new to our sanga and so I see lots of change. One so-called ‘mahatma’ once said that we should be the change that we wish to see.

      Let’s keep the dialogue going. Thanks for taking part.
      Yas
      Raghava Pandit das

      • mathuranatha das August 3, 2010 at 10:23 AM #

        Dear Raghava , just to clarify I meant that the proposed Organisational Chart isn’t functionally much different from the functionality we have now . I do agree though ,and am very grateful ,that it does now appear the devotees have more of an opportunity to attempt to change the status quo . Ultimately we have Srila Gurudeva to thank for that — always pushing for us to do better , but also your good self for providing this forum and Radhakanta ,Brajanath and Yasodananda prabus for inviting input and discussion.

        Radhe Radhe !!

    • baladeva das b. August 4, 2010 at 3:37 PM #

      Jay Gurudev.

      Totally agree with Mathuranath prabhuji, we are on the risk, all are separated and some thing have to change soon (in my material point of view,) When a devotee asked Gurudev in Badger how will be the society after him, he answered: “What happen when Krishna desapeared from this world?? All Dvaraka was inundated, finished.” Other time Gurudev told: “I know that after me, all will be finished, u can and should try, but i know that the result will be zero.” ‘try is bhakti – article. and he told that the reason is “Everyone want to control others”

      one good sugestion is that every temple should have a sanyassi or a bramacari , living permanent there and managing, who is wellknown by others sanyassis as a good person and infalible character, education and disciplinated devotee, who dont will tru to control by position or because he is senior, but by respecting all and give afection to all, like Prabhuji does in Mathura, so that devotees will feel happy and trustfull that their money is in a good hands to serve Gurudev, and the guests will feel that they are on good hands.

      I know some devotees, who have the money but dont trust in any oone, so it would be good if good devotees can be sended to every places with the aprove of sanyassis, and mantaining contact with them, the temple can go well.

      Jay Gurudev!

      • Sacinandana Dasa August 4, 2010 at 6:47 PM #

        Baladeva ji,
        Pls can you post the link to that article of Gurudeva so I can try and understand it further… before I just go jump off a cliff!
        tx
        saci

        • baladeva das b. August 4, 2010 at 11:39 PM #

          he bhai, here is the translation in to portuguese, i think if u go to purebhakti.com and write ‘to try is bhakti’ u can find

          Gurudev cleary say : “I know that u will try, but i know that the result will be zero”

          Gurudev also say that we dont should lost so much time and energy on this, other wise we will be deceptined and lose our time to do sadhana.

          and the reason of that, he say that is because everyone want to control others..

          on final , he say that even, we should try, to try is bhakti.
          TENTAR É BHAKTI – Sem apego a resultados
          [Um darshana nos aposentos de Srila Narayana Maharaja]
          Badger, Califórnia: 17 de Maio de 2003

          Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

          [No darshana de Badger, em Maio de 2003, alguns dos devotos sêniors aproximaram-se de Srila Narayana Maharaja para expressarem suas preocupações que tudo poderia não ir bem após a partida dele deste mundo. Eles tinham algumas propostas. Aqui, estão algumas das trocas de idéias que ocorreram naquele darshana:]
          [Devoto:] Nós queremos apresentar nossas decisões e recomendações.
          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Eu estou idoso agora, e a qualquer momento posso partir. Mas, não estou muito ansioso. Eu conheço Kala (o Tempo Personificado). Agora, vocês podem vir, discutir, e fazer alguma proposta. Mas não façam isto num humor de controle. Tentem sempre fazer tudo com amor e afeição.
          Vocês devem saber algo mais. Não devem ficar ansiosos se alguém vem e parte. Eu ouvi dizer que no tempo de Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura milhares vieram e partiram. No tempo de meu Guru Maharaja, muitos peritos e estudiosos, pessoas inteligentes vieram e partiram. Vocês sabem que para Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja – milhares vieram, e ainda estão vindo e partindo. Ninguém pode fazer nada com relação a isto. Assim, não devem tentar muito duramente, e devem tentar reconciliar.
          Eu desejo que façamos um comitê para distribuição e publicação de livros e para trabalho social também, porque sem trabalho social nós não podemos ter aprovação do governo na India ou em qualquer outro local. Nesta vida nós temos que fazer trabalho social – como nutrir os pobres, distribuir agasalho e remédios, auxiliar crianças e fazer escolas.
          Devemos fazer algumas propostas.
          [Devoto:] O que você está dizendo sobre Kala (o fator tempo) e a influência de Kala- a maior parte dos devotos sêniors tem visto isto também.
          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Não como eu.
          [Devoto:] Você vê isto milhares de vezes mais 09/07/08 Guardiões
          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Eu tenho alguma realização. Vocês devem pensar que eu tenho cem vezes mais do que vocês; portanto, não devem pensar que os seus conselhos sejam tão significativos.
          [Devoto:] Alguns dos devotos sêniors estão muito preocupados pelo trabalho que você tem feito, por nós e pelo mundo todo. Nos estamos preocupados que isto seja preservado, agora e no futuro, tanto quanto possivel. Kala pode vir e mudar isto tudo.
          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Eu sei que vocês querem isto, mas se não estão desenvolvendo sua própria consciência de Krishna, jamais serão capazes de fazer algo. Assim , tentem desenvolver-se.
          [Devoto:] Nós precisamos desta sanga para desenvolver. Por anos a fio tentamos praticar de nossa maneira, e agora encontramos um lar onde podemos encontrar devotos com a mesma opinião; por isso estamos ansiosos.
          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Eu sei que irão tentar, mas no final irão ver: “Ó, zero.” Eu sei disto. Este mundo é controlado por Kala (Tempo) e kali-yuga. Kali-yuga não irá lhes dar permissão para fazer todas estas coisas boas. Vocês farão um plano, e em um segundo o resultado será zero.
          [Devoto:] Apesar disto devemos tentar? 09/07/08 Guardiões
          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Vocês devem tentar. Tentar é bhakti. Mas, eu jamais desejo que regras e regulações governem bhakti. Algumas pessoas tentaram forçosamente dar lições e controlar outros devotos ao expulsá-los da missão. Eu lhes disse que isto e contrario a bhakti. Quando eles não querem seguir meu conselho, eu lhes disse que para mim sempre foi melhor resignar; e ainda auxiliar de todas as maneiras. Agora estou satisfeito.
          Tentem realizar isto. Façam bhajana e não se ocupem demais nestas coisas. Eu jamais estive envolvido nisto.
          Vocês devem realizar meu humor e se não realizarem isto terão muitos problemas. Eu tenho servido meus Gurus um pouco, e é por isto que faço algum bhajana. E é por isto que posso reconciliar todas estas coisas, e jamais fico infeliz. Jamais estive infeliz em toda minha vida..
          [Devoto:] Então você está nos dizendo para tentar, mas nossa bhakti não deve ser disturbada.
          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Sim, vocês devem fazer isto; e eu ficarei feliz.

          Conselho editorial: Sripad Madhava Maharaja e Sripad Brajanath dasa
          Digitação: Janaki dasi
          Edição: Syamarani dasi

          • Sacinandana Dasa August 5, 2010 at 12:49 AM #

            Thanks Prabhu, now I see. It is a Darsana in Srila Gurudeva’s room in Badger, California: May 17, 2003.

            Yes there is a little difference from the translation. I dont feel that it is ALL completely hopeless now.

            Honestly my interpretation of the english version now is that no matter how much we personally preach we really wont have the personal potency to affect others… however I dont feel it means our entire movement is a useless waste of time anymore. Also ‘to try is bhakti’ means to to try and preach is simply offering your service to Sri Guru.. and service to Guru is bhakti.

            Anyway, all can see this very interesting darshna here..
            http://www.purebhakti.com/teachers/bhakti-discourses-mainmenu-61/22-discourses-2003/326-for-the-future.html

            Thanks Balaji
            saci ;)

        • brajanath August 5, 2010 at 5:13 AM #

          http://bvml.org/SBNM/lectures/20030517.html

          [A Darsana in Srila Narayana Maharaja’s Quarters; Badger, California: May 17, 2003]
          [At a darsana in Badger, in May of 2003, some of the senior devotees came to Srila Narayana Maharaja to express their concern that all may not go well in his sanga after his departure from this world. They had some proposals. Here are some of the exchanges that took place at that darsana:]

          [Devotee:] We want to present our conclusions and recommendations.

          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I am old now, and at any time I may pass. But I am not very anxious. I know Kala (Time Personified). Now you can go and discuss, and make some proposal. But don’t make it in a controlling mood. Try to always do everything with love and affection.

          One thing more you should know. You should not be anxious if anyone comes and goes. I have heard that at the time of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura thousands came and went. At the time of my Guru Maharaja, so many expert and very learned, intelligent persons came and left. You know Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja – thousands came, and are still going and coming. No one can do anything about this. So we should not try very hard, and we should try to reconcile.

          I want that we should make some committees for book distribution and publishing and for social work also, because without social work we cannot have government approval in India or anywhere. In this life we will have to also do social work – like feeding the poor, giving clothing, giving medicine, helping children and making schools. We should make some proposals.

          [Devotee:] What you are saying about Kala (the time factor) and the influence of Kala – most of the senior devotees have seen this also.

          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Not like me.

          [Devotee:] You have seen it millions of times more.

          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I have some realization. You should think that I have hundreds of times more than you; so you should not think your advice is so important.

          [Devotee:] Some of the senior devotees are very concerned for the work you have done, on our behalf and for the whole world. We are concerned that it will be preserved, now and in the future, as much as possible. Kala may come and change it all.

          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I know that you want this, but if you are not developing your own Krsna consciousness, you will never be able to do anything. So try to develop.

          [Devotee:] We need this sanga to develop. For so many years we have tried to practice on our own, and now we have found a home where we can have like-minded devotees; so we are concerned.

          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I know you will try, but at last you will see: “Oh, zero.” I know this. This world is controlled by Kala (Time) and kali-yuga. Kali-yuga will not give you permission to do all these good things. You will make a plan, and in a moment the result will be zero.

          [Devotee:] Should we try though?

          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should try. To try is bhakti. But I never want that rules and regulations should govern bhakti. Some persons forcibly tried to give lessons and control other devotees by kicking them out of the mission. I told them that this is against bhakti. When they did not want to follow my advice, I told them it was better for me to resign; and still I will help in all ways. Now I am satisfied.

          Try to realize. Do bhajana and don’t be engaged too much in these things. I am never involved in this.

          You should realize my mood, and if you don’t realize it you will have so many troubles. I have served my Gurus a little, and that is why I do some little bhajana. That is why I can reconcile all these things, and I never become unhappy. I have never been unhappy in my entire life.

          [Devotee:] So you are saying we can try, but our bhakti should not be disturbed.

          [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes, you should do that; and I will be happy.

          • Raghava August 5, 2010 at 7:10 AM #

            Thank you so much Brajanath prabhu. Very helpful and inspiring, and although it dates back to several years ago, it is still ever new and relevant.

            Yas
            Raghava

          • baladeva das b. August 5, 2010 at 11:29 AM #

            thanks brajanath prabhu for always help us to understand Gurudev.

            i see how Gurudev want all the best for our spiritual life, principally nowadays when every ‘guru’ want to give most importancy for his own mission and forget the wellfare of devotees, Gurudev is so vairagy and wellwisher that he say that we should not disturb so much in to these things, and we should try to develop our bhakti. This show the exemplary character of our Guru Maharaj, and how realistic he is. All the glories to this perfect personality, Sri Gurudev!!!

  9. Brajanath Das August 2, 2010 at 2:37 PM #

    Dear Mathuranatha prabhu,

    please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

    Thanks for your realistic perception. I do agree with you and hope that improvement will be there once we apply the concept of advisory board meetings twice a year. Here all reasonable proposals will be approved and consequently submitted to Srila Gurudeva for his final approval.

    Please feel free to make a sound proposal so as to help improve the spiritual well being of the devotees in our Sanga. You have 2 to 3 months time for this.

    You may present this on BtB for general input and fine tuning

    aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

    Brajanath das

    One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
     
    Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

  10. liladevi dasi August 2, 2010 at 3:27 PM #

    All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga,
    Dandavats and pranamas to all of you,

    I hope our preachers and sanyasas come to us and preach to us in a future, like they do it now.Our Gurudev is very expert in serving and preaching. He desires something what is possible to realise. If we stay together that will be society. If we in a future like now try to be devotional, we will always have Lord Krishna on our side.

    Liladevi dasi

  11. Vishwambhara dasa (San Francisco, CA) August 2, 2010 at 6:55 PM #

    our society is based on sadhu sanga. This is a perfect chart, since the sadhus are the presiding board. first leadership must be established, from there all inspiration for creating and building spiritual organizations, temples, seva teams, schools, hospitals, etc. – all the components of a society – will manifest.

    I wouldn’t change anything about it. I have faith, 110% in the continuation and growth of our society, as long as we honor, respect, and serve the senior vaishnava’s in the first chamber.

    - Vishwambhara dasa

  12. Visnujana Das August 2, 2010 at 7:54 PM #

    I totally agree…
    It’s very inspiring to see those names on top of the list. I personally would trust much more in the compassion and genuine affection that is in the hearts of such vaisnavas, than into any even most ingenious ‘material’ management.

    Those vaisnava qualities are given by Krishna.. and obviously for a reason.. Krishna is quite powerful. :) So, I absolutely agree, nothing can be more assuring of success as the association and guidance of such vaisnavas as Sripad BV Tirtha Maharaja, Sripad Premananda Prabhuji and others.

  13. Laksmidevi dasi August 2, 2010 at 7:58 PM #

    All glories to Sri Sri Guru & Gauranga. All glories to Sri Sri Radhe Vinode Bihariji.

    Dear concerned devotees,

    No need to panic. Didn’t Srila Prabhupada say,” If you don’t have the association then BE the association.”? Here on the Big Island of Hawaii we have a wonderful group of devotees who hold many programs in various households. Some homes seem to have developed into maths almost. Same is true with the enthusiastic San Francisco Bay area sanga. There is no reason to feel scattered & lost over the prospect of our beloved Gurudeva bodily absent from us. Is your love so weak? Gurudeva is in your heart always. Start programs in your own homes, encourage each other, invite the senior preachers to visit, rent a hall. Save money for trips to India.
    You can easily develop nice association & connectedness where you are. If not, consider relocating to an area that is already flourishing with a nice group of devotees. We always have Gurudeva’s books, videos & his advanced preachers to rely upon. Plus there is your prayers to Krishna. We don’t need to get caught up in any worries that we will be like ISKCON after Srila Prabhupada left. Sure there may be some jiggling ego problems manifest but that should not shake your bhakti up. Keep practicing what you love, pray for service, help those who are following in the mood of our Gurudeva. Have confidence in your spiritual master. Look at the example Shymarani has given. Even beaten up for defending the ideals of her master she continued on her spiritual path and Krishna aligned her with Gurudeva. If we strive for perfection within ourselves individually we will worry less what the other guy is doing. Krishna will take care, Gurudeva will take care of us.

    • Syamapada dasa August 3, 2010 at 5:39 AM #

      JAY RADHE!! JAY JAY SRI RADHE!!

      I totally agree if you!! :)

    • Bhadra August 9, 2010 at 9:56 AM #

      Hare Krishna! The best posting yet!

  14. tattva August 2, 2010 at 9:08 PM #

    Hare Krishna.

    How and by whom, will diksha and gaytari initiations be conducted after Srila Narayana Maharaja leaves this world? Is it important to make this directive clear and understood by all?

    • mathuranatha das August 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM #

      Hare Krishna Tattva Prabhu,depending upon someones level of sukriti that type of Guru they will get .For those with little sukriti there have to be so called Gurus available who are only a semblance of a vaishnava or a kanista vaishnava,and they will give a semblance of nama and mantras . Those with more sukriti can get a madyama or even an uttama Guru.The real best type of Guru is an eternal associate of Radha and Krishna and comes down just to help us and has never been a conditioned soul .
      That is what I have heard from the lips of the sadhus .

      Radhe Radhe !!

    • Brajanath Das August 3, 2010 at 3:36 PM #

      Dear Tattva prabhu,

      please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

      This is a very important area and we are in dire need for any and all good advice. Please provide us with yours.

      I want to share that we are dealing with 2 areas here, one is diksa and the other is siksa. Out of these 2 siksa is more important since the process of diksa is only healthy and progressive if there is transcendental siksa.

      I can envision our sannyasis taking up the responsibility of diksa spiritual masters and amongst them some will be outstanding in providing spiritual nourishment by siksa to many if not most of the aspiring devotees, even to the sannyasis that give diksa.

      I look forward to hear your feedback.

      aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

      Brajanath das

      One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
       
      Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

  15. baladeva das b. August 2, 2010 at 9:36 PM #

    dandavats all. Jai Sri Guru Dev!!!

    i agree with sacinandana prabhuji when he say that things have to go practionally, and not just teoric, i agree also that we should look at good examples, but these good examples should be put on practice on others centers. For example, here in Brazil, Gangamatas are doing well, but they have one devotee to suport them, any lady who go there for stay , they agree and treat her with education etc… here we have 2 seniors brahmacharis who are living with their parents, because they dont have any place to go. my lucky is that my good mother gave us 2 floor of hers house to do daily programs, receive sanyassis etc.. i also think that would be great if sanyassis could look for devotees more closer, when they go away, people become confused and weak and start to complain one with other. i wonder why prabhuji could not stay in l.a or houston temple?? is not that the intention of maths? i think that we need first to learn about education, vaishnavas etiquets , before to think on more elevated things, like Gurudev say: “Try to have afectionally relations with godbrothers” so dificult … iam saying by what i see, because thats not my situation, here we are doing well, daily programs, sanga growing, education and friendship between us etc… but for those who are eager to do seva and are not acepted on temples by political things.

    Jai Gurudev!!!

  16. Abhirama das August 3, 2010 at 12:47 AM #

    Hare Krishna, All glories to Sri Guru Gauranga!

    I wish to thank Sripad Brajanath prabhu and Sriman Yashodananda prabhu for their heartfelt vishrambha guru seva in composing this presentation. There are many wonderful responses which attest to the deep faith of so many members of this society, but to begin with, I would like to comment on the structure of the “internal heart” of the society. It is my belief as well as understanding that Srila Gurudeva’s society it currently functioning as well as it does due in a large part to the efforts and seva of Sripad Brajanath prabhu in his secretarial duty to Srila Gurudeva. My heartfelt supplication at the feet of the devotees for their consideration is that it will require his role in the “inner heart” of the society into the future.

    We see how the Gaudiya Vedanta Samhiti was able to continue to function and carry on the mission of Srila Paramgurudeva after his disappearance mainly due to the powerful leadership of three main presiding “pillars.” It is likely that this is a way in which our society could be structured similarly with three presiding “pillars” to balance the loving care of Srila Gurudeva’s darling daughters and sons and ensure the propagation of pure bhakti. To my understanding it is the main function of the society at large to carry on the preaching mission and teachings of Srila Gurudeva for future generations. It appears that the “inner heart” is something similar to this “pillar” structure of the Gaudiya Vedanta Samhiti except its members are grouped into two’s with the exception, currently, of Sriman Rasananada prabhu.

    My suggestion is that Sripad Brajanath prabhu should be added to that “inner heart” group seeing that he has dedicated his life twenty four hours a day to the service of Srila Gurudeva spanning the entire length of Srila Gurudeva’s preaching mission. He has received instructions from Srila Gurudeva continuously and observed countless aspects of how Srila Gurudeva conducted his mission and organization, acting as Srila Gurudeva’s “own hand,” imbibing his style and manners in dealing with different situations. He proved himself an unflinching support to Srila Gurudeva throughout his arduous traveling and a support as well to the numberless devotees who took shelter of Srila Gurudeva by facilitating a direct access to inquiry from Srila Gurudeva via e-mail, a service I venture to say that has assisted the spiritual lives of countless thousands of devotees. Needless to say, his skills and experience are invaluable now and will continue to be so in the future.

    Sripad Radhakanta prabhu has mentioned in his recent article on Back to Bhakti, “Do we want an international society?” that there are inherent differences in the way in which our traditional Gaudiya Mathas have functioned in India and in the way in which the sanga has formed and developed presently in the west through the preaching efforts of Srila Gurudeva. He states in that article that these differences and similarities should be taken into consideration when forming and developing an international society. He also states in that article that as a society we should embrace the integral concepts and truths of the original Gaudiya Matha paradigm, however, as an international group of devotees, we will have to expand our horizons to discover newer avenues and processes for engaging all the devotees present and future in devotional service. I believe that since Sripad Brajanath prabhu has travelled around the world serving Srila Gurudeva over the past fifteen years and has personally seen first hand this world wide congregation sprout, grow, and develop, that his voice will offer an extremely important perspective in the deliberations and securing of the “inner heart’s” desire of Srila Gurudeva into the future.

    Without seeing any Vaishnavas from the bodily platform, I believe that our “inner heart” of Srila Gurudeva’s society should also include those devotees born in the west who have demonstrated through their service and qualities their capabilities of representing Srila Gurudeva’s mission and teachings. Having said this, I believe it is extremely essential that Srimate Syamarani dasi be included in the “inner heart” of Srila Gurudeva’s international society. There is no need to extoll her glories or qualifications for they speak for themselves. I have also witnessed Srila Gurudeva state in his video about the society with Yashodananda prabhu and his wife on the front page of the Back to Bhakti website, regarding the question as to the role of women in the future of the sanga, Srila Gurudeva stated, “there must be at least one woman present on the board of devotees.”

    My other consideration which I say with utmost affection, respect, and taking the foot dust of his lotus feet on my head, is regarding our Sripad Premananda prabhuji, who is an outstanding Vaishnava jewel in our sanga, and his relation to the “inner heart” group of IPBYS. Several years back in 2007 when an initial international society board of trusties was formed, Bhakti Trust, and he was named on it, he wrote a profound letter to all the members of the board in which he expressed with grave humility his disqualification in so many respects and the strong desire not to be included within it. Expressing his deep humility at that time, he wrote very clearly there that he had no capacity nor inclination to participate in a society. Knowing and serving him, I have to express my heart that he is already there in the “inner heart” of the “inner heart” of the society owing to his outstanding qualification as a Vaishnava. I don’t know if he has had a recent change of heart, but if Premanada prabhuji does not wish to be on a formal committee of the society, but yet is facilitated to continue doing his bhajana and service to Srila Guru Maharaja, serving the “inner heart” of Srila Gurudeva both internally as well as externally within the society, both individually as well as collectively with the members of the committee, yet without holding an official position, I don’t think that it would in any way minimize him nor diminish the importance of his role in the society.

    I deeply appreciate and value Sripad Brajanath prabhu and Yashodadnana prabhu’s effort in this service and their vision that this society will not be one of “administrators” or “managers.” I do believe, however, that it is crucial that we deeply clarify in the beginning and accept the role of the “inner heart” in terms of how it will practically function in regards to the care of the society. I foresee that this “inner heart” of the society will be given the tremendous task to collaborate effectively to meet the challenge of dealing with the many various circumstances which will arise in the unification of a global society. Based on cultural and sociological differences of the various groups of devotees around the world, the “inner heart” will ask of its members to posses an ability to comprehensively and collectively collaborate based on personal experiences in order to come up with plans for dealing with each unique situation.

    To meet the challenge of discovering ways to unify the world-wide sanga, preserve the teachings of Srila Gurudeva, and dispel all apasiddhanta, common ideals amongst the members of the “inner heart” will be the primary means of attaining our cherished desire. If, however, we wish to follow the example of how Srila Gurudeva and his godbrothers, Nitya Lila Pravista om Srila BV Vamana Goswami Maharaja, and Nitya Lila pravista Om srila BV Travikrama Goswami Maharaja, continued to expand their Guru’s mission and build a bridge of pure Gaudiya Vasihnavism, we will have to embrace the concept that naturally people will gravitate toward a personal relationship with one Vaishnava in particular from whom they will take instruction and guidance, as Srila Gurudeva has so much instilled in us the necessity of anugatya. Thus if we wish to continue as a unified society in the presenting and propagating the preaching mission of our Gurudeva thereby effectively broadcasting pure bhakti in a cohesive and coherent manner, we will ultimately have to name a presiding acharya of the society. However, in the scope of performing pure bhaki and representing Srila Gurudeva purely, I do not believe that it is concomitant upon being a member of the society.

    I write this not with the intention to minimize anyone nor do I think anyone has acted except with the pure intentions of serving Srila Gurudeva in the best way possible and with the utmost Vaishnava etiquette. It is based on my own experience in the western preaching field, and especially based on my personal relationship with Sripad Premanandaji and all the other incredible Vaishnavas suggested to be within the “inner heart”, (forgive me if I am wrong and have made a mistake) that my suggestion for the structure of our International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society for the consideration of the respected devotees is put forth.

    “Inner heart”

    Sripad BV Tirtha Maharaja & Sriman Rasananda prabhu
    Sripad Brajanath prabhu & Sripad Madhava Maharaja
    Srimate Syamarani Didi & Sripad BV Vana Maharaja

    Sincerely aspiring for any particle of mercy of Sri Guru and Vaishnavas,
    Abhirama das

  17. Gaurahari das August 3, 2010 at 2:06 AM #

    Hare bol, dandavatas,
    Since you were asking for feed back and if there is a chance one can find some gold in a filty place therefore I share this advice. The title, All should know we are the pure bhakti society invites an air of, competition division, being better than others, and not unity between other vaishnava socieites who are quite naturally on various platforms of devotional service. It is better to leave such information confidential if one even does have the one and only pure bhakti society because others who don’t have faith in this will rebel and fight this mood presented.

    If you want to use such a title then it would be better to say we are a pure bhakti society. This leaves room for others socieites to be respected and not belittled by your society being THE one and only pure bhakti society. Even if that were true it is best not to advertise publicly such a thing because it will naturally create a competition spirit with other societies who may consider themselves equal or even better than your socieity. They will say something negative for sure. The fights will begin to happen because your title is setting the stage for conflict and competion.Devotees should come to their own conclusions about the purity of your society by their own realization and demonstration of your socieites vaishnava qualities and behavior and not being told to blindly accept that you are the purest vaishnava society at the present time.

    Even if you think what I am saying is nonsense just watch now what happens due to your society presenting itself as THE or by inferring to be the only pure bhakti society. I share this to offer a helpful suggestion because this is how your title came accross to me.
    Love and blessings,
    Gaurahari das

    • Damodara dasa August 3, 2010 at 6:01 AM #

      Gaurahari prabhu,

      I don’t think the name of the society will give us a bad reputation. All the names of bonafide Gaudiya Vaisnava societies are glorious and point to pure bhakti.

      There are several other factors at play here. First, the GVP has published some very advanced sastras and some other sangas seem to feel that it’s not in the Saraswati line to study such sastras let alone publish them, despite the fact that they were written by our acaryas.

      If we’re not supposed to study such sastras, then for whom were they written? Should such sastras be the property of sahajiyas? Why can’t novitiate bhaktas or even non-devotees read them? For many it’s advanced sastras that are most inspiring even if they are not easily understood. In fact, I don’t think any aspiring devotees will completely understand any sastras until they become maha-bhagavats, regardless of how much mundane education they have or how skillful they might be in word jugglery.

      So it’s very important to have sastras translated and commented on under the guidance of maha-bhagavats. We also need more audio books for the visually impaired and more videos with text captions for the hearing impaired.

      From my own experience Srimad Bhagavad-gita just didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t until I read Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, The Nectar of Devotion, Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, The Teachings of Lord Caitanya, and The Nectar of Instruction that I converted to Gaudiya Vaisnavism. And it was quite a few years later that I received harinam initiation from Srila Bv Narayan Maharaj, and I had been reading GVP English books for almost 3 years before that.

      So for some like me it’s a slow process, and for others it’s a much faster process. I guess it depends on transcendental sukrti. Sadhu-sanga is the most important factor for making advancement. We see that theme throughout all the Gaudiya Vaisnava sastras.

      That’s where Iskcon’s managers (GBC) have made their biggest managerial mistakes. Banning Srila BR Sridhar Maharaj and Srila Bv Narayan Maharaj didn’t make solving their problems any easier. It just made things worse and caused unnecessary divisions. Also the silencing of dissension up to the point of threats, assaults and murders has occurred – not a very palatable, let alone civilized approach to conflict resolution.

      I think we need to make adjustments constantly in accordance with time and circumstances, and try to be at peace with not only other Vaisnava societies, but people in general, as difficult as that might be in the war-torn world of kali-yuga on this planet Earth.

      All we can really do is try to behave confidently and yet humbly, and most importantly practice sadhana-bhakti and follow great personalities – our gurus.

      Please excuse my rant. I’m not a leader, but a follower, at least at this point. Bur most importantly, we’re not a society primarily of pure devotees, we’re a society of conditioned souls who are practicing bhakti-yoga and have found the path re-established by Sri Krishna Caitanya due to sri guru’s grace.

      We all need to pray to Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas that we’ll be blessed with sadhu sanga – not just the IPBYS, but everybody, including all living entities.

      Especially in the west for almost 20 years now in our sanga, devotees have primarily rallied around one manifest maha-bhagavat – Srila Bv Narayan Maharaj. I can’t see how this will work forever or we’ll end up as ritviks of some sort.

      If we try to create total unity or a one-size-fits-all organizational paradigm, we’ll be neglecting our own differences and propensities – and most importantly our sadhana-bhakti, which includes our preaching efforts. Although association with sanctified places and sastras is a good beginning, sadhu-sanga is essential in order to make any real advancement.

      I sincerely pray that we will all receive plenty of sadhu-sanga in our sojourn back to Godhead, and I hope we will be strong enough to overlook some of the formalities of bhakti-yoga and especially of organizational structures and become merciful like true Vaisnavas.

      Hare Krishna!

    • Bhadra August 9, 2010 at 11:13 AM #

      Dear Gaurahari das,

      Dandavat pranama.

      I respect your points. While I am convinced that Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja is, of contemporary times, the purest and most dynamic preacher of the topmost levels of bhakti, large percentages of his followers are not yet able to practise pure bhakti.

      Just today, when pondering over the name the International Pure Bhakti-yoga Society, a feeling of being an imposter in that society came over me. Perhaps it would be better if the society was named the International Society for the Development of Pure Bhakti-yoga.

      Might be too late to change the name now …

      And I definitely agree that, while establishing ourselves as a society, we should not erect thick and high walls around that society. After all, all the branches of Gaudiya Vaisnavism that are existing and spreading in the world, are branches of the one tree, the Caitanya Tree. We are inherently related, and love and respect should flow among us, or at least develop as we as individuals grow spiritually.

      The symptom of a pure bhakta is that he is humble and non-sectarian, loving and accepting of all, like our Gurudeva.

      Gurudeva is always telling us to NOT act from false ego; and trnad api sunicena is the mantra we should wear around our neck. Perhaps we can claim to be the International Pure Bhakti-yoga Society only if we can consistently practise the bhakti-sadacara of accetping and welcoming devotees from other sangas and offering them love and respect … no matter what they think of us.

      Look at the International Society for Krsna Consciousness. For decades it — or individuals within it — allowed and fostered moods that were anything but Krsna conscious.

      So, you are right; in one sense it could perhaps be said that we are sticking our neck out with a name like International Pure Bhakti-yoga Society.

      I am presently prepared to put my faith in IPBYS, because from deep within an aspiring sadhaka’s heart, a society for pure bhakti is the safest and only place to be. But I will be wary if I detect agendas other than the aspiration for pure bhakti happening after Srila Gurudeva is no longer visible to us. It would be in such an instance that I would pray to him, Srila Prabhupada and Mahaprabhu to guide me (again) to where pure bhakti was actually available.

      Thankyou for your points.

      Bhadra dasi

      • Bhadra August 10, 2010 at 8:52 AM #

        Further to my comments above, I want to make it clear that I did not mean to imply that I lack faith in the devotees listed in the inner chamber of the first limb of the society diagram. I feel quite certain that these devotees are among the most developed and qualified on the planet, and that a society with them at the head is worthy and safe to take shelter in.

        Even before our Srila Prabhupada went into nitya-lila, elements were present in his society which caused devotees distress and bewilderment. I personally experienced this.

        While I feel this is much less likely to happen in IPBYS, because of past impressions I will not consider that it definitley never will.

        I am happy and enthused to serve within IPBYS with confidence, and I pray that it ever remains a vehicle which purely represents our great and beloved Gurudeva. Main thing is, as one tiny individual, the responsibility is on me — by absorbing the words of my gurus — to make sure I always represent it purely.

        Bhadra dasi

  18. gaura govinda das August 3, 2010 at 3:34 AM #

    Dandavat Pranams Prabhus;
    All Glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada

    The structure is perfect. Concentric circles around the supreme representative of the Supreme Lord. This is perfect because without this center then all the other circles simply spin in place or spin away from the center. They all need to be drawn towards the center. The center is where Krishna can be found. Without the pure vaishnava then all becomes karma. Whatever “organization” methods or techniques one employs simply takes away from the central point. We have so many “organized” religious groups who simply become caught up in the form and lose the connection to the substance. They prevent the natural emergence of the unconventional preacher who is not bound by these contrivances. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta said it very succinctly.

    “The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna Caitanya, in pursuance of the teachings of scriptures, enjoins all absence of conventionalism for the teachers of the eternal religion. It does not follow that the mechanical adoption of the unconventional life by any person will make him a fit teacher of religion. Regulation is necessary for controlling the inherent worldliness of conditioned souls. But no mechanical regulations has any value even for such purpose.

    The bonafide teacher of religion is neither any product nor the favorer of any mechanical system. In his hands no system has likewise the chance of degenerating into a lifeless arrangement. The mere pursuit of fixed doctrines and fixed liturgies can not hold a person to the true spirit of doctrine or liturgy.

    The idea of an organized church in an intelligible form indeed marks the close of the living spiritual movement. The great ecclesiastical establishments are the dykes and dams to retain the current that cannot be held by any such contrivances. They indeed indicate a desire on the part of the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purposes. They also unmistakeably indicate the end of the absolute and unconventional guidance of the bonafide spiritual teacher.” Read this three times and it makes perfect sense.

    Srila Gurudeva’s preaching methods are perfect. Hold twice yearly parikramas in Vraja and Navadvip. This alone will inspire so many devotees and will purify their existence to such a point that they will become empowered to preach purely. Hold festivals all around the world, organized and put on by local devotees. The senior men should get as much “pure” association as possible. Then they will be strong enough to preach in Maya’s kingdom. If there is the will and the facility then a temple can manifest. If you need an example for how a temple should run then just look to ISKCON. They have perfected the temple concept. Just do the same thing. No need to change. Maybe some Gaudiya Math flavor and that is enough.

    To the success of The Pure Bhakti Society.

    Gaura Govinda das

  19. gaura govinda das August 3, 2010 at 4:15 AM #

    Dandavats Prabhu

    Dear Gaurahari das;

    The name of the society is not sectarian or meant to indicate superiority. It is an establishment of fact. The society that Srila Gurudeva is presenting is based on the principles of “uttama Bhakti”. This merely indicates the goal of the society. Srila Gurudeva is establishing the siddhanta of the Rupanuga Vaishnavas. This is what Lord Chaitanya brought to this world and distributed freely. To present anything else would be insufficient. Sambhandha-tattva, is the understanding of the relationship one has with the Supreme. The entity that nourishes and protects this knowledge is Sri Guru. “Without clearly realizing the utmost importance of Sri Guru, one will not be able to understand other tattvas properly or make much progress in bhakti” (Sri Slokamrtam). What Sri Guru establishes is perfect and complete. Thus the name “International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society” is quite appropriate. Just break up each name and meditate on it. It makes perfect sense. Just as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness is also perfect. There is no conflict. One is a natural progression on the other. Once one becomes conscious of Krishna then one must learn how to engage in pure bhakti. It is not enough to practice just Vaiddhi Bhakti. The natural progression is towards “Prema Bhakti”, this is what Srila Gurudeva is teaching, thus his society must indicate Pure Bhakti. It could be called nothing else. If I may suggest. Please read Srila Gurudeva’s “Sri Slokamrtam”. This book is perfectly organized to bring one to the platform of “Pure Bhakti Yoga”. If you just learned these essential slokas then you will preach pure bhakti and nothing else.

    Your servant;

    Gaura Govinda das

  20. Dhanistha dd August 3, 2010 at 1:00 PM #

    As one of the more recent (in the past few years) devotees I feel the lack of structure. Most of the devotees have “come over” due to various circumstances – they know where they are at – but the newer devotees do not. In my occupation I have access to many people, but no-where to take them. I have had to be so much self-reliant. We need a good structure which follows all the regulated principals. Following these adjuncts bhakti works. If a liquid has no container it flows everywhere. Just the same we need the structure, There is a lot we can glean from Iskon in this respect. Being in this position to see what has worked and what has not worked, As a dd I for one want to see more of the womens voice here I want to see more devotee care too. This is so important to help them move through changes which have occured inthe past and which will occur in the future. I feel it is important to have the temple units functioning. We need that central unit, We need to see the beautiful deities. We need all of this as maya is so very much doing her job so well these days, We need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but to slowly and carefully sift through what has occured historically and plan well for the future.

    All glories to Srila Gurudev. Hare Krsna.

  21. mathuranatha das August 3, 2010 at 1:11 PM #

    Dandavat Pranams ! All Glories To Sri Guru and Sri Gouranga !!

    Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If there is no society, everyone will be separated. They will scatter here and there; there will be no control.
    So naturally we will wonder how having a society will stop the devotees being separate and scattering here and there .There is no society now, so does that mean the devotees are separated and scattering here and there now?.I personally would say yes most definitely and its increasing .So clearly Srila Gurudeva wants a society to rectify that ..

    So why are they separated and scattering here and there ?By definition to be separated means to have no association .So in other words Srila Gurudeva is saying He wants the devotees to always be in good association[not separated ]

    “The word ‘Society’ means an advanced civilization or a group of persons who cooperate together for a particular purpose”.By definition a society means to be in the association of a group working cooperatively together.

    So Srila Gurudeva wants a society so the devotees will always have good association .

    How will our new society provide that association that is lacking [by definition ] without a society .That means the new society will add a new element of association that we currently dont have .

    We already have Srila Gurudeva and his sannyassis travelling everywhere giving association intermittently .And we already have the association of Gurudevas books .But that status quo is not enough for Srila Gurudeva and[ by definition] He wants the new society to provide something more .

    What could that possibly be ?What new element will the new society provide that will give us constant good association and stop us “being separated and scattering here and there” ??

    The obvious answer , based upon the precedents set by our recent achariyas , is temples .Temples , maths , mandirs, ashrams provide the opportunity for constant good association and [by definition ] stop us from being separated and scattering here and there .

    I guess thats why Srila Gurudeva has been constantly asking devotees all around the world where ever he goes to establish centers .So logically [as established above ] the new Society is supposed to help the devotees do that .

    Dear devotees please give any logical ,reasonable replies and refrain from venting unresolved emotional aversions and apprehensions .

    Radhe Radhe !!!

    • Brajanath Das August 3, 2010 at 2:27 PM #

      Dear Mathuranath prabhu,

      please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

      What you describe and observe is so much true and we do need temples and centers in order to nourish the bhakti creeper of the devotees. Having said that, our challenge is how to make this happen.

      I remember that Srila Gurudeva has asked the devotees in Murwillumbah for last 14 years to have a proper center. Since you are in Murwillumbah you have first hand experience why this was/is so difficult to accomplish.

      It would a great relief to hear from you and from others what the magic formula is to make this happen?

      We may also request devotees around the world where we do have established centers that function well, how they have accomplished this.

      aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

      Brajanath das

      One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
       
      Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

      • Syamapada dasa August 3, 2010 at 6:13 PM #

        Dear Brajanath prabhu,

        Please accept my most humble dandavats pranams. Jay Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga Sri Sri Radha Ramana Bihariji.

        Yes. Build and maintain a temple is no easy work. I´ve seen many temples rise and fall for many reasons, none of them was money, land or lack of physical structure. From my contamined perspective the disease that rot those temples away was quite simple: pratistha, aparadha and the desire to make money throught the temple.

        As I said before, there are no estabilshed do´s and dont´s that doesn´t fit on spiritual guidance to bhajana and saddhana, since building and maitaing a temple is in fact a spiritual matter. When a devotee really, I mean REALLY, wants something or someway to serve his Gurudeva, he will make all the right arranges to make this happen. Our desire to serve will be tested, and we may or may not pass.

        I am, along with my wife, one of the founders mambers of an well estabilished math here in Rio de Janeiro called Sri Gauravani Gaudiya Math. And even tough we may run into many material difficulties to manage and run the temple, by our devotion, Srila Gurudeva makes all the right arranges to make the temple even and even better. First we must taste poison… Then nectar will come, and it comes in the form of many beautiful programs and festivals we hold regularly.

        Rio de Janeiro is a very austere place to do bhajana and saddhana and specially to run a math, but somehow, we humbly manage to do it. Many europeans came here, even red cloth brahmacaris, trying to stay here and learn with us, but they couldn´t fit and all of them left. If we in this very difficult place, with no money, no land, and no property are able to perform such a task for the pleasure of our sweet gurudeva, It will be quite simple for many of you, living in rich countries, to do it if you really want.

        Even tough I am just a simple pujari along with my wife and our seva is quite simple and well defined, I can give you some guidelines that we try to follow. I can´t give financial detail simple because I am not really interested on it, but I do know something, and what I know I will pass along.

        We are a somewhat large sanga here in Rio de Janeiro, with many arrow disciples. Most of us gather around big festivals, like Sri Janmastami and Radhastami, Rama Navami, Gaura Purinima and when we have some special guests, specially Sripad Pujyapada BV Vana Maharaja. On those festivals we can gather up to a maximum of 100 devotees and visitors. But during regular days, on sunday festivals, we gather up to a maximum of 20-30 regular devotees who usually comes to sunday festivals with their families. During the week, however, the program is basically formed by a handful of devotees, up to a 15 on saturday when we read Srimad Bhagavad-Gita.

        We are by the terms of the law an official institute, and we have our main directives and goals, but those were not there 5 years ago when we started.

        Most of the devotees, even those who never show up and those who never do any seva, give regular donations by their own terms. It is not a monthly payment or something, I myself give 2 or 3 times a year a good amount of money, while others give weekly or monthly little amounts. It all depends on the necessity and there are no fixed rules.

        We have a number of various sevas, some of them are maintanance, some of them are ocasional and some designed to please Srila Gurudeva and to collect more money. But we started with the basic maintanance sevas. Slowly we began to develop more and more seva. Anyone can be accepted to do any seva, the only things we ask for are compromise and qualification. But we do have high standart for altar and cooking.

        Just a few of us peform many many sevas, and our current challenge is to bring more and more devotees to perform seva, but most of them are like flies and can´t give serious commitment. With our maintance seva there is altar, cooking, making garlands, collecting bhoga, cleaning and repairing and the administrative things which I am not really into. We also have translating, proof reading, book distribuition, preaching, harinama-sankirtana, nama-hatta, hatha yatra, bringing preachers and sannyasis to preach here and many many more.

        I advise you who want to really start a center or math to stay fixed on the basics, like altar, cooking, regular programs – like reading Srila Gurudeva´s classes or any real book – and specially to save money to bring sannyasis and others preachers to your math. You should create marketing material to attract visitors and fly-like devotees (pamphlets, web sites, newspaper, etc.). The place or building is not the big issue, you can make it all happen at home, what really matters here is regularity, dedication, self-sacrifice and commitment. Not to mention saddhana and bhajana.

        Me and my wife are going to start another small temple, or kunja, like Sripad Vana Maharaja called it “Sri Vrnda Kunja”. We don´t have deities yet, but we will worship the Seva Kunja Picture (We just got married before Srila Gurudeva on his Vyasa Puja and we just got our own place, and we offered it to Srila Gurudeva in a fire ceremony) But we will start it with mangala arati and saturday programs. We have a small projector and we wil be able to show some Srila Gurudeva´s movies.

        What I most advise you to is to make it happen SOMEHOW! Rome wasn´t built in one day! It all start by someone´s pesonal effort, even those big temples in India. Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Math was very very poor, but very very sincere in the beguining. Please, don´t stop to think on the difficulties, they are there, inhereted on this kali yuga, and they will be always there.

        When we try to first create the temple, with no real desire to serve, and then attract devotees and visitors to maintain it, it will fail. We should be really away from pratistha – to whom´s pleasure are we building a math? we should ask ourselves. Then, all the money collected by any seva belongs to the matha. Ask for help and donnation. And those who will run the temple must give example by their own behaviour, sadhana and bhajana. Be humble, tolerant – follow trnad api sunicena – forgive any offence and stay focused on the temple maintanance. Don´t think we can fool Srila Gurudeva. He will wipe out our temple if we do it for pratistha, presonal gain or commit any aparadha.

        If our temple is failing it is time to consider all these truths and improve ourself and our saddhana. If our sanga is attending to ISKCON programs then we are commiting more offences than ISKCON, and we should deperately beg for our sanga forgiveness and desperately ask for a new chance to serve them. If we think they need our service and we are better than them, then our bhakti is doomed. We should think small first, do the basics… Then everything will come, taste will come, nectar will come.

        Please don´t consider any offences commited in this letter…

        JAY SRI RADHE!! JAY JAY SRI RADHEEEEEEEE!

        • Raghava August 3, 2010 at 6:49 PM #

          Hare Krishna Syamapada prabhu.

          Excellent advice and thanks for sharing. Dandavat pranams.

          We’re trying to set up (expand) the preaching here in Holland. We don’t have thousands of bhaktas, but there is an increasing number of guests and new initiates looking for structure and seva to offer. It is only Srila Gurudeva’s mercy that he even considers to engage us in his service. So we feel grateful and try to do the best we can, and a little more.

          Very inspiring.
          Yas
          Raghava Pandit das

          • Syamapada dasa August 4, 2010 at 2:02 PM #

            Dear Raghava prabhu

            We don´t have thousands of devotees here in Rio de Janeiro, but maybe a couple of hundreds, all thanks to the sweet and loving hari-katha of our most respected Sripad Pujyapada BV Vana Maharaja, Sripad BV Sajjana Maharaja and now Sripad BV Suddhadvaita Maharaja who comes regularly here to preach. We don´t have any qualification, but our sannyasis are empowered by Srila Gurudeva´s mercy and can do, literally, miracles. That´s why is so important for our math to bring those kind of preachers, they can attract new devotees, not us.

            I am very happy to hear that visitors and new devotees are coming to your math, because those are the ripe fruit of the math, and a sign that everything is going well. Be very very tolerant with the visitors and new ones, their bhakti is very thin (usually) and they usually accepts all offences. Keep them well fed – Spripad BV Van Maharaja says that in the beguining everyone should leave the temple completely stuffed with mahaprasadam, walking like ducks :) – and very happy, never give them any chastising.

            Keep up their interest and keep them in the temple somehow, to take darsan of thakurji and accept mahaprasadam. If you are able, try to dedicate one class for them – here we dedicate the sunday program – to teach the basics, don´t go beyond your own knowledge and realisation. Little by little they will gain good confidence, little sukrt, and little by little their bhakti will grow stronger. Be patient, some are fast learners, while others don´t.

            Harinama-Sankirtana and book distribution are for experienced devotees, so don´t invite new ones. Keep your deities happy – well fed, bathed, well dressed, arati – and everything will be okay. Sripa Muni Maharaja once told me to just take care of takurji, since the math is Their home, They will make all the right arranges to make things right, even if things look strange or worst at first. If Krsna is happy, then everything is ok.

            If you need anything else, just let me know…

            Haribole!!

        • baladeva das b. August 4, 2010 at 2:47 AM #

          dandavats. jai Sri Gurudev!

          i agree with Syamapada prabhu when he say that desire to control (pratistha) we have lived togueter in rio and had this problem there. and make money using the temple is a real problem. Here, our center is going well because in the beggining people didnot respect me, even they talked bad things (they dont knew Gurudev here) etc… but by cultivating their friendship, beeing tolerant and respecting any one, they became atracted to Gurudev and now we are 9 iniciateds here. The problem is that who is apointed to be the manager can NOT think that he is the controler, other wise no one will have afection to him, and problem will come. Better to be criticized in the beggining, tolerate all contrarry things, and after some time they will realize that u are a good person, simple etc… they will apreciate.
          my xperience here is that we should not consider (the managers) to be the controler, and be simple in all situations, putting Gurudev in the center of all activities. Go to hari-nam sankirtan, take care of Thakurjis very well and do book distribution, if we do that with a seva atitude, Krishna will be pleased and people will start to come and feel happy. He is the controler.

          Like Brajanath Prabhu told, this ‘easy’ atitude , seems to be dificult like a magic. Any way, B.R.Sridhar Maharaj say that we should pass any dificulty for the sake of Sri Sri Guru Gauranga.

        • baladeva das b. August 4, 2010 at 2:49 AM #

          syamapada ji, nosso irmão radhanath que mora em sampa ta com umas thakurjis querendo doar pra alguém, ve se entra em contato com ele, ou se voce quiser mesmo tomar conta delas me fala q falo com ele, aí voce terá deidades aí no seu centro tb. abraço. Jay Gurudev!

          • Syamapada dasa August 4, 2010 at 2:09 PM #

            He prabhuji!

            Quando vc vem no rio?
            Depende das thakuras… Qual o material? Vem com roupinha? Qual o tamanho? Tem a parafernália do arati? Estão quebradas? É Radha-Krsna e Mahaprabhu?

            Desculpa fazer essas perguntas, mas é que Gurudeva fala que em questão de deidade a gente não pode sair por aí aceitando qualquer uma, pode ser veneno e a gente não sabe…

            Mas estou interessado sim!

            RADHE!!!

          • baladeva das b. August 4, 2010 at 3:18 PM #

            rsrs, é, tem q saber mesmo …. então, o radhanath ganhou um mahaprabhu, e radha krishna novos agora, ele quer doar uma radha krishna, acho q deve ter uns 20 centimtros mais ou menos, não sei ao certo, ele me ofereceu porém eu já tenho as minhas aki etc.. ele tb tem um gaura nitai que ker doar tb, não sei sobre roupas, são de metais , deve ser legais, estão bem cuidadas, não estão kebradas etc.. foi só pq ele ganhou outras maiores novas do sundara …. vc ta no f.book? entra em contato com ele, ele ta lá, não sei quando vou ao rio, mas se vc quiser ele envia pra vc por alguém… ele só ké alguma doação, qualquer que seja, abraço. vlw.

          • Syamapada dasa August 4, 2010 at 4:04 PM #

            Prabhu… me manda um e-mail

            syamapada@gmail.com

            Radhe!!

        • Damodara dasa August 8, 2010 at 3:01 AM #

          Hari Bol Prabhu, Now that sounds like the perfect plan. I could not have said it better, wonderful and simple. Hare Krishna

          Damodara dasa

      • Sudarsana Das Vanachari August 4, 2010 at 2:37 PM #

        Dear Sriman Brajanath prabhu.
        Please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.

        It is interesting that you mention the “magic formula” as this is the key.

        It has been my own experience working in graphic design that most persons (devotees included) have a linear way of thinking when the only successful way of approaching a problem solving exercise is to use a lateral process of thinking.

        It has always been my ultimate frustration as an artist to try and explain a “solution to a problem” or an idea to others as they are generally unable to comprehend or grasp it’s meaning. ( I’m sure there are other designers out there that understand what I am saying ).

        To avoid circumstances of frustration, lethargy, desperation and hopelessness one needs the ability to change tack when things aren’t coming together and approach the problem from a different angle.

        Your most fallen servant in the service of Srila Gurudeva…

        Sudarsana

  22. Sri Radha Vallabha August 4, 2010 at 9:39 AM #

    Respected devotees,
    Please accept my dandavat-pranams, Sri Sri Guru-Gaurangau Jayatah!

    Being aware it is a very painful and sensitive subject, I will therefore simply copy the words already used:
    “While none of us like to think about when Srila Gurudeva is no longer on the planet, it is his desire that preparations are made to continue his legacy so that we will continue to serve his mission effectively for the rest of our lives, and future generations will be able to do the same.”

    My question:
    In the picture of the organisational chart, Srila Gurudeva’s name is on top.
    As founder-acarya of IPBYS he will naturally always be on top, whether we serve his vapu AND vani, or his vani only.
    In the case Srila Gurudeva is with us in vani “only”, who will be on top of the organisational chart in the ORGANISATIONAL sense?
    Let there be no doubt that Srila Gurudeva was, is and always will be our spiritual guide.
    However, from the organisational point of view, who will guide the 1st chamber, 2nd chamber, etc.?

    Thank you very much.
    daso’smi,
    Sri Radha Vallabha.

  23. brajanath August 4, 2010 at 10:23 AM #

    Dear Sri Radha Vallabha prabhu,

    please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

    My understanding is that we will look towards the presiding board, the respected sannyasis, and the renounced preachers for spiritual guidance and we will continue to be responsible in our personal and local seva teams for practical engagement. The presiding board, the sannyasis, and the renounced preachers form the heart of our Society. Inspiration comes from the heart and if we give this proper respect and attention, it will be functioning very well. Especially within the heart all should respect each other and have spiritual friendship. This way, all will be able to excel in their services and automatically, as we associate with each other, strong faith and spiritual nourishment will be available.

    At the time of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samhiti there was so much appreciation, honor, vishrambha feelings and seva vrtti under the capable guidance of Srila Bhaktivedanta Vaman Maharaja, Srila Gurudeva and Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikram Maharaja. We pray for their causeless benedictions and special mercy that we always keep their ideal behavior as our example.

    aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

    Brajanath das

    One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
     
    Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

  24. Nitin Kumar August 7, 2010 at 8:29 AM #

    Dear prabu jis , matajis & respected all Maharaj.
    I am very happy to see that gaudiya math is going to be organized. I am very lenient servant of vaisnavas. According to my understanding. We must improve our gaudiya math living standard . we must improve our daily programs in math. Likes kritan, worship Every temple devotee must wake up in the Moring & attend the morning program together. We can change our lecture timings so that general people can participate like ISKCON. We can also introduce Shrimad bhagvatam classes daily. We can start daily harinaam sankirtan in local area. We can also make one team in every math who can go outside for preaching & book distribution. Some devotees can go for collecting donations for the math. We can organized some basic seminars about Bhakti for general people with audio video presentations. We can start separate programs for youth like girls, boys, students. We can also start some seminars for business class people & cooperates. We can start some bhakti course for devotees. We can give proper training to preachers about all tatva knowledge of gaudiya vaishnavism. We can make educational modules for New devotees to well trained devotees so that devotees can progress one after another level in organized way. We can teach devotees how to maintain purity in Bhakti. Every temple president must work like selfless observer so that no one can break rules & regulations. No one can preach without proper knowledge of scriptures. We can use print media & digital media for preaching like banners , posters, Tv shows. We can provide proper & pure Knowledge to people about Bhakti. The most important thing is that we can improve purity level of all devotees of society. If we work together without any selfish motive then Krishna will help us. We can give chance to fallen souls so that they can become devotees.
    I hope you like that.
    Please forgive me if I done any offence.
    Your servant
    Nitin Kumar

  25. Venu Gopal Das August 13, 2010 at 2:27 AM #

    The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organisations

    First of all I offer my dandavat pranaams at the lotus feet of my beloved Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja.
    All glories to Sri Sri Radha Govinda! All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga!

    Srila Gurudeva wrote to me two years ago when I was organising a workshop called co-operation for a common purpose here in Auckland New Zealand. He had a message for the devotees attending:
    “Take 100 % responsibility for your services and
    respect each other and not think you are the master of others”

    How could I help encourage devotees to take %100 responsibility for their seva?

    When I thought deeply about it and did some research on the relationships in traditional hierarchical management models, I learned that control flows downward and responsibility flows upwards. In other words traditional hierarchical models do not encourage devotees to take responsibility for their seva.

    I think an understanding of this is important for volunteer organisations such as ours. Volunteer organisations have few channels to give punishment and reward for wanted or unwanted behaviour. One of the challenges that volunteer organisations such as ours face, is how to inspire and encourage members to work for the organisations purpose. Srila Gurudeva often says we should be controlled by love. Is seva done within a hierarchical management system/ in other words for a reward or to avoid a punishment, being controlled by love?

    What are other organisations similar to ours are doing to inspire their sanga?

    From my study two examples stood out clearly:

    • The local Christian Mega Church

    • The Loft – a preaching initiative that Sita Pati prabhu a disciple of Devamrta Swami pioneered in Australia and New Zealand (Many of the devotees currently moving into ISCKON temples and distributing books have come through the Loft. I also came to KC through the Loft programme)

    The common denominator among these two successful organisations was their management model – they had network models for leadership. Their decentralised models focussed on engaging and empowering everyday people to mobilise their skills and energy to serve a particular purpose.

    Focus around purpose and not people or position
    The network model does not mean there are no leaders. On the contrary it empowers hundreds of leaders to contribute their skills. What it doesn’t have are ‘formal positions’ which tend to encourage people to jockey to fill a position and then relax (or corrupt) into once they achieve that position.

    There is a lot more to this idea that you could read about in The Starfish and the Spider
    http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=be_4LRyepS8C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false. I don’t see that this model of management interferes with the spiritual principles of the Guru and disciple relationship in our Sampradaya. I think as a leadership model we could learn from, and possibly join the unstoppable expansion of organisations that use this leadership model.

    It aligns with Seva Teams: the first step by giving:

    “members and groups of members the authority and self-confidence to be self-directing within the framework of Srila Gurudeva’s instructions and mission; i.e. send the message that initiative is expected and desired.”

    And also with Srila Prabhupada’s statement “That is the art of management: to draw out spontaneous loving spirit of sacrificing some energy for Krishna.”

    Perhaps this leadership model will help us become unstoppable in spreading Krishna Consciousness, especially in Western contexts where. Perhaps it could help us to the mood of Srila Gurudeva and encourage us to “take 100 % responsibility” for our services?

    Aspiring to serve Srila Gurudeva and the Vaishnavas
    Venu Gopal Das
    New Zealand
    Benhc1@gmail.com

    Some of my sources:

    Seva Teams Seva-teams: the first step
    by BV Vaikhanas and BV Nemi
    https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AdOXVT4GbkqUYWpqNWtraHFuYjRoXzczanMydzh2d2o
    Sita Pati’s Blog
    http://www.atmayogi.com
    The Starfish and the Spider
    http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=be_4LRyepS8C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false
    Simply Strategic Stuff
    http://books.google.com.au/books?id=oAhhXCuD9DwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=simply+strategic+stuff&source=bl&ots=vcN5JAv038&sig=DE9oNy_D0nA1iuqL58EoMf3wYc0&hl=en&ei=slLyS9i2BoH66QPsxIWODA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBQQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=true

    • Bhavesh Das August 14, 2010 at 8:04 AM #

      Thank You so much Prabhuji for this great information. As Raghava Prabhu said this is exactly the type of input we need. You have inspired me and I will look into your links and resources to learn as we in Utah build our community.

      Bhavesh Das

    • Bhavesh Das August 14, 2010 at 8:07 AM #

      Prabhuji, is it possible for you to tell us about “the Loft” and how it works?

      Bhavesh

      • Raghava August 14, 2010 at 8:18 AM #

        Haribol Bhaveshji

        Have you looked here? : http://www.theloft.org.nz/

        And also this part: http://www.atmayogi.com/node/27

        Yas
        Raghava

      • Raghava August 14, 2010 at 8:27 AM #

        and this one: http://gaurayoga.co.nz/festivals/

        • Bhavesh Das August 14, 2010 at 8:36 AM #

          Thank you so much Prabhuji!

          Such great ideas and information for us as we create here in Utah and for everyone else all over the world. This is what it’s all about. Helping and inspiring each other. Our service and inspiration are the key to spreading Srila Gurudev’s mission.

          When we take responsibility for creating opportunities we allow the “Heart Center” of the IPBYS to act as they are intended to. As our Spiritual Leaders.

          Bhavesh

  26. Raghava August 13, 2010 at 7:38 AM #

    Dandavat pranams Venu Gopal prabhu ji,

    This is truly wonderful and thanks for sharing it with us. It is exactly the kind of input our sanga needs and I will make sure that Brajanath and Yasodananda prabhus will get to read it.

    Now I saw the same post on your own blog, which by the way is wonderful, and I noticed it had some diagrams on there. I think it would be great if we could have those same graphics in your comment above and I am going to try to insert them with your permission.

    Thanks again for writing and taking part in the dialogue. Now something very much in line with your thoughts and quoted sources is the following video. I think you will “love” it. View it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc

    Yrs,
    Raghava Pandit das

  27. Maukundananda dasa August 18, 2010 at 5:02 PM #

    All Glóries to Srila Gurudeva A lll gLories to Srila Prabhupada,
    From the very begining of Srila Gurudeva’s preaching in Brasil I did some effort to help bring together people from everywhere to come to the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva.
    Mnay people came, but I m not seeing althought big festivals was made with good numbers of people. but I cant see any proper structure in the preaching being estabilished.
    This chambers of Srila Gurudeva Heart is very nice but what is the position and responsability of the first chamber , i can see only that in the others chambers.
    About aversion of any kind control is principal feature in our sanga because many cmae from Iskcon. That is alright, Controling people is not Bhakti , but we are in the material world ruled by Kali Yuga age.
    Tham hipocresy and fight always will be there inside or outside any spiritual society.
    But without organization and without hierarquy nothing can be really construct in this worls.
    Let me know if Govardhana temple and Navadwip complex are builded without blue print, engineers, construtors etc, ets, etc…
    Of course no if you try to contruct anything funcional in this world withot hierarquy and obedience to this hirarquy there will be only a caos and the end will be collapse.
    Some devotte mention AA and Obama campaign. I m sure there is organization , blueprint, and everything in those mentions case nertheless hide. maybe
    Srila Prabhupada use to say that is better a blind uncle tham no uncle. This means there will be defect in any attempt , maybe there will be desire to overcontrol from some people llike Iskcon GBCs, But because we already lerned many things that went wrong surely we can oragnize better and take proper precautious to avoid overcontrol or despoty.
    If we tell people there is no one appointed by the Heirarquy or voted by the society to being in charge, with also a group of others with the same power. Just because we dont want control, one thing will sure happen , first there will be hide control that may become corrupted especial in the top , second some people will take control based in their manipulations and carism and because there is nothing pointed to be in charge also there is not estrict rules about, how to manage, printing, open centers, managing donations , the proper use of donations etc.. And everything will collapse There is no way to scape control there Will be there in a proper way or unproper,
    dandavats,
    Pranams
    Mukundananda dasa

  28. mathuranatha das August 19, 2010 at 2:59 AM #

    Dear Maukundananda Prabu , thank you for your logical , practical and thoughtful comments . I personally agree with all your points ,and I feel hope full that the collective mood of our sanga is moving in that direction .
    Radhe Radhe !!

  29. Venu Gopal Das August 19, 2010 at 4:58 AM #

    Dear Prabhus,

    Please look at the link below. It is a picture of some of the characteristics of a decentralised network. http://venugopaldas.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/network.png?w=594&h=526

    The reason that the decentralised network as a *management model* makes sense to me is that:

    * To a degree – it is already the model that is in place.
    * The successful results of organisations such as: the loft preaching programme, contemporary decentralised businesses and various unstoppable movements such Al-qaeda are undeniable.

    * It would personally give me the green light I have been waiting for, to do many things that I have been holding back for years in service to Srila Gurudeva.

    Your Aspiring Servant
    Venu Gopal Das

    • mathuranatha das August 19, 2010 at 11:30 AM #

      Dear Venu Gopal Prabhu, I personally find your conceptions interesting and stimulating .There is no doubt the model you suggest could be quite effective at spreading and popularizing the cultural and philosophical aspects of the path of Bhakti .

      What I am wondering about is how such a decentralized model would assist saranargati . My limited understanding is that in the optimal situation the disciple surrenders to the Guru and is under strict discipline . Gives up all independence and carry s out the instructions of the Guru without adding any deliberation and in total disregard to the whims of our conditioned minds .As far as I’v understood that,s the optimal situation we aspire for and in the lifetime we attain it will lead to our perfection .A totally top down autocratic system .A perfect being micromanaging every aspect of the lives of imperfect , bewildered , conditioned souls — molding them to reach perfection . Conditioned souls have the propensity to be bewildered , make mistakes , cheat and be in illusion .Left to their own devices they will be anything but efficient or effective at becoming Krishna Conscious or spreading the sankirtan movement .

      So that raises the question -”at what point does the disciple not need to be under the strict and stringent control of the Guru ?” Nista? ,Bhava ? When one begins Raganuga Bhakti ?, when we hear Krishna s flute ? never?

      I would humbly suggest that Srila Gurudevas near and dear had decades of heavy , autocratic , centralized, absolute and total control by Srila Gurudeva and it made them the divine beings they are today .

      The answer I suspect is that { especially myself] not being qualified for that system we will have to struggle under the present inferior Laissez-fair system and just try and accumulate some sukriti.

      The best system[ in my meger understanding] is the Guru and any of His near and dear who are also self-realised souls just tell us quite specifically in detail what to do .The fact that they are not willing to implies we dont want to be told what to do and want to retain our independence .

      That would be a good foundation for Srila Gurudevas new society .An honest and introspective admission that Srila Gurudeva [though quite capable] is not willing to spell-out the details of what He wants , because of the distinct possibility we will fight and argue over our interpretations of his instructions and then twist and disregard them .History does repeat it self .

      Radhe Radhe !!

    • brajanath dasa August 19, 2010 at 1:26 PM #

      Dear Venu Gopal prabhu,

      please accept my dandavats pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga and all glories to Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihariji.

      Thank you so very much for sharing with us the inspiration that you experience by applying the concepts that you describe. I for one am very much attracted to hear more about your presentation and will be thrilled to attend any gathering, workshop, or seminar that helps me to adopt this process in my personal life. Perhaps you can prepare a solid proposal that we can share in our first Advisory Board meeting just at the end of Kartik month? We will happily present the same to Srila Gurudeva for his approval.

      For Mathuranatha prabhu, and others who express the need to have a controlled, centrally organized society, please prepare a presentation which will be so attractive that we will feel compelled to adapt this in our Society. In our Advisory Board meeting at the end of Kartik month we can hear your concept and happily present the same to Srila Gurudeva for his approval.

      I believe there is scope for both, a mixture, or even more concepts, as long as we honor and maintain the deepest respect for Sri Guru, Sadhu and Vaisnavas. The living entity has been given free will how to move forward on the path of pure bhakti. The history of Vaisnavism has plenty of examples of the unique, loving, transcendental relationship between sisya and Sri Guru.

      Srila Bhakitivedanta Swami Prabhupada gave up the organization that his Gurumaharaja had started. Our Gurumaharaja has also left the Society that his Gurumaharaja started. Srila Gaura Govinda Maharaja was about to be driven out of the Society that was started by his Gurumaharaja. Yet, these great, pure Mahabhagavata Vaisnavas had unbreakable, transcendental relationships between the 3 of them. No one will doubt this transcendental truth.

      Many of us have left the organizations that were started by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktiraksak Sridhar Maharaja and other great Vaisnavas, but we have never given up our faith and deep respect for Srila Prabhupada, Srila Sridhar Maharaja or any of the pure Gaudiya Vaisnavas. This is the essence of our very existence, the transcendental relationship between aspiring sisya and Sri Guru, whether this relationship is one of diksa or/and siksa.

      To invite all to come forward and embrace this concept, this is a most cherished ideal of a spiritual society. I strongly believe (and have personal experience) that this can be entertained in centralized, as well as open source, decentralized structures.

      Some individuals will flourish in a centralized structure and others will flourish in a decentralized structure, and some may need a dose of both.

      Let us have a competition to see what wonderful examples and proposals manifest.

      aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

      Brajanath das

      One should understand Krishna in truth, and this one can do only by serving a pure devotee.
       
      Srimad Bhagavatham,  7.9.24

    • Bhavesh Das August 19, 2010 at 8:04 PM #

      Dear Venu Gopal Prabhuji,

      I have really been inspired by your ideas so far. Here in Salt Lake City we are implementing some of those ideas and things are flowing very nicely.

      I have a slightly related suggestion regarding communication and help between Centers/Temples. It would be nice if 1-2 times per year the Centers here in the USA could hold a conference. This conference could have classes on fundraising, leadership, how to inspire others etc. There could also be meetings to communicate and coordinate between centers. This is a time to get and give advice to each other as well as help meet each other’s needs. Where one center has strength another has opportunity.

      Aspiring for the service of Sri Guru & Vaishnavas,

      Bhavesh Das

  30. Caran August 19, 2010 at 10:19 AM #

    Dandavat pranams to all Vasinavas,

    I understand that there are already existing group of devotees around the globe. what to do with them? Where are they in this Chart?

    Regards,
    Caran

    • brajanath dasa August 19, 2010 at 1:30 PM #

      dandavats dear Charan prabhu,

      all glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

      all existing groups of devotees, big, small, medium, important, significant, humble and small, these are all in the seva team section of the chart

      aspiring for the seva of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

      Brajanath dasa

  31. Caran August 20, 2010 at 11:23 AM #

    Dear Brajanath Prabhu,

    please accept my dandavat pranams, Radhe Radhe Jaya!

    thank you for the reply. Now my mind is clear.

  32. Maukundananda dasa August 20, 2010 at 5:53 PM #

    Dear Devotees,
    All gLories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada.
    Of course we here discusing how to build up an society for spreading the holy names,
    There will be Always the arrangement of the Supreme Lord in the due course of time to come with the better arrangement based in time, place and circunstance.
    Srila Gurudeva’s mission actually came to the west as a personal request of Srila Prabhupada to never leave his disciples alone, because we didnt have maturity and also not yet complete undestanding of the mission of Lor Caitanya. Srila Gurudeva was giving the support behind the curtains for the Iskcon leader but you cant hide the sun, and jeolous stars banned him from IsKcon.
    And for this reason he took the sacrifice to come to the west with to much hard work he alredy fulfill his promise to Parabhupada. Actually this is the mission of Srila Gurudeva in the Parampara after Srila Prabhupada.
    He did. He took the oportunity of travelling to retify the mantality and poor understanding of Gauravani Pracarine! in this regard I can remember one class that I was present in USA, Florida given in 2000 or 2001 in Jalakara prabhu house, with tens of Prabhupada disciples there and Srila Gurudeva place the Question what is Gauravani Pracarine meaning in the pranam mantra of Srila Prabhupada. And no one could give the proper answer. I think now All Srila Gurudeva followers and many others that have access to his speech knows wha is the meaning. Amazing in 2000 yet no one could give the full meaning of Gauravani Pracarine And I as a host in bBasil for two times of Srila Gurudeva visit could really see how much energy and sacrifice he was given ,how much confort he was leaving behind for do this task. And without stop writing books for our benefit any time
    It is amazing how much compassion for us, how obedience for his siksa guru request!
    Now the mission of Lord Caitanya in the west is save , The hard work of Srila Prabhupada is save.
    Again about Brasil I hear some devotee saying here that because of some preachers came we have now hundreds of devotees, but the true is , those preaches although very important and we are thankful to tham speacially one name was leave behind by syamapada prabhu that was very very important and we give all full life gratitude that was of course before Syamapada prabhu time that was BV Ashram Maharaja. He did a lot for us and a lot of have now is result of his good work. But in true those preachears was only given drops , Who is responsible for the ocean of nectar that are today in Brasil is Srila Gurudeva causeless mercy with this useless nonsense country that is Brasil. For amazing for time he Gave brought here the flood of Nectar .
    Srila Gurudeva Patita Pavan Ki Jaya!
    Mukundananda dasa

  33. Pankaj August 21, 2010 at 8:41 AM #

    Wow!

    So many words, so much is written here. Add this person or that. Change this or that. This was not done etc etc etc.

    I guess this is a great step in direction by being more organization. Gurudev has personally given instruction about inner circle and I think we should respect that.

    My only question is can there be a easier name IPBYS to long and difficult to speak in short form. The lesson from Business world is Keeping it simple.

    I think this will create branding problem. Long names dont work and very difficult for people to take. One approach can be that organization name can be IPBYS – but the name of Sanga can be something easy.

    Like name of organization I like to keep my comment short. I think here on Back to Bhakti there should be word limit of 100 words Max and no more than 3 comments posted on same thread by same person. So that only important points are spoken not too much emotional stuff.

    I hope this help

    Jai Srila Gurudev.

    Dandavats.
    Pankaj

  34. Ganapathy Raman S August 21, 2010 at 8:51 AM #

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  35. Ramananda Das August 30, 2010 at 11:25 PM #

    Jaya Srila Gurudeva!
    Dandavats pranams to all devotes,

    I liked very much the draft and it’s design. I’ve been translating all the msg’s of IPBYS to portuguese and people can see them here in both portuguese and english: http://internationalpurebhaktiyogasociety.blogspot.com/

    My questions is about the detailed structure of seva teams. In this draft we see that there are many seva teams that actually don’t exist (education seva teams, regional seva teams), so I think that this will be created. It’s look like a more centralized way to do seva and get help from others devotees to do that seva. But how this will work? There will be focalizers for each group who I can gain advise how to do it?

    I also would like see more how we can spread and join the projects of our mission. Let me give one example. In Vrinda mission of Srila Paramadvaiti Swami there are many projects like spoon revolution, yoga inbound, oidatherapy. In their temples (that look more as a cultural center to outsiders) they keep this same projects in Brazil, Peru, India and so one. They attract many people to their mission and give many ways to them do some seva according to their taste. So I think that our temples should also be like that. We should have cultural activities like devotional movies, asana classes, restaurants, natural therapies to attract people and keep the temple finance. Then we should have the same projects going on everywhere like “Center for bhakti studies” for teaching basics about bhakti; BHAKTIvinoda Institute to preach in a scientific way in universities; prasada distributions (we should create a NGO like food for life); Gaudiya Vedanta Publications to translate, publish and distribute books.

    I also would like to see more unification between our farms. I also think that our farms should be the basis of our society. We should have many farms everywhere doing cow protection and growing organic food so we can send this to our Cultural Centers in the city. In ours farms we can also build natural therapies clinics and offer retreat with organic prasada (vegan/lacto/raw), asanas, devotional pratices and studies, natural therapies, etc. Just writing this I realized the importance of devotional farms so I’m going to create a devotional farms blog to our mission.

    I have so many ideas, but now I have to work on them!

    Thank you,

    Ramananda Das

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  37. Narayani October 12, 2010 at 5:06 AM #

    Hare Krsna, Haribolo, dandavats and pranams. Jaya Srila Gurudeva. I am very happy with the first chamber, what more can I say. I love Van Maharaja and trust him, as well as the other vaisnavas. The drawings are all very beautiful and clear. It is true that the name is a bit complicated. Why not to shortened as I(nternational) P(urebhaktiyoga) S(ociety), or International Sudhabhakti Society. So many things are going on nowadays in the name of yoga and this can be really confusing. Does’not the word yoga’s meaning is linking ? Aren’t we all trying to be connected or linked as often as we can with Gurudeva ? Aren’t we ? I do not feel very confortable with IPBYS, but can sound a bit esoteric. In french the Y, we say ‘greek i’, back to the origins of ‘latin’ langage. Some langages are ‘latin’ origin, other are ‘germanic’. Please forgive my improper use of some words, cannot get hold of my french english dictionnary. Whatever is meant to improve anything is always good. About, IPS, which would be SIP in french, it reminds me of SICK société international (pour) la conscience de Krsna. One more time, the first chamber is so beautiful and nice, everything starts from something and we know from where everything manifested and emanates in this world, that is the spiritual world, RadhaKrsna and their associates, represented downhere by Srila Gurudeva ans his associates, so everything is perfect, thank you from France.

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  41. tejasvini January 9, 2011 at 1:42 PM #

    Dandvats to all,

    I pray that Srila Gurudev and the Lord grant success to all the members of His sanga and I wish they remain immersed in service mood to Him.

    Dandvats

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