Is the Guru Services Committee Inept?
BY: SAMPRASNA DASA
Apr 21, 2012 USA (SUN) Is the Guru Services Committee inept In enforcing GBC Resolution 309 on ISKCON Guru Website Standards?
Srila Prabhupada's bio-sketch on H.H. Romapada Swami's website states (emphasis added):
"His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, founder-acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, was born in 1896, in Calcutta, in a Vaishnava family."
H.H. Romapada Swami's bio-page states (emphasis added):
"Srila Romapada Swami appeared in this world on December 27, 1948."
If we are to believe what is depicted on H.H. Rompada Swami's website, Srila Prabhupada was born like an ordinary jiva, while H.H. Romapada Swami was God sent and he appeared to liberate humanity.
GBC Resolution 309 quoted below identifies only one particular way that Srila Prabhupada is being currently minimized on ISKCON gurus websites — by absence of his prominently featured picture and by failure to credit him as the "Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness". However, minimization of Srila Prabhupada can occur in various ways, including but not limited to the way he is minimized on H.H. Romapada Swami's website, as noted above.
Resolution 309 was passed largely in response to H.G. Nrisimhananda Prabhu's concerns, initially raised in his article, "Truth or Fiction? Guru Websites Visited" about minimization of Srila Prabhupada on H.H. Radhanatha Swami's website. If the GBC was really concerned about minimization of Srila Prabhupada, they would have done a thorough job by enlisting all possible ways (and not just one that was noted by H.G. Nrisimhananda Prabhu) in which Srila Prabhupada can be minimized in their Resolution. It doesn't take much intelligence to resolve this issue by coming up with a standard description about Srila Prabhupada that all ISKCON gurus' websites should compulsorily feature.
Phrases like "suggested comprehensive template" used by the GBC in the below resolution gives an impression that ISKCON gurus may or may not use the "suggested template", thus showing their ineptness in enforcing the Resolutions they pass. The resolution also fails to address how they plan to monitor ISKCON gurus' websites to see if they are compliant. I guess they rely on Sampradaya Sun to publish articles exposing non-compliant websites.
309. Founder-Acarya on ISKCON Guru Websites
Whereas the proliferation of official and unofficial websites of ISKCON gurus currently do not, in large part, prominently feature the personality and teachings of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada as the Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness on the introduction page as well as on many other pages;
And whereas it is necessary to establish guidelines for such websites so that as far as possible visitors are made aware that whatever inspiration the devotees are receiving from the guru is due to the great mercy of Srila Prabhupada:
ISKCON gurus shall be responsible for ensuring that their own official websites adhere to the following guidelines:
1. They prominently feature a picture of Srila Prabhupada on the introductory page
2. They credit him as the "Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness"
3. They contain a brief summary of his accomplishments and provide authorized website links to his teachings
The Guru Services Committee will compile a suggested comprehensive template for use in guru websites.