Governed by a Constitution


Apr 13, 2017 — MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (SUN) —

For some devotees it's difficult to have faith that our society would revitalize and reorientate itself if a binding constitution were formed, but if we look at other countries and societies with constitutions it is indeed binding and puts into law principles and directions that cannot be easily changed. That is the reason Srila Prabhupada wanted ISKCON to have a constitution.

The word comes from the Latin constiuere meaning ‘appoint’ or ‘establish’. The Oxford definition is ‘a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or organisation is acknowledged to be governed’. The word ‘precedent’ comes from the old French word meaning literally, ‘proceeding’. The Oxford meaning is, ‘an earlier event or action regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances’.

So we can see the importance of contemplating the meanings of these words and ensure that the guiding hand of Srila Prabhupada and the examples he set should continue to this day, as they were in the past, and his directions made into a law and a constitution, to be governed by a G.B.C. body, and such laws proceed into the future unchanged.

As we all want Srila Prabhupada's society to be working to the optimum capacity in all fields of preaching and management, this requires leadership, intelligence, sincerity, and a keen yearning from the spiritual platform to become the servant of our acharyas. But this has to be done as Prabhupada says, within a framework. Individuals inspired and empowered and given some leeway, but working under Prabhupada's constitution. In such an empowered environment I think we will see a radical change in our preaching approach.

We see from Srila Prabhupada’s example when he followed his Guru Maharaja’s instructions without change or deliberation, the whole world was open for him, and the same will be for his followers. Why? Because when you follow the order of the pure devotee Krishna will give all inspiration and intelligence to carry out the service. Granted, this takes great faith and sacrifice individually and collectively. You can't get something for nothing. But by comradeship and encouraging one another we will make progress towards the kind of society and its having the influence that Prabhupada envisioned for the world.

Like Vrtrasura, who fought with great valor against Indra, although Indra had become discouraged despite him having a special weapon given to him by a sacrificed life of Dadhici muni (S.B.6, 10th ch. onwards), we are never to give up on principles and directions that Prabhupada wanted, despite those important issues failing to be fully understood, at least for the time being.


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