May 2, 2015 CANADA (SUN) A reprise of the July 2013 launch announcement for ISKCON As It Is.
[In July 2013, we first announced the launch of ISKCON As It Is, an organized effort to create a revival of Srila Prabhupada's spiritual mission in accordance with his perfect mood and mission. Today, on Nrsimha Caturdasi, we are releasing the draft Constitution for ISKCON As It Is, which has been under review and discussion over these last two years.]
The importance of following in the footsteps of the previous Acaryas is an instruction received often by readers of our Vaisnava sastra. At first this decree sounds so simple and easy. In reality, nothing is more difficult for the fallen conditioned soul. The relatively short history of Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON has demonstrated that the challenge of faithfully following the Founder-Acarya's mood and message may seem nearly impossible.
The society established by His Divine Grace does not in the least resemble what he so eloquently envisioned and instructed in his vast writings and audio recordings. Myself and many other followers have expressed, in many ways and words, our grave concern over the wayward direction the bewildered leaders of ISKCON have taken the Hare Krsna Movement.
Over many years, we have attempted to provide the 'Fifth Estate' through the Internet medium of the Sampradaya Sun, in hopes of halting ISKCON's decline towards religiosity. Although there have been some rewarding moments and successes in that effort, by and large the slide continues.
The time has come for a more progressive, positive approach based on the realization that most of the aged, entrenched leaders of the GBC/ISKCON are far beyond the point of no return. It is time to start anew. We have learned the lessons taught us by history and now we have an opportunity to apply them.
Before joining together and marching forward, we require a clear direction and a plan. With this in mind, we have written a draft Constitution for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness As It Is. Srila Prabhupada asked on a number of occasions during his ISKCON lila for the disciples to compose a Constitution, but none was forthcoming. The present day GBC/ISKCON leaders have also failed thus far to produce this fundamentally important document. To encapsulate the very essence of sadhana and siddhanta as presented by His Divine Grace is daunting, but also very simple and sublime. It is the spreading of Krsna Consciousness to every town and village that represents the greater challenge.
Our topmost Sampradaya Acaryas have concluded that utilization of a formal Society model is the best vehicle to bring about the necessary organization and cooperation required to achieve this task. We, the servants of these Acaryas have been assigned the duty to carry forward this Divine Order, originating with Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In the not too distant past, these spiritually surcharged groups in our Sampradaya have had at their center the manifest presence of a nitya-siddha, maha-bhagavata, shaktyavesa-avatara.
Both Srila Bhaktisiddhanta and Srila Bhaktivedanta Prabhupadas have ordered their followers to continue the mission after they entered into maha-samadhi. Our Srila Prabhupada applied the lessons learned from the tragic failure of His beloved Spiritual Master's Gaudiya Matha. Now, many of us have concluded that the same corrosive elements, so abundant in Kali Yuga, have brought us to the point where it requires that we start afresh with ISKCON As It Is.
The great Acharya Srila Prabhupada has left us with a clear blueprint for bringing about success, but let us not be fooled into thinking it will be easy. The necessary ingredient is to individually surrender to selflessly serving Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu by assuming an appropriate duty within the context of a society/army. The great General, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Thakura will empower us all and direct and protect all the surrendered souls. Caitya Guru is within us all, and His desires are identical to all the Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Vaisnava Acaryas, and for us, most specifically HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Prabhupada.
With this spirit, we have created a working Constitution that aims to represent the collective purpose, aims and objectives of those devotees who share our desire for a revival of ISKCON As It Is. It embodies the core themes of our beliefs and the constitutional principles His Divine Grace has set forth.
[Updated] Since the July 2013 establishment of the Constitution Workgroup, many devotees have contributed their time, effort and realization in helping to build upon the original draft Constitution that is now being publicly presented to the community of devotees. It is our hope that after a six-month period of open public discussion, devotees will advise us of their interest in becoming provisional members (openly or anonymously). The final draft Constitution will then be put to a vote for ratification by those provisional members, thus officially launching ISKCON As It Is. (More details on this process will be published in the weeks ahead.) If by our joint efforts even a small amount of progress can be made in furthering His Divine Grace's preaching mission by setting down his instructions, standards and vision in a just and fair Constitution, it will be successful.
If we can work cooperatively under it, a ratified Constitution will help us in future by curbing the evil symptoms of quarrel and hypocrisy. We all require the quality of humility in order to achieve the highest levels of unalloyed Bhakti. I am thus stating, with straw in teeth, that the time has come for the establishment of a blissful Krishna Conscious Society -- one that achieves great success by following the instructions of our divine preceptor and Founder-Acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Working together in his mood, the International Society for Krishna Consciousness As It Is will attract the causeless mercy of Lord Nityananda upon all participants, for they will be opening the floodgates of Love for Lord Sri Krsna.
Sri Nrsimha Caturdasi
May 2, 2015