Legal History of ISKCON-Bangalore Society

Legal History of ISKCON-Bangalore Society

ISKCON-Bangalore was registered under Karnataka Societies Registration Act at Bangalore in May 1978 as a legally independent society with objectives similar to the objectives of the first society, International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Inc. that Srila Prabhupada founded personally in 1966 at New York. Since then, ISKCON-Bangalore society is functioning in Bangalore as a member of the worldwide confederation of ISKCON temples.

ISKCON-Bangalore was registered by Shankabrit Dasa under the direction of Hamsadutta Swami, the then member of the original Governing Body Commission appointed by Srila Prabhupada, who was in charge of Bangalore.

In the year 2001, several hundreds of fanatic disciples of the self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ made a vain attempt to physically storm Bangalore temple and throw out the devotees of ISKCON Bangalore and take illegal possession of the temple property. In defense of this ISKCON-Bangalore was obliged to file a suit being OS No.7934/01 seeking an order of injunction restraining ISKCON Bombay Society and others from interfering with our possession of the temple property. The Trial Court did not grant the injunction, but an appeal filed before the Hon’ble High Court granted the injunction sought for. The said order was confirmed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The matter is pending adjudication.

When the matter stands thus, absurd propaganda is being made by the agents of the self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ that Madhu Pandit Dasa ‘created’ the ISKCON-Bangalore society to grab the property of the temple on Hare Krishna Hill. This misinformation is indeed entirely false, baseless and ridiculous since Madhu Pandit Dasa joined ISKCON movement only in 1981, whereas the ISKCON-Bangalore society was registered as early as 1978.

It was the direction of Srila Prabhupada to register legally independent societies in the name and style of nternational Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) all over the world. In Dec. 1972, Srila Prabhupada wrote to one of his senior disciples, “Never mind there may be botheration to register each centre, take tax certificate each, become separate corporations in each state.” (Srila Prabhupada’s letter to Karandhara Das, Bombay, 22nd Dec 1972). Accordingly, today, there are hundreds of ISKCON societies incorporated all over the world. It was on the basis of this worldwide practice, that the then GBC member in charge of Karnataka, Hamsaduta Swami, directed Shankabrit Dasa to register the ISKCON-Bangalore society in Bangalore.

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Letters by Srila Prabhupada to the GBC

The following is excerpts from letters written by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami about the duty and fuction of the GBC (Governing Body Commision)

In a July 9, 1971 letter to Umapati Das, Srila Prabhupada wrote:
“GBC members are simply to see that things are going on. Other centers have got president, secretary, etc. and they are managing separately. That is the formula. So how is it that the GBC are the final authority? They are simply to examine that things are going on nicely, that is all.”

“GBC men should not dictate very much, simply supervise and see that the standards are maintained.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, February 14th, 1972)

“What will happen when I am not here, shall everything be spoiled by GBC? So for the time being, let the GBC activities be suspended until I thoroughly revise the whole procedure.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, April 11th, 1972)

“I made the GBC to give me relief, but if you do like this, then where is the relief. It is anxiety for me. This is the difficulty, that as soon as one gets power, he becomes whimsical and spoils everything.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, September 12th, 1974 )

“I am training some of my experienced disciples how to manage after my departure. So if instead of taking the training, if in my lifetime you people say I am the Lord of all I survey, that is dangerous conspiracy.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, October 8th, 1974)

“But the difficulty is that our GBC men are falling victim to maya. Today I trust this GBC and tomorrow he will fall down. That is the difficulty. If the GBC men are so flickering then what to speak of the others. Unless this problem is solved whatever we may resolve it will not be very useful. “
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 16th, 1974)

“The GBC should all be the instructor (siksa) gurus. I am the initiator (diksa) guru, and you should be the instructor guru by teaching what I am teaching and doing what I am doing. This is not a title, but you must actually come to this platform. This I want.”(Srila Prabhupada Letter, August 4th, 1975)

“The GBC (Governing Body Commission) has been established by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada to represent Him in carrying out the responsibility of managing the International Society for Krishna Consciousness of which He is the Founder-Acarya and supreme authority. The GBC accepts as its life and soul His divine instructions and recognizes that it is completely dependent on His mercy in all respects. The GBC has no other function or purpose other than to execute the instructions so kindly given by His Divine Grace and preserve and spread his Teachings to the world in their pure form.”;(GBC Resolution No.1, 1975)

“Now has the GBC become more than Guru Maharaja? As if simply GBC is meant for looking after pounds, shilling, pence. The GBC does not look after spiritual life. That is a defect.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 10th, 1975)

“It is now evident that some of our top men are very much ambitious and there has been so many fall-downs.”
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, January 27th, 1975)

“Our mission is to serve bhakta-visesa and live with devotees. Not that you take the place of the guru. That is nonsense, very dangerous. Then everything will be spoiled. As soon as you become ambitious to take the place of guru—gurusu nara-matih. That is the material disease.”( Srila Prabhupada Conversation, April 20th, 1977)

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