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This meeting right now is concerning ISKCON and the GBC, but are we going to have some kind of meeting regarding the BBT?

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"This meeting right now is concerning ISKCON and the GBC, but are we going to have some kind of meeting regarding the BBT"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

The BBT I am conducting personally.
Conversation with the GBC -- March 27, 1975, Mayapur:

Prabhupāda: So if a committee is necessary, it should be decided, first stage, decided by the GBC, and I'll give final sanction.

Jayatīrtha: For example, one committee that I would propose is in the United States, since we share so many similar problems and so many problems overlap...

Prabhupāda: So you... No, the GBC is already there. But that is... Committee is there, the whole committee. But for any special purpose, if committee is required...

Jayatīrtha: Another example of a kind of committee would be some projects. Say...

Prabhupāda: Project will be decided by the GBC.

Jayatīrtha: Say, the Gurukula, for example...

Prabhupāda: Now I have elected this committee in Europe because the German trouble is going on. When the German trouble is over, there is no need of committee. It is only for this particular purpose because there we have to defend court, we have to see... So two, three heads, not one head. One head may be puzzled. Committee means for special purposes. Otherwise, the standing committee, GBC, is already there.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīla Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Just as a question...

Prabhupāda: Just like I appointed the committee to investigate...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Bali Mardana.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So that committee is not standing. Yet similarly, a committee may be formed for some special circumstances, but otherwise the GBC committee is sufficient.

Jayatīrtha: The main point about that is that the GBC, we all meet together once a year...

Prabhupāda: Yes. And form all, what is to be discussed, what you are going to do, future. Just like you can discuss the German affairs, and find out how to defend ourselves. Of course, it is in the hands of the lawyer. Still, we can suggest...

Jayatīrtha: Take, for another example, there's the ISKCON Food Relief Program. Now, last year we discussed this, but no one was given any specific responsibility for it, and nothing really has been... Some money has been collected, but nothing major has been done. My idea would be that if there were a committee, say, of two, three men formed who would conjointly discuss and work on these projects, such as this ISKCON Food Relief, then more would get done.

Haṁsadūta: No, I think it's entirely an individual...

Prabhupāda: I think this Oath of Allegiance should be signed by the presidents also.

Jayatīrtha: That's nice.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Also.

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Also.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Not only the GBC, but the president.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I just want to ask a question. We're in a... This meeting right now is concerning ISKCON and the GBC, but are we going to have some kind of meeting regarding the BBT? Because that's a very pressing matter also. Is that going to come in in these discussions, or are we going to have a separate meeting?

Prabhupāda: The BBT I am conducting personally.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: But you mentioned in Miami... This is the reason I'm bringing it up. In Miami we mentioned that we would be discussing at Māyāpur. Something, you know, should be done so that...

Prabhupāda: What is that something? The first something is that everyone is complaining that they are not getting books. You just, first of all, do it, how to stop these complaints.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We got to get the books (indistinct)

Jayatīrtha: In India?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Jayatīrtha: This is the problem.

Prabhupāda: The India is membership, and the members, if they are dissatisfied, then? This is not good. So find out the way how this complaint can be solved.

Haṁsadūta: So does it mean that the BBT should take charge of the Life Membership program or to see that they're supplied the books?

Prabhupāda: No. Life Membership... Suppose you make one Life, he has to be supplied books.

Haṁsadūta: Yes.

Prabhupāda: So fifty percent goes to the...

Haṁsadūta: Book Fund.

Prabhupāda: That is stated in the BBT. That is the main purpose, that fifty percent must go...

Haṁsadūta: For printing. Fifty percent for printing, fifty percent for building.

Prabhupāda: That's all right. This is the main purpose.

Brahmānanda: But the difficulty is that in India there's no other source of income besides the Life Membership. How they will maintain?

Prabhupāda: What is the...? That you discuss.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, a meeting. (?)

Prabhupāda: That you discuss, how these sources, how their maintenance should be... But BBT is already declared. It is meant for two purposes. Now you find out how the sources. That is business of GBC.

Jayatīrtha: That we can discuss afterwards?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Śrīla Prabhupāda...

Prabhupāda: The BBT, that, it should be: how the complaints should be stopped, and if they have no other income, then how things should be managed. That is... GBC should discuss.

Atreya Ṛṣi: In other words, Śrīla Prabhupāda, BBT is not outside ISKCON. BBT is part of ISKCON, and GBC is in charge of all ISKCON. But in this case, BBT, you have your personal attention, so since you are the supreme authority in ISKCON, you will...

Prabhupāda: Now, one thing is that sometimes before, Jayatīrtha suggested that if the ISKCON goes to liquidation, then the BBT also will be affected.

Atreya Ṛṣi: This is only a legal matter.

Prabhupāda: Legal matter. So I want to protect BBT.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Legally, you will want. But, in fact, GBC is also concerned...

Prabhupāda: That you are concerned. You do this—now how to stop these complaints.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Now they want to maintain from the GBC income. How this can be avoided, you consider.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes. It is not something we forget because it's BBT.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But these are the important problems, that the, here in India, the members are complaining. Sometimes they are sending complaining to me. So the first business is how to, how the collection from the membership is being dispersed, how the money is being dispersed. Suppose I... He is a member. I take him, 222. Then how the money is being spent? So you see first of all that...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: This is a GBC matter.

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is GBC matter.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I would like to ask a question. Just like in the... Now, this is one point to consider. Now, another point is, which we have put off until this meeting, especially to be considered in this meeting, is the moving of the Press. The moving of ISKCON Press. Is that...

Prabhupāda: That you decide amongst the GBC.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Is that a GBC matter or BBT matter?

Prabhupāda: No. It is GBC, er, yeah, GBC.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The GBC.

Prabhupāda: Yes. I want to see, as the chairman of the BBT, that fifty percent is spent on printing and fifty percent is for constructing temples. That's all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: And who sees to that? The GBC?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The GBC.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That means, practically speaking, the management... The BBT is separate from ISKCON for legal purposes, but the management of it is done by the GBC.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That's nice.

Atreya Ṛṣi: However, at the present, Prabhupāda himself is heading this management.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: He's heading every management.

Atreya Ṛṣi: But in this particular case he's heading it very particularly. This is something...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Because it's very sensitive issue. It doesn't mean separate.

Rūpānuga: But now, we discussed this... We discussed this before, Śrīla Prabhupāda. You said that you didn't... You wanted to make some more BBT members.

Prabhupāda: If I require, I can make.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: The reason I'm bringing this up is because, heretofore, the BBT has been managed by one or two trustees, and the point is that maybe it is best that it be managed by the GBC.

Prabhupāda: So that... First of all manage these things. Then you will, it will be included in the trustees. First of all show your capacity that you have managed these things very nicely, these two things. Why there should be complaint? How you can solve it? And why the temples should be maintained by collection of the BBT? It is meant for printing and constructing temples. Why should (we) violate the purpose of the Trust? So first of all you manage these two things. Then, if you want, you can come. If the problem remains the same, then what is the use of increasing heads?

Atreya Ṛṣi: What is obvious is that Prabhupāda's interference has always come because we have not done our jobs right.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Atreya Ṛṣi: He would very much like to...

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the real purpose.

Atreya Ṛṣi: He would... As soon as we show that we can...

Haṁsadūta: Work together.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Work together and manage nicely, he wants to.

Prabhupāda: Now, so far the... Just like in Germany. They unnecessarily take the money while there is creditor, printer. There was no need of keeping money. Go on paying them. That was my policy. I instructed Karandhara that whenever there is collection, go to pay. That arrangement I made with Dai Nippon, that "I shall go on paying. You don't ask me." So he never asked me. You know that.

Jayatīrtha: Yes.

Prabhupāda: As soon as there is collection, I paid him: "And you go on printing these books." This should be the policy.

Atreya Ṛṣi: This is very important that we understand. This is not common in the karmī world, that Śrīla Prabhupāda does not like credit or playing with money and saving it or something... You have a debt; you pay it; you don't create debt. Everything is just very honest and very flowing. This I have to learn myself because this is not the way the business world is, although I do a lot of business. And we all have to see that this policy is followed.

Prabhupāda: This complaint from the members is not at all good. If somebody becomes envious, he can file a suit that "These men have collected money from me, eh, but not supplied books."

Jayatīrtha: They sign a document we also sign.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Jayatīrtha: We sign one document when they become a member.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Jayatīrtha: And they sign also. It's a contract.

Prabhupāda: So this is the first thing, that the GBC maintains here. Immediately the collection is there—fifty percent goes to the BBT account, and fifty percent goes to the printer.

Atreya Ṛṣi: May I recommend, Śrīla Prabhupāda, that one GBC member, plus GBC India be appointed to look very carefully into this whole si...

Prabhupāda: Be appointed. Do this. Be appointed.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Yes. We will.

Prabhupāda: Yes, do this.

Atreya Ṛṣi: To investigate this whole...

Prabhupāda: Why...? Just stop this complaint.

Atreya Ṛṣi: This whole membership program.

Prabhupāda: I am giving you the appointment. Do it.

Haṁsadūta: We can consult with him later.

Jayatīrtha: So we'll discuss it and try to find out the details...

Atreya Ṛṣi: Put it in the agenda, this membership plan, immediately.

Jayatīrtha: ...later on

Prabhupāda: These complaints are not at all good. They have become very serious. Complaint must be stopped. Why they are...? Now print cheap edition here and give them books. Sell also.

Rūpānuga: They cannot accuse of being cheating.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Rūpānuga: They cannot accuse us of cheating them.

Prabhupāda: It is not good at all. Why there is complaint?

Jagadīśa: So make the agenda.

Jayatīrtha: I have nine points on the agenda so far.

Jagadīśa: What is it?

Jayatīrtha: The...

Prabhupāda: Just like Śyāmasundara. He was appointed the BBT member. And what he is doing?

Jayatīrtha: There's been a very high attrition rate on GBC...

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Jayatīrtha: There's been a very high attrition rate on BBT trustees.

Prabhupāda: So this thing should be arranged first of all. Then...

Jayatīrtha: So the... There are a number of points that require discussion...

Prabhupāda: So discuss...

Jayatīrtha: I don't know, necessarily, that it's your desire to have them discussed in your presence or, for example...

Prabhupāda: No, I don't want, but if you want, you can...

Jayatīrtha: Well, we always love to have your association, Śrīla Prabhupāda.

Rūpānuga: What about if you, at least, can approve the agenda?

Jayatīrtha: Yes, that's nice.

Rūpānuga: If you can give us your blessings...

Prabhupāda: That you discuss, some of the agenda.

Jayatīrtha: The agenda that we've created so far is... The first point on the agenda is how to become Kṛṣṇa conscious.

Prabhupāda: Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Jayatīrtha: Yes. You said that that should be our first point.

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa conscious movement means... It is very practical. Because our consciousness is now polluted... Just like water. Water, originally, crystal clear water. But as soon as it touches the ground, it becomes dirty, muddy. So our consciousness-originally clear, Kṛṣṇa consciousness: "Kṛṣṇa is my eternal master. I am eternal servant." This is real consciousness. Now, since we have come into this material world, we have made, instead of Kṛṣṇa, "My wife is my master, my society is my master, my country is my master, my political leader is my master," so many. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness means to purify the dirty things and then... So, to purify this, Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended, ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12), cleaning the mirror of consciousness, this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. This is only way.

Jayatīrtha: Jaya. So that's the first point.

Prabhupāda: That is the first point.

Jayatīrtha: And the next point ...

Prabhupāda: We should know that our consciousness is now polluted. The... Exactly like this: Clear water falls down from the sky, and as soon as come in contact with the ground, it becomes muddy. You can take the water again and filter, and then again clear. Again crystal clear.

Jayatīrtha: By nature water is clear.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Jayatīrtha: And sometimes it can become polluted.

Prabhupāda: And the whole devotional service means ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam (CC Antya 20.12). That is the recommendation of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, cleansing the dirty-politically, socially, communally, and internationally, nationally... In this way, it is all contaminated. So that, that is called upādhi, unnecessary. Just like water. You bring the colored water. That is contamination, not crystal. So these are different colors. So you have to strain the water from different colors. Then that is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Consciousness is already there. So instead of thinking Kṛṣṇa, that "I am Kṛṣṇa's," I am thinking, "I am my family's. I am my, my cat's, my dog's, my nation's, my community's..." This thinking is opposite Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And when you simply think that "I am Kṛṣṇa's," that's all. That is all.

Haṁsadūta: Yeah.

Jayatīrtha: So, so the agenda...

Prabhupāda: Is that all right?

Devotees: Jaya.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Just applicable to myself, it's very easy to think that "Now I am in a position of responsibility. I may be most advanced." But what your instruction is that I always think that this position of responsibility requires that I become pure, so I have to be very, very careful. I am not most advanced. I have to...

Prabhupāda: That purity process is chanting.

Atreya Ṛṣi: I have to chant very carefully...

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Atreya Ṛṣi: ...and very seriously.

Prabhupāda: Offenseless.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Not that I'm already advanced.

Prabhupāda: Offenseless chanting, that will purify. That is the easiest process, given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Ceto-da...(?) He first of all recommends cleansing the heart. And as soon as your heart is cleansed, then you become immediately purified. This is the way. So be always engaged, either in chanting or reading or preaching. Then it will be clarified.

Rūpānuga: It is actually a very easy process.

Prabhupāda: Yes. This is the easiest process. There is no secondary process. Chanting. And it is recommended by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, the authority, param vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam. So many things will happen.

ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
śreyaḥ-kairava candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtasvādanaṁ
(sarvātma-snapanaṁ) paraṁ vijāyate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam
(CC Antya 20.12)

This is His recommendation. We haven't got to invent something. It is there already. You do it.