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Title: ISKCON Policy
User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2005-07-10 10:57:19
Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Jaya Shrila Prabhupada! This message is for general information.
From the ISKCON Law Book:
184.108.40.206 Seeking Instruction Outside ISKCON Improperly
Since all the spiritual knowledge and instruction required is available in Shrila Prabhupad's books and from ISKCON, no ISKCON member shall be allowed to seek spiritual instruction from any other person or institution outside of ISKCON without approval of the GBC (General Body Commision) Body. Any member of ISKCON who will fully disobeys the above order will thereby sever his connection with ISKCON. (82)
220.127.116.11 To avoid offenses to Shrila Prabhupad and to avoid offenses to his godbrothers, the GBC reminds all ISKCON devotees of Shrila Prabhupad's instruction that in general we should avoid the association of his godbrothers and members of other spiritual groups unless one has permission from a GBC member for some specific purpose. Intimate siksa *association is prohibited from non-ISKCON spiritual masters.(87)
In any case, those who continue to act in violation of this resolution are subject to sanctions by Temple Presidents and GBC Zonal Secretaries, who may exercise their discretion to prohibit any such devotees from living on ISKCON properties or participating in ISKCON functions.
In consideration to the above directives of the ISKCON Society, we are concerned about the inconvenience caused to the devotees if they happen to be going to ISKCON and come to take spiritual guidance from us. We are mostly preaching to new people and are not interested in creating inconvenience to any devotees who are getting spiritual benefit and nourishment from ISKCON. We want them to continue going there and become nice devotees in ISKCON. We are even fully open to our own new devotees and disciples to visit ISKCON temples but the above ISKCON Law directives makes it clear that it will make it very difficult from them to do so. And it also makes it very difficult for those who want to take guidance from both places.
Our understanding of Shrila Prabhupada's and the Acharyas' instructions of first taking the regular shelter of Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga before chanting the Pancha Tattva Mantra and Hare Krishna Mahamantra is not accepted in ISKCON and may also be criticized by some devotees in ISKCON and some other Vaishnava groups. So we would humbly request the devotees who are related with ISKCON or other Vaishnava groups to kindly be careful to avoid any such forseeable inconvenience to themselves in the future if and when they come to seek spiritual guidance from us. Since we will be personally very pained if in the future some devotee is caused any kind of inconvenience or has to hear offenses or criticism in this regard, we are writing this message in advance.
Unfortunately our humble preaching efforts and our spiritual instructions are presented through Internet Sanga and by personally travelling and at present we do not have preaching centers or temples in the world like ISKCON or other Vaishnava institutions. So we would be happy if some devotees who are very regularly going to ISKCON decide to choose the ISKCON Sanga and become nice and sincere devotees there and progress in their chanting of their Holy Names and we would happily give our blessings for them to do so since ISKCON devotees also occasionally chant the Holy Names of Lords Nityananda and Gauranga in the form of the Pancha Tattva Mantra, hear Their pastimes and worship the Deities of Lords Nityananda Gauranga.
We are also very happy to directly guide and pray for those devotees and disciples who decide to remain under our guidance and instruction. We hope that no inconvenience will be caused to them also in this matter. We will eternally keep on praying for the advancement for all Gaudiya Vaishnavas in all institutions including our disciples and devotees.
There are many wonderful non-critical, non-sectarian and broad-minded devotees and centers in ISKCON, Gaudiya Math and other Gaudiya Vaishnava institutions and you can surely associate with them and advance spiritually in their sanga if the local temple or management of that institution where you are visiting has no objection about it, or if there is no inconvenience caused to you or them in this regard, if and when they come to know they you are chanting the Holy Names of Lords Nityananda Gauranga along with the Hare Krishna Mahamantra or that you are the disciple of a Guru outside their institution. There must be such open-minded centers and groups in different parts of the world and the benefit of their spiritual association can and should be taken. But please never get involved in any way in hearing or talking or encouraging criticism about the Holy Names any devotee or any other Vaishnava groups or discussing problems in institutions etc. otherwise the spiritual association will become mundane association.
Also it is expressly recommended that we should preach and spread the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga to so many millions of other people who do not know anything about Bhakti but not preach about the Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga when we go to such Gaudiya Vaishnava institutions as unfortunately they may get the picture that we are trying to convert their devotees or force something upon them or take away their devotees, even though we may be doing it with a genuine desire to tell them the rare glories of the most magnanimous Holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga which give us qualification in the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
We can go there to learn the good philosophy and knowledge that they possess about pure Bhakti if they allow us to be there or if they have no objection in this regard. The only worry is that no offenses and inconveniences be caused to anyone in this matter because of the above policies of the Gaudiya Vaishnava institutions and no offense against Nityananda Gauranga Naam is commited or hear by anyone. That is why we are going out of our way to inform you of such policies and the possible options. Thank you.