Preaching in Vaiṣṇava Summer Festival, Lithuania, 2011. Author of the photo unknown. If you know, please let us know.

HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja: Okay, so we are working on a document, 'Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning,' and it is developing as we are going. So this is the first time where we would be running it in an assembly of the devotees to hear and get their feedback. So, basically,  we will just start reading through and commenting as we go. And if there is questions then you can ask, and those things, as we go. But keep it relevant within the context of what we are speaking.

So then, the summary of the content here, we have the four stages... Means, this is what will be discussed over the next so many days. So it is just giving an overview here. So,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Four Stages of Strategic Planning, the Strategy, Operational, Tactical and Technical. Choosing the right strategic model..."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because you have various models, you have the corporate, you have the... Its original, it's in a political, our administrative model. But then here is then,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The educational model that will work the best for a spiritual institution."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? Because we are trying to establish... Because many are discussing strategic planning, but, unfortunately, they generally choose from the corporate because that is all they are familiar with. I mean, very few even know it comes from an administrative background, and it is not new. People are dealing with it as a new thing in corporate, but it actually goes back hundreds of years, like that. Then we have,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The functional mechanism, strategic planning, how the relationship between the organizational and the individual... "

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Very important point because when you have an institution you want to see that you don't lose the individuality and the individual doesn't do things that don't assist in the development of the institution. And you have...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The role of management at these different levels."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because each of the four levels there is some role that is to be played. And then in the outline, then we have the strategic...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Strategical is the goal, your operational is the field, your tactical is the action and the technical, mechanical is the techniques and skills of action. So the strategic setting, the vision, the mission and the purpose. Establishing the fundamental functional principles and formation of the blueprint, which is then executed by the the lower three levels.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So the important point is that strategy is the goal, it is what is being executed by the other levels, it is what is being obtained by the other levels. If it's not in line with the strategy, it is not strategic planning, it is not strategical. So the problem that comes up, we will get into the detail when we... Yeah, we will get into that, is that people take it that strategy means your plan. But in strategic planning strategical is not the plan, strategical is the goal. And then you are trying to apply a plan to get that goal. This is the most major mistake that is made in strategic planning. Because you see is that, as it will unfold we will see is, Prabhupāda has already laid all this out. He has already given the framework. But when people approach strategic planning they approach it as if it's an open clean field. And so, I remember sitting in a big meeting. First thing is, 'Okay, what does everybody like to see? What would everyone like to see in the next 20 years of the society? What would you see as some kind of a success in the society in the next 20 years?' And then everyone would raise their hand, they write it on the board, there is like 20 things on the board, and then 'We are making the strategy.' That's right there is the first mistake. We don't make strategy. We apply the lower levels to attain the strategy that has already been established.

This is the first point, and if one is not... If one is thinking, 'Okay, no, we are making the plan now,' you are not doing strategic planning. Or if you are, you are working at the lowest level, number four. And for most, they never even get above that. Some that are a little bit better get the tactical. Very rare they get to operational. That's just the fact. That's why you see, 25 years of strategic planning in the society, and we don't really see dynamic results. Because they are not working with strategic planning. If you like, we are saying, 'Okay, we are going to put together a vehicle here, we got three lug nuts and we got an exhaust pipe. Okay, so what are we gonna do? What's our plan?' You know, that's what we are dealing with. So then we are defining the goal... I would say, okay, maybe it's... We will just go into the next level. Because we are here talking. Okay, so,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Four Stages of Strategic Planning. Strategic planning describes how the ends or goals will be achieved by the means, resources."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So, strategy means, you are defining the goal.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "It is designed to consolidate the mission, vision and values of an organization, as well as the long-term goals and the action plans to reach them. Thus, strategic planning involves thoughtful analysis of the goals and priorities, determining actions to achieve the goals and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. These aspects can be classified into four stages or levels.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, so now, so that overall is what you are trying to do with strategic planning, this will be the four levels, right? We have already mentioned that.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: 1. Strategical as the goal: setting the vision, the mission, the goal, establishing the fundamental functional principles and formation of the blueprint, which is then executed by the lower three levels.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So factually, when we get down to the details of this, you will see, Prabhupāda has already given this in detail. Prabhupāda, the previous ācāryas, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Lord Caitanya Himself. We don't have to make the strategy. Anybody who thinks we will make the strategy is already a fool. I am just making that clear from the beginning. Now, that, of course, if you are working... Yeah, it will become clear as we go.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "2. The operational or the field: that is the functional field of activities that act as avenues, agencies for accomplishment of the strategy."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, you have a strategy that you are trying to accomplish, what are the agencies by which you can accomplish that? You know, just like, let's say, we are cooking lunch. What are the avenues to accomplish that? So you have a kitchen, you are going to have cooks, you are going to have people do marketing, things like that. These are going to get your cooking done. But you don't have to say, 'Okay, so, what are we going to do? What is cooking? How we... What makes it work, how does it... How are we going to develop and make cooking?' You know, like that. No, cooking is an eternal principle. That is what has to be understood. The strategical is eternal principles. That is so we are speaking on this not from looking at modern approaches to strategic planning. We are dealing with this coming from the Vedic version. Means, the concept of strategic planning is already there in the Vedic version. That's how it works. If strategic planning works, it works because it is already there in the Veda, right? Kṛṣṇa's laws, they are there, Kṛṣṇa's laws work. Like gravity, it works. We don't have to work out gravity. We don't have to go, 'Let's see, raise your hands, how people think gravity should function? And should we have gravity or not?' You know, if you went to a meeting of leadership and that was their first question, that's the time when you know you have to go to the bathroom and leave, and don't come back. Because the point is is that we don't make gravity, we don't make the laws of nature, we don't make how things actually function in this world. That's already established by Kṛṣṇa. We just have to use our intelligence, how we are going to go about doing that.

And you will see, as it unfolds, that Śrīla Prabhupāda has already shown us what operational elements to use. So, Prabhupāda has already established the strategical and the operational field for us, right? Then,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "3. Tactical is the action itself,..."

HH BVPS Mahārāja:  Because we said, the operational is the field, then you are going to have an action within that field.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "...structural organization of operational elements."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That's where now our input starts to come in. That we see is, 'Okay, for what we have here and the people that we have here, we can do this.' So it's like, 'We have four brahmacārīs and we have a van, okay, so, what can we do? We can do saṅkīrtana, right? So, therefore, then, well, how do we do that? We get the bus, drive it to a place, then get out, and then what will we do?' Then is the next,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "4. The Technical. That is the mechanical, techniques and skills of action, details and mechanics of the tactics."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So how you get out on the street? Where do we drop the boys off? How do they sell the books? How many books are they going to do in a day? How many do they carry around? Like that. How are they dressed? How do they talk? All that is the fourth level, that's the mechanical level. Do you understand? So we are dealing with this.

So, now, this is the fun part: is most, when they approach management, they only deal with the fourth level, and that's good managers. Others just sit around and talk what would be nice. So, fourth level means you are doing it. It also includes training people and doing everything like that, right? So, but what has to be appreciated is that Lord Caitanya's mission has already been established. We can take part in that mission. And by taking part - that's where our independence comes in. Then we use our intelligence on the ground to see how we can, in our situation, our facility apply this whole program, so that we are actually assisting in the strategic and operational program given by the Lord and the ācāryas. So we see it is a very different approach. What is the main difference? It is a descending process. Kṛṣṇa is there, He is the goal, developing love for Him is the goal, right? The jīva is already a servant, so it's not that we have to work that out. And that developing love for God is your ultimate goal. Then how do we apply ourselves? What is our nature? What can we do for Kṛṣṇa? Right? It is not a matter of whatever you feel like, it is whatever... Means, what you feel like, that's an important part, but what are you actually qualified for? Like there is a good chance, the eight-year-old would like to drive the car. But is he qualified? He can't even reach the pedals, right? Unless he has got his dog down there pressing the pedals, but that only works in the cartoons, right? So, yeah.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Of these four levels, the first two levels, strategical and operational are primary, while the next two, tactical and technical, are supportive or secondary."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So everything has to be in line... Means, the strategy is the main of... Means, in primary you have two, strategic and operational. So strategic will be the main one there, and the operational will be in pursuance of the strategy. Of the secondary or those who are supportive, tactical will be the practical, technical will be the detail of how that practical works. Like I am saying, 'Okay, I am going to use the mouse and click on the buttons - that's the tactical. Technical is, okay, I use my right hand, I grab the mouse like this. I use my finger here and push on the button here. I move it around, right? If the mouse is upside down that thing goes, the cursor goes backwards. I try to click with my other finger, it actually comes up with another list of things to do, right? Because it's a magic mouse, right?' So that's the whole thing, is that that is technical, that's what people talk about in the management. They have to understand, they are in no way, shape or form creating strategy or operation. It may not... What people may say is, 'Oh, but I feel hurt by that, you know, I feel I am restricted, I am doing nothing? Oh, we just have to blindly go into it...' No. The point is, it's unlimited. Kṛṣṇa is unlimited. Can we know Kṛṣṇa by our limited intelligence? No. Can we just decide, 'Oh, Kṛṣṇa is like this,' and that's the way He is? No.

So, we have to understand, is that the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and the strategic planning, they go very nicely... Strategic planning very much goes well with this and supports what's going on. This idea that, 'No, we have to go out and create this whole new field and it's never been done before,' that is for people who are not observant. They don't read the books, they don't listen to the lectures, you know, like that. So that's a problem.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The first level called Strategy gives a full impression of what an organization is meant to achieve, its goal, mission and vision, and establishes the overarching fundamental functional principles, which form the basis of the framework upon which the structural formation of the other three levels will be established."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: It is overarching. If it is not in line with the goal, mission and vision, it has no value. That's one of the main points in devotional service, is you see your position, you see what things you can do by your nature, you see which one of those are useful in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And therefore then you apply that in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And those areas, maybe you can do something... Like maybe you can open a champagne bottle with your teeth, great. But you might not find very much value of that in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So, therefore, that skill is left, and you only use those ones that are going to be useful. You can say again, 'Oh, it's restrictive!' Anything you do, it's restrictive. How do you cross the street? Right? You have to stand there, stop at the corner, you have to push that little button. Why do we have to push the button? Why can't I just do what I want? What if I want to bite the button off? Or what if I want to take a cricket bat and hit the button? No, you just push the button. Then when you walk when it says that you walk, the little green man... The little green person comes up, excuse me. And then we can cross the street on this zebra crossing, right? And it's very important to note that the black and white stripes that are there on the street, they are both equal, it's not that one is more important than the other, or one is superior to the other and all that. No, all the black and white stripes, they are all equal, right? Then you walk across within those stripes, you don't stray out of that. So every day, everything we do... You eat your cereal, you put the cereal in a bowl, right? You don't put it in a tequila shot glass. No, it goes in a bowl. You eat it with a spoon, not a fork, not a spatula, not your shoe, right? Unless, you know, what is that... Unless you are Daniel Ricciardo, then you do with your shoe, right? Then you are going to pick it up with, using one of your hands, unless, of course, you are some variety of simian, then you can use your foot because you have a prehensile toe. You don't have a prehensile toe, you stick to your hands, right? Because you have this thing here, this thumb, really cool thing. Then you grab the spoon and it goes in your mouth, right? You don't stick it up your nose, you don't put it in ears, you don't put it on top of your head - that only works with babies. Only babies can put food anywhere and it just absorbs into the skin, or it runs down their chin and gets sucked into their navel, right? Only they can do that, no one else, right?

So everything we do, there is a very specific way of doing it. And so, one can say, 'Oh, no, there is so much restriction.' That's just in the mind. And people who think like that, they are the ones that can't get anything done, won't get anything done, have never gotten anything done. Means, there is laws, eternal laws, you follow them, they work.

Prabhu (1): Mahārāja, can I make one question?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, please.

Prabhu (1):Before making that, we got from Gurudāsa that your microphone is a little too distant to make a good recording, so if Mātājī Saumya Rādhika, if you could a little...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Can you turn it up or I have to do something?

Prabhu (1): I'm not... I don't know, Saumya Mātā knows.

Mātājī (1): The recording is coming through fine on this side Prabhu and I can share that later.

Prabhu (1): Okay, okay.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: I can try moving forward, but...

Prabhu (1): Yeah, I mean...

Mātājī (2): But we can hear well...

Prabhu (1): We can hear, it's just, Gurudāsa, you mentioned that the recording is not coming through. But if it's in the end good enough...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That's what we have been doing for the last so many months, so.. As long as the recording...

Mātājī (1): Yeah, the zoom recording is okay.

HH BVPS Mahārāja:...hear then we'll go on, if not, then...

Prabhu (1): Yeah. So, Mahārāja, could you a little elaborate that if we take a non-Vedic model for strategic planning, then what will happen in the end? Can we reach the goals even if the sambandha is a bit different and the goal and everything... Because like, you know, it should have been... Like we are now sitting in, this is FSP's meeting room. They are very careful, it's like, you know, there is certain pattern, and it will create a certain result. So, but if it's not, they are following a certain... then the result is different. So what... Could we get a little, what is the result of the wrong choosen strategic planning in the end? Because we can see now already... I don't know if they are related, some greediness elements, some kind-of a business results are coming, but not the results in the sense of better results in the spiritual  level. I am a little bewildered, what will happen? Could you a little elaborate?

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Okay, we will just get into that because that is exactly, that's the next point coming up, but we will just finish the two things in here, just to get that...

Prabhu (1): Okay, yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The second level, operational, institutes the avenues for accomplishment the strategy and the practical application."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that's from there.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The next two, tactical and technical, are secondary. They deal only with the specifics of effective management and details that add in accomplishing the goals and objectives, which are characterized in the first two levels, strategy and operational. Hence, even though the tactical and technical levels are an immediate stage that may require more volume of time, resources and endeavor for execution, the strategic and operational aspects maintain more prominence, as they establish the organization's primary functional principles, overall and long-term vision, mission and goals and the scheme of their execution."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, so it's just like, you may be spending all day doing different things like this, you are sleeping, you are eating, you are doing your work and all that. But the few hours you spend chanting is still more important and the most primary aspect of your day. So we have to also be careful that the idea doesn't come up that, 'But we spend more time on this tactical and technical, therefore it becomes more important.' No, that again comes up from the corporate idea. Because you see previously, even in the Western history, it was always about the priests, and then the priests and then the king. But at some point it switched through, it was, no, it was more about the economics and the volume of money and the volume of the people. So, therefore, you get going to the capitalistic or the corporate and the people, the socialistic thing comes up. So that's all about numbers. So that's the point, is that the strategic and the operational is not about volume, it is about the quality of what you are trying to get. And tactical and technical will deal with volume. So both are important, but you have to understand, is that the volume is only a value in connection with the strategic. That's why you see, as Prabhupāda says, we are preaching and we are trying to make it available for as many people as possible. But we are not going to lower the standard. Because, yes, glass is available to everyone, but a diamond, that is more rare, not everybody can get them. We are selling diamonds, we are not selling glass, right? So now, with Tattvavāda's question, 'Choosing the Right Strategic Model.' So this gives an overview of that point, more detail will also come up. An educational...So,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Choosing the Right Strategic Model. An educational model is focused on elevating the consciousness of people, the political model on protecting and administering the citizens, whilst the corporate model is merely focused on gaining profits. Hence, the approach to strategic planning of each model varies due to the difference in their strategic goals. Since the ultimate goal of human life is the attainment of pure love of God, all our social and economic activities should be in line with the spiritual principles established by the vaiṣṇava ācāryas. Thus, at the strategic level the educational model would be the natural choice for a spiritual organization, plus those success principles of the political and corporate models that are not in conflict with the spiritual principles may be useful to assist in achieving the operational, tactical and technical goals."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So the point comes up is that, here is now, we are starting to see the detail of what strategy means in practical. So an educational means, people have knowledge, people are elevated in their understanding. A political model, or an administrative, its strategy is that people will be protected, that's the most essential point. So, in other words, in the brahminical it's going to be studying and teaching and knowing this knowledge and applying it in your life. Administration is going to be protecting the people. Corporate is going to be to make profit, no other point. It's all about what makes profit. So, therefore, then you have to see, is if we are using a corporate model, means, then how will that be useful in a spiritual organization? Because our strategy is not profit. Our strategy is going back to Godhead, training people in God consciousness. So Prabhupāda says, we are an educational institution, a cultural institution. He never says we are a corporate, you know, we are out to make money, or we are out to control people in society. We are not. So these other models, though on their particular level, like the administrative, on the organizational level will have some things to appreciate, and on the tactical and technical the corporate will have some points that are of value, but the point is is, if they're not in line with the strategy of an educational institution... And of education, we are a descending educational institution, means it is a transcendental, it is starting from the Lord as paraṁparā. So that's why when.... This is the reason that someone following the corporate model thinks they can create strategy. Because who wants to say the strategy is to make money? Who is going to say that? What corporation wants to show that they are so mercenary, right? They advertise because it makes money. They have a nice store because it makes money. They care for you as a customer when you come into their store because it makes money, right? These Ebay's businesses, they try to get you things quick, they try to get it to you cheap and everything like that, they even give good return policies, why? Because it makes them more money. They show themselves to be green because it makes them more money. They sell organic or free range, you know, potatoes, whatever, because it makes more money, right? They show themselves to be woke because it makes more money, that's their idea. So the strategy, all you have to do is put at the top whatever is your particular monetary unit, you know, a Euro, or a Dollar or something, that is the strategy, 108 percent. Then the operational is going to be outlets, online thing, advertising, all these different things like that. Then you are going to have, the tactical would be how the store is set up and run, you know, how many people, who, what are the schedules and all this and that. And then what each guy does, this guy comes in, opens the door and then turns on the lights, and this is how you turn on the lights, and these lights go on, those ones don't, and you put your stuff down not here, but in the back -  that is the fourth level, that's the technical. Do you understand?

So you can see from this, why up to now... Because those who come up with this, they are only speaking from the corporate background. And that is not an exaggeration, that is just the fact. Because it's just a matter... In other words, people are only a value as much as they make the profit. When you don't make profit anymore, you get fired, right? But in government you're useful or not, the government still keeps, takes care of you. Even if you are a criminal, you end up in jail, who pays for your lunch? The government. Who feeds you? Who gives you a place to stay? The government. So the government has to protect, they have to take care, right? So, we see, is that that's how it works. And then you have the strategy for... People have to be educated, but not for... And you see the others, 'Yeah, yeah, no, but we have education...' Yeah, but you are educating them so that they can follow your model, so they can make profit. You are not educating them to go back to Godhead. That's the difference. So we have to be very, very clear here that if you use any other model... And you also, even if you use the educational, you apply it not in the descending, but an ascending platform, it will not work for devotees. You may get some temporary results and then it will be gone. It's very, very, very, very clear. Because up to now no one has told what actually is strategy. Because it's always, 'Okay, what is our strategy? What should we do?' No, it's not a matter of that. It's that we say, 'Oh, we want to see a temple in every city.' That is not a strategy, that is operational. Why do we want a temple? Temple is there, so people get association of vaiṣṇavas, so that they hear about Kṛṣṇa, they can perform devotional activities and develop themselves in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, that's the strategy.

So it's very important that we know what is strategy. We don't have to figure... We have to try to understand the strategy, we have to try to become educated in what is already the strategy, but we never create strategies. That's already created by Lord Caitanya. Lord Caitanya already explained the strategy to Sanātana Gosvāmī, right? That was already done. Okay.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Functional Mechanism of Strategic Planning..."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Does that answer the question Tattva Jī, does that answer the question there?

Prabhu (1): I would like to still mention, yesterday we had with one devotee a discussion that when we were researching a number of things what Prabhupāda said about, for example, the ultimate managerial authority, which is supposed to look... You know, this strategy happened what Śrīla Prabhupāda gave, we kind-of found that turning to the GBC means not turning to the karmic consults, but turning to the specialist in the Vedic field. But if we are already kind-of taking the model from the karmic consults, then then we have a little kind-of a challenge. So the idea that, is it then any more UMA, Ultimately Managerial Authority in the sense of... Philosophical sense, it has already turned a bit in the direction, which may make the move. But still, like you were always explaining, move, but which direction? So could you a little elaborate... I mean,...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The point is is, but what is the Ultimate Managerial Authority? Okay, so what is that for? What is the duty of the Ultimate Managerial Authority? Okay, we are establishing that GBC is Ultimate Managerial Authority, Prabhupāda said that. Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura established it, he is the one who came up with the concept and the name. Governing Body Commission, that name comes from Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. So it's already been established. So again, we don't have to work it out because we have to understand, the strategy also shows details of application that are preferred by the the Lord and the Ācāryas, right? And so, then we will see, is that in there... So what exactly does that mean? Okay, Ultimate Managerial Authority, what does that mean? You know, 'ultimate managers,' okay, great. Well, that's the thing is, well, one, are you actually a good manager? Right? What have you managed in your life? What big projects, what things, how have you developed and made it, and opened more temples and more devotees and, you know, more books and all those kind-of things? And if you have, okay, you can say you are a good manager, okay. So what does an 'ultimate manager' do? So that's now, this is where the problem comes. Is now we are taking that management is the top, then how is the goal of love for God the top? So is it love of GBC or love of God? You know what I'm saying? Because you see, on the material platform that whenever you have a system that takes the management principle and elevates it to the top, they write books about this. '1984' is about this. 'Animal Farm' is about this. All these different things that show, when you take something and remove God from it and then try to establish that system as the top. I mean that was going on, Prabhupāda gives that example in Russia, 'Oh there is no God. Go ahead, pray for bread!' And the people pray for bread. 'Where is your bread? No bread. Pray to us! 'Oh, please give us bread!' 'Here is your bread! See, we are better than God.'

So that principle has always been there in history, right? Is that management tries to take the top and they become the thing as opposed to, there is already a strategy there, and they are servants of the strategy. So, in other words, the GBC, their duty is seeing to the establishment that everyone understands and is practicing the strategy. That's why it is the ultimate, because the strategy is the ultimate. And then the operational, that is your temple president, or your farm project leader, or restaurant head, or whatever it is that is running there on its own in the pursuance of making people Kṛṣṇa conscious. So their business is to see, is this temple president Kṛṣṇa conscious? Is he making his people Kṛṣṇa conscious? Is he functioning how Prabhupāda said people should become Kṛṣṇa conscious. If he is, that's great. And if he is not then that has to be addressed, and how can he become more Kṛṣṇa conscious, how can you institute more Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Because we are a society for Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We are not the international society for, you know, appreciating ultimate managerial authority, that's not what we are. It's about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So one has to understand, is the GBC is the highest leadership because it establishes the strategy that is there in people's practical life. Strategy is already done, we don't have to work it out. And the same way is, the temple president, why is he the head of the operational? Because he sees that all the tactical and technical things in his temple, everyone is doing it so that the temple is attaining its purpose in strategy. So that means the individual has to be God conscious and the society itself as a whole is seeing that people are becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious. So the individual is becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious, working with other Kṛṣṇa conscious people to help others become Kṛṣṇa conscious. And the organization is being done in such a way that all individuals can work together to be Kṛṣṇa conscious and move forward. So that balance, then you see, that's why GBC is the top. That's what it means by Ultimate Managerial Authority. Because management happens at the operational level, not at the strategic level. Not that they are not managing their paper and figuring out where the phone is and knowing how to push the buttons, you know. The point is is that that is, the strategy is the ultimate authority of managers, that's their position. If they take it that, 'No, we are the managers that manage everything,' that means they don't understand what the position is. In the same way as the temple president, he is there, he is the managerial authority in his area, but he has to see that it's in line with the strategy, and that's what the GBC is there for, to see that you are becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious as a temple leader and you are making everybody else in your responsibility Kṛṣṇa conscious. So that's why it's there. Like you see the King, and then there is the Rāja Guru. They are there to make sure you are Kṛṣṇa conscious, that's what they are for. Bhīṣmadeva is there trying to make Dhritarāṣṭra Kṛṣṇa conscious. It's not working out because he is just downright demon. But that is his job, he is there to give advice and those things on that. He doesn't manage it, the manager decides. So as long as the manager is Kṛṣṇa conscious and doing things in a Kṛṣṇa conscious way as Prabhupāda said, and you can discuss about these things, then everything is right. It is not the GBC's business to manage the temple because that's why you have a president. Otherwise, it would be very easy. GBC can run, manage all the temples, and all the temple presidents can go out and do book distribution and Harināma and something else and not worry about life, and let the GBCs manage it. But they can't put in a new temple president because no, because they are the manager.

So it has to be understood, is this strategic planning is a very exact science. It's not a speculation, it's not, 'Well, some do like that, others do...' No. We are not talking about this speculative method. We are talking about how Kṛṣṇa has given the system and how Prabhupāda  gave it to us. It's philosophy, you can describe it like that. If you work off the corporate books, they don't know what they are talking about. All they know is they want to make profit, that's all. We want people to become Kṛṣṇa conscious and go back to Godhead. Slightly different training. Because what is the training? For us then the training means everybody has to be trained in the principles given in the strategy. Then you as an organization, you have to find where you fit within the operational and where is your position in that and cooperate together within that operation, right? So, you are going back to Godhead and you are helping the whole system take others back to Godhead. But you are trained in the strategy. In the corporate model who is trained in what making money is? No, you are simply trained in tactical and technical elements, what to do and that's it. And the guys on top, they know how to make money and they just get you to help them. Very different model. So, basically, the corporate model as it is has zero value for us. You know, a few of the little points on how they organize some of the tactical and technical things and see that people are doing, and there is the guy on the floor managing and this. But Prabhupāda already gave that. He already gave the president, the secretary, the treasurer, the temple commander. There is the Saṅkīrtana leader, there is the head pūjārī. Like that, these are already established back in the 1960s, 1970s. So that already makes things work. So you already have these things in place, we simply have to follow and use our intelligence how to do it nicely. It's just like you study, let's say you are going to teach Bhagavad-gītā. You study Gītā, you teach Gītā and how it has been given, As It Is, then you are a good teacher. Not that I have to make up verses and make up my own philosophies - that's useless. So is that okay? That's clear?

Prabhu (1): Thank you know very much. Very nice. Thank you, Mahārāja! Narakṛti Prabhu?

Prabhu (2): Mahārāja, Hare Kṛṣṇa! Thank you very much for the introduction. I was just thinking in the terms of these educational, political and corporate models of strategic planning. That our model that was proposed so far on the GBC in ISKCON involves creating a number of offices, actually, who will coordinate the attempts of the ministries globally. And ultimately that means, the offices have to be financed, and the whole plan actually collapsed because the rest of the society was not willing to finance the offices. So I am just thinking, what kind of... It's not even a corporate model, it looks like a model to create offices, which can be eternally financed by the global community of people, so...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: It's just... In other words, it's a corporate model in that everybody has a job.

Prabhu (2): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: If you are part of the system, right? Prabhupāda gave, it was 24 GBC to run the world, right, the whole globe. Then the thing is is, as time goes and there is more you can have a few more, but the point is is, if all you are doing is seeing to the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which is the most important element... In other words, if the temple is successful, plenty of money, so many devotees, but no one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, what's the point? Right?

Prabhu (2): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: But if you have one devotee and they are Kṛṣṇa conscious, that's already a success. And now, if it can become two, can become four, can become eight, then it's getting better. So that means, you go in, you see these things, you do. And so then  where is the big administrative load? Where is the economic load for a GBC? They simply have to be able to have enough money to move around. But the thing is is, they are the ones that are starting new temples. Prabhupāda says, their duty is the same as the sannyāsīs, so they're the ones going, opening new projects and this and that. So they have their own men, they have their own scene, they have their own money. So this idea is, 'No, we are a government, we are going to tax.' But if they are a government, who are their brāhmanas who are keeping them in line? Okay, you are the government, you tax the temples, great. Who is keeping you in line? Because administration is never the top. Of course, it is an Anglo-Saxon thing, right? The Anglo-Saxon, how did it work out with Henry VIII? Right? Henry VIII is a king and the Pope in Rome is the boss. He runs his country, but he has to run his country according to Catholic principles. And if he doesn't do it, then they will come and give him trouble, right?

Prabhu (2): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that's the principles of that are working. We are not talking about the corruptness that of these... What were those guys called? The Borgias. They kind-of took over because everybody figured out that the Pope is the most powerful, so let's become the Pope, even though they are not qualified. You know, he has the power, he has the money he has the men. So whatever it is, but the point is, the principle is there. So what was his solution? Kick out the Pope, and he becomes head of state and head of the church. So is that not a similar thing?

Prabhu (2): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So now, if you are going to say, okay, great, you are doing this, you are going to tax all these things, that temple is putting in this much money. How much of that is it getting back? How much is he getting back in facilities? Just like, okay, you are a man on the road, right, you are driving your car, you come up to the toll station, you put your 10 Euros in there, you drive down what? This little dirt road with all kinds of potholes in it? And trees lying across the road, and bears coming out and trying to get things, to get you, give you stuff to eat and that? Is that what you paid 10 Euros for? No. You paid 10 Euros for a six lane fabulous highway that is so smooth you could play billiards on it. And it's perfectly maintained, that's what you are paying. So the whole point is is, if you are being taxed, what is it that you are getting back from that? You are just paying for some guy to do something in some place that may have nothing to do with you. He is a legal consultant, but the law in every region and in every state, and even sometimes even area is completely different. Just because you know American law, doesn't mean you know European law and that. You may know the process, you talk to this one or that one, but the point is is, those are administrative. That the region should do. If there is a need of it, the region where they have common legal things, those temples get together and, 'Okay, we have a devotee, he used to be a lawyer, he can give advice for anyone in the zone.' He stays at your temple, he is helping with you, but if another temple needs, they send him a ticket, he goes there and spends whatever it is, some weeks, tells them what to do, and then he comes back. So how does that... Why do you need... You don't need to be taxed for that.

In other words, the GBC level is above the tax scene. It starts at the operational that you have administration. GBC is not an administration. If it is, okay, but what is above administration? Administration is never the top. Brāhmanas are at the top. So they are always, 'Oh, what are we?' you know, like this and that. They are brāhmanas. They don't want to be brāhmanas because then you don't have the control and the money. But if you say, 'Okay, we are kṣatriyas,' but then you have brāhmanas above you, and so we don't want that, and we still don't have the money. Okay, well, 'We are vaiśyas, we got the money but then we are controlled by the kṣatriyas, and we have brāhmanas above that. So, therefore, you know, we don't accept Varṇāśrama, you know, we are devotees. We do vaiśya stuff here, we do kṣatriya stuff there and that. And isn't it fabulous and aren't we wonderful?' But what does that have to do with reality? Who in the material world functions like that?

So the whole point is is, just like you have these big corporations where there is a guy, there is a founder, he is sitting on the top. He has a CEO who is running the thing, and he just sees that it is going in the right direction. He will discuss with him, he will have these things, but the guy says, 'We have to do this to make the profit there,' and if it is in line with the profits he wants to do, it goes. He doesn't run the thing himself. But without him the others don't know what to do. So, without the GBC how do you know if you are being Kṛṣṇa conscious? You get so absorbed in your management and this and that, and so many things, and they are all nice Kṛṣṇa conscious stuff. But he might be able to point out how you could be more Kṛṣṇa conscious. Are you considering these things? Like you are getting into the festival, but the temple is falling apart. Like I remember, in Kolkata, the temple president there. Prabhupāda happened to come there and I think it was around Janmāṣṭamī. And Prabhupāda was there a few days. And after some days he called the president into his room and and asked him, 'Are you chanting your rounds?' Because he saw, he would get up in the morning late because he would be out late meeting people and raising money, and then get up, eat something and immediately go out, and then he would come back at 11 o'clock at night. So after a few days Prabhupāda called him and said, 'Are you chanting your rounds?' And he said, 'No, because I am doing the important thing of collecting money, so we can have a big Janmāṣṭamī program because it's preaching.' And Prabhupāda's point was, 'If you are not chanting your rounds what's the point of you being involved in that? Because if you are not advancing yourself personally, how are you going to make anybody else Kṛṣṇa conscious?' Seeing that he is the leader there, right? We are not talking about a congregational member who is not chanting, he comes in and he helps and he organizes something, and all that, he is being absorbed. But he is the leader. So Prabhupāda was acting in that capacity as the GBC. That's the important thing. Because that's the point, is the advantage of... There is a saying in management, 'You can't see the forest for the trees.' You are so focused on a particular tree, you can't see all the trees and the whole program, so that's what the GBC is there for, to see that you see the tree, but you can still see the forest.

Prabhu (2): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: And that is most important. But because it doesn't deal with man or money or power, then it is thought, 'Oh, this is not the top.' But that's not how vaiṣṇavas think. Kṛṣṇa isn't the top. He is sitting in your heart, He tells you what to do, but He leaves it up to you to do it. It's like Kṛṣṇa went on that peace mission for Yudhiṣṭhira, it's already been... Duryodhana has already said, 'No peace, it's going to... We are not giving anything back.' But Kṛṣṇa said, 'I will go Myself,' and they will say, 'But You already know what they want.' Kṛṣṇa said, 'No, but as God I give them their independence. I'm going to go there, present everything, and then they can choose. And when they have chosen, and whatever they choose, that's what we will have. If they choose peace, we will have peace, if they choose war, we will have war.'

So it's always this balance. So that's the whole point of the strategic planning, is that you have to know what's what and how each one balances with the other. Otherwise then you overdo one thing and all this and that, then, you know, then what? So that's what happens. It's like, 'No, the head is the most important.' 'Yeah, but without the body and all that. Someone is going to hit you in the head with the baseball bat, so the arm is the most important.' Stomach says, 'You know, well...'  [Indistinct] say, 'Yeah, but without the legs you can't move around, so we are the most important.' Then the stomach will say, 'Yeah, but if I don't distribute energy to everybody, then that...' So, therefore, the head should work out how to get food, the hand should be giving the food, and the legs should be running around to get food because the stomach is the most important, right? That is the corporate model.

So that is why it is a descending process. It is not how we want it to be, it's how it already is, that already has been and always will be. In other words, it's what is the Absolute Truth? This is not just, 'Oh, just words, we are just doing some practical...' No, but practical, if it is not in line with the spiritual philosophy... So that's the thing is, many will think, 'Oh, well, philosophy, that's not practical.' No it is a science. That means it can be applied. If you don't apply it, of course, then you don't get the benefit. But that is what makes the difference between science and art. Art is just how it is applied, science is why it is applied, what it affects, how it works. So Prabhupāda has given us the whole science. That's why he says, 'The Complete Science of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.' He has given that. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (2): Yes, yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So we simply have to apply it, and that itself will take us all of our effort and all of our endeavor. All of our endeavor. Does that make sense?

Prabhu (2):Yes, thank you.

HH BVPS Mahārāja:So we have to understand what's what. Then, once we understand, then everybody can go ahead and work. Because basically everybody that is involved in the system today, in our leadership in the movement, are qualified to do their actual positions, right? It's just they have to do that and not something else. So the GBC are qualified to be GBC. You think about them, they are all like spiritual leaders. You think of them, many of them as sādhus. That they are the best at, so that's what they should be doing. And then those who are dealing on the temple levels and all that, these are your best managers in the movement. Of thousands, hundreds and thousands of devotees, they are the ones that can lead in that, they know how to do this. And then somebody is a pūjārī, or a saṅkīrtana leader and this and that, they know how to do that on that practical level, and they are the best. Because it was before, people used to discuss that. You know saṅkīrtana is going on in this temple, saṅkīrtana is going on in that temple, that temple is getting really good results, then they would discuss with all the other temples. You don't have to have a saṅkīrtana minister. Because what is happening is, all the jobs that the GBC should do, they are making into ministries. But the GBC is there, he has to... Are they going out on harināma? Are they doing these things? You know, it's not rocket science. You know what I am saying?

Means, if you want to discuss management, it is a big book, this fat. But if you have someone who themselves is a manager, he says, 'We have a temple here. We have devotees. We want to do this and that. This is what we are trying to do.' He will get in there, figure out what man, who can do what, how much money do we have and what we could do today. And then like this, and the plan after, you know, one year this, and after five years that. It doesn't take [indistinct]. That's the point. We preach and everybody comes from every background. So we have leaders coming from wherever they are coming, and they can lead. But there needs to be training. Training not in not in details of management - that you learn from a manager. Like if you want yogurt, you want to make yogurt, where do you get it from? Yogurt, right? But you don't get it from something else, right? So the whole thing is is, what is being created here with all these things is a bureaucracy. A bureaucracy assists administrative leadership. In other words, bureaucracy is lower than leadership in administration. And above leadership and administration is that brāhminical feature of being Kṛṣṇa conscious. Does that make sense? So that means that bureaucracy is lower. And so, that's the difficulty, is when one is trying to make the bureaucracy the top, that's straight 'Animal Farm.' Remember, it was a a group of pigs that got rid of one farmer, and then you had 20-30 pigs. Now they become the Bureau.

Prabhu (2): But, Mahārāja, the idea is to create bureaucracy which is below the GBC, but above the temple presidents and the yātrās. In-between, like for...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes, but the thing is is, you have to know how bureaucracy works. Bureaucracy is not above the temple presidents. It's below the GBC. In other words, they may have things that they study and work out, and they want them to do stuff like that. You know, like how many angels can dance on the head of the pin, or whatever it is. Then they give that information to the GBC, the GBC is the one that interacts with the temple president. Otherwise, they have to have the people... It's, okay, we can take a difference in there that they want to do it like this, great. How did, when Prabhupāda made the original GBC and there were 24 GBC... It first started with 12 and it went up to 24. Now on that GBC you had a minister, right? Jagadīśa Prabhu was the minister of education, right? He was a GBC, he wasn't a bureaucrat below the GBC. Ministers, we want to do...[indistinct] of the GBC, you want somebody to specialize in an area, great. But they all have to have the qualification of a GBC man, have the weight, have the voting power. In other words, if they are coming to your temple to deal with you on a bureaucratic element on behalf of the GBC, and you don't see the GBC, where is the spiritual input that the GBC is for? Because the point is is, there is a good chance that that bureaucrat knows less about the situation than the local man who is managing them. Are they taking old temple presidents that have been presidents for 20-30 years and making them the bureaucrat? Or they are taking somebody who is good at sitting behind a computer?

Prabhu (2): Sitting behind the computer.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So what is his authority over someone who can manage? So, in other words, you see is that the system won't work because it is taking the worst from everything. Means, even if you want to take the corporate, okay. You want to take the corporate, you have the board of directors, right? But when you have the board of directors, you also have the shareholders. So that means, the shareholders can vote people out of the board. So if they want to go corporate, that means, in a temple all the devotees can vote whether they want that GBC or not or that bureaucrat or not. If they want to go... But they don't want to go, then, 'No, no, no, no, you know, we have to have the absolute authority...' Then work on absolute principles. That means, it starts from the top, it is spiritual. Then it comes down into administrative. Because that is the whole point. Temple presidents, they have a bureaucracy, that's why you have a secretary and you have a treasurer. That's your bureaucrats, right? They may be leaders, but they have guys under them. The cashier in this, they don't know how money works. And so, he said, 'a treasurer' not 'an accountant.' An accountant knows how to keep the books, that's it. He doesn't know any bigger than that, how money works. Treasurer has to know how money works. Does that make sense?

So, in other words, the bureaucracy is within the temples and between temples in the zone, they can share that bureaucratic understanding. Before the temples used to share, someone knew something really good, then that person went and shared with others and showed them how to do. If it is really small, he comes, does it himself, and if it is bigger he shows somebody how they can do it. And then with time now you have two people who can do that. So you see, it is a very straightforward system. This other thing... How many people... So, it's just like this. Okay, let's say, just take in America, right, you had your executive board, like that, and you have some other things that were taking care of things. Then something, a problem is there, so they make another committee to watch that and take care of something else. And now, let us say, there is a crime scene. Three, four, five different government boards show up and say that they are in charge here. The local police is there, and he says, 'Okay, this is my seat, you know, this is my city, and so I'm in charge of this crime.' Then the state police comes on, says, 'No, no, this is too big for you, the state police are taking over this. You are just a local city police.' Then you are going to have, 'No, no this is big, this is the federal level. Now it's the national thing, and so we are in charge.' Then the next guy comes along, says, 'No, I am the...' [break in recording]

Prabhu (2): It freezed.

Mātājī (1): Yeah, it looks like Mahārāja's internet is gone. It could be the current went down, so we just wait.

Prabhu (1): Patri, you were asking the schedule. So we go with these four levels of strategic planning, but it takes the direction according to questions. So this year we don't send the study material like last year, and it will be then formulated a little still after this. But if you have questions then...

Prabhu (3): I have a question... Everybody can...

Prabhu (1): Yeah. So let's just wait when Mahārāja comes there, and then I will still shortly introduce you, and then... But let's see, now there is some technical... Where are you now?

Prabhu (3): My humble obeisances to all the vaiṣṇavas.

Prabhu (1): Jaya! Where are you now?

Prabhu (3): I am on the top of Himālayas.

Prabhu (1): Really? [laughter] So you have a good... You can hear everything there.

Prabhu (3): Good connection here.

Prabhu (1): [Laughter] So when he has finished this question then you can make your one. But let's wait until the technicality is back. It starts to interrupt when there are more traffic on the internet somewhere in this moment.

Prabhu (2):Should we turn off the cameras then?

Prabhu (1): Mātājī?

Mātājī (1): No, it has got nothing to do with the traffic because everybody else's is working okay at the moment. It's just that because now Mahārāja is using his computer, then if the electricity goes, then until the generator kicks in and everything starts up again, he won't be able to speak. But it's working better for him than using his phone, which he needs to...

Prabhu (4): Mātājī, the power has come, it will still go on...[indistinct]

Mātājī (1): Sorry?

Prabhu (3): Maybe... I have a proposal...

Prabhu (4):The power has come back, it will take two minutes.

Mātājī (1): Okay, thank you, Haladhara Nitāi Prabhu.

Prabhu (1): Pātrī, what you were on the way to say?

Prabhu (3): Well, meanwhile, if these things happen, we can fill up the gap by sharing feedback and understanding. What did we understand, everybody, you know, bodhayantaḥ parasparam. So, two-way traffic will make things nididhyāsanam. We can contemplate deeper and understand. What did we understand, like that. So let's maybe...

Prabhu (1):Yeah, we have been doing this already. This is maybe strategic planning, vaiṣṇava... It was in the third year. So we have been going before through these four levels. And then...

Prabhu (3): I am just saying now... Mahārāja is... Yeah?

Prabhu (1): Making it clear that the strategy is what Prabhupāda has already established. And what normally is the misconception of the business model is that they take the technique, which you know as an old artillery commander, is the technique is just what weapons you are using to get the goal. But it's not actually, it's not strategy. So this making them as synonymous is actually is what weapons you are using or what technique you are using to get the aim, but it's not called strategic planning, it's called technical skills. So either you use Panzerwagen or artillery, or the combination, that's not the strategy. So that mistake has happened many times. And then we kind-of may end up into the situation... But we think we can change the strategy. So then, you know, what is Prabhupāda needed for? So that is the problem of that. But we don't go with that Western style of too much the feedback during the seminar, like that, just the questions and answers. And then we can assemble with us separately, if needed, so... So that in general. Is there better now with Mahārāja's connection? We don't know...

Mātājī (1): I think, Tattvavāda Prabhu, what Prabhu was suggesting was just while we are waiting to have that kind of discussion, just to fill the gap, that's all, while...

Prabhu (3):Yes, Mātājī, I just meant, now we have a gap. So, so far what did you discuss? As a recap. Just what what did you discuss just now, for 15 and 20 minutes, what did we understand?

Prabhu (1): Yeah, I already summarized that, basically, so it was already there summarized. Yeah, so... Haladhara Nitāi, can you introduce yourself? Somehow or another your name is familiar, but at the same time...

Mātājī (1):Haladhara Nitāi Prabhu has been working on the curriculum with Mahārāja and has worked on this  paper that Mahārāja is sharing at the moment, so...

Prabhu (1): Oh, okay now we recognize you... Introduce yourself to the others, you know, I mean, we hear you every day when the seminar is going on, but somehow the name was...

Prabhu (4): Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Prabhu (1): Just introduce yourself.

Prabhu (4): Myself, I am Haladhara Nitāi Dāsa.

Prabhu (3): Hare Kṛṣṇa Prabhu.

Prabhu (1): So you are working with the study material...

Prabhu (4): Myself, I am Haladhara Nitāi Dāsa. Yeah, i'm working with the study material with Mahārāja. And recently Mahārāja mentioned to me about this course and all. So I have been helping in preparing this course material also, in getting the right, proper words according to the context, and then I'm just assisting Mahārāja in preparing this material. So Mahārāja suggested me to be present in this seminar, so that then we can, according to all of your suggestions and then how the discussion goes, we can modify again the course material because it's not yet fully developed. Now we are in the process of like improving it more and more. So that's the reason why...

Mātājī (1): Mahārāja is back now.

Prabhu (1): Okay, Mahārāja is back? Welcome back, Mahārāja!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Jaya! Yes, West Bengal here [indistinct] So that means, here it goes off. Okay.

Yes, so, Narakṛti, is that clear how it should be? Because, like you said, even you try these other things, how are they going to maintain that? They'll make a point, 'What governance in the world doesn't have a budget?' this and that. But they are a governance of brāhmanas. Have you ever heard that at Rādhākuṇḍa, when all the senior vaishnavas would get together... Because that would be the original GBC, and they had a budget? You know what I am saying? That is not the important thing. So that's the point, is who is listed in our paraṁparā, those were all the presidents of the Viśva-vaiṣṇava Rāja-sabhā. So it started with Rūpa Gosvāmī, then came down to Jīva Gosvāmī, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, then Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura, Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Jagannātha Dāsa Bābājī, Bhaktiviṇoda Ṭhākura... This is how it came, they were the head of the thing. Just like we have a GBC, there is a head. But the point is is, what are they doing? Whatever they like? No, what Lord Caitanya gave.

So, it is very important to understand, these things are already in place. Because the point is is, this bureaucracy... Means, whatever the GBC, they are not doing, if they are thinking they are managers, then they need all these people to do the management for them, why aren't they managing it? Right? They are doing it for them, and so it sounds very nice if you're enamored by Capitol Hill. But the point is is, because of the bureaucracy it gets stuck, and what is there? There is also the judicial. Does... Remember, if you are going to use this democratic model, like you said before, if you want to use the corporate model, then you have shareholders above you, right? And if you want to use the governmental model, the whole thing is is, the bureaucracy is one of three. Then you have the executive, and then you have the judicial. And since we don't run by a single ācārya, therefore then they have to see, is that they have to be doing... That's the whole point, they are doing these things. So the bureaucratic then, these are just so no one has so much power. But at the same time they are being used to force power. So the thing is is, they'll always have a difficulty using these models because they are not clearly any one model. It's just you take what little bit sounds good and impresses you from whatever. But the point is, descending, it is already there, you see how it comes down to you. Then once it gets to you, where do I fit in? Does that make sense? Yes? No? Any good?

Prabhu (2): Thank you, Mahārāja! Yes, it makes sense. Thank you very much!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, in other words, what we are discussing here doesn't change the position or authority of GBC. It actually puts them again in a position of authority that they lost in 1987, right? In other words, by the maneuvers that went on in 1987 they changed the GBC, but in the process they lost the position of authority. No one was an authority anymore, right? And so, that is the whole point that this gives them that authority that they are supposed to have, that is given by the sampradāya, as well as it gives to the presidents their authority. It gives to the temple officers their authority. And at the same time, it gives the individual their position, and so they see the whole thing together, and so they can function within it.

So that is the thing, that is the perfection of the Vedic system: it works for everyone. Otherwise, capitalism only works for the capitalists, for everybody else it doesn't really work. Socialism only works for the śūdras, it doesn't work for anyone else. Dictatorship only works for that administrator, it doesn't work for anyone else. And anarchy doesn't work for anybody, nobody gets benefit.

Prabhu (2): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So the Vedic system then everybody gets the benefit because everybody knows what they do and where they are. And this whole thing of trying to pick and choose, 'Well, you know, I want the respect of the the brāhmana and all that, but I want the administrative authority of the kṣatriya, and I want all the money of the vaiśya, but at the same time I want that kind-of like not so... You know, the standards are not so much expected, so that I can kind-of whimsically do whatever I feel like, like a śūdra. And I don't have responsibility like the brahmacārī, it's someone else's thing, but I am completely independent, I do whatever I like in the way of my facilities and that, as a gṛhasṭha. But I have that senior position and I can get right into the details of the gossip and all that and control that as a vānaprastha, but at the same time I have that respect and worship and aloof authority of the sannyāsīs. Now, doesn't that sound perfect?' Yeah. So that's the point, if you take that approach, you will always fail. It's God's kingdom, not ours.

Prabhu (2): No.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So this idea, 'Well, Prabhupāda is from the spiritual world, he doesn't know what goes on here,' like that, you know, Hamilton said stuff like that, it's very popular. God, they deified God.'And Prabhupāda like this, and the ācāryas, they are spiritual, we don't want it like that... But, you know, we are here, we run here.' No. Every atom is Kṛṣṇa and in every atom is Kṛṣṇa. So, yeah.

Prabhu (2): Thank you.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. Now in this, I mean, I got a bit of a break while my computer was redoing... Did everybody else get a bit of a break? Do they need to go to the bathroom, or this or that? Go... How you say? They checked the refrigerator out or no? So we continue or should we take a few minutes break, or...? We have another hour, till one. I mean, my one, your - I'm not sure what time. Everybody...

Prabhu (1): Raise the hand those who need to break, just put the raised hand shortly those who need to break.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Or just turn off your camera and walk away.

Prabhu (1): Looks like there is not so much... Pātrī Prabhu, you had... Pātrī came just... He had to raise first up to the Himālayas in order to get the good connection. So he is the regional secretary of Nepal and has been living there, in India, Nepal for the last 20 years. Before he was the artillery officer in the other side of this border there. So, Pātrī Prabhu, you join first time this seminar, since I thought it is really something familiar for you in one sense, from the karmic background, so kindly just make your question, since you said you have one.

Prabhu (3): Thank you very much. I would like, first of all I would like to offer my humble obeisances to Mahārāja, please kindly accept my humble obeisances. I am really privileged to be amongst all of you, and it's very nice discussion and very relevant, actually. I have a question quickly. All of we are familiar with that situation and statement of Śrīla Prabhupāda when he was leaving, and Girirāja Mahārāja was asking him what is most important. And Prabhupāda said, 'Organization, they have to be very well organized,' one of the questions... And at the same time Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, he wrote a famous article, 'Organized Religion Produces Pūtanās.' So where is that balance? And because we can see left and right, and myself personally, dealing on national level, I do have some interaction with GBC and sometimes conflict is there. Because sometimes they are not here and we are hands-on day and day out. And sometimes they are coming and telling us what to do without even understanding what is happening here. And as Mahārāja mentioned, who is above GBC? Are they administrative organ, or are they just simply on a brāhminical level, and at the same time, what does it mean, 'an organization,' and how not to fall into the area of creating pūtanās? What is the balance of this?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. So let's go into the next section here that deals with... The next sections deal with this, this what you are talking about. So we have to set that... In other words, to discuss this there is some basics that we need to appreciate. So now we are talking about the functional, the next section is 'Functional Mechanism of Strategic Planning.' So...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Planning is a process of proactive decision making that we do in advance of implementing action."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So that's what the plan is, but you have to... That plan has to be based on something.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: " 'Lord Kṛṣṇa, by His quadruple expansion - Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha - is the Lord of psychic action, namely, thinking, feeling, willing and acting.' "

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That is from Bhāgavatam 4.24.36 Purport. So then, you have in here...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Lord Saṅkarṣaṇa, the Master of ego, which involves the psychological process of thinking, establishes the field of knowledge required for action. Lord Pradyumna, the Master of intelligence, which involves the psychological process of feeling, establishes the right attitude and qualities required for accomplishment of action. Lord Aniruddha, the Master of mind, which involves the psychological process of willing, establishes the goal of action. Lord Vāsudeva, the master of citta or consciousness, which involves the psychological process of acting, establishes the process of implementation."

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Right? Because you have thinking, feeling and willing. So thinking, Saṅkarṣaṇa, feeling, Pradyumna, and willing - Aniruddha, all three of those together are applied in acting. So, in other words, the qualities of Saṅkarṣaṇa, meaning the field, the knowledge and the field of action, the intelligence and the proper attitude and qualities - that has to then be applied, and you have to know the goal of what you want to gain. All that together is applied as action. That's why Vāsudeva is the scene in this, the central point. Even though they are all, all four Catur-vyūha, all have the same qualities. But the point is is, for a uniqueness and for carrying these things out for the pastimes, then Kṛṣṇa will do one particular aspect by Saṅkarṣaṇa, another aspect by Pradyumna, another aspect by Aniruddha. And then as Vāsudeva, then He does the pastimes, the  pastimes with the devotees. And you see, is that Saṅkarṣaṇa has pastimes with devotees and Pradyumna and Aniruddha, so They all are in that position, They can do. But when the four are together, then each one plays a particular role.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The acting necessitates the harmonious and simultaneous action, application of the three psychological processes of thinking, feeling and willing."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So this is very important, is that your ultimate point, it has to have all of them together, right? In other words, for Vāsudeva to be applied, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are all there harmoniously working together. So that means, your operational and tactical and technical are harmoniously working, then you have the accomplishment of the strategy or Vāsudeva. Because that is the real action - is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Other things are mechanics. I have a fire. I have a pot on the fire. I have something in the pot. I have a spoon in the pot. I have my hand holding the pot, and my hand is being pushed by my arm around in the pot - that's the mechanics. It doesn't matter what I am cooking, that won't change. I could be cooking vegetarian, I could be cooking not vegetarian, like that. Yeah, and amazingly, even vegan can be cooked that way. And then it comes down to, am I offering it to Kṛṣṇa or not? So offering it to Kṛṣṇa, doing it for Kṛṣṇa - that is the actual dynamic, that is the strategy. The operational, mechanical means, that's why we can take things from the material world that we see around us and use them in our operational, tactical and technical. But the point is is, if they are not in pursuance of and supportive of the strategy, they are useless. So that has to be seen, is that Vāsudeva is the central figure. He is the līlā-puruṣa because He is the one that Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha are assisting or serving with that. So, superficially we see... Okay, this is another quote from Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā 2.52.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Superficially we see that these puruṣas [Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha] have a relationship with māyā, but above them, in the fourth dimension, is Lord Kṛṣṇa [Vāsudeva], who has no contact with the material energy."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So then you are going to see, is, yes, the operational, the tactical and the technical are working down with the field of action in interacting with the material world. But the point is is, their whole purpose is the strategy, Vāsudeva, which is above all this. And so, if the operational, tactical and technical are not in pursuance of the strategy, they are mundane. But because they are in pursuance of serving Vāsudeva, that makes them spiritual. That is the whole point. I am cooking. I am doing it for Kṛṣṇa, it is spiritual. I am not doing it for Kṛṣṇa, it is material. But the technique is no different. I can go and buy a karmī recipe book and take recipes from that and cook for Kṛṣṇa. So it has to be understood here what you are dealing with. And if you don't see the strategy... Because otherwise we will say, 'But then what is the GBC doing? What's the...' But that's the whole point, if you don't see that then why are you in a leadership position? Right? On any level, if you can't see the importance of the strategy and how everyone is working for the strategy, you should not be in a leadership role, unless your leadership role is tactical or technical, where even if you don't understand it still works. But someone above you has to understand it. Very, very important.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Thus all actions at the universal level, samaṣṭi, and at the individual level, vyaṣṭi, must be directed for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord, Vāsudeva, in order to attain the transcendental abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead."

HH BVPS Mahārāja:Right? So now we are introducing a Vedāntic aspect here, samaṣṭi and vyaṣṭi. Samaṣṭi means universal, means, how Kṛṣṇa sees everything. And vyaṣṭi means the individual, means us, from our position, how we see in our connection with Kṛṣṇa.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: This is very key for understanding the relationship between the organization and the individual.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, because it is a balance. You don't see it properly, then it gets out of balance, it is not harmonious.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Similarly, within the spiritual organization the function of both the organization and the individuals should be geared towards attaining the goal of pleasing Kṛṣṇa."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, both have to be it's about pleasing Kṛṣṇa. It is not that organization is about controlling individuals and individuals have to please Kṛṣṇa. No, the organization is trying to please Kṛṣṇa through organizing the individuals. It's not about controlling the individuals, it is about organizing them. And so, to organize there must be discipline. That means, everybody should be disciplined, right? So that is the advantage in the brāhminical organization, is that you don't need a very strong system of discipline because people are self-disciplined because of the brāhminical aspect. And they have their seniors that point out, 'Hey, this is wrong,' and so then the individual corrects it.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "This will be effective only when there is mutual interdependence and harmony between the organization and the individual."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: The point is, the organization is made out of individuals. Individuals work for the organization. You have to see both. Many times you see those who only see the individual, 'It's all about the individual! What about the individual?' There that's out of balance. Or, 'No, it's the institution! I am an institutional man! It's about the institution and, you know, individuals don't matter!' They are both wrong. They're both wrong. You have to see the balance.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Thus, the relationship between organization and individual is that of simultaneous oneness and difference, acintya-bhedābheda-tattva."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? That is our philosophy, that's how we hold everything together.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "As an organization is the combination of cooperate effort of individuals, consequently, its application does not exist independently without the involvement of the individual. Whilst individuals must necessarily engage themselves in the context of the organizational structure, the organizational structure must necessarily be instituted for the purpose of nourishing and uplifting the individuals. Therefore, both the individuals and the organization achieve ultimate prosperity only through their mutual cooperation."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, in other words, the individual is cooperating with the organization, and the organization is trying to see how to best involve and and nourish the individuals.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "In the Bhagavad-gītā 3.11, [this is, 'The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you, and thus, by cooperation between men and demigods, prosperity will reign for all.'] Lord Kṛṣṇa explains this aspect by advising Arjuna that in order to achieve ultimate success in whatever we do, we need to honor the principle of mutual dependence through the performance of yajña, which is the basis of sustenance of the world."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, in other words, the organization is organizing opportunities for yajña, and individuals are willingly taking part in the performance of yajña, that's the relationship. Does that makes sense? Yeah. So now, some details of that, so they will be a little more clear.

Prabhu (3): Mahārāja, can you repeat... Sorry. This statement, 'organization organizing yajña'? The individual...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Organization is organizing yajña on a grand scale. Like everybody can sit in their house and do Janmāṣṭamī, right? But the organization does a Janmāṣṭamī program on a grand scale, that hundreds or thousands, or, let's say, like Bombay, hundreds... Literally, I think, last year or something, seven lakhs, seven hundred thousand people came for darśana. That takes serious organization, right? So, you can do something on a grand scale, but it's about engaging individuals in that yajña. And the individuals are seeing how they can be engaged within the context of this organizational that it makes it successful. If the organization is just, 'Oh, we are just having this program, so that we can make money,' then what's the point? And the individual is just thinking, 'What I can get out of it? You know, I'll come, eat a ton of prasāda, bring my whole family, bring tiffins, get as much as I can, take it home, and then we got prasāda for the next week.' So if everybody is just thinking about themselves, it won't work. The organization is how to engage individuals, the individuals - how they can take part in that organization to do something nice for Kṛṣṇa, right? So it's all about yajña. It's all trying to serve the Supreme Lord. So that's why strategy is the top, pleasing the Lord. Then the organization on a big level of yajña - that's the operation, and then the individuals in their position, that they take part in, wherever they fit. Yeah? Okay. I will move on because it appears that it has become a little cold in Nepal there.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Application of strategic planning at the individual level. In order to free oneself from the current miserable position within the material world and to fulfill the purpose and ultimate goal of human life by attaining love of God, one needs to apply the strategic planning in one's own life as follows."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, at the strategic level. Because we are talking about how all four levels apply to the individual. Then we will see how all four levels apply to the organization. So...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Strategy, attaining love of Godhead."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So that will have within it sambandha, abhideya and prayojana, or relationship, process and result.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Sambandha: establishing one's eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa by taking shelter of the lotus feet of Guru and vaiṣṇavas. Abhideya: acting in that relationship by strictly practicing the principles established by the vaiṣṇava ācāryas, while performing all of one's activities simply for the satisfaction of Kṛṣṇa. Prayojana: the perfection of life, to obtain pure, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa and thus taste the deep mellows of bhakti-rasa."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, that is the strategy, right? So you can see is that this sambandha, abhideya and prayojana that we always talk about, that is the strategy. And that purpose, develop love of God. So like that, very, very important. But we take it the strategy is, you know, 'Okay, so what are we going to do for book distribution this next year?' No, that is operation, and you are discussing what is going to be the tactical and technical. Does that make sense? The whole point is is, book distribution is there because it is one of the seven purposes of ISKCON, to educate people in general about Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Like that. So that is the strategy. Then book distribution is the particular one that works for that. And then you are going to look at the tactical, okay, how many people? Where? When? What times? And then the technical, okay, how many books? How many bands? Who is going to be in which band? And this brahmacārī in this one, and that one is in that one. And these gṛhasthas will take care of this, like that. So we see it is the sambandha, abhideya and prayojana - that's what you are trying to obtain.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Operational on the individual level. By personally taking shelter of the process established by the Founder-ācārya: 16 rounds, 4 regulative principles, morning and evening program, one's allotted devotional services etc, in order to attain the desired strategy."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, how to move forward in developing love for Kṛṣṇa.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Tactical: to analyze and assess..."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Oh, this is 'access'. Assess is I think what would be...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: " analyze and assess how to accomplish the operational principles according to one's own situation."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: "So, one is going to see, is, 'Okay, my situation. When I am going to chant my rounds, how am I going to get it... When am I going to be able to read,' and all these things - that is tactical. Like that, and then technical: planning out one's schedule for accomplishing the tactical goal. 'Okay I am going to get up in the morning at this time and I am going to do this. I am going to chant here, I am going to read there, and then in the evening I will do this... And then three days a week I can do like this, and then on Sunday I can do like this. So that's all that. Does that make sense? So we see, as an individual he also applies himself within the strategic planning within his life, right? He has to know what the goal is, what is it that he has been given to do, you know, his services and that. And then how he is going to best accomplish that, and then, seeing that, make his direct immediate plan. So, in other words, the planning is, basically, your technical point. Then,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Institutional application of strategic planning."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, so this is the other aspect.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "An institution has to consider two applications of the process: that of the individual and that of the organization."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right, the individual, they are seeing what I do, and, of course, then what is there, how that is in context of the organizational.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "In application we must consider how the individual and institution are both progressing towards the attainment of the strategy. The individual should perceive their position as service in the context of how it assists in the development within themselves and how their particular service and duties engage them in the context of the organizational structure."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So, how it assists in development within themselves, is what we discussed before, how the individual applies it. But now in the organizational then that individual has to also see that their particular service and duties engage them in the context of the organizational structure. Next point.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The organizational goals must not only measure the overall progress of the movement, but also individual progress."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So you see, how is the temple moving forward? How is the book distribution going forward? But we also have to be able to see that the individual involved is also moving forward.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Thus helping the members to become responsible, confident and independently thoughtful."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? Prabhupāda wanted people to be independently thoughtful, that's why he was not so keen on centralization. And centralization was tried to be established twice or more while Prabhupāda was present. And there is one place where Prabhupāda says, 'You are doing this again? I already said, don't do this.' And then, as brought up before, in the previous question, that again we are trying to do, create this centralized bureaucracy. Prabhupāda didn't want it, it's not necessary. Temples already have a bureaucracy. Means, your regions or zones that are in that, countries can work together with their bureaucracy. Because some things, one temple doesn't need all departments, and other temples can help.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The role of leadership is the main..."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: "So, those are the two areas that the institution has to look at: how the organization is developing, so it's getting its goals and individuals are progressing, and the individual has to be able to see that they are progressing personally and that their service, their duties, are actually helping push forward the organization, right? Remember that acintya-bhedābheda-tattva, you can't separate."

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The role of leadership [in this organizational aspect] is maintenance of a harmonious balance between the individual and the organizational goals at all levels of strategic planning, ensuring an organic and steady growth of the movement."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That's the leadership at that point, so it has to see... So that means, the GBC is seeing to that, the temple president is seeing to that,  the tactical leader is seeing to that, and the department head is seeing to that. Everybody has to see to that.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Therefore, for an organization to be successful there is a dire necessity of ideal leadership at the primary, strategic and operational level, that would ensure actualization of both the individual and organizational goals, as well as to administer and provide support for the members' personal progress on the path of self-realization."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So they have to be able to see the overall picture. How that works, how is it moving forward, how are the individuals? So that's the point, you have to see all of that. Otherwise, you are not actually seeing properly. Like sometimes you see, is leadership then tries to go past the local authority and deal directly with the devotees, and then work out plans just with the devotees without the local leaders. So that means, they are not seeing the organization. They can say it is about organization, but they are not because organizational happens at the operational platform. At the same time is, you have individuals who try to do their own thing, they don't care about the organization. So it is very important. That's why leadership must be able to see what is the strategy and how it applies to everybody. Who can see that on the biggest level, they can have the highest leadership positions. And who can see that, understand that and work with that at the very practical, organizational level - they see to the operation. Therefore... Okay.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The leadership may use management as a functional tool in realizing the goals: vision and mission of the organization. However, excessive focus on managerial without evaluating whether it is leading oneself and others towards attaining the strategic and operational goals will cripple the entire organization."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, if you focus on management and don't see if that is actually getting a benefit for the individual and for the institution, you will cripple the entire organization. So we see, sometimes administration can't even function because so much effort is put into management and bureaucracy that you can't actually run anything. So that's why you have to see: is it useful for actually obtaining the strategy? Does it fit into the criterion at that structure that's given in the strategy by the ācārya?

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "They may take assistance of others in managing the organizational affairs, but should themselves oversee that the contribution of those assistants is having a positive impact on the progress of the organization and the individuals involved."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: So, in other words, whatever level you are at, you have assistance, you have to see, is the assistant attaining the  particular strategic goals? And you have to see, is that individual personally developing? But otherwise, if it was just a matter of, 'Oh, we have given that to them.' 'Oh, but, Prabhu, what about this and that?' 'Oh, I don't know, that's been given to a subcommittee...' What's the point? Then how is that leadership if you are not in control or seeing what is going on in that that subcommittee or that office, or that ministry? And you have to see, are those individuals in the ministry, are they advancing Kṛṣṇa consciousness? Are the ones who they are dealing with, is it getting an effectiveness? Are they becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious? So we see that when it is just a fight between the bureaucracy and the management, then we see is that this is absolutely useless. So it's not an effective method. And so, therefore, then one wouldn't use it. Because no one is advancing personally, and the movement is not advancing.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Thus the leader should have a clear vision on how to accomplish the strategic goals and should know the difference between the essential substance and its accompanying secondary forms."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, you have to know the primary, then you can, when that's clear, then the secondary, how that supports. But otherwise, if you can't tell the difference, you shouldn't be at that level of leadership. In other words, how much you can put the two together and see them - that high you should rise in the hierarchy. And when you can see everything together clearly, then you can work at that level. Okay.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "They must understand this, so as to decrease the burden of unnecessarily managerial affairs."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, if you are a professional manager, you have missed the point. We are professional spiritualists. That's what we are professionals at. And these others, we manage, we preach, we do Deity worship, we do all those because it assists in our spiritual development. But if we take it that, 'No, management is my identity and all this,' you have missed the point, it is an upādhi. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam, you are supposed to give up upādhis. That doesn't mean you don't use it. If you think, 'Oh, but then if we don't have it then we don't do it,' that's māyāvāda. Māyāvāda says, God is not a person and therefore we don't have to deal with any of these personal things. 'I don't want anything in this world, I don't deal with it.' So that is phalgu-vairāgya. They are giving up something that's not theirs to give up. It's already Kṛṣṇa's. So we are doing things in how it pleases Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa wants things done in a certain way, and we do it in that way. So we don't have to come up with something new. Like that. Because otherwise you have to be very, very careful of these upādhis. Otherwise, then again, you know, 'We are American, we are Indian, we are European, we are this, we are that.' But then you would give that up, 'Now I am a manager, I am an UMA, I am this...' Then we just got new bodies. We have to be very, very careful. Means, like someone uses the brahmacārī āśrama in service, he is not, he doesn't identify 'I am a brahmacārī.' 'I am spirit soul. I am doing the duties of a brahmacārī, therefore I will do them very nicely.' Like Arjuna, he did the duties of kṣatriya on the battlefield very nicely, but he doesn't identify with them.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "They should also be careful not to change the principles, but may adjust details where applicable."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, the primary never changes. Like this idea, 'Oh, we don't need temples anymore, we only need communities,' that is changing the principle. Who said that? Prabhupāda didn't say that. The six Gosvāmīs, did they each one established a temple? Right? And the temple is still valued today. So this whole thing, 'Oh, we don't need temples, it's a new age, you know, it's the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, so we don't need temples anymore. We become more elevated and less organizational.' At the same time we are trying to establish a bureaucracy. So the whole point is is, we have to be very, very careful, is that you can't change what Prabhupāda gave. But details - that you can change. How many people go out on saṅkīrtana, how many books they do, what books they are going to do, what area, what time of day - those things you are going to adjust. This area, big books don't work, that area - big books work. That you work out. Okay.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "They should be careful not to change the principles but, may adjust details where applicable according to the time, place and circumstance, which aptly support the strategic and operational goals."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, how it supports and the goals are actually being attained, then it's useful. So it's dynamic, it's always an ongoing, looking at and and analyzing, is it moving forward, is it working? Just like if you are cooking, you are analyzing: is the preparation cooking? Is it starting to look like what I am trying to get at the end? So that's the whole thing, you are always analyzing. So, anyone who practically works and is successful in dealing with the material energy or spiritual energy knows this. And this idea that, 'No, we have decided it's like this,' or 'People don't do that anymore,' and stuff, this is all nonsense. So,

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The role of leadership at various levels. Strategic: to oversee that the personal development of individual operational heads and the outcome of their projects is in line with the strategic goals."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So that's the role of leadership at the strategic level. They are to see that those dealing with operational, like presidents and that, that it is actually moving, their outcome and their projects, and the individuals within that is moving forward in that line, that's their business.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: At the operational level the leadership is to oversee that the personal development of the individual tactical heads and the functioning of the departments is in line with the operational and strategic goals. Tactical: to oversee that the personal development of the individuals within their departments and their service is in line with the tactical and operational goals. And the technical: this level is not a managerial level."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: And that is the fun part, is mostly all that is being discussed in meetings is this technical level, and it's not a managerial level, and they will call it management.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "It is the practical application of a particular individual skill under the direction of the tactical authority."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So the strategy is seeing that they themselves and the operational heads and their projects are in line with the strategy. The operational head sees that what he is doing is in line with the strategy, he himself is aligned with strategy and the next, the department heads under him and that, are in line with the strategy. The tactical guys then, below the operational, they are seeing that they themselves are in line and the people working with them are in line, and it is moving towards the operation. And then the individual sees that he himself is in line and what he is doing is in line. So we see, it works very, very nicely. It's very very clear. The overlaps aren't a problem. The point is is, if there is no overlap, how do you... How does it work? I have a spoon, and in the spoon there is something to eat. And so, that part of the spoon overlaps into my mouth, it's not a problem. If you say, 'No, no, there can be no... It has to be, there is this and this, and there is no contact,' then how does it get in your mouth? But if I try to stuff the whole spoon in my mouth, there is a problem. So there is an overlap between the spoon with the food and my mouth, and it works. So, therefore, we see there is overlaps here. But that is defined very clearly, it works very nicely, and then everything works very well, right? So now, this is just the... This is, you could say, the introduction of the whole thing, so the conclusion here.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "The four levels of strategic planning thus help us systematically delineate and accomplish the goals of an organization, where the succeeding levels ensure effective implementation of the preceding levels' objectives."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Succeeding, right? Means, I have here the goal, then next one is trying to get that, the next one is trying to get that, the next one is trying to get that. So the fourth one is trying to attain the third, the third the second, the second the first. So the more everyone understands how everything is geared towards getting that first point, the better everything goes.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "However, as stated before, there is a difference in approach in strategic plan among different organizations because of differences in their ultimate goals and aspirations. The political organization has protection and administration of the people as their strategic element, aiming at security, peace and material prosperity."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: In other words, that is their strategy.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "But it may not guarantee spiritual enlightenment of individuals, which is the main strategic goal of a spiritual organization."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: You can have a very nicely organized department, I mean, administration, but it's not God conscious. Just like in Transylvania, Vlad, you know, after he became a little bit annoyed, he managed it very well.

Mātājī (1): Yeah, once again Mahārāja is frozen...[break]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay. So last few minutes we'll be on the phone, unless the internet comes back. Okay. So we see that the political organization, then its strategy is security and peace and material prosperity for the citizens, right? So... But at the same time is, [break in recording] ... of the spiritual development.... which is that [break in recording]

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: organization that only have profit has been engaging individuals in the tactical and technical aspects of the strategy... [break in recording]

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Because the businessman is not going to let their general people in on what their business tactics are because if they do then they will go off and make the profit, right? You know, it's very, very often those things happen. So, therefore, they only engage people in tactical and technical. So that's why they...[break in recording]...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "...organizations do not care for the emotional, mental or spiritual needs of the individuals at all."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? They only worry about them as much as will get profit. If by showing that you care about them, emotional, mental and spiritual, then makes them get more profit, then they'll use it, right?

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Neither are they actually worried about the societal necessities, as pointed out by Nobel prize winning economist Milton Friedman in 1970, that the only social responsibility of the business is to increase its profits."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Means, in the social structure its only business is that. Right? Artha is only meant to increase artha, it doesn't have another purpose. That's why human beings have to function above artha, in dharma, that's where human life begins.

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: "Thus the spiritual organization never actualizes strategic goals if it follows a corporate model."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: "You can say, "Oh, we can take what's useful,' yes, but then that works at the tactical and technical. But you have to see is you have to be using a... Here, so then, yeah...

Reading from Vaiṣṇava Strategic Planning Document: Hence, ISKCON as an organization wholly meant for spiritual development has no need to mimic a political or corporate strategy, but would naturally follow an educational model aiming at pure bhakti."

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Right? So, even the educational is not enough if it is not aimed at pure bhakti, so, therefore, we are using educational model aimed at pure bhakti. All other models will fall short because they don't accommodate everything else. But you see, is that the political model can work in cooperation with the brāhminical model, the educational. Those two together then make it work, but the point is is, when you have it working like that... [break in recording] ...administrative and working in cooperation with that, and the strategy is brāhminical, that's called the brāhminical strategic plan. The introduction, like that. Okay, so if there are any questions so far on this? Because we have... Let's see what, about... Yeah, a little under 20 minutes. Did we freeze?

Mātājī (1): I think this could be your camera Mahārāja because it's disturbing the sound recording...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Anything going on?

Prabhu (1): Pātrī Jī, did you hear up the Himālayas the reply, and do you have still something to this question? It needed a little background since that's the product... Pātrī Jī, are you still there?

Prabhu (3): Yeah, I am... It is fluctuating a little bit, sound is a little bit unclear.

Prabhu (1): That is the technique, you know, take care Prabhu. Mahārāja, could I ask a little bit still about the cooperation between different authorities, like GBC, temple presidents, specialists? Like let's say here, there was just some time ago about... There was some, what they call comprehensive security training, about 25,000 people involved. And there was authorities, karmī leaders and managers from 14 different organizations, like, you know, mayors, political leaders, military leaders, police leaders, health care, transportation, so many different... And they are cooperating the way that it gets really good result. But it's kind-of when you go top to that, it's actually kind-of a brāhminical consensus there between the main ones. There is no one who only do that. So what I have seen, the tendency in our ISKCON that it's sometimes... Even our Belorussian friend, you know, not Kṛṣṇa Kīrtana, but above there, would be surprised that we try to manage something through one hands, which doesn't really work in spiritual or material or between or something. But what is like the healthy cooperation between different authorities? Since it's maybe not only one, except Kṛṣṇa, of course, Himself? Could you a little elaborate there?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. Well, Kṛṣṇa has given His system. Since it is Him, He is one, He is non-dual, so everything is connected with Him. He is pervading everything, everything is Him, it all works on Kṛṣṇa's laws. Therefore, appreciating that it's all Kṛṣṇa's, all Kṛṣṇa's laws and that we are servant, we try to please Kṛṣṇa, then we can make things start to function. So then, okay, so how do we know Kṛṣṇa? We know Kṛṣṇa through the vaiṣṇavas. Okay, and then which vaiṣṇavas? Then we see, we know Kṛṣṇa  through serving as Lord Caitanya gives direction. How do we know of Lord Caitanya? Because that's what Rūpa Gosvāmī says and the Six Gosvāmīs. And then like this it comes down paraṁparā. So all this direction and that is given to us, then that information is then put into a context by the Founder-Ācārya, so that we can understand how all this fits together and how all this can be used together to please Lord Caitanya and therefore Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. So that is the first principle, is that has to work like that.

Then we have to see is that that being the whole point is to elevate ourselves from whatever position we are in up to the platform of developing pure love for Kṛṣṇa. Then we are going to see is that, 'Okay, then, according to my position, what service can I do? What nature do I have that I can apply myself?' And so then I am able to apply myself in a position according to my particular guṇa and karma. It's not that I am that guṇa and karma, that's what's given by the material energy due to our previous works. But that, through that I can serve Kṛṣṇa. Because the point is is, being personal you have to serve Kṛṣṇa through your body, mind and words that you have. So if I only have the material body, mind and words, I use those in Kṛṣṇa's service. If you have a spiritual body that you are able to function within, then you engage that nicely in Kṛṣṇa's service in your meditation on Kṛṣṇa. But if you are taking part in the saṅkīrtana movement then you will use the form that you have here in the same way.

So you have to be able to appreciate that everybody has something different. There are those that see how the whole thing works, and that they see that this is how one should be involved in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and can inspire others in that way. So those are your preachers. And, as mentioned, the GBC are supposed to be functioning on that level like the sannyāsīs, like the preachers. And then you are going to have then those who are taking up particular projects within the movement, that therefore will attain to engaging themselves and others in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And then within that project you have so many subdivisions. Then there is persons who are qualified to run a particular subdivision, and then they engage themselves in that particular subdivision. And so, there is a natural hierarchy. So that's the whole point,  that is the uniqueness of the Vedic system, is that they show how things actually work. Like you are saying it works, all these levels, because the people who are there is, like, say, professors and retired, let's say, administrators or military or corporate leaders, all these, they are only giving advice. But they know how the whole thing holds together and how everyone cooperates. Then those who actually have offices, then they do those, and then where the particular individual, there is the top office and then there is offices below that. If you have the general then below that you have the other offices, below that you have your sergeants and below that you have your privates. So you have to know where you fit, and knowing that then everything works very nicely. The difficulty is, is when we say, 'Oh, we are not this body, we just chant, so we don't care about the rules,' and at the same time we want a hierarchical structure - those two won't work together. You have to be able to know what you can do. Otherwise, you have a hierarchy that's filled with people that are not qualified to be in those positions. And, as we see, it is very specialized. Any living entity can understand the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, so, therefore, technically, anybody who is mature enough in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can be a preacher.

Start my video... Okay. It is started that I know... Yeah? Okay.

So, therefore then anybody can preach. Anybody could come... Anybody can act on that platform of sannyāsa, where whatever you are doing is simply to please Kṛṣṇa, not for yourself. So that means, anybody can function actually on that topmost platform. Now, it takes particular material qualifications if you can be an administrator or a department head, or what kind of administration you are doing. Like somebody works great in the temple, someone on a farm, someone in the community, someone on traveling saṅkīrtana party, someone working with the BBT, someone working... Like this. So all these different, different things are there. And so, Prabhupāda, when he gave the Seven Purposes, it already encompasses all these various areas. Like that. And so, then we simply have to see according to our nature where we fit. Prabhupāda is constantly talking about that. It is not that we identify with it. I don't say, 'I am a temple president, so that's my position,' no. It's that 'I do the service of a temple president. I have the nature, so, therefore, I do it. That is my service to Kṛṣṇa.' If you had him do something else, that wouldn't be... It wouldn't work, right? Unless he does something higher, it means, transcendental, he just does preaching or like that. That you can do. You can step from the material platform into the transcendental. But you can't then claim that therefore anybody can do any material position. Otherwise, the dwarf always wants to touch the moon, right? And as we know, only cows can jump over the moon. So, therefore, we have to know, one has to know one's particular qualification on that line.

So, that's the whole point, is those 5,000 people there, they were most likely people that were the most successful in their areas and they came together. And that being successful in the area - that is the commonness between them all, even though the areas they are effective in is different. But they all understand success by knowing who you are, following your abilities  in the position that you do, in that hierarchy, and there has to be an ultimate goal. And so then that way then tens, hundreds, thousands can all get together and have no problem. But if we are contaminated by these ideas that, 'Oh, no, but it's whatever someone feels like doing and whatever they want,' then the whole thing falls apart. Why? Because anna-maya platform will not make anything other than your personal benefit work. You have to minimum come to prāṇa-maya to kind-of start to make it work. But then how do you define what are the social and economic rules, unless you have dharma, which Kṛṣṇa gave? Kṛṣṇa gives dharma, we don't. We didn't make economics. We didn't make families and communities. Kṛṣṇa made that. So then we have to follow what Kṛṣṇa has given - that's the dharma. But for what? Because we are devotees. So, we are not the body, therefore the dharma-artha-kāma, we follow that according to our particular nature on the platform of 'I am the devotee, I am the soul, I am a sādhaka, I am practicing sādhana-bhakti.' And what is the ultimate goal? Is not dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa, but is pure love for Kṛṣṇa. In other words, situated on the platform of vijñāna-maya I use  the lower three platforms in service with that intelligence or the consciousness of that fourth platform, for the purpose of pleasing Kṛṣṇa on the fifth platform. And that's how devotees can make it all work. Means, devotees already have this, they have heard these points. They may not have put them together nicely in a structured way, that they understand how they practically work both spiritually and materially. Because when we are talking about the strategic planning, it works for the individual's life spiritually, it works for the individual life how they are maintaining themselves in the social, it works in their individual life how they function within the context of the institution. So it does everything. And the institution, how it functions in context of the strategy that's there and working with the individuals, it has everything in it, it's perfect, it's a perfect system that is given by the ācāryas. So using anything less won't work. That's why Varṇāśrama holds the whole thing together. While if you use democracy, that only deals with anna-maya and prāṇa-maya, right? If you use  capitalism, it only works within democracy just for the  economic community. If you use some other, autocratic system, that works good for the government, but it doesn't work for anybody else. If you use anarchy, it doesn't work for anybody, as we said. If you use socialism, it is good for śūdras, but even they don't work, it doesn't work out very good because who makes the money? You want to provide for the śūdras, who makes the money, since there is no vaiśyas? So the whole thing is, you have to have all eight positions, all four social and all four spiritual, to make the system work, and you know where you fit. So if the karmīs can do that well, and they are not even using the full system, imagine how good it is if you use the full system! Then you have Rāma-rājya, then you have like Yudhiṣṭhira, right? Then you have like Lord Caitanya's saṅkīrtana mission with all His great generals. You know, Rūpa and Sanātana Gosvāmī and Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, and  all these personalities, and how great it was working, and how it was nicely expanding. But you have to have everything there and you yourself, on an individual level understand how all these levels of consciousness work and how you are engaging them. Then that's leadership. And if you don't understand it, you follow someone who is engaged or does understand. Then it works and with time, as you become purified, you will understand because it is the nature of the soul to understand these things. It's not necessarily the nature of the soul to understand management or economics, or art. But it is the soul's nature to understand who they are, who Kṛṣṇa is in that relationship, that they can do. Yeah? Does that make sense?

Prabhu (1): Yeah. I just thought that by this small portion, just that they understand their material qualities, they have an experience of expanding this 5,000 what is to actually 900,000 people actioning for the protection for 5.6 million people. They have that experience, it works like that. So they always, of course, go through that. But they just have realized this one element, which is, you know, their material qualifications. So I wouldn't like to say, but I still say, sometimes they have realized this level much better than the spiritualists. The who is who, who is good in what. So I just like to... Last... Mahārāja, do we have a...?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, well, they are just, they are practical at that because that's their ability.

Prabhu (1): Yeah. My wife has Swedish National Council chairs, he would have one question. Do we have any more...? We have a few minutes time. Is it okay or shall we leave it for tomorrow?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. Yeah, just ask and we will deal how much we can today, and then we will deal more tomorrow.

Mātājī (2): Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahārāja. My humble obeisances.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Haribol. Jaya ho!

Mātājī (2): Haribol. Jaya! I would just like to have it kind-of confirmed. I mean, I think you have maybe answered already my question. But just to get it confirmed that, is it possible for the, let's say, GBC or temple president... Now, if we talk about GBC, if he is not a brāhmana by guṇa and karma, is it possible still to be a GBC? Or, same for the temple president, if he is not by guṇa and karma a kṣatriya, is it possible still to be a temple president because we are in a spiritual society?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. But that is, we always have to remember that being in a spiritual society is not an excuse that we do whatever we want. Like now you see the kind-of more left-leaning social movements, it's just about what people feel like, it's not what they are qualified for, right? So the point is is, the spiritual platform and what the strategy is and how that strategy works as one advances in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he can understand that. Right? But even if he doesn't understand it, but he himself is fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then they themselves will be a very nice devotee and everything like that, and they can be inspiring. They can be a very nice preacher. They may or may not be able... Because GBC has to have a little bit of understanding of organization. They don't necessarily have to be able to organize, but they understand how it works and what is the position of those who can organize, administrators, and they can support them to do that. So the point is is, if they have that kind of position... Because you see is, the brahmacārīs, vānaprasthas and sannyāsīs, they are technically brāhminical positions. Does that make sense?

Like you see, let's say you have somebody, whoever they were, but if they are 80-90 years old, they can give all kinds of advice to anybody on life and stuff like that because you have an understanding, you have a realization of that. Because they are detached. The point is, brāhminical means, you give advice, people take it or not, that's their independence. If they don't then there may be organizational reaction. But the point is is,  it's a matter of the individual taking it. So you have to explain, you have to educate them in what is going on. In other words, administrative, it's more of this is what you do and that's it. But the brāhminical means, this is why you are having to do it and how you have to do it. So that's why then you, with the brains you can understand time, place and circumstance. Because a lot of the times managers will say, 'No, but time, place and circumstance!' But people can only apply that if they actually understand what they are doing. And to expect people to apply it in time place and circumstance and not be trained, then that is foolishness. So the manager tells his people what to do. And then when he comes around and the situation changes and they do the same thing and it doesn't work, he gets upset, 'Why are you... You guys aren't using your brain,' and that. But he doesn't want him to use their brain. He just wants them to do what he says. And then when that doesn't work, then he is going to blame them and not himself. So, therefore, to actually be a manager - that you have to be able to manage. But you could be a temple president and be brāhminical, but you have to have people who are able to manage, you know, working in the temple that actually make things work. And you have to take their advice on what's best for practically applying it, though they have to take your advice as the president and the one who can give the proper spiritual direction. Because management is all... Everybody manages. Like that. Means, how is it that  that dinner is on the table at six o'clock in all the homes? Because it's being managed, right? So, everybody manages. But administration, then those who know that then they will do those areas. And you do have brāhmanas who know that area. Cāṇakya Paṇḍita knew it very well, no? But he lived in his hut and he did his thing, right?

So you can have. Means, point is, if someone is acting on the spiritual platform, then anybody could be a GBC as long as they can relate to the duties that go. They can see the strategy, how it applies to the whole society and that. If they can't see that, then they shouldn't do it, they should just stick to preaching. Same with the president. Like you see, very brāhminical presidents many times have a very enthusiastic temple, but if they don't have administrators there that can do the work, then sometimes it's not well organized. Somebody who is an administrative, they run the temple, it runs very well and all this, but they have to be careful that they don't let management take the prominence and not the spiritual or  the personal development. They will see everything more... And then if someone is, let's say, more of an economic background or business background then much of the time they have perfect arrangements, everything is done very nicely, but it doesn't necessarily have any life. So then they have to make sure that they have people that are more brāhminical to take the lead in that way. So, in other words, you have to have all these elements, brāhmana, kṣatriya and vaiśya elements in the temple. What you can do you do, and what you can't you find others who can do - that cooperation makes the temple work. Does that make sense?

Mātājī (2): Yes, Mahārāja, yes.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. Okay. More of this will come up because now from tomorrow we start getting into the outline of the whole structure. And so, many of these things will come up in more detail, especially when we get into the analysis then we have Prabhupāda's quotes and him telling exactly how things work.

Mātājī (2): Thank you Mahārāja!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Okay, so then we'll continue tomorrow.

Prabhu (1): Those who have questions from today's already, please, you can already send those to me, and we can start tomorrow with the questions. Is it okay, Mahārāja? If there is some questions, we can start...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yes. Yes, yes.

Prabhu (1): Yeah.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, definitely, definitely.

Prabhu (1): Yeah. Jaya! Thank you, Mahārāja, very much!

Thank you for your participation, and see you tomorrow. Try to be on time. Today, of course, you know, take some time to raise up to Himālayas and like that. But still, you know, try to be 15 minutes before the seminar starts. It's Finnish time 8 o'clock when we start. Jaya! HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Mahārāja kī jaya! Transcendental Leadership Management Satsaṅga 2021 kī jaya! Gaura Premānande Hari Haribol!

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Hare Kṛṣṇa

Vedic Leadership and Management Summer Seminar Part 1, given as Zoom Conference on 12 July 2021 with ISKCON leaders