On Conspiracies in ISKCON and Outside
BVPS Maharaja New Zealand

Prabhu (1): The question is about the position of the 'Direction of Management' paper. Because recently I came across it, and, practically speaking, despite many years of education, I had not heard about it so much. And I believe it is used also by some opponents of the mainstream. Can you explain the position and its relation with overall strategic presentation of management by Śrīla Prabhupāda?

HH Bhaktividyā Pūrṇa Svāmī Mahārāja: I didn't catch, what was the very beginning, what was the point you saw? I didn't...

Prabhu (1): The position of the paper Śrīla Prabhupāda has compiled, entitled 'Direction of Management,' I believe it's around 1972.

HH BVPS Mahārāja: I am not sure about that, 'Direction of Management.' I haven't seen. I am working off of the seven... Means, in this paper we are working off of the seven purposes of ISKCON and quotes from Prabhupāda where he is talking about the positions of devotees and what they are doing. But if... Maybe you can, you could send that reference to the paper, where it is, so we can see...

Prabhu (1): Thank you, I will, I will, sure. I have not read it myself, I thought that maybe you know it. Because by some it's proclaimed as the document that is purposefully hidden in the mainstream of ISKCON to mismanage...

HH BVPS Mahārāja: That people can say... You always have to remember, we have the... You have eating, sleeping, mating and... Prabhupāda, defending, many times he says that it is fearing. So we have to appreciate that when one creates an atmosphere of fear, or a conspiracy theory kind-of that, it cultivates that fearing kind-of element. So it can give a particular taste. But it is not necessarily that people are so well organized... You know, like Prabhupāda mentioned that you talk about that there is this particular little group of people, they are controlling the whole planet, and make it... But no one is that powerful. Where is the piety that they can do that? To be able to control the world... Yudhiṣṭhira could control the whole planet. Who is that pious? Right? So they simply in their area take advantage of what the modes of nature do. The modes of nature bring around, let's say, the Coronavirus, and so clever guys then take advantage of that and make money off it. They do things in pharmaceuticals, or this or that, or so many things, they just take advantage. They see an opportunity, they do it, but they didn't plan it.

So we have to always see, is that it is not necessarily a consolidated plan that is there, that all these things are kept. Maybe somebody came across it, they don't see the importance, 'Oh, no, that doesn't apply now, Prabhupāda wrote that so long ago, it doesn't apply now...' You know, like that. So the whole thing is is, those kind-of things come up, and then that way it doesn't get used. But it's like Varṇāśrama. Unless you trained in it and have seen it working, where you have a background that you have experience, that you can pair it to, then you can see its validity. And it also requires some mode of goodness - then it becomes, then you see it is very valuable program. But if you don't, it doesn't mean anything to you. So there is all these quotes by Prabhupāda, but who follows it? Individuals may take it of value and all that, but in general it is not used because it is not understood. So it is not like it is a conspiracy to keep it out, it's just they don't understand it. So it may be the same with this document: either people haven't seen it or heard it, or they don't understand it. Does that make sense?(..)

Prabhu (2): I have a callout. Just this management document. Well, it could be, there was a letter sent out to all temples, 1972 from Tokyo. And the question was put up to Prabhupāda, 'How should we organize ISKCON?' And he gave a few principles. It wasn't that worked out, that document, but he gave a few principles, and it is in that letter. I don't know, maybe that's what you are referring to, Kṛṣṇa Kīrtana, or what you have heard?

HH BVPS Mahārāja: Yeah, because many times is that that's the... Just by our, just experience, when someone says, okay, like, let's say, Prabhupāda wrote a management document, we think it gets down to all little detail. But actually management starts from the top. You have to have, we are trying to please Kṛṣṇa, and then there is ways that Kṛṣṇa likes to be pleased, and then the ācāryas have given us avenues in which we can apply that. It comes down like that, it is a descending process. And so, therefore, Prabhupāda, like you said, by giving certain principles and all that, then you know any details... As long as your details are in line with that, it works. It's just like, let's say, if it is from fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains and sugar, it is within that, and you cook to please Kṛṣṇa by it and don't eat while you are cooking, like that, [don't] taste it, offer it to Kṛṣṇa first - and then you can cook any preparation, you can do unlimited things with that. So that's the principle. And if you do that - then you move - it's Kṛṣṇa conscious. Now within that, then we also see from Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's song, that Lord Caitanya is there, and Kṛṣṇa is eating śuktā-śākādi bhāji nalitā kuṣmānda, then you can understand that there is some certain things that He likes and all that. But the point is, He likes these five categories of food ingredients, by which you make food. So like one time a devotee was complaining about sugar, and Prabhupāda said, 'Krishna likes sugar, it's one of the five foods.' So if you don't like it, don't eat it! But Kṛṣṇa likes it, so you offer it to Him. Because they were trying to say, 'Oh, sugar is bad, we shouldn't offer it.' No, He likes it, we offer it. Same thing like now, with the milk. Kṛṣṇa likes it, we offer it, like that. You don't want to drink it, don't drink it! But the point is, Kṛṣṇa likes it. So the principles are the most important. Like Ekādaśī, Lord Caitanya gave no grains and no beans, right? And so then, you add that within the things, so that means, fruits, vegetables, dairy and sugar are left. That means, one of the five you cut out - that's Ekādaśī, right? And so then, like that it works as a principle. And sometimes devotees ask certain things or it is mentioned, he will give us more of a detail. But that detail, you will see also is more of a general principle that everybody can follow. It's a detail that everybody can follow. So these kind-of things, and then the specific for the particular situation you are in, then you try to take that and if it matches in line with this then it's good. And if it doesn't, it's not. You can't say, 'Oh, it is different, we can't do those things,' that's foolish. So to take those principles as details and say we can't follow them... They are principles and you apply the details you are in to that and then you can get somewhere. So it means, you have to be thoughtful.

Excerpt from Vedic Leadership and Management Summer Seminar Part 2, given as Zoom Conference with ISKCON leaders

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