Research on leadership service in ISKCON
Bhaktivedanta Sadhu Swami
Bhakti Bhagavatamrita Keshava Swami
Govardhan Gopal Dasa
This is a translation of the previous edition of the book. Translation for the new edition (2017.04), has not yet been produced.
From, approximately, the end of the 90-s we can see a recession of enthusiasm in Russian ISKCON. It is connected with a change of the people’s mentality and economic situation, crisis within our society and other factors. This recession was accompanied by “turned-off” ex-brahmacaris who used to distribute books but, after entering the grihastha asram, encountered the necessity to socialize in the surrounding atmosphere. Therefore,
they had to fall out of active association with devotees and engagement in the preaching mission. Nowadays, many members of Russian ISKCON feel individual and organizational stagnation. They also lost a sense of understanding how to get out of this situation. Quite frequently, the instructions coming from preachers do not really help to solve problems in various real-life situations. Now, because of that, generally speaking we can see how the traditional structure of education and training in our communities (temple programs, lectures, practical devotional service, etc.) has less and less influence on the devotees’ lifestyle. On the contrary, a negative informational influence from material civilization grows.
1. The Process of Siksa Transfer
1.1. Description of the current situation in Russian ISKCON.
1.2. What is siksa and what are its factors?
1.3. Under what conditions does the siksa process happen?
1.4. For what reasons can the siksa process stop?
1.5. How do the desires for karma, jnana and yoga show themselves in the society and its leaders?
1.6. How did Srila Prabhupada see the role of leaders in his society?
2. Three Main Ways to Manage an Organization
2.1. What danger does autocratic management and appointment of the leader from above bring?
2.2. What harm can democratic management and democratic empowerment have?
2.3. What is the value of the leader’s empowerment by sat-sanga?
2.4. What are the responsibilities of a leader in collegial management?
2.5. The principle of collective spiritual leadership doesn’t oppose democracy or autocracy.
2.6. Does an organization itself, as an entity, oppose the principles of sat-sanga?
3. Analysis of Consequences in the “Autocracy-Democracy”
Duality and also Spiritual Collectivity.
3.1. Power of diksa and siksa in ISKCON.
3.2. Spiritual and managerial lines of power in ISKCON: Who is in charge?
3.3. A few words about daiva and asura-varnasrama in the context of the subject matter under study.
3.4. Consequences of managerial duality in the social sphere of ISKCON.
3.5. Siksa-sampradaya and managerial duality.
3.6. Reasons for leaders’ fall down in ISKCON.
3.7. What can we expect in the near future if we don’t make changes in the principles of management?
4. Understanding Srila Prabhupada’s Managerial Vision
4.1. How did Srila Prabhupada see the empowerment of the society’s leaders? How was it reflected in the structure created by him in ISKCON?
4.2. Srila Prabhupada explains how the collegial principle works.
4.3. What is the difference between collective leadership and regular democracy?
4.4. Why did Srila Prabhupada see the main principle of the leader’s empowerment specifically in sat-sanga?
4.5. The danger of hierarchical centralization.
4.6. Why did Srila Prabhupada sometimes cancel GBC decisions? Was he against collective leadership?
4.7. Why is the collective managerial structure still not present in ISKCON even though it was well-defined by Srila Prabhupada?
4.8. Example of a talk where Srila Prabhupada externally refuses the usage of managerial principles which he set up originally.
4.9. Are there any other explanations of Srila Prabhupada’s managerial design?
4.10. How does the principle of collective leaders’ empowerment strengthen the highest GBC authority as a managerial entity within ISKCON?
4.11. How does the principle of collective leadership, in ISKCON, help to solve the issues defined in the beginning of this book?
5. What are Our Suggestions for the Practical Realization of Srila Prabhupada’s Vision on Management?
6. Principles and Rules of Vaisnava Sanga
7. A Description of Different Examples Showing how to Solve Various Problematic Situations in the Association of Devotees according to the ideology of this book
7.1. First example: Opening a new center
7.2. Second example: A senior devotee is sent to be temple president in a new yatra of inexperienced devotees.
7.3. Third example: Old yatra; there is no co-operation between various leaders and there are many disappointed devotees.
7.4. Fourth example: Old yatra; problems with the managerial authority brought some of the members to unite on the basis of collectivity, but the person “in charge” is against this unity.
7.5. Fifth example: Organized religion (last stage of the religion’s bureaucratization)
7.6. The main mistake of so-called collective management.
7.7. A simple but powerful strategy to spread collegial spiritual culture in the society
8. Stages of Spiritual Leader’s Development
9. Constitution of Srila Prabhupada – Mission For Life
10. The Mission or The Organization?