Mayapur GBC Meetings: Day 1

By Sraddhadevi Dasi on 9 Feb 2010

The 2010 Annual General Meeting of the Governing Body Commission of ISKCON commenced Saturday morning in Sri Mayapur Dham with Bhakti Caru Maharaja offering the traditional guru-puja ceremony to ISKCON’s Founder-Acarya, Srila Prabhupada, while Ekalavya Prabhu led an enthusiastic and inspirational kirtan. This year’s GBC Chairman, Romapada Maharaja, welcomed everyone in attendance and delivered a reading from the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam.

Badrinarayana Prabhu conducted the first presentation on behalf of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, the official publisher of Srila Prabhupada’s written works. It was reported that the BBT is now printing 284 titles in 35 languages and will soon be making Srila Prabhupada’s books and other publications available in e-book format. Strong emphasis was placed in the presentation on the critical responsibility temples have to settle any past BBT debts. The importance of each temple reporting the details of book distribution by their community was also emphasized. There was an increase from 2008 to 2009 of 33% in book score reporting, however more participation in temples is greatly needed and desired.

For the remainder of the afternoon, a presentation was given by GBC deputies, a second tier GBC body that assists the GBC in managing proposals submitted by devotees worldwide. For several weeks, GBC deputies from around the globe met in Mayapur and worked long hours prior to the formal GBC meetings to read, sort through, and organize these proposals submitted to the GBC Body. Additionally, they utilized “Mind Map” software to visually display the pluses, minuses, and interesting points of a proposal.

With this information, the GBC deputies presented various proposals to the GBC Body for comments and an initial straw vote on whether or not to pursue the specific proposals further. Proposals included ideas such as reestablishing an ISKCON Interfaith Commission, pastoral duties of ISKCON leaders, and standardizing ISKCON logos, mastheads, and other templates for published material. Thanks to the efforts of the GBC deputies to carefully clarify and concisely organize proposals, numerous proposals were able to be reviewed and discussed by the GBC body in the afternoon.

Also today, Bhaktivaibhava Maharaja announced his latest film, “The Lost Village.” This professional quality film uses the story of Lokanath Maharaja’s childhood in the small Maharashtrian village of Aravade as a platform to discuss current important global issues. Such issues include the increase of agribusiness and genetic modification of plants and animals due to the decline of agricultural village life in exchange for big-industry based city life. All were encouraged to view and promote “The Lost Village” both within and outside of their local devotee communities.

The first meeting ended with a collective sense of accomplishment as numerous topics were covered and discussed over the course of the day.

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