Institutionalising Aeroplane-Tattva


Back To Prabhupada, Issue 72, Vol 1, 2022

In last issue's article "The GBC's Aeroplane Guru-Tattva", we documented how the GBC introduced a new type of ‘guru-tattva' wherein the status of a diksa guru can be determined by wherever his plane happens to land. The GBC invoked this in the case of one of its voted-in gurus, HH Lokanath Swami, allowing him to continue to give initiations and be worshipped as good as God in some countries, while permitting other countries to completely avoid him as a potential child sexual abuser. Now, the GBC has gone further with this aeroplane-tattva, by attempting to establish it as an institutional principle, which can be used for any resolution the GBC may seek to pass. In its latest Resolutions, the GBC resolved the following:

"1. The GBC Body may, on exceptional occasions, pass resolutions which may, due to differing cultural norms in certain parts of the world, require special attention, and thus the GBC may designate such a resolution as potentially a "culturally sensitive resolution."
2. A Regional Governing Body (RGB), or where there is no RGB, an authorized national council with the support of their GBC, or where a national council has more than one GBC, a majority of their GBCs, may apply to the GBC Body with a request to modify a culturally sensitive resolution for their area/yatra."
(GBC Resolution 206.02, 2021, issued 2022, all emphases in article added)

Thus, they have allowed themselves to create different rules for different places. And, in the same 2021 Resolutions, the GBC exercised this new "culturally sensitive" law for the first time in the case of female diksa gurus ("FDG"):

"Therefore, the Resolution regarding Vaisnavi Diksa Gurus of 2019, 701.6, ISKCON Spiritual Masters, Vaisnavi Diksa gurus 2019 is amended and replaced by the following: [...] Vaisnavis are eligible to give diksa within ISKCON [...] this resolution is designated as a "Culturally Sensitive Resolution." [...] Thus, by designating this as a Culturally Sensitive Resolution, the GBC hereby establishes that an RGB or other authorized ISKCON leadership body as denoted in the above referenced law may opt out of this mandate and choose to not allow any Vaisnavis to initiate within their jurisdiction."
(GBC Resolution 701.06, 2021, issued 2022)

Hence, in proposing to allow some countries to reject FDG – such as ISKCON India, whose leadership vehemently condemns the GBC's FDG program as unauthorised – while allowing FDG to operate in other countries, the GBC has tried to institutionalise its aeroplane-tattva, where a diksa guru can be considered bona fide or non-bona fide based purely on where the pilot of the aeroplane one is in decides to land!

Although the above mentioned FDG Resolution 701.06 is supposed to be undergoing further review by the GBC before it is implemented, by passing Resolution 206.02 which allows "culturally sensitive resolutions", the GBC has demonstrated that it believes spiritual principles can be altered simply based on geographical location, given that the very first thing the GBC applied this resolution to was the highly spiritual matter of guru-tattva, and who can be a guru.

But principles are absolute. They either apply or they do not, rather than being subject to where an aeroplane lands. This nonsensical approach to dealing with principles was even recognised by ISKCON India, with the ISKCON India Advisory Committee (IIAC)'s Executive Committee stating in regard to the vitally important issue of who can be a guru, that:

"Whereas the IIAC disagrees that this is a Culturally Sensitive issue, but in fact it is a core value of our society, as is vegetarianism. Therefore it is resolved: That considering the division within the society and the lack of satisfactory direction from the GBC the members of the IIAC request the Bureau to suspend active relations with the GBC body."
(Proposal drafted by IIAC EC, 31/12/21)

The Bureau is the legal body that controls ISKCON India. And Bureau Vice Chairman Basu Ghosh Dasa also stated that: "this adoption of "culturally sensitive" is just a smokescreen to try and fool the leaders of ISKCON India."

Thus, as shown also on pages 6-7, after Srila Prabhupada's physical disappearance, ISKCON's GBC has been a completely spiritually bankrupt organisation, with no spiritual principles, that simply makes things up to try to appease different factions (just as we showed it has tried to also do in regards to the investigation of HH Lokanath Swami – please see BTP 70, "GBC Politics Case Study"). But, even in trying to do that, the GBC is useless, since its "culturally sensitive" concoction was in any case completely rejected by ISKCON India, for whom it was invented to appease!

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