ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission will gather for its Annual General Meetings from February 6th to 17th this year in Sridham Mayapur, West Bengal.
This year’s Executive Committee consists of Special Duty Officer Kavichandra Swami, Second-Vice Chairman Hridaya Chaitanya Dasa, Vice-Chairman Madhu Sevita Dasa, and Chairman Romapada Swami.
“He is a really hands-on administrator and tackles lots of serious issues very responsibly,” says Corresponding Secretary Ananda Tirtha Dasa of Romapada Swami. “In other words, he’s not simply hoping for his term to quickly end without incident so he can go back to his regular life.”
The GBC Executive Committee rotates, with a new Chairman every year, and an entirely new Committee every three years. A new Chairman will be chosen on the last day of this February’s meetings.”¨”¨
As well as the Executive Committee, thirty-three full voting GBC members, several non-voting GBCs and twenty-five GBC deputies will also attend the meetings. In addition, this year, nine devotees from various regional bodies around the world have been invited to attend as guests to get a better idea of how the GBC works.”¨”¨
The first day—and every day—of the 2010 meetings will open with a Guru Puja offering and Kirtan in honor of ISKCON’s founder Srila Prabhupada. After welcoming everyone, Chairman Romapada Swami will make an address about the Executive Committee’s work throughout the year. Team-building exercises will be given to begin, and later to wrap up, the meetings.
On the first day the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, whose North American branch has seen a substantial increase in sales in 2009, will make a presentation on book distribution. The first five days of the meetings will focus heavily on Strategic Planning. Also receiving plenty of attention during the first week of the meetings will be the Sannyasa, Varnashrama and Guru Services Committees.
The GBC will take a half-day on February 10th to observe the sacred fast day Vijaya Ekadasi, during which they will spend two hours reading Srila Prabhupada’s books and chanting Hare Krishna together.
Some fascinating presentations will crop up in the second week of the meetings, starting off with “Eco Valley + Sustainability = Internationally?” by Radha Krishna Dasa, director of ISKCON Hungary’s self-sufficient Krishna Valley project.
Next up Hari Sauri Dasa will make a presentation on Mayapur’s Bhaktivedanta Research Centre, which plans to collect, preserve and digitize Gaudiya Vaishnava literature from Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s time until the present as well as to encourage study, translation and research on these treasured texts.
Reporting on the activities of ISKCON’s Child Protection Office will be former director Tamohara Dasa and recently appointed new director Campakalata Dasi. Meanwhile, Sesa Dasa will report on ISKCON’s Education Development Ministry.
On the last day of the meetings candidates for sannyasa, the renounced order of life, will be considered, while that evening the GBC will head to the Mayapur Festival’s main tent for a public discussion.
Localized issues will also be discussed in separate meetings, with the North American and European GBCs meeting on February 15th and 18th respectively.
Although the AGM usually end before the Mayapur Festival begins, this year the GBC will have to try and find time within their busy schedule to catch the spiritual entertainment on offer. Hitting the Mayapur Festival’s Main Stage from February 14th to 23rd will be dramas by ISKCON’s premier director Bhaktimarg Swami, as well as dance, bhajan bands, clowns, mimes and more.
Please visit ISKCON News during the last week of February for more details on the Annual General Meetings, and in late March to read about the latest GBC resolutions.[ governing-body-commission ] [ mayapura ]