rocana prabhu publishes a series of editorials about ISKCON's Direction of Management (DOM) on his sampradaya sun website. this DOM has been a contentious issue in ISKCON for a long time, with different camps stating different things.

rocana prabhu, even though persona non grata in ISKCON, is in my opinion an intelligent devotee who cares about srila prabhupdada's ISKCON. i don't say he is right in all he says or writes, but neither is anybody else.

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Direction of Management, Part 5

5th installment of the DOM editorials, originally at

Direction of Management, Part 5




Jul 20, 2019 — CANADA (SUN) —


Issuance of the 'Topmost Urgency' Document


Almost four years to the day after Srila Prabhupada signed the Direction of Management, he issued a document entitled Topmost Urgency. There was almost a year between the time the DOM-mandated GBC elections would have first been held, in July 1973, and the issuance of the Topmost Urgency document on July 22, 1974.


Many DOM adherents argue that the Topmost Urgency document was issued by Srila Prabhupada, first and foremost, because the GBC had not complied with the DOM requirement that GBC elections be held. This is a key element of the DOM movement's position, which is weighted heavily on the charge of a GBC conspiracy against elections.


Given that no meeting minutes are available, it is not known if elections were discussed at either the 1973 or 1974 Annual GBC Meetings. We have pursued this question, but found no indication that the subject of elections was addressed at either meeting.


Consider the timing of events: Srila Prabhupada did not issue the Topmost Urgency in the intervening eight months between the time the July 1973 elections were scheduled to be held per the DOM, and the March 1974 Annual Meeting. Had he wished to do so, he could have pressed to have remedial steps taken at the GBC meeting… but he did not. Topmost Urgency was not issued until four months after the 1974 Annual Meetings.


This is relevant when considering the urgency factor with respect to elections. In support of the commonly heard argument that Topmost Urgency was issued primarily as a means to enforce the DOM instructed elections process, DOM adherents point to various letters in which Srila Prabhupada mentioned the DOM [15], all written within a few months after Topmost Urgency was issued. They claim these letters are further evidence of Srila Prabhupada's strong desire for GBC elections -- because Topmost Urgency mentions the DOM, and the DOM mentions elections. However, none of the letters they refer to mention the DOM in the context of GBC elections; all mention the DOM with respect to the GBC's power to remove an errant temple president. In other words, the bridge they attempt to build between Topmost Urgency and the DOM is contrived, not based on fact.


Another example of the DOM movement's bias is found in the August 2010 article by Roupa Manjari devi dasi, "Ravindra Svarupa and the Unelected Illegal GBC" [16]:


    "When 4 years later, Srila Prabhupada discovered that His Direction of Management order had been rejected by the GBC, Srila Prabhupada immediately issued His "Topmost Urgency" letter in 1974, re-stating His absolute order to the GBC to immediately incorporate the Direction of Management. Again the order was rejected by the ISKCON GBC, and hidden from the ISKCON public."


The writer states that Srila Prabhupada didn't discover that the DOM order (for elections) had been rejected until four years later, but that is clearly a skewering of the truth. Srila Prabhupada knew exactly what was going on in his movement in this regard. It is false, if not offensive to suggest that he somehow wasn't aware of the fact that from March 1973 until July 1974, no GBC elections had been held. Of course he knew. Implying, as Roupa Manjari does, that Srila Prabhupada "discovered" this fact, then "immediately" issued the Topmost Urgency, is nothing but propaganda. And as we forewarned, the entire DOM movement is built upon a campaign of such propaganda. There is a clear pattern of misrepresentation that cannot be written off as simply 'error' or 'misinterpretation'.


Another example is found in the writings of Roupa Manjari devi's husband, Nara Narayana Vishwakarma das, who states in "Chronology of the DOM" [14]:


"The GBC made no move to hold elections. Later in 1974, Srila Prabhupada sent out the "TOPMOST URGENCY" statement. There were two main points in the letter: the first was followed impeccably by all temples, the second point concerning elections was disobeyed completely."


But in fact, point #2 in the Topmost Urgency does not mention the word "elections" at all. It states:


"2.) There shall be a Governing Board Committee of trustees appointed by the Founder-Acharya His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad according to the document Direction of Management dated July 28, 1970. The GBC is to act as the instrument for the execution of the will of His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupad."


The above narrative is 'just the camel's nose in the tent'… like our previous segments, it is only an introduction to the very significant propaganda campaign being conducted by the DOM proponents. Tomorrow we will demonstrate the blatant misrepresentation of both the Direction of Management and Topmost Urgency documents which form the basis of the DOM movement's position.


FOOTNOTES (Current Segment):

[15] Srila Prabhupada's 1974 Letters mentioning DOM: Sep 29, 1974 Letter to Mukunda; Nov 7, 1974 and Nov 8, 1974 Letters to Rupanuga

[16] "Ravindra Svarupa and the Unelected Illegal GBC" by Roupa Manjari devi dasi, Aug 16, 2010


FOOTNOTES (Previous Segments):


[1] Direction of Management, July 28, 1970

[2] Topmost Urgency, July 22, 1974

[3] League of Devotees - Back To Godhead, Vol. III, Pt. 10, October 20, 1956 (Delhi)

[4] Constitution of Association, Jul 7-8th, 1966

[5] Certificate of Incorporation, ISKCON Inc., Jul 13, 1966

[6] Srila Prabhupada Letter to Giriraj, Aug 12, 1971

[7] Srila Prabhupada Letter to Satsvarup, May 2, 1972

[8] Srila Prabhupada Letter to Jayatirtha, Dec 16, 1974

[9] Compilation of quotes from Srila Prabhupada on 'Constitution'

[10] "Direction of Management for an Elected GBC" by Urdhvaga das, VNN, Sep 18, 2000

[11] Letter to Sri Rama das from Nara Narayan Vishwakarma das (Nathan Zakheim), Feb 9, 2001

[12] Testimony of Bardrinarayan dasa in Long Island Lawsuit, Jul 19, 2004

[13] "Roll them 'taters" by HH Mukunda Goswami, Jul 28, 2006


[14] "Chronology of the DOM" by Nara Narayana das, Jun 13, 2006


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