Kaunteya dasa joined ISKCON in 1980. Now serving as co-minister, with HH Jayapataka Maharaja, of the ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry; as co-chairman, with HG Gopal Bhatta Prabhu, of the GBC Organizational Development Committee; as trustee and faculty member of the GBC College for Leadership Development; as member of the GBC Strategic Planning Team and of the GBC Nominations Committee. He wrote several books and has a PhD in Indovedic Psychology.
ISKCON’s Future – Not What it Used to Be
Organizations go through phases such as pioneering, rationalization & integration. ISKCON is no exception. Spiritual movements in particular also face specific challenges in every generation, as they endeavor to maintain purity to the teachings and spirit of the founder in changing circumstances. Again, ISKCON is no exception in that. How a group perceives itself – and therefore how it perceives its future – changes through its various stages of development, influenced by its leaders, its new members, its environment, etc. The way ISKCON saw itself in, say, the late sixties, is different than how we see ourselves now, how we see (or should see) our role in society. What form the movement takes (ethnic Church, sahajiya troup, Taliban-like “orthodoxy,” moneymaking enterprise, ritualistic religion, insignificant sect or influential world beacon of spiritual knowledge) depends on the values and priorities of its leaders, what they visualize, believe in and are capable to manifest.
1970-2020: 50 Years of the Governing Body Commission. Reflecting on the Past and Visualizing the Future
This seminar overviews the drastic developments ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission underwent in its first 50 years. A look at the challenges ISKCON’s “ultimate managing authority” had to face; and is facing. The successes, the main themes that engaged the GBC; also a glimpse into the future, into the direction, potential and hopes for the next 50 years.
How to Mess up Your Life with Varnasrama
As for everything else, Varnasrama dharma (VAD) can be approached in tamas, rajas or sattva. ISKCON has been wrestling with the question of how to apply VAD; with what to take from VAD-based traditions and what is best left in previous ages. This seminar explores how the future of ISKCON could benefit from applying the unchangeable principles of VAD and avoid the pitfalls of tamo-rajasic VAD, nostalgias for imaginary pasts, fanaticism and the smarta mentality that has plagued Indian culture for millennia (and ISKCON recently) – especially in relation to gender-roles and gender-relations.