Srila Prabhupada made the preliminary Constitution of ISKCON as is described below:
The initial Constitution of ISKCON, as described in Constitution of ISKCON – Part 1, was the Certificate of Incorporation of ISKCON, Inc., specifically listing the “7 Purposes of ISKCON” and the Constitution of Association, which expanded those & purposes.
This Constitution was legally held by ISKCON, Inc. As described in Constitution of ISKCON – Part 2, the new ISKCON entities that were being formed in USA and out of USA were being asked by Srila Prabhupada to form by copying these Constitution documents for their Incorporation/registration amending to their local laws. This is how the “7 Purposes of ISKCON” were copied everywhere in all ISKCON related entities worldwide. ISKCON, Inc. was thus the central repository of the then initial Constitution of Srila Prabhupada’s Worldwide Society.
As is described in Part 2, he instructed that detailed Constitution of ISKCON be made.
Direction of Management dated July 28, 1970, many other official documents and official letters sent by Srila Prabhupada, and the Resolutions of GBC of 1975, 1976 & 1977, among others, did work on some of those details under Srila Prabhupada’s supervision.
But a comprehensive Constitution of ISKCON has still not been drafted and adopted.
In 2005, the members of ISKCON, Inc. amended the initial Certificate of Incorporation of ISKCON, Inc., adopting many of the above instructions given after 1966 in the Certificate of Incorporation of ISKCON, Inc.
This was an interim Constitution, so as to help in bringing like minded temples/centers/ devotees together.
This interim constitution is to be replaced by a NEW Constitution of ISKCON to be drafted publicly and with worldwide participation and then put for adoption in centers/temples that agree with these principles. ISKCON, Inc. will then continue to protect/hold this constitution by means of its trustees who are proposed to be the GBCs or subset of them in the near future. This will ensure that future amendments to the Constitution of ISKCON will not be unilateral or whimsical to protect the integrity of the worldwide organization. All new amendments to the Constitution will go through similar process as is being proposed for drafting it.
The general process of drafting and adoption is given here.
After the adoption of this Constitution as the Certificate of Incorporation of ISKCON, Inc., the worldwide Affiliates would, local laws permitting, adopt/amend this Constitution to their local incorporation papers. How exactly and how much of it would need to be done would be dealt with in the Constitution itself. This would ensure that the whole movement, consisting of centers/temples that agree to this Constitution will be on the same page both philosophically and organizationally. Those centers/temples who do not agree to this Constitution and do not agree to affiliate with ISKCON, Inc. would also be served by this Constitution as it will act as an example of governance as advised by Srila Prabhupada. At least that is our fervent hope.
Now the next step is formation of a Constitutional Committee of Coordinators that can ensure wide participation, maturity and respectability.
The newly elected GBC of ISKCON, Inc will appoint this Constitution Committee.
The Constitutional Committee then will lead the discussion of the various clauses of the Draft Constitution on public forums here in this space on ISKCONinc.com/constitution.
Please await the announcements and come back with your valuable input in the process of drafting the Constitution. This draft, without it being based on the Documents and teachings of Srila Prabhupada, without wide participation, without worldwide viewpoints, without the years of experience of all ISKCON devotees, will not be complete.
Our hope is that this constitution will help ensure organizational unity and purity among ISKCON devotees for generations to come and thus please Srila Prabhupada.
If you would like to participate as an official moderator, researcher or contributor, or would like to be kept informed on its progress all the way up to its adoption, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org . We will contact you when the Constitution Committee is formed, the forums are ready to roll out on this space, and the first topics to start the discussion are posted.
Please come back often to iskconinc.com to check regular progress on Constitution of ISKCON.
Nimai Pandit Das
(Should have the unity articles coming up here as related articles as in a blog)
Please give links again and again wherever listed.