Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Secret GBC Resolution Revealed

A secret GBC Resolution --No.57.08, passed at this year's Mayapur meetings-- has just come to my attention. An insider sent me the unpublished resolution on condition of anonymity. It deals with the coming wave of devotees, especially first generation Prabhupada disciples, who will be leaving their bodies in the next 10-20-30 years. The GBC decided it was timely to make preparations to properly enshrine their remains within the holy grounds of Iskcon Mayapur.

The GBC body came up with a new program to accomodate and honor the final remains of all members in good standing. Thus, the Mayapur Perpetual Worship Scheme (henceforward known as MAWS) was created by secret resolution at this year's GBC meeting. Till now, has not mentioned it, so the readers of this post are getting a real "scoop."

The purpose of MAWS is to perpetuate the memory and the worship of those great souls whose vision transformed Iskcon from a small spiritual movement into the wildly popular Hindu institution that it is today.

MAWS takes into account the position of the deceased disciples to determine the level of their posthumous worship. For example, Gurus (e.g. those who are officially rubber-stamped to initiate disciples and freely distribute divine grace), will be offered "VIP" Samadhi Worship as part of the scheme. This will be a "pukkha standard" of worship that no guru will want to be without. Not everyone has disciples who can sit around all year in Mayapur to attend their samadhis. This package allows for elegant worship to continue year-round without burdening any disciples. It comes complete with marble and gold leaf engraved worship paraphernalia, morning arotiks, and a daily 7 course lunch feast. (Originally the GBC wanted Bengali pujaris to do the puja and seva, but the locals demanded iPhones, expensive watches, laptops and visas to the US.) To keep costs down and make the scheme affordable, the GBC decided to import brahmacaris from Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

The annual fee for the VIP Samadhi worship will be $8001, an amount that one sankirtan devotee or a wealthy disciple can easily come up with in no time. (Monthly installment plans are also available.)

The next level down in the MAWS scheme is for those gurus, sannyasis and vanaprasthas who unfortunately had a minor falldown. MINOR falldowns as defined by the GBC in this resolution include such things as: getting laid, snorting a line of cocaine, seducing your godbrother's wife, or becoming a transexual drag queen. The list is quite long, but basically doing anything illicit can be taken as a minor falldown. The GBC feels that such accidental falldowns should be forgiven. MAWS offers these devotees a simple way out of their embarrasing situation with a "Redemption Clearance Certificate."

Minor falldown gurus and sannyasis can easily purchase their Redemption Clearance Certificate. The pre-paid cost is a modest $501-- that's a really good deal-- for what is essentially falldown insurance. It's still affordable at $1008 for the postpaid plan. After an official certificate is issued, the redeemed late gurus and sannyasis can start to receive Budget Samadhi Worship immediately. The Budget Samadhi scheme features a handsome brass arotik tray, bi-monthly arotiks on the purnima and amavasya, and feast prasad on holy days (as much as you can eat those days, since you will not receive daily prasadam). The annual fee for Budget Samadhi Worship in the MAWS scheme is $3333.

The GBC MAWS resolution has a caveat in it which states: "Any guru, sannyasi or vanaprastha who publishes anything critical of the GBC, regardless of the truth behind their accusations, will be considered an unredeemable sinner." Such heretics are considered victims of MAJOR falldowns. Major falldown disciples can never atone for their mistakes nor will they be allowed to purchase a Redemption Clearance Certificate. (There may be a few exceptions for exceptionally wealthy sinners who can ante upwards of $100,000 baksheesh to the right persons, but this isn't explicitly stated in the resolution.)

Finally, the GBC did not forget the rank-and-file disciples, those pathetic godbrothers, godsisters and grand disciples who never had enough ambition to climb the corporate ladder in Iskcon, who rarely got the best maha prasad due to not having a position, who could not enjoy free business class world travel or have their expenses reimbursed by disciples, and who were never surrounded by fawning sycophants. The GBC wants to thank all such sincere servants and graciously offers them their own perpetual worship. Their ashes will be respectfully placed in a small slot in a wall within walking distance of the men's and women's toilets, just a kilometer from the Guru/Sannyasi samadhi area. The wall will be nicely decorated with cow dung year-round, and once a year, a pujari will sprinkle buffalo milk on the wall to commemorate the wonderful sacrifices of these less important devotees. An annual fee of $101 for the ordinary devotee "Hole in the Wall" worship will be waived. According to our sources, the popular sannyasi, His Holiness Maha Kripa Sindhu Bindhu Maharaj, offered this as an amendment to the MAWS resolution, and it unanimously passed.

Unfortunately, a restrictive amendment, proposed by the hard-liner, Swami Rudra Tapasvi Maharaj, also passed. It states that any disciple or grand disciple who ever had the shameless audacity or sheer chutzpah to openly question the authority of the GBC, BBT, a regional secretary, vice president or even a local temple commander, will be ineligible for the MAWS scheme. The GBC regrets that the ashes of such offenders cannot be placed anywhere within the sacred grounds of Iskcon Mayapur. They are to be blacklisted in perpetuity from the property. Their heirs will need to make other arrangements for their ashes.

"Try a small, local Gaudiya Math...or in a pinch, there's always Mother Ganga....She'll take anyone," suggested a sympathetic GBC member, who spoke off the record on condition of anonymity.

That's all we know so far about this still-secret resolution. We'll update you as soon as more details become available. Stay tuned. And stay loyal. It's never been easier to attain samadhi!


Atmavidya said...

Hey, Jauvana!
You really got me. About one third through reading the entry I thought this is for real. Partly due to my simple-minded self. Then I looked up the word "MAWS" in the dictionary, as English is not my mother tongue.

Then again, the so-called GBC being what they are today, the scenario is actually very, very conceivable. Very good writing and genuinely funny. I was laughing out loud to myself. Well, from another point of view it is -- of course -- not funny at all. But from yet another perspective, what does it matter. Ultimately, these chaps are not very important. What did you say in Mayapur in 2005 - Right, "this life they get what they desire, next life they get what they deserve."
Shri Kuntidevi Media
Hamburg, Germany

jauvana said...

Satire walks a fine line, exaggerating the shadow side of something to the point where reality becomes funny.
Here is the dictionary definition of MAWS:
maw |mô|
the jaws or throat of a voracious animal : a gigantic wolfhound with a fearful, gaping maw.
• informal the mouth or gullet of a greedy person : I was cramming large pieces of toast and cheese down my maw.
ORIGIN Old English maga (in the sense [stomach] ), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch maag and German Magen ‘stomach.’