Dear Devotees of ISKCON,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Srila Prabhupada instructed that the GBC, Governing Body Commission, be the ultimate managing authority for ISKCON. They are responsible to see that Srila Prabhupada’s teachings are properly represented and that the standards expected of sannyasis, initiating gurus and other spiritual leaders are upheld.
For many years Umapati Prabhu has taught bhakti-yoga in China, also known as Khasadesh. Some years ago, when he was a sannyasi and diksa guru in ISKCON, allegations of sexual misconduct by Umapati Prabhu came to the GBC’s attention. After extensive investigations over a number of years involving Umapti Prabhu and numerous alleged victims, the GBC concluded the accusations to be true.
The GBC holds those who represent Srila Prabhupada as sannyasis and diksa gurus to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior. As Srila Prabhupada often cited:
“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of repeated birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a father, a husband, a mother or a worshipable demigod.” (SB 5.5.18).
In this context the GBC released an official statement to the devotees within the Khasadesh yatra of its findings and decisions during the annual GBC meetings in Mayapur in 2010. In summary the GBC decided Umapati Prabhu should no longer remain a sannyasi, should only visit China with the permission of the GBC Body and upheld its previous decision that he is no longer permitted to initiate ISKCON devotees into Krishna consciousness.
Umapati Prabhu continues to deny the charges and does not accept the findings of the investigations. After three years of deliberation, Umapati Prabhu has decided to resume his role as a sannyasi and initiating guru against the direction of the GBC Body. Umapati Prabhu acknowledges that by doing so he will not be accepted by the GBC as a member, sannyasi or initiating guru of ISKCON.
ISKCON will not recognize initiations given by Umapati Prabhu after February 2010.
Devotees initiated prior to this date are accepted as duly initiated members of ISKCON. Devotees who have only received 1st initiation will be required, when and if they are ready, to accept 2nd initiation from a bona-fide guru within ISKCON.
ISKCON welcomes Umapati Prabhu’s followers to remain serving and residing within ISKCON under the guidance of ISKCON’s leadership and other senior devotees. As Umapati Prabhu no longer represents ISKCON as a member or as initiating guru, the devotees of ISKCON should not promote Umapati Prabhu as representing ISKCON and nor are they to encourage persons new to Krishna consciousness to accept him as their initiating guru. They should direct such persons to accept the bona-fide gurus serving within ISKCON and uphold the authority of ISKCON’s leadership and its decisions.
Those who are not willing to follow these decisions should not attend ISKCON programs.
The followers of Umapati Prabhu who reside outside of Khasadesh who behave respectfully toward ISKCON and the GBC are welcome to fully participate in any ISKCON center. Umapati Prabhu himself may visit ISKCON centers, but only with the prior permission of both Temple President and GBC representative. He will not be allowed to reside in ISKCON temples, nor to teach, or lead kirtan at an ISKCON Temple or an ISKCON-sponsored event.
This situation is regrettable but the GBC Body is duty bound to uphold the standards expected of those serving as gurus and sannyasis or any other leader. If Umapati Prabhu had taken responsibility for his mistakes and cooperated with the GBC’s recommendations for his rectification he could still be welcome to participate in ISKCON. However, the consequence of his decision left only one alternative, namely Umapati Prabhu being required to step outside of ISKCON.
At this time, and into the future, we encourage the devotees of the Khasadesh yatra to take shelter of the ISKCON society, its devotees and Srila Prabhupada. We are certain that by their mercy and guidance all spiritual perfection will be achieved. Our prayers and best wishes are with all the devotees of the Khasadesh yatra during this difficult time.
Your humble servants in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
The ISKCON Governing Body Commission
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