Per GBC coverage the decision described under cannot go into impact till reviewed by the SABHA.

December 22, 2021—The Governing Body Commission (GBC) of ISKCON at this time handed a decision amending a 2019 regulation affirming that certified Vaisnavis, or ladies devotees, might beneath sure circumstances, provoke disciples (give diksa) inside the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Of the 28 voting GBC members current for the tally, the vote was 18 in favor, 2 opposed, and eight abstentions. In different phrases, 64% of GBC members voted in favor of the proposal.

The earlier 2019 Law resolved that “Vaisnavis are eligible to provide diksa in ISKCON” however was not enacted as a result of the GBC agreed to first enter into a proper dialogue with representatives of the India Bureau, a few of whom had raised objections to the 2019 choice.

Since then, 4 members of a GBC subcommittee met with 4 senior members of the India Bureau greater than two dozen occasions, to hearken to their issues and take into account amendments to the regulation primarily based on their enter.

“We wished to make sure that the GBC clearly heard the viewpoints and points raised by the Bureau members,” stated Brahmatirtha das, a consultant of ISKCONResolve who focuses on mediation. “Myself and my colleague, Sri Prathamesh Popat, from Mumbai, who was nominated by the India Bureau to co-facilitate the conferences, labored diligently to make sure that all voices and views have been heard over the numerous months the 2 teams met.”

Today’s GBC choice was denoted as a “Culturally Sensitive Resolution.” In brief, ISKCON Regional Governing Bodies (such because the India Bureau) might, beneath particular circumstances, select to choose out of the coverage for his or her space primarily based on it being culturally delicate. This is the primary ever GBC decision designated as culturally delicate, beneath a regulation handed only a few weeks in the past.

The Amended regulation highlighted a number of factors that arose from the GBC-Bureau discussions:

  1. Regional Governing Bodies (or National Councils the place there is no such thing as a RGB) might choose out of this coverage
  2. With the authorization of their RGB, a person nation might also choose out
  3. If a Region opts out, a 2/3 majority vote of that RGB should approve a selected Vaishnavi to provoke of their Region.

Requirements for Vaisnavi gurus that have been established within the 2019 regulation stay, particularly that Vaisnavis who provoke should meet all commonplace {qualifications} for diksa-guru candidates; be not less than 55 years of age; be dwelling in a secure household state of affairs, or have the safety of senior Vaisnava or Vaisnavi sanga.

The debate over whether or not ladies can function diksa gurus has yielded intensive papers and arguments on either side of the matter. The subject has been the main target of a number of GBC conferences, debates and dialogues for greater than 15 years, together with a three-day GBC retreat in Tirupati, India, devoted to the subject.

Today’s choice balances the issues of those that oppose Vaisnavi diksa gurus—by permitting Regions to choose out, whereas permitting for Vaisnavis to provoke in all different components of the world. It affirms the GBC’s earlier selections that to have Vaisnavis function diksa gurus is permitted in sastra, acceptable in Vaisnava tradition, and is the will of ISKCON’s Founder-acarya, His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.


The full Resolution of the GBC Body on Vaisnavi Diksa Gurus, December 22, 2021, is:

Proposal to Amend GBC Resolution 701.6, of 2019: “ISKCON Spiritual Masters, Vaisnavi Diksa-gurus“ 

Proposed by the GBC Vaishnavi Diksa Guru Committee

Presentation of Proposal:

Whereas the GBC put in abeyance the 2019 Vaishnavi Diksa Guru decision in order that the GBC and the Indian Bureau may talk about the subject in additional element,

Whereas representatives of the Bureau and representatives of the GBC met collectively greater than two dozen occasions over the interval of a 12 months,

Whereas these conferences have been facilitated by skilled mediators, together with a mediator chosen by the Bureau, and one other mediator who’s a senior member of ISKCONResolve,

Whereas the GBC representatives made a honest effort to listen to and perceive the issues and opinions of the Bureau representatives,

Whereas the GBC representatives famous that they valued the time spent with the Bureau members, and that they now higher perceive the views of the Bureau representatives after these conferences,

Whereas the GBC delegation concluded that additional conferences, or further examine of the matter, wouldn’t present new insights,

Whereas the GBC delegation reported that, primarily based on these discussions, some clarifications of the 2019 Resolution on Vaishnavi Diksa Gurus are required, 701.6, “ISKCON Spiritual Masters, Vaisnavi Diksa-gurus—2019.”

Whereas the GBC, in its November 17, 2021, assembly, decided that on uncommon events a GBC Resolution could also be licensed as a Culturally Sensitive Resolution, and thus, inside particular GBC tips, that Resolution could also be utilized in another way throughout ISKCON areas,

Whereas in 2009 the GBC Resolved  (Female Diksa Gurus):

The GBC accepts the philosophical conclusion offered within the SAC’s Female Diksa 

Guru Paper {that a} mature, certified, feminine devotee might settle for the function of an initiating religious grasp.

The GBC Body authorizes native space committees to place ahead for approval as initiating guru any devotee of their space, male or feminine, who’s certified in keeping with present GBC Law.

Whereas, the GBC has labored to realize consensus and implementation of this decision for a few years, together with the above talked about intensive dialogues with representatives of the India Bureau;

Therefore, the Resolution relating to Vaisnavi Diksa Gurus of 2019, 701.6, “ISKCON Spiritual Masters, Vaisnavi Diksa-gurus—2019” is amended and changed by the next:

Vaisnavis are eligible to provide diksa inside ISKCON offered that they:

  1. Meet all of the {qualifications} listed for ISKCON diksa-guru candidates;
  2. Are not less than 55 years of age.
  3. Are in a secure household state of affairs dwelling beneath the safety of a husband, elder son or son-in-law, certified householder couple or senior Vaisnava or Vaisnavi sanga;
  4. After 5 years the GBC shall overview this decision to find out if the variety of Vaisnavis initiating in any area, or as a complete for the world, is consistent with Srila Prabhupada’s indication of “not so many.”

Prof. O’Connell: Is it doable, Swamiji, for a girl to be a guru within the line of disciplic succession?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Jāhnavā devī was—Nityānanda’s spouse. She grew to become. If she is ready to go to the very best perfection of life, why it’s not doable to change into guru? But, not so many. Actually one who has attained the perfection, she will be able to change into guru. But man or girl, until one has attained the perfection… Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya [Cc. Madhya 8.128].

Furthermore, this decision is designated as a “Culturally Sensitive Resolution.” Per GBC regulation:

A Regional Governing Body (RGB), or the place there is no such thing as a RGB, a certified nationwide council with the help of their GBC, or the place a nationwide council has multiple GBC, a majority of their GBCs, might apply to the GBC Body with a request to switch a culturally delicate decision for his or her space/yatra. Such a request should embody the main points of the particular adjustment/s they suggest to make, in addition to the explanations for requesting such an adjustment/s.

The GBC Body will give tips and set out the parameters relating to what might or might not be adjusted inside a culturally delicate decision…. Any particulars, tips, parameters, timelines, and so forth., in regard to its distinctive standing have to be recorded inside the decision itself. 

Thus, by designating this as a Culturally Sensitive Resolution, the GBC hereby establishes that an RGB or different licensed ISKCON management physique as denoted within the above referenced regulation—might choose out of this mandate and select to not enable any Vaisnavis to provoke inside their jurisdiction. Any given RGB that does not choose out and proceeds to totally implement this decision, might, at their discretion, enable any given nation inside their area to choose out of making use of this decision. Naturally that might solely be executed after very cautious consideration, because the default place is to at all times absolutely implement GBC resolutions.

In these areas or nations that select to choose out, if a selected candidate for diksa guru is authorized by a particular 2/3 vote of that RGB, or different licensed physique, per above, then she shall be accepted as a diksa guru in that area or nation.

A choice to choose out have to be reaffirmed by that RGB, or licensed physique per above, each 5 years. No different changes to this decision are licensed or shall be permitted.

This decision lifts the abeyance on this matter said in decision 310 of 2015.

The choice by the GBC to have interaction in dialogue with the India Bureau previous to enacting the 2019 choice is under:

Title – Plan for dialogue on GBC Resolution 701.6, “Vaisnavi Diksa-gurus – 2019” – 2020


That a dialogue on this subject happen as per the request of the ISKCON India Bureau and a lot of GBCs throughout the joint brainstorming session on February 4.

The GBC shall make a last choice on any amendments to decision 701.6, “ISKCON Spiritual Masters, Vaisnavi Diksa-gurus–2019”, in Pune on the 2020 GBC Mid-term General Meeting.

Note: Due to Covid-19 the Pune Meeting was canceled and the amended regulation was introduced ahead for voting on December 22, 2021.



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