By Madhava Smullen
The Grihastha Vision Team is offering an online Q & A on “Creating Meaningful Relationships” from 5:00 to 7:00pm on Saturday February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. The session will be broadcast live on the Grihasta Vision Team Facebook and Youtube, and via Zoom.
The GVT, established in 2004, is a group of Vaishnava couples who have all been in healthy marriages for over twenty-five years. The team members, who work professionally as premarital educators, psychotherapists, youth counselors and mediators, focus on helping devotees in ISKCON to have healthy marriages and happy families.
Pre-COVID, the team facilitated a Couple’s Retreat at Gita Nagari farm in Pennsylvania every year. During the pandemic, they have switched to offering bi-monthly question and answer panels on Zoom, Facebook Live and Youtube. The variety of topics they’ve covered have included preparing for marriage; harmonizing conflict; how to help men access emotions; dealing with in-laws; becoming exemplary parents; and the evolution of expectations in marriage.
This Friday’s panel will featureGrihastha Vision Team members and couples Uttama Devi Dasi and Partha Das; Vrajalila Devi Dasi and Ekavira Das; and Chintamani Devi Dasi and Jagannatha Pandit Das. It will be facilitated by Yadunath Das and Ekanta Bhakti Dasi.
The late Krsnanandini Devi Dasi, who passed away in November and was the driving force in starting the Grihastha Vision Team, and her husband Tariq Saleem Ziyad, are honored as GVT Members Emeriti on the event poster.
Sadly, longtime Grihastha Vision Team members Arcana Siddhi and her husband Karnamrita will also not be attending on Saturday.
“On February 9th, Karnamrita Prabhu left this world,” says Partha Das. “Karnamrita was someone who cared about connecting with others in deep meaningful ways. He was also lighthearted and jovial. He understood the nature of love, how it must be received as blessings and shared abundantly. He made everyone feel relaxed, valued, and accepted. He and his wife Arcana Siddhi mentored so many couples, sharing their mature realizations. This session will be dedicated in his honor and a date for a memorial service will be announced shortly.”
Saturday’s panel, which will center on the theme of “Creating Meaningful Relationships,” will first cover how to ensure you’re ready for marriage, and what qualities to develop before getting married.
Next, the panel will discuss maintaining connections, and simple skills and attitudes couples can adopt to ensure the ongoing health of their marriage.
They will also talk about how couples can repair a disconnect in their marriage, and bring it back into harmony.
“Often couples start to veer apart, and just don’t bother trying to realign themselves, so they can end up getting more and more distant,” Partha says. “We’re going to try and reinforce the importance of keeping the couple on a parallel track together to maintain their relationship in a healthy way.”