ISKCON’s Congregational Development Ministry, based in Mayapur, India, has launched a new online marriage counseling service that draws from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings.
With the divorce rate in many countries at over fifty per cent, the search is on for the key to stable and successful relationships.
According to the two consultants at new website Bhaktimarriages.com – psychotherapist and Vedic astrologer Sri Radha Govinda Dasi and writer and astrologer Manohar Pandit Das – an important element is training before marriage.
They quote Srila Prabhupada during a conversation in New Mayapur, France in 1976: “Both the girls and the boys should be trained up. Then they’ll be responsible husband and wife and live peacefully.”
To fulfill this need, Bhakti Marriages has started with two initial online premarital courses – one for men and one for women -- that will inform and equip young devotees considering marriage.
In creating the course, entitled “Get Ready for Married Life,” Sri Radha Govinda and Manohar Pandit drew from devotees’ personal stories of marital successes and failures, as well as from accounts by counselors to identify which needs and advice to highlight.
In the course, men and women will learn how to deeply consider their motivations and readiness before looking for a partner. They’ll learn about Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on getting married and staying harmoniously married. They’ll hear from the insights and experience of many senior devotees.
“They’ll also learn how to wisely choose a life-partner; how to prevent common mistakes, and what makes a marriage successful,” says Sri Radha Govinda. “They will learn that marriage is a ‘serious business’ will be encouraged to look deeply at their commitment to such an important aspect of their lives.”
The course creators say that it will also be useful to those already in a relationship.
At the end of the course, students will have the choice to have their name inserted, for free, into Bhaki Marriages’ searchable database of those who have completed the course and are looking to connect to their life-partner.
Other services offered by Bhakti Marriages include astrological compatibility readings and a strengths and weaknesses analaysis for prospective couples.
There’s also a “Path to Improvement” audio course for married couples to help them learn more about each other, harmonize their personalities, enhance positive aspects of the relationship and minimize unfavorable or challenging elements.
“We request ISKCON leaders and devotees in general to share the news that these educational materials are available widely online for everyone in ISKCON,” says Sri Radha Govinda. “Please help to improve marriages in ISKCON by helping the present and future generations of devotees to benefit from the direction of Srila Prabhupada’s instructions.”[ marriage ]