Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple

Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre (ISKCON Toronto), has always been the hub of a rich, vibrant and enthusiastic community. Whether it be grand festivals, programs at local universities and yoga studios, philosophical discussions, cooking sessions, or singing and dancing on the streets, there are events taking place for everyone's interest.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Season of Giving - Sastra Dana!

The world today is undergoing a major crisis; people are experiencing an all-time high level of stress, with insecurity and temporariness of life plaguing all walks of life. Spiritual books like Bhagavad-Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam (the Bhagavat Purana) help alleviate these issues by bringing superior knowledge and happiness into people's lives.

In the Bhagavad-Gita, Sri Krishna states, “For one who explains this supreme secret to the devotees, pure devotional service is guaranteed, and at the end he will come back to Me. There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” (BG 18.68 & 69).

Thus, we are asking for your help with “Sastra Dana” or sharing of knowledge, by sponsoring Bhagavad-Gitas or other Vedic texts. For example, sponsoring 108 hard-bound Bhagavad-Gitas is $1,080, 108 soft-bound Gitas is only $540, and 108 other smaller Vedic books is $216. You can give as much as your heart desires. There is no minimum, and no maximum, the whole world is in dire need of this literature. Please note that your kind donations towards Sastra Dana will be tax deductible.

This year we have been successful in placing Bhagavad Gitas in over fifty prisons across Canada, over a hundred hotels and motels including the Park Inn by Radisson, Four Points by Sheraton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Courtyard by Marriott as well as replenishments for Hospitals. Yoga Centres and Libraries continue to be a focus.

The success of this program is further evident by the requests that we get from organizations asking for more books or replenishments. We began this Sastra Dana program just a few short years ago in Toronto and in these years, we have placed over 60,000 books thanks to your support and blessings.

To learn more about where we've placed these books please click here.

Please support the Sastra Dana Program wholeheartedly to bring these books to newer avenues.

"Festival of the Heart" - December 15-19, 2017

*** NOTE - Most events and programs will be broadcast live at www.mayapur.tv - stay tuned for more details! ***

Toronto's Hare Krishna community is very excited to once again be welcoming Vaisesika Dasa and Nirakula Devi Dasi to our community from Dec 15th to Dec 19th!  Their visit will be punctuated by a whirlwind five days of seminars, classes, and book distribution!  The official schedule is as follows:

Srimad Bhagavatam Classes
Friday Dec 15th to Tuesday Dec 19th
7:45am to 9:00am (Followed by Breakfast)

Sankirtan - Hitting the Streets with Spiritual Knowledge
Saturday, December 16th - 11am-2pm
All devotees are welcome to join Vaisesika Dasa as we collectively hit the streets with our beloved spiritual books with the goal of sharing our beautiful spiritual heritage with the public. Stay tuned for more information!

A Night of Kirtan with Vaisesika Dasa
Saturday, December 16th - 6:00pm to 9:00pm
You won't want to miss this opportunity to dive deeper into melodious kirtan with Vaisesika Dasa. We will explore some of the beautiful chants of our Vaisnava tradition and the mood will certainly be sweet. Join us for what will surely be a very special evening!

Sunday Feast with Vaisesika Dasa
Sunday, December 17th - 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Our weekly Sunday extravaganza will include a special class by Vaisesika Dasa. Toss in some amazing kirtan and mouth-watering vegetarian feast and your Sunday should be booked!

Tuesday Sanga
Tuesday December 19th 6:30-8:30pm
A special edition of the weekly tuesday sanga, an interactive discussion with Vaisesika Dasa.





Ring in 2018 in Grand Fashion with Outdoor Kirtan!

There are numerous busy times of year for the Hare Krishna Temple here in Toronto when activities and events come in abundance and the temple is buzzing with excitement. The end of the year is certainly one of those times and is always a fun time for everyone as Toronto's Hare Krishnas are known for closing the calendar in style and ushering in the new year on a transcendent note! The following is your guide to spending New Years Eve with Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple!

As we do every year, devotees gather at the temple on New Year's Eve and then head over to City Hall to join the tens of thousands of revelers, ushering in the new year. However, we come armed with our drums, karatalas (cymbals) and voices as well!

Here's all that you need to know about this evening:
6:00pm - We will be celebrating our weekly Sunday Feast
8:00pm - Kirtan at the temple.
10:00pm - The kirtan will really pickup by this time!
10:30pm (approx) - Bundle up and off to Rosedale station.
11:30pm - We will start chanting in front of Old City Hall (NE corner of Bay & Queen)
12:00am - the kirtan will reach it's peak as fireworks set the sky ablaze!
1:30am (approx) - We'll get back on the subway and make our way back to the temple for hot ginger tea and snacks!


Some tips to keep in mind for this evening:
  • Come early to the temple - enjoy the Sunday Feast and association of devotees before we head out to City Hall.
  • Dress warmly - it may be chilly, so dress in layers!
  • Don't worry about weather - whether it be snow, rain, hail or sleet, we will usher in the new year with kirtan!
  • Bring your voices - don't forget to chant with all of your hearts!

Srila Prabhupada Festival - Jan 1, 2018


On New Year's Day, Sunday, January 1st, 2018, Toronto's Hare Krishna temple will be hosting our annual Srila Prabhupada Festival!  Promising to be a great way to start the new year, the festival is usually one of the biggest of the year.

The festival will feature plenty of kirtan, wonderful classes, dynamic presentations and a sumptuous feast to help ring in the new year!  You won’t want to miss it!  There will be no better way to usher in the new year on an auspicious note!

Festival Schedule Schedule to be Posted Soon!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Seminar - False Ego: Our Companion & Trouble Maker

Please join us for a special Tuesday Sanga Seminar on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm on the False Ego: Our Constant Companion and Trouble Maker. This seminar will be given by our special guest, Hayagriva das. Some topics that will be addressed in this seminar:
  • The more we give up our false ego and identify as true servant, the more we will feel relieved from anxiety and find peace
  • Most subtle part of the subtle body is carried with us for many lifetimes
  • Feeding the false ego vs. dissolving it


Join us for what will be a very educational and inspiring evening!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Gita Jayanti - Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 6pm, the auspicious festival of Gita Jayanti will be celebrated at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple. Gita Jayanti marks when Lord Krishna expressed the truth of life and the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita to his student, Arjuna.

The Bhagavad-gita continues to be one of the world's most popular and inspiring books, covering topics such as the immortality of the self, the origin of all existence, how to remain peaceful in the most trying circumstances, and the relationship between us and God.

To celebrate Gita Jayanti, we will be reading the entire Bhagavad-Gita during the festivities.  We will alternate between reading Sanskrit and English chapters.We warmly invite you and your family to come join us for this very special festival on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

Schedule:

6:00pm - 8:30pm: Recitation of the Bhagavad Gita
8:30pm : Vegetarian Feast

The Gita Contest - December 2, 2017

The Gita Contest 2017

Krishna's Funskool at ISKCON Toronto is pleased to announce the Gita Contest 2017– Bhagavad Gita competitions for children.
                           
Event Date: Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Venue: The Hare Krishna Temple, 243 Avenue Road, Toronto

Category 1: Age 3-5 years - Recitation and Translation
Category 2: Age: 6-8 years - Recitation and Translation
Category 3: Age: 9-12 years - Recitation, Translation and application
Category 4: Age: 13-17 years - Chapter study - MCQ and Short answer quiz

Please note: The selected verses will be sent by email to the participants on completion of registration

  • Assured prizes and Certificates of Participation for all contestants
  • For Gita verses and translations, please refer only to Bhagavad-gita As it is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
  • Contestants should bring proof of age (preferably copy of birth certiļ¬cate/ photo ID card with age on the day of the contest
  • Registration fee is $20 per child (can be paid online at torontokrishna.com, or at Krishna's Funskool, ISKCON temple, Toronto on Sundays between 6:15 and 8:30 p.m.)

For details about content for Bhagavad Gita contest, registration and other information, contact kids@torontokrishna.com


Thursday, November 2, 2017

How I Became a Hare Krishna: Karuna Sindhu Dasa

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is featuring an ongoing series on our website about how active members of our community became practitioners of the Hare Krishna faith.  Written by Krishna Rajesh, a young high school student in our community, this series will share devotees' personal stories of how they became Hare Krishnas!  Please share your encouraging words and feedback with a comment!

How I Became a Hare Krishna - Karuna Sindhu Dasa
By: Krishna Rajesh

“Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness, and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, non-violence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy—all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone”
--Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 10.5

Sankirtan” is the process of conducting outreach to those who may not know of the power of the divine names of Krishna (God). People mistakenly think that this movement, which was originally started by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (who is none other than Lord Krishna Himself), does not have a major impact in this world. But what they fail to understand is the deep and profound impact that it has on those who are involved and to those who are being reached out to. In fact, sankirtan is one of many outreach tools that have an impact!  Every festival, every kirtan, every sanga, and even just the smiles that are given by devotees make a huge difference. Such, is the story of Karuna Sindhu Dasa and his journey to Krishna Consciousness.

In 1994, Karuna Sindhu Dasa, then known as Kunal Benjamin Kugel, visited the ISKCON temple in Toronto for the first time. He had visited with a friend to eat at the restaurant known as Govinda’s. Struck by the ambience of the temple, Kunal immediately felt a connection. He was drawn to the vegetarian food and the high ceilings in the temple room. He was surprised to see how much things differed from the other Indian restaurants that he had visited.

“It was a special experience that I never forgot. I especially liked the karela (bitter melon) preparation they had that day. It is something you never see in other Indian restaurants.”

In 1996, Kunal had the opportunity to attend the annual Ratha-Yatra festival in British Columbia, Canada. It gave him a deeper insight of ISKCON’s values and he saw how devotees practiced Krishna Consciousness. Kunal then began to regularly attend the Sunday program at the temple, which was four hours away from his residence. He gradually began to make friends within the devotee community and he soon got involved with the temple in many events.  As one thing led to another, Kunal was soon initiated and given the spiritual name, Karuna Sindhu Dasa.

With respect to his reflections on his faith, Karuna Sindhu Dasa said, “It helps me become more peaceful and understanding of others because the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is that we are all children of the same father, in other words that we are all souls; spirit souls. Due to our previous activities we are in different situations, but we are all children of the same father. That understanding helps me appreciate all those around me. Whereas before, I used to be more intolerant of others and more self-absorbed.”

As you can see, Karuna Sindhu Dasa is one of the many jewels in the devotee community of ISKCON Toronto.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Govardhana Puja - October 20, 2017

The Toronto Hare Krishna temple will be celebrating Govardhana Puja on Friday, October 20, 2017. Govardhana Puja is an especially "sweet" festival!

During the time of Lord Krishna, the villagers of Vrindavan used to honour King Indra, the demigod responsible for providing rain for harvest. One day, young Krishna convinced the villagers to celebrate Govardhana Hill instead of Lord Indra because it was the soil of the hill that provided grass for the cows and bulls to graze and then they provided milk. Thus, the hill should be worshiped. King Indra got infuriated and sent massive thunderstorms as punishment. Lord Krishna calmly lifted Govardhana Hill with his little finger to provide shelter for Vrindavan’s residents. After seven days of continuous thunderstorms and rain, King Indra surrendered and asked for forgiveness from Lord Krishna. He realized his true position as a servant of Lord Krishna.

On Friday, October 31, 2017, the temple will build a Govardhana Hill replica, made of prasadam, to worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhana HIll and worship the cows and bulls who are so dear to the Lord.

The program will take place from 6:00pm to 9:00pm!  We hope to see you there!

Honouring Srila Prabhupada - Monday, October 23, 2017

The Hare Krishna Temple warmly invites one and all to join us for a reflective evening as we observe Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day on Monday, October 23th, from 6pm to 8:30pm. On this day, we reflect on the remarkable life of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on the anniversary of his passing (known as the Disappearance Day).

ISKCON is now a worldwide movement and is comprised of more than 350 centres, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 60 restaurants around the globe. This day will provide a great chance to meditate on what Srila Prabhupada means to us.

Please join us for the festivities that will start at 6:00pm with arati and will continue until approximately 9:00pm. Please join us as we glorify Srila Prabhupada on this very important day.