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.
Guess who got a fantastic review recently? Check out the online version of the article here and make a headway to Govinda's (during working hours, of course)! The original appeared in the print version of The Grid on the 27th of February, 2014.
This Sunday, March 2, 2014, Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating Siva Ratri.*
Siva Ratri literally translates as “the Night of Lord Siva.” Lord Siva is described as “the greatest Vaishnava (devotee of Lord Krishna)"; as such, this week's Sunday "Love" Feast will be dedicated to honouring Lord Siva.
The tentative schedule is as follows:
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Arati
6:30pm to 6:35pm - Welcome and Announcements
6:35pm to 7:15pm - Class by HG Bhakti Yoga Prabhu
7:15pm to 7:35pm - Abhisheka (bathing ceremony) for Lord Siva
7:35pm to 8:00pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Arati
*Please note that the actual day of Siva Ratri is Friday, February 28, but the festival will be celebrated at the temple on Sunday, March 2.
The appearance day of Lord Nityananda Prabhu was celebrated at ISKCON Toronto on February 12, 2014. Lord Nityananda Prabhu, whose name literally means, “eternally blissful”, appeared around 1474 AD in the village of Ekachakra, near Mayapur, West Bengal. He is the eternal companion of Lord Caitanya and both are worshiped together as are Krishna and Balaram. In the same way that Lord Balaram is considered the original spiritual master, so is Lord Nityananda.
The Gopinath's Kids Camp has been a one-day annual summer event since 2006. This year, Krishna's Funskoolis very happy to announce their first ever March-Break kids camp! We promise three full days of interactive spiritual learning, yummy prasadam meals and lots of fun. See attached poster for details. You can register your child via thispreliminary form For further information, please contact email@example.com
Starting next Sunday, February 9, 2014, we invite you to join us in celebrating a month dedicated to chanting japa and relishing the nectar of the Holy Names. Nama-Ruci is all about developing a taste for the Holy Name. The following lines express this theme beautifully: "I do not know how much nectar the two syllables 'Krish-na' have produced. When the holy name of Krishna is chanted, it appears to dance within the mouth. We then desire many, many mouths. When that name enters the holes of the ears, we desire many millions of ears. And when the holy name dances in the courtyard of the heart, it conquers the activities of the mind, and therefore all the senses become inert." - (Caitanya Caritamrta, Antya-Lila, 1.99)
Every Sunday, between 4:30 and 5:45 pm, we invite you to come and experience "Journey into Japa", a sanctuary for everyone to enliven their chanting. The sanctuary will have 108 lotus flowers to guide your walk through one round of japa, accompanied with Srila Prabhupada's sublime chanting in the background.
This month will host a series of Sunday Feasts that are specially themed around chanting:
February 9 - Chant and be happy: Mantra meditation has now become extremely popular as more and more people have taken this age-old practice. Let's find out why and how mantra meditation can help you become a happier person.
February 16 - There is no other way: The vedic scriptures prescribe many different ways to achieve the perfection of life. Let's explore why in this present age of Kali, there is no other way except the chanting of the Holy Names.
February 23 - Avoiding offences in chanting: Chanting is most effective when done offencelessly. Let's learn how we can improve our chanting by avoiding offences.
March 2 - Please engage me in Your service: What are we really saying when we chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra? Let's dive deeper into the meaning of this great mantra.
March 9 - Sankirtana: The incarnation in the Age of Kali is Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who spread the worship of Krishna by the sankirtana movement (congregational chanting of the holy names. Let's understand why Lord Chaitanya declares Sankirtana as the life of all transcendental knowledge.
If you are new to mantra meditation, we welcome you to join Uttamananda Krishna Das as he leads a warm and friendly session of chanting on beads at 7:40 pm every Sunday. We will also have japa kits available to facilitate your nascent chanting experience.
For the month of February, the Toronto Sankirtan Book Club will be reading the book "Sri Namamrta - The Nectar of the Holy Name." If you would like to read along and don't have a copy, you can get a copy of the book of the month during the Sunday Feast. To register for the book club, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please don't forget to mark Wednesday, February 12 and Sunday, March 16 in your calendar as the appearance days of Lord Nityananda (Nityananda Trayodashi) and Lord Chaitanya (Gaura Purnima). More details will be posted shortly on our blog about the festival program. We wish you all a blissful month of chanting! May the taste get sweeter!
This year, February 11th marks the appearance anniversary of Varaha avatar (Lord Krishna's boar incarnation). As described in the Srimad Bhagavatam, Lord Krishna assumed this form of a gigantic boar to lift the drowning planet Earth from the cosmic ocean with his tusks.
A demonic personality had thrown the planet Earth from her orbit into this ocean but the Lord came, as a boar, and saved the Earth. In honour of the appearance of Lord Varahadeva, fasting is observed until noon on Bhaimi Ekadashi (Monday, February 10th, 2014).
More information about the appearance of Varaha avatar can be found here; below is a summary of the pastime written by Urmila devi dasi:
“In Vedic cosmology, planets are conscious persons. The planet Earth once fell into the universal water when demonic persons disturbed her orbit by drilling for oil and upsetting her balance. Celestial beings, called devas, who control the universe in service to Krishna, wanted Earth to be rescued.
Responding to their desire, the Lord came to save her. He assumed the form of a splendid, gigantic boar (Varaha), dove to the bottom of the universal ocean, picked up Earth, and gently carried her on His tusks to the water’s surface. As He did so, a great demon challenged Him.
Lord Varaha then carefully placed fearful Earth on the water and gave her the ability to float. A fight between the Lord and the demon ensued within the great ocean. After defeating the demon, Lord Varaha returned to the spiritual sky.”