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.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Ratha-Yatra Volunteer Opportunities!

With summer in full swing, the excitement surrounding the 44th Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) is growing as each day passes!

The Festival of India has always relied on the power of volunteer efforts to make it the amazing success that it is today. Volunteering also means meeting incredible, new people while helping to make one of Toronto’s most astonishing summer events a reality. 

Whether doing truck loading/unloading or helping on the days of the festival itself, the heart and soul of the Festival of India are the volunteers who make it happen! 

Join our enthusiastic and energetic team and be part of the Festival of India family!

To sign up and register to be a volunteer, please click here and you will be directed to our online form. Once you have signed up, one of our friendly Volunteer Coordinators will be in touch. 

For all general questions and/or concerns, please feel free to contact: 
Volunteer Coordination Team
Festival of India (Toronto)
volunteers@festivalofindia.ca


Stay tuned for more exciting information about the festivities leading up to Festival of India!



Friday, June 10, 2016

RY (Festival of India) Launch Party - Sun, June 26th

Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) Launch Party!
Date: Sunday, June 26th, 2016
Time: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Location: Yonge-Dundas Square (southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas)
TTC Subway: Dundas Station

To kick off the official countdown to the 44th Annual Festival of India, a special day-long launch party will be held at Yonge-Dundas Square. The festival will include a cavalcade of activities, attractions and performances, including live art, vegetarian cooking demonstrations, free yoga classes, a South Asian bazaar, delicious food from Govinda’s, henna tattoos, face-painting, dress-in-a-saree booths, and more.

Also, be sure to stay until the evening to participate in an incredible, interactive mantra concert (kirtan) in which ancient sounds from the east will reverberate and grace Toronto’s busiest corner!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Video: Victoria Day Outdoor Chanting (Harinama)

On Monday, May 23rd, most of Toronto was celebrating a day off, marking Victoria Day.  Meanwhile, enthusiastic members of the Toronto Hare Krishna community hit the streets with instruments, smiles and books to share an uplifting, spiritual message through harinama sankirtan (outdoor chanting and dancing)!  Led by Vaisesika Prabhu and Nirakula Mataji, the devotees setup at Bay & Queen and brought smiles to people's faces for several hours!  Check out the last 15 minutes of the harinama, which were captured by our dear Sathi Prabhu.


Holy Name Retreat with Devaki devi dasi

From June 10-14, 2016 the Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa Hare Krishna communities will be jointly hosting a "Holy Name Retreat" at a Buddhist Retreat Centre, located two hours away from Montreal.  This very special retreat will be facilitated by Devaki devi dasi, a senior devotee in our international Hare Krishna movement.

Some features of the Holy Name Retreat:

  • Deepen your relationship with the Holy Name.
  • Spend these days in seclusion, away from all usual distractions.
  • Hear about the glories of the Holy Name in the association of like-minded devotees and practically apply what you have heard in kirtan and japa.
  • Experience a different reality - associate with Krishna in person, through His Holy Name.
  • Open your heart and allow the Holy Name to do His mysterious work on it.
  • Qualification: This seminar is for seriously practicing devotees, since it is aimed to bring us to deeper levels of chanting. Therefore the participating devotees should be chanting some rounds regularly for at least one year.
  • Accommodation: In the Guest House of the Buddhist Retreat. These facilities will be offered on donation basis.

About Devaki devi dasi:
This will be Mother Devaki's first time visiting Canada.  She was born in Germany in 1958 and, after a long search and journey, joined ISKCON in Sydney, Australia in 1985.

She is a disciple of HH Niranjana Swami.  During her ten years as a grhastha (1989-1999) she preached in Riga, Latvia and spent adventurous years in helping to pioneer the first more organised temple in the former Soviet Union. In 1999, she became a renounced traveling preacher.

For the last sixteen years she has been regularly visiting Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Germany, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.  She is now very actively involved in the IYF Student Preaching in Bangladesh, conducting seminars and IYF festivals under the expert guidance of HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami. She cultivates the mood of a "Bengali mother" and in so doing tries to create an atmosphere conducive for devotees to be happy in their services by encouraging them to develop their bhakti to their hearts content and by encouraging the men to become good leaders.

During her years of service in Bangladesh she developed deep insights into Vaisnava culture that have enriched her spiritual practice and inspired her preaching. She is sharing this wisdom in the course "Exploring the Roots of Spiritual Culture".

In Ukraine she has served under the expert guidance of HH Niranjana Swami, spreading the culture of care for the past fifteen years: on a personal level by serving as a spiritual guide and mentor to many devotees, by assisting devotees to become a spiritual guide themselves, and by lecturing and conducting seminars.

She helped establish Bhakti Sangam Festivals in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sweden and is regularly conducting Holy Name Retreats in Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Germany, Bangladesh and Ekachakra.  She was serving for several years as a member of the GBC Committee for Devotee Care and promotes spiritual care of every ISKCON devotee to the highest level of priority in our movement. In March 2014 she established the Institute for Spiritual Culture.

Video from Holy Name Retreat in Moldova (2014):

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Seminar: Giving & Accepting Shelter - Devaki devi dasi

In spiritual culture giving and accepting shelter is the very basis to any meaningful relationship: we are always giving shelter to inferiors and accepting shelter from superiors. If this is not there, our relationships will be superficial.

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is very excited to announce a special educational course with Devaki devi dasi, who will be making her first visit to Canada.

In this course students will discover the necessary qualities to be eager for shelter, and the qualities we have to develop in order to give shelter, and what blocks us the most from giving and accepting shelter. We will also receive insights how this principle of shelter forms the foundation to "Devotee Care".

Please mark your calendars for the upcoming Seminar with Devaki Mataji.  Please Pre-Register by clicking here.

We are also happy to announce that Devaki Mataji is also conducting a Holy Name Retreat in Ottawa. You can find more information - http://www.theholynameretreat.net/

Giving and Accepting Shelter
Friday June 3rd to Monday June 6th
ISKCON Toronto

About H.G. Devaki Devi Dasi 
Devaki Devi Dasi was born in Germany in 1958 and, after a long search and journey, joined ISKCON in Sydney, Australia in 1985.  For the last sixteen years she has been regularly visiting Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Germany, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. She helped establish Bhakti Sangam Festivals in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sweden and is regularly conducting Holy Name Retreats in Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Germany, Bangladesh and Ekachakra. She was serving for several years as a member of the GBC Committee for Devotee Care and promotes spiritual care of every ISKCON devotee to the highest level of priority in our movement. In March 2014 she established the Institute for Spiritual Culture.


View Our Monthly Newsletter - June 2016

We are happy to share our June edition of our monthly newsletter!  Click the image below (or click here) to open the June 2016 newsletter.

Remember, you can receive our monthly newsletter right in your inbox by clicking here to sign up, or by using the sign up form on the right hand side of this page!  Hare Krsna!



Blast from the Past! Recognize the Devotees?

Our dear senior member of our Toronto Hare Krishna community, Praharana devi dasi, sent us this "blast from the past" picture of an initiation ceremony from the early days of Toronto's Hare Krishna community!  Can you recognize some of the devotees in the picture?  If so, leave a comment with your guesses!


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

How Not to Do Japa (Mantra Meditation)!

We came upon this pretty entertaining video online, courtesy of ISKCON Desire Tree.  Here is their description of the video:

“Nish, nish, ram, ram, nish, nish, ram, ram.” Prabhupada once imitated how we sometimes chant (the Hare Krishna mantra) without focus, without concentration, without proper pronunciation – how we chant when we don’t feel like chanting. You know the mood behind this chanting: “I have to chant but I’d rather be doing something else.” And in our minds we are thinking, “I can’t wait to get these rounds out of the way.” We all do this. And it can get pretty bad.

Devotees who chant rounds while watching football games on TV. Prabhupada explained that this type of chanting is more or less useless because it will not produce the desired result, love of Krsna. To even call this chanting is a stretch. It is closer to a ritual. But Prabhupada acknowledged the value in the ritual by saying that although this kind of chanting is not very productive, at least those who are chanting this way are keeping their vow to chant.

This kind of japa is called, “courtesy japa.” “Courtesy japa” means that since you have taken a vow – either to your spiritual master or yourself – to chant a certain number of rounds daily, you keep that vow while chanting the kind of japa which is shown in the video.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Special "Ratha-Yatra" Mridanga Course - July 9-10, 2016

Due to an outstanding response from our previous mridanga course, the Toronto Hare Krishna temple is proud to announce another training course which will happen on July 9th and 10th.

This course will teach karatalas (hand cymbals) to beginner students of mridanga, and mridanga to intermediate and advanced students of mridanga.

As an exciting idea, students who attend this course will be able to play their respective instrument(s) during the Ratha-Yatra parade which will happen on the next weekend!

We are offering this training at a very minimal cost of $31. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!  Details in the poster image below.


Can you Guess the Story Depicted?

One of our young, talented artists in our community, Amandeep, has been contributing his artistic abilities for the temple!  Below is a beautiful sketch that he has made, depicting a very special story that was recently highlighted at a recent festival!  Can you guess what is happening in this drawing?  If so, leave a comment and let us know!  Hare Krishna!