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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Maha-Mantra Week!

When His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada stepped off the ship Jaladutta and arrived in Boston back in 1965, he bore just one desire in his heart: to share the impeccable glories of the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra all over the world.

Within a span of just over a decade, he established hundreds of temples and inspired thousands. Today, he is celebrated in over 400 ISKCON centres for sharing the imports of the pristine Vedic knowledge!

This year from Sep 5th-15th, ISKCON centres all over the world will commemorate the arrival of Srila Prabhupada to the West; here in Toronto, we have 10 days of various activities lined up for you. Also known as the 'World Holy Name Week', the intention of this festival is to appreciate and share what Prabhupada has given us and spread the (Holy) word! We encourage you to make the most of this by participating in multitude of ways; please read on for details.

Featuring:

Srimad Bhagavatam Conference Calls 

Readings from the Bhagavatam in great association that is sure to inspire and intrigue you. 
Monday and Wednesday from 8:30pm - 9:00pm
Dial-in: 1-862-902-0260
Conference code: 4504210

The 500 Distribution Challenge!

"Books are the basis". So help us bring them to others! We have at least a couple of sankirtan events in the pipes; how many can you come for? Just show up! Simple enough? Are you up for the challenge?

Special Events During the Week:

Inaugural Seminar: Teachings of Lord Caitanya

A presentation on the personality who actually gave us the Maha-mantra and traversed the planet only 5 centuries ago.
Friday, Sep 5: 6:00pm - 8:30pm

Cabbage Town Sankirtan Festival

Opportunity # 1 for taking up 'The 500 Distribution Challenge'. It will be a fun-filled outing with lots of kirtan, great memories and prasadam!

Saturday, Sep 6: TBD


Special Edition Tuesday Sanga

This day marks the anniversary of Srila Prabhupada's accepting Sannayasa. Come in for a wonderful sanga to mark this event.
Tuesday, Sep 9: 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Srila Prabhupada Movie Night 

An inspirational Thursday with viewing from "Following Srila Prabhupada" with butter popcorn and juice!
Thursday, Sept 11: 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Downtown Street Harinama 

Sway to Kirtan with pomp down the streets of Yorkville.
Friday, Sept 12: 6:30pm - 8:30pm

64 Rounds Day 

Immerse yourself into the sublime depths of the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra in the association of others!
Sunday, Sep 15: 4:30am onwards

It is going to be a busy 10, so will we see you all then? 

For further information, please feel free to contact-
Hina: 647-989-1806 or 
email: toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Two of Our Toronto Devotees Caring for Cows

A few weeks ago, two of our young devotees from our Toronto community, Fil and Sukhayanti, moved to West Virginia where, close to New Vrindaban, there is a wonderful farm run by the International Society for Cow Protection (ISCOWP).  The main coordinator of the farm Balabhadra prabhu and he is currently training both Fil and Sukhayanti about farming and cow protection. Check out this inspiring video showing all the devotees in action as they greet some new calves to the farm!

Birthday Gifts for Srimati Radharani


The Hare Krishna Temple warmly invites you and your family to join us on Tuesday, September 2nd for Radhastami celebrations - celebrating the appearance of Srimati Radharani! Festivities will commence at 6:00pm, stay tuned for more details. As an annual tradition, the highlight of the evening will be when we open gifts for Srimati Radharani that have been brought by the assembled devotees.

If you and your family feel inclined, you are welcome to bring a gift for Their Lordships. Some humble suggestions from the pujari and kitchen departments include:

Items for the Deities:
  •  handkerchiefs
  •  jewellery
  •  1 set of 14"-16" high  brown vases (colour to match with the Altar)
  •  medium size storage containers
  •  bindis
  •  soft towels for the Deities
  •  water filtration system (ask Brahma das for details)
  •  Deities' bedroom curtains (ask Brahma das for details)
Altar Cleaning Items:
  •  mop & bucket
  •  broom
  •  silver polish (twinkle brand preferred)
  •  brass/copper polish (twinkle brand preferred)
  •  wood polish
  •  laundry soap
  •  cleaning towels
  •  floor cleaner
Kitchen Items:
  •  small pots
  •  oven mitts
  •  kitchen towels
  •  medium size pots
  •  aprons
  •  electric hand blender
  •  electric hand whisk  
  •  electric spice grinder 
  •  professional salad spinner (5 gallon) 
  •  food storage containers 
A humble request is that all gift items be new as gifts will be placed on the altar and will be unwrapped and shown to the Deities during the program. We will have some gifts available for purchase on Sunday, August 30th as well as on Radhastami day. Of course donations of any kind are always warmly accepted! For festival sponsorship information contact Satyabhama devi dasi.



Community Town Hall - Sunday, September 14, 2014

We are very excited to announce that ISKCON Toronto will be hosting our next Town Hall on Sunday, September 14th, 2014 from 4:00pm to 5:30pm in Govinda’s Dining Hall.  This Town Hall will present an opportunity for our vibrant Hare Krishna community to come forward and engage in a productive, two-way dialogue about our Hare Krishna temple and community at large.

The Town Hall will begin with a small presentation from the ISKCON Toronto Temple Council, highlighting the successes, challenges and financial developments over the last several months.  After this, we will open up the dialogue to our entire community to share their thoughts, dreams, concerns and suggestions about how we can continue to grow our temple and community.

Please accept this as a warm invitation for you to come and attend our Town Hall.  We continue to host these Town Halls every three months in an attempt to increase the communication between the temple management and our dear congregation.

If you are unable to make it to the Town Hall, but would like to share some ideas, suggestions or feedback, please feel free to fill out our form by clicking here or email us at templecouncil@torontokrishna.com.  You can also visit the Temple Council's website at templecouncil.torontokrishna.com.

We hope to see you on Sunday, Sepetmber 14th - please feel free to pass along this warm invitation to your devotee friends!  Hare Krishna!

Sincerely,
The ISKCON Toronto Temple Council
templecouncil@torontokrishna.com
www.torontokrishna.com

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Janmastami Darshan 2014

August 17th, the Hare Krishna Temple celebrated the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day - Sri Krishna Janmastami!!!! As always one of the highlights of the festivities was the amazing Darshans of Their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha, Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subadhra. See below our full album including darshans from Mangal Arati (4:30am) the opulent day outfit as well as the Midnight flower outfit!



Sunday, August 17, 2014

**Updated Schedule** Birthday Bash! Sri Krishna Janmastami - Aug 16-17, 2014

From Saturday, August 16th and Sunday, August 17th, the Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day - Sri Krishna Janmastami!!!!

The programs on both Saturday and Sunday will both begin at 4:00pm and will be full of kirtan, bhajans, discourses and more! On Sunday, the highlight of the evening is the countdown to midnight! The momentum builds as the abhisheka (bathing ceremony) is performed and the Temple is filled with wonderful rocking kirtan, at the stroke of midnight, the Deity doors will open and their Lordships Sr Sri
Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha will be revealed in a stunning flower outfit! It is truly a festival NOT to be missed!

On Sunday, August 17, free street parking will be available for festival attendees, located on Pears Avenue, a 2-3 minute walk from the temple. A schedule for the eventful day will be up shortly. Please stay tuned!

The schedules for both days are as follows:

Sunday, August 17, 2014
(subject to change):

3:00pm - 6:00pm: 3 Hours of Kirtan and Bhajans
6:00pm - 6:30pm: Arati
6:30pm - 6:40pm: Welcome and Announcements
6:40pm - 7:30pm: Class by HH Bhaktimarga Swami
7:30pm - 8:00pm: Drama by Funskool
8:00pm - 8:30pm: Arati
8:30pm - 8:45pm: Bhajan
8:45pm - 9:40pm: Conch Abhiseka
9:40pm - 10:00pm: Jewels of Bhagavad Gita
10:00pm - 10:30pm: SP Presentation 
10:30pm - 11:00pm: Drama Presentation by HH Bhaktimarga Swami
11:00pm - 12:00am: Maha Abhisheka
12:00am - 12:30am: Midnight Arati
12:30am - 1:30am: Vegetarian Feast



ISKCON Toronto Vyasa Puja Book - Submit Your Offering!

ISKCON Toronto’s 2014 Congregational Vyasa Puja Book

Hare Krishna,

Please accept our humble obeisances.    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

The appearance day of Srila Prabhupada is a very special occasion for all ISKCON devotees.    Srila Prabhupada appeared on Nandotsava – the day that Nanda Maharaja had a big festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna (Sri Krsna Janmastami).   This year, Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja falls on Monday, August 18th and celebrations will be from 11am-3pm at ISKCON Toronto.

This day is known as Vyasa Puja because the spiritual master is a representative of Srila Vyasadeva who is the author of the Srimad Bhagavatam.    Vyasa Puja offerings are made by devotees who write and present personal messages to the spiritual master.   The Governing Body Commission (GBC) for ISKCON has stated that every devotee in ISKCON should write an offering to Srila Prabhupada on Vyasa Puja.  Therefore, as a new initiative at ISKCON Toronto, we would like to encourage all devotees in our community to write a personal letter, in the form of an offering to Srila Prabhupada for this year’s festival and, to further facilitate this process, we will be making a special ISKCON Toronto Vyasa Puja Book for 2014.   This book will be presented to Srila Prabhupada on the day of Vyasa Puja.   Following the program, the book will be on display for devotees to read all the offerings by devotees of our community.  Please note – doe to time constraints during the festival, we will not be able to have everyone read out their offerings during the main festivities.  However, devotees are welcome to privately do so before or after the festival.

In order to facilitate this whole process, pre-printed pages have been prepared and we are asking devotees to hand write offerings onto these specially-designed pages.   The maximum length of the offering is one page per person.   If you wish to type your offering, you can obtain a template here: http://tinyurl.com/SPofferings - typed offerings must be emailed by 8:00am on August 16th.  We will print out these offerings for you.   The hand-written offerings can be submitted in person at the temple, in the designated drop box, up until 11:00am on August 18th. Hand written offerings are encouraged.

We humbly encourage you to please take this opportunity to honour Srila Prabhupada with a personal offering!  Hare Krsna!

Your Servants,
The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple


Guidelines for Your Written Offering:

  • Write your offering in the mood of a personal letter to Srila Prabhupada.  Write in a style as if you are addressing Srila Prabhupada directly (e.g. “Srila Prabhupada, it is by your mercy that I have come to Krsna consciousness.”)
  • The Vyasa Puja offering is meant for glorifying the spiritual master.    So offerings need to be made in that mood and not be used as a platform for airing one's grievances.  
  • You may wish to read the previous year’s Vyasa Puja offerings made to Srila Prabhupada by various senior devotees around ISKCON.    It may give you some ideas of how to express yourself.   These can be found here: http://prabhupada.krishna.com/homages
  • It is a courtesy to start your offering with Srila Prabhupada’s pranama mantras; we have already printed these onto the official pages.   A suggested opening is as follows: “Dear Srila Prabhupada, Please accept my humble obeisances.   All glories to you on this auspicious occasion of your Vyasa Puja.” 
  • The main content of the offering should glorify the role that Srila Prabhupada is playing in your life as well as express your indebtedness to him.   You may also include reports about your spiritual growth, how you are meeting challenges and how you are carrying out his orders.    
  • To end the offering it would be nice to show one’s appreciation and desire to please, by some nice phrase such as “Your Humble Servant” or something similar.
  • If you have any questions, concerns or challenges, feel free to write to us at SPofferings@torontokrishna.com 
  • Please note, the temple reserves the right to not publish an offering if it is deemed inappropriate.


Submission Requirements and Deadlines

  • Hand-written offerings must be submitted no later than 11:00am at ISKCON Toronto on Monday, August 18, 2014
  • Typed offerings must be emailed to SPofferings@torontokrishna.com no later than 8:00am on Saturday, August 16, 2014


Srila Prabhupada Vyasa Puja - Monday, Aug 18, 2014

In the wake of celebrations for one of our biggest festivals of the year, Krsna Janmastami, we will be celebrating one of the most important festivals for us as Hare Krishnas - Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja starting at 11am on Monday, August 18, 2014.

The Vyasa Puja festival is always held the day after Janmastami and the festival honours the appearance of our spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The program will begin at 11:00am with an abhisheka of Srila Prabhupada (bathing ceremony of a small Deity of Srila Prabhupada) and will continue with the arati, flower offerings (pushpanjali) and the reading of pre-written offerings from devotees in our community.  We hope to see everyone at this very important and sweet festival!