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.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Doors Open Toronto This Weekend - May 28-29, 2016

This weekend, May 28th to 29th, the Hare Krishna Centre is participating in Doors Open Toronto. Annually, over 150 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and social significance open their doors to the public for a city-wide celebration. While Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple is open, free of charge, to the public year-round, Doors Open presents an opportunity for the public to learn about the architectural and historical story of our amazing building!

Guided Tours will take place from 10am-5pm on Saturday May 24th and Sunday May 25th. Guided tours of the building highlight the architectural, historical and spiritual history of the building. There are also visual displays of media news clippings and interesting publications related to the building.

For more information, please visit the official Doors Open website by clicking here.  We hope to see you this weekend!  If you wish to volunteer, please contact us.

Festival Report: Sweet Rice Festival

Sweet Festival of Sweet Rice!
Festival Report by: Smruthi Venkateshan
Festival Pictures: Mathuraprasada das

On Sunday, May 22, 2016, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple celebrated the annual Sweet Rice Festival in honour of their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha.

The evening started out with a nice aarti ceremony for the Deities, who were effulgent in their summer outfits with pops of colour everywhere. Following the arati, the program gained momentum with an amazing lecture and electrifying kirtan given by Vaisesika Prabhu.

In his lecture, Vaisesika Prabhu illustrated the story of Madhavendra Puri who was a dear devotee of Lord Sri Krishna. The famous story is that Madhavendra Puri was in Remuna, a holy place in India where he was taking darshan of the Lord Gopala. Here he observed that daily sweet rice was being offered to the Lord.

One day, Madhavendra Puri thought to taste the rice and make a similar preparation for his own Deity. Upon seeing his devotee's immense love the Lord himself, lovingly stole a pot of sweet rice for Madhavendra Puri.

After many centuries, we still continue to be enchanted by this sweet past time and powerfulness of sweet rice pradasam ! Inspired by the story of Madhavendra Puri, devotees gathered a sung with love and devotion during the splendid arati ceremony amidst resounding kirtan. The night concluded, with the simple message of love and everyone left empowered by the power of a vegetarian feast (prasadam).

Festival Pictures (downloadable pics here):


Photo Gallery by QuickGallery.com

Festival Report: Narasimhadeva's App Day

Narasimhadeva Appearance Day Festivities Roar with Enthusiasm!
Festival Pictures: Mathuraprasada das
Video By: Anvi Raval

On Friday, May 20, 2016, Toronto's Hare Krishna Community celebrated the appearance day of Lord Narasimhadeva - Lord Krishna's half-man, half-lion incarnation.

Lord Narasimhadeva descended to protect his young devotee Sri Prahlada Maharaja from his torturous father, King Hiranyakashipu.  There are many prayers to Lord Narasimha that invoke powerful mantras for protection, appealing to the Lord's half-lion incarnation and His weapons. These are for protection from such things as malevolent spirits and material desires, as well as increased devotion and a peaceful world.

The festival kicked off with a lively kirtan and was followed by an enthralling class by Vaisesika Prabhu.  The class focused on this most munificent form of the Lord and devotees were hanging off every word of our guest speaker.

Following the class, Lord Narasimha made a divine appearance, much to the delight of the crowd (and likely to the terror of some children... sorry!).  As Lord Narasimha exited stage left, a beautiful abhisheka (bathing ceremony) took place wherein a small form of Lord Narasimha was bathed with various items.  This was done amidst thumping kirtan!

After an exuberant kirtan, a delightful vegetarian feast (prasadam) was served to one and all!



Festival Pictures (downloadable pics here):

Photo Gallery by QuickGallery.com

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.


Welcoming Devaki devi dasi to Toronto - June 1-9, 2016

From June 1-9, 2016, the Toronto Hare Krishna community will be welcoming Devaki devi dasi for the first time!

Devaki Devi Dasi was born in Germany in 1958 and, after a long search and journey, joined ISKCON in Sydney, Australia in 1985.

She spent four years in the Sydney temple learning the basics of devotional life. She took initiation from Bhavananda Prabhu and later re-initiation from Prabhavisnu Prabhu. She is now a disciple of Niranjana Swami.

During her ten years in married life (1989-1999) she did outreach 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. For some months per year during twenty years she was also collecting funds for the development of various projects and holy places in Nepal 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 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 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.

Welcoming Kratu das - May 31 - June 5, 2016

Toronto's Hare Krishna community will be welcoming Kratu das, a special guest who will be speaking at various engagements around the Greater Toronto Area during his visit.   Kratu das joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1970. It was right here in Toronto, in 1976, that he met Srila Prabhupada, and took initiation from him.

Since then, he has been traveling extensively around the world and sharing his realizations about bhakti-yoga. This Sunday, he will be giving the class at our Sunday Feast. We encourage you to come out to hear from Kratu das at the Sunday Feast!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Vaisesika das & Nirakula devi dasi - May 20-24, 2016

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is thrilled to share the details of the much awaited visit of Vaisesika Prabhu and Nirakula Mataji, from Friday, May 20th to Tuesday, May 24th:

The schedule of events is as follows:
  • Friday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 24
    • Daily Srimad Bhagavatam Classes
    • 7:45am to 9:00am
  • Friday, May 20, 2016
    • Nrishma Chaturdasi Festival 
    • 6:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Sunday, May 22, 2016
    • Sweet Rice Festival (Sunday Feast)
    • 6:00pm to 9:00pm
  • Monday, May 23, 2016
    • 12:00pm to 3:00pm - Victoria Day Maha Harinama Sankirtan in downtown Toronto
    • 6:00pm to 8:30pm - Bhajan Night at Temple
Please come and take as much association as possible! Help spread the word. As always, all programs will be broadcast on Mayapur.tv (Toronto Channel). 

View Our Monthly Newsletter - May 2016

We are happy to share our May edition of our monthly newsletter!  Special thanks to Thulasi Sathianathan, one of our active young devotees, for taking the lead on the monthly newsletter project.  Click the image below (or click here) to open the May 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!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Video: Ratha-Yatra Launch Day Festivities

On Sunday, May 1, 2016, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple celebrated the Ratha-Yatra Launch Day, which kicked off the official countdown to our 44th Annual Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India).  The festival was captured on video by our stalwart Sathi Prabhu!  Check it out below:


Vedic Roots Montessori Academy

The Vedic Roots Montessori Academy (VRMA) is now open in Toronto!

Can you imagine a school where children are looked after academically, socially, cognitively, and spiritually? A school where the children learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and also wholesome Vedic values?

Opened in September of 2015, the Vedic Roots Montessori Academy aims to achieve this holistic vision. The Montessori method of education ensures that children develop the fullness of their individual human potential through independence, inner discipline, and discovery. The objective is to provide children with the structure, groundwork, knowledge and social skills to successfully move into the future. With the addition of a Vedic education, our students are sure to grow into healthy, happy, spiritually grounded adults. This spiritual soundness, in particular, can arm our children with the strength to resist peer pressure, and to cope with the stresses most students typically encounter.

The current program caters to toddlers aged 18 months to three years old.  Next year (September 2016), we will expand our programs to also include children who are 3-6 years of age.  Our hope is to continue to grow into a full functioning, multi-level Montessori school. If you are interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to contact us at:

Shyama Mohini Devi Dasi (Dr. Sonam Agarwal)
Director Vedic Roots Montessori Academy
admin@vedicroots.net
www.vedicroots.net