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, May 4, 2016

Lord Narasimha's App Day - May 20, 2016

On Friday May 20, 2016, ISKCON Toronto will celebrate Narasimha Caturdasi. Lord Narasimhadeva is one of Lord Krishna’s incarnations in the form of half-man and half-lion. Lord Narasimhadeva descended to protect his young devotee Sri Prahlada Maharaja from his torturous father, King Hiranyakashipu.

There 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.

We humbly invite you to join us to celebrate Nrsimha Caturdasi on Friday, May 20, 2016 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Hare Krishna Temple!

Stay tuned for more information!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Festival Report: Warming up for the Ratha Yatra !

Counting Down to Ratha-Yatra with Mantras, Fire and Offerings!
Festival Report by: Smruthi Venkateshan
Pictures by: Monisha Pillai (new temple website contributor) & Sahil Srivastava

As the city is springing into action with warmer weather arriving, the Toronto Hare Krishna Community also sprung into action by having its annual "Ratha-Yatra Launch Day" on Sunday, May 1, 2016. The Launch Day is an annual celebration that is held every spring to help "launch" the countdown to our biggest festival of the year: Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India)!

The evening started out with arati ceremony for their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha, who were stunning in their gorgeous light blue spring outfits. Then Bhaktimarga Swami gave an informative talk about the historical importance of performing fire sacrifices. He explained that this sacrifice (yajna), was being performed to launch off the Ratha-Yatra in the right mood.

After bringing all the devotees into a divine mood, the priests began the fire sacrifice. They incorporated an interactive power point presentation which they used to explain the importance of the mantras being recited. They started out by purifying the temple, reciting mantras for auspiciousness, then scarified various grain items, clarified butter (ghee) and wood into the fire. Soon, the temple was radiating with warmth, divinity and all auspiciousness.

All the assembled festival-goers experienced the divine and mystical powers of Lord Jagnnatha (Lord Krishna). This blissful evening, closed with an energetic kirtan and arati ceremony. Devotees left with hearts and tummies filled with devotion and a vegetarian feast.

Festival Pictures (downloadable pics here): 

Photo Gallery by QuickGallery.com

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mystical Picture from RY Launch Day!

On Sunday, May 1st, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple celebrated our Ratha-Yatra Launch Day.  The festival kicks off the official count-down to our biggest festival of the year: Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India).  A full Festival Report along with pictures are coming soon!  But here is a little "preview picture", captured by Lena Ausheva!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ratha-Yatra Launch Day - Sunday, May 1, 2016

With warmer weather finally here, the excitement surrounding the 44th Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) is growing as each day passes!

Sunday, May 1, 2016 will mark the official launch of the countdown to this year's festival! The program will begin at 6:00pm and will continue to 9:00pm (extended program).

A special feature of the festival will be the chance for all devotees to observe a special fire yajna wherein auspicious mantras are recited and grains are offered into fire!

The festival schedule will be as follows (subject to change):
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 6:35pm - Announcements
6:35pm to 6:55pm - Welcome by Bhaktimarga Swami
6:55pm to 7:40pm - Fire Yajna Ceremony
7:40pm to 8:00pm - Ratha-Yatra 2016 Presentation
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
8:30pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)

Toronto Interfaith Bus Tour - May 15, 2016

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is participating in the first official "Toronto Interfaith Sustainability Bus Tour" on Sunday, May 15, 2016.  The event is being organized by TakingITGlobal, Toronto Hub, Explore150, and Faith & the Common Good.  The tour kicks off with a visit to the Hare Krishna Temple.  There is still space on the tour.  For more information, click here.  Details from the official event page are as follows:

WHEN 
Sunday, May 15th, 11:00am - 6:00pm

WHERE 
A chartered, private bus will visit the following sites:
  • Hare Krishna Temple
  • Ismaili Centre and Aga Khan Museum
  • St. Gabriel's Parish and Eco-Sabbath Program
  • Jaffari Islamic Community Centre
  • Shoresh Jewish Centre and Kavanah Garden
This innovative bus tour will explore how different faith groups in Toronto are working towards more sustainable and healthier communities — from eco-spiritual practices and local food systems to green architecture and waste management.  Together, we will increase our understanding and appreciation of different faiths and invigorate our capacity to work across traditional divides. Registered participants will receive optional pre-reading materials closer to the event — this is a wonderful event for the whole family, and anyone who is curious to learn more about Toronto's different religions and spaces.
We hope people will continue to take an interest, and we're confident you'll find the experience to be meaningful.

ATTENDEES MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE AS SPACES ARE LIMITED.

The $20 registration fee covers the bus rental and insurance, and the cost of lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

This event is presented by the following partners: TakingITGlobal, the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community - Toronto Hub, Explore150, and Faith & the Common Good.

Hare Krishna Culture Growing in Cuba!

For the last several months, one of our dear Canadian brahmacaris (renunciate monks) has been in Cuba helping to share our wonderful Hare Krishna culture! Below is a (slightly edited) report given by Hayagriva das along with some amazing pictures:

Our Cuban journey is now finished. We were very privileged to be able to share Krishna Consciousness in Cuba.   A few things we really appreciated about the Cubans is that they are very warm people, they are kindhearted and have quite a natural service attitude. 

We were able to do harinama (outdoor chanting and dancing) regularly, we organized around 40 programs, six retreats and distributed over 100 of Srila Prabhupada's books.

One story: we were chanting in the "Plaza Central" in La Habana when one young girl (who had autism) came to us and started to dance ecstatically, smiling, with our Harinama Party. Her mother (in tears) came to us afterwards and shared that she never saw her daughter so happy in a very long time. Usually, her daughter is very introverted and neutral. Definitely, her soul was awakened by the irresistibly  sweet sound of the kirtan!

We really hope that you can one day visit the Cuban devotees. After all, we are the International Society for Krishna Consciousness!

Your servant
Hayagriva dasa
Photo Gallery by QuickGallery.com

Upcoming Weekend Srimad Bhagavatam Classes

Srimad Bhagavatam is described as the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. Reading and discussing Srimad Bhagavatam is a core practice amongst Hare Krishnas (bhakti-yogis). By the regular reading and discussing of the Srimad Bhagavatam, one not only acquires deep spiritual realizations but also overcomes several disturbances to ones  inner happiness and overall success in life.

We invite you to special interactive classes on the Srimad Bhagavatam every weekend (Saturday and Sunday). While Bhagavtam classes actually take place every day of the week, we specially invite you to join us on the weekends.  Classes take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings and start at around 7:30am and go until about 8:45am.  You are most welcome to join us for these special morning classes!

“The meaning of the Vedānta-sūtra is present in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The full purport of the Mahābhārata is also there. The commentary of the Brahma-gāyatrī is also there and fully expanded with all Vedic knowledge. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the supreme Purāṇa, and it was compiled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva. There are twelve cantos, 335 chapters and eighteen thousand verses."
-- Garuda Purana

Upcoming Speakers for Bhagavatam Classes:
  • Saturday, April 30th - Kevala Bhakti das
  • Saturday, May 7 - To Be Determined
  • Saturday, May 14 - Vidurpriya Prabhu
  • Saturday, May 22 - Vaisesika Prabhu
  • Saturday, May 28 - Katamrta devi dasi
  • Saturday, June 4 - Mother Devaki
  • Saturday, June 11 - Akrura Prabhu
  • Saturday, June 18 - Akrura Prabhu
  • Saturday, June 25 - Mother Laxmimoni 
* Sunday Classes each week are usually delivered by Rupanuga das

Video: First Hare Krishna Centre in Beijing, China!

This video covers the historic opening of ISKCON's first cultural center in Beijing and the very first harinama at the famous Great Wall of China. May our previous acaryas be pleased that their dedicated service over many centuries is now bearing fruit. All glories to our beloved Srila Prabhupada!


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Video: How to Use Our Temple's AED Device

About a year and a half ago, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple had an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) installed in the main Reception Hall.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.

You have have seen AEDs in public places like shopping malls, subway stations and more.  With the countless number of people who pass through our temple building in any given year, the wise investment was made to purchase an AED device for the temple.

The AED in the temple was intentionally placed in a highly visible spot so that anyone could use it if the sudden need arises.  To help orient yourself about how to use our AED, please watch the short four-minute video below.  Your taking a few minutes to watch this video puts you in a position to possibly save someone's life!  (Note: the model shown in the video below is similar to the model of the device in our temple.)


Sunday, April 24, 2016

We're Looking for Website Contributors

As our temple website continues to grow, we are looking for enthusiastic members of our community to contribute regularly! If you are interested in being part of our team, we'd love to hear from you!

Maybe you have some neat recipes to share, or want to share Krsna conscious videos, or even have some wonderfully crazy idea that we just haven't thought of. Now's your chance to contribute!

If you have some neat idea to bring to the table, or if you just want to join the team, please feel free to fill out the form below!  Hare Krsna!