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, October 16, 2017

Invite and Honour Lord Damodara in Your Home!

During this most auspicious month of Kartik (Oct 5 to Nov 3), you can invite Lord Krishna in the form of Bala Gopala (Damodara) to your home, offer beautiful lamps and hear about wonderful stories of baby Krishna.

You can book your 1-hour slot by contacting (647) 867-4727 or kartikbookings@gmail.com to reserve your spot during Kartik weekday evenings or weekends. Please note, limited spots are available. Please feel free to take this unique opportunity for your family.


Kartik 12 Hour Kirtan - Saturday, October 28

Kartik is an auspicious month to go deeper into our spiritual practice. This month is particularly dear to Krishna and those that perform spiritual activities, including chanting and hearing, will see the benefits compounded.

A great way to receive special mercy of the Lord is to chant and dance together for as many hours as possible in a day. For that reason we are inviting every one of you to join for this 12 hour kirtan. Come, chant and dance with your family and friends with all your heart on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 9:00am - 9:00pm!



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Gita Contest - December 2, 2017

The Gita Contest 2017

Krishna's Funskool at ISKCON Toronto is pleased to announce the Gita Contest 2017– Bhagavad Gita competitions for children.
                             
Event Date: Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Venue: The Hare Krishna Temple, 243 Avenue Road, Toronto

Category 1: Age 3-5 years - Recitation and Translation
Category 2: Age: 6-8 years - Recitation and Translation
Category 3: Age: 9-12 years - Recitation, Translation and application
Category 4: Age: 13-17 years - Chapter study - MCQ and Short answer quiz

Please note: The selected verses will be sent by email to the participants on completion of registration

  • Assured prizes and Certificates of Participation for all contestants
  • For Gita verses and translations, please refer only to Bhagavad-gita As it is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
  • Contestants should bring proof of age (preferably copy of birth certiļ¬cate/ photo ID card with age on the day of the contest
  • Registration fee is $20 per child (can be paid online at torontokrishna.com, or at Krishna's Funskool, ISKCON temple, Toronto on Sundays between 6:15 and 8:30 p.m.)

For details about content for Bhagavad Gita contest, registration and other information, contact kids@torontokrishna.com


Monday, September 18, 2017

Community Town Hall - October 1, 2017

UPDATE - The Town Hall will NOT be broadcast live online in an effort to promote better in-person attendance.

The Temple Council is very excited to announce that we will be hosting our next Town Hall on Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm 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, October 1, 2017 - 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

Monday, September 4, 2017

"Hare Krishna" Film Toronto Premiere - Sep 8-19, 2017

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is very excited to announce that the hit film "Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami who started it all" is having it's Toronto premiere from Friday, September 8th through to the 19th at the historic Hot Docs Cinema located at 506 Bloor Street West.

There will be two special screenings of the film on Friday, September 8th (6:30pm) and Saturday, September 9th (6:30pm) where the film's directors Yadubara Dasa (John Griesser) and his wife Visakha Devi Dasi (Jean Griesser) will be facilitating short Q&A sessions after the movie.

Book your tickets today by visiting this Hot Docs Cinema website!

The following is a synopsis about the film, from the official website:

1965: America is in turmoil. Unprecedented introspection and questioning of societal norms roil the country. Prabhupada, an unassuming 70-year-old Swami from India, arrives in New York City alone and without support or money. He carries only the ancient scriptures he has translated, and the firm faith in his teacher’s request: “offer spiritual wisdom to the people of the world!”

Suddenly thrust into the raging counterculture movement, Prabhupada speaks of the world’s real need, which is not necessarily satisfied by political or social revolutions, but by a revolution of consciousness. This divergence from the status quo successfully captures the attention of a generation of youth seeking answers to life’s existential questions. From a tiny storefront on 26th 2nd Avenue, Prabhupada shares with them the idea that the way to find real happiness, love and freedom is to search within and connect to your true self. All this, the Swami says, begins by simply chanting a rhythmic, meditative 16-word mantra – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

This universal message resonates with more and more people, including musician George Harrison whose hit song ‘My Sweet Lord’, features the Hare Krishna chant. From there, Prabhupada’s movement explodes, and his followers – now known as the Hare Krishnas – become infamous for chanting and dancing in the streets.

Not everyone is enamored by the enthusiastic, and at times overzealous, fervor of Prabhupada’s young followers. As more people join the movement, parents and community leaders begin to view it as a dangerous cult. Devotees are charged with brainwashing and are taken to court in a controversial case that threatens to undermine everything that Prabhupada has worked for...

Hare Krishna! is the true story of an unexpected, prolific, and controversial revolutionary. Using never-before-seen archival verite, Prabhupada’s own recorded words, and interviews with his early followers, the film takes the audience behind-the-scenes of a cultural movement born in the artistic and intellectual scene of New York’s Bowery, the hippie mecca of Haight Ashbury, and the Beatle mania of London, to meet the Swami who started it all.

Bhadra Purnima - Give the Ultimate Gift

On Tuesday, September 5, we will be celebrating Bhadra Purnima, (full moon in the month of Bhadra) in a most unique and auspicious way by sharing the Srimad Bhagavatam to friends and family.

In the ancient texts it says,
"If on the full moon day of the month of Bhadra one places Srimad-Bhagavatam on a golden throne and gives it as a gift, he will attain the supreme transcendental destination" - Bhagavat Purana 12.13.13

If you would like to find out more about this wonderful and rare opportunity, join us today Sunday, September 3 starting at 6:00pm! 


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Radhastami - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Hare Krishna Temple warmly invites you and your family to join us on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 for Radhastami celebrations - celebrating the appearance of Srimati Radharani! Festivities will commence at 6:00pm. Details of the festival are listed below. 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.

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. Of course, donations of any kind are always warmly accepted! For festival sponsorship information contact us.


Vaishnavi Sanga - Women's Retreat - Sep 2, 2017

The Hare Krishna Temple has been organizing a yearly Vaishnavi Sanga Retreat (Women's Retreat) for the past five years. This year, once again, we would like to invite you to attend the ladies-only retreat that will be held on September 2nd from 9 am - 9 pm!

The Vaishnavi Sanga Retreat is a wonderful opportunity for all Vaisnava ladies of any age group to take time off from their busy lives and get together for some fun activities and for spiritual nourishment. This intimate lady gathering is a unique opportunity for us to open our hearts and discuss spiritual topics that are specifically geared towards women who practice devotional lives. Whether you are a mother, a student, single, retired or even new to Krsna Consciousness, this retreat is just for you.

During this one day retreat, we will get together, enjoy sumptuous prasadam, engage in some fun activities and attend two seminars by Laxmimoni Devi Dasi. As a special treat, at the end of the day, we can all sit down and participate in a ladies-only kirtan session.

This year's event will be hosted by Gir Farms, located in Caledon Ontario, a mere 40 minutes drive from downtown Toronto. We will start the morning at 9 am with a delicious breakfast and end with a kirtan session at 9 pm.

To register for this year's retreat, please click here.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

** UPDATED ** Big Birthday Bash - Krishna Janmastami - Aug 15, 2017

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, the Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day - Sri Krishna Janmastami!

Main festivities will start at 6:00pm and go until midnight and will be filled with kirtan, bhajans, discourses and more! 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!

Due to construction, we will not be able to provide the free parking located on Pears Avenue. We have found some nearby options for your convenience. There are a few parking lots that are about 10 minutes walking distance from the temple. The rates mentioned below are for the parking overnight, from 6pm - 6am.

55 Avenue Road (Whole Foods/Underground) - $7
251 Macpherson Ave - $3
1010 Yonge Street - $5
15 Price Street - $5

The following is the schedule for the festival (subject to change):

6:00pm - 6:30pm: Arati and Kirtan
6:30pm - 6:45pm: Welcome and Announcements
6:45pm - 7:30pm: Class by HG Mahabhagvat das
7:30pm - 8:00pm: Video Message from GBC Chair
8:00pm - 8:45pm: Arati and Kirtan
9:00pm - 10:00pm: Donor Abhishek
10:00pm - 10:40pm: Musical Presentation by HG Jahnavi Jivana devi dasi
10:40pm -11:00pm: Hare Krishna Movie Trailer Presentation
11:00pm - 12:00am: Maha Abhishek
12:00am - 12:30am: Midnight Arati with Special Flower Darshan!

Please join us with your whole family on this most auspicious occasion!




ISKCON Toronto Vyasa Puja Book - Submit Your Offering!

ISKCON Toronto’s 2017 Congregational Vyasa Puja Book

The appearance day (birthday) of Srila Prabhupada is a very special occasion for all Hare Krishna 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 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 and celebrations will be from 11am-3pm at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple.

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, one of our most important scriptures.  Traditionally, 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.

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 2017.   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 – due 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 use our Vyasa Puja online form using the form below - 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 16th.

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 Friday, August 16, 2017
  • Typed offerings must be submitted via the form embedded below no later than 8:00am on Friday, August 16, 2017