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, June 23, 2017

Canada Day Harinama! July 1st

What can be a better way for devotees to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday than going out on the Seventh Annual Canada Day Harinama (outdoor chanting and dancing)? It has been our Hare Krishna tradition to celebrate Canada Day by hitting the streets with chanting and dancing! Let's continue our annual tradition of celebrating Canada Day by showcasing Krishna Consciousness in the most fun and attractive way. We will be having a WHITE and RED theme, so please dress in your best red or white vaishnava attire.

The main goal of this event is to invite as many people as possible to the upcoming Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India) by distributing flyers and cards. It will be an opportunity for us to create a buzz for the upcoming festival!

Event Details:

Date: July 1st, 2017

Timings:

Leaving the temple at 3pm
**Gopi-dots (traditional face paint) artists will be available from 1pm - 3pm at the temple**

Location:

We will be leaving the temple by subway to College Station
Walking from College Station to Old City Hall (near Nathan Phillips Square)

Let's all head out to the streets of downtown and share the sweet sounds of kirtan with everyone as a perfect gift for Canada Day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ISKCON Disciples Course - July 28 - 31, 2017

A few years ago, the leadership of our international Hare Krishna movement instituted the "ISKCON Disciples Course", which is a great overview about several important aspects in one's spiritual life within our Hare Krishna family. This foundational course covers important topics like:


The importance of accepting initiation in a disciplic succession
Srila Prabhupada's special position
How to select a spiritual master
Relationships in a multi-guru environment
Parallel lines of authority and more

Laxmimoni Devi Dasi is visiting Toronto for a few weeks this summer and she will be facilitating the ISKCON Disciples Course from July 28th - 31st.

Course Schedule:
Friday July 28th:  6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Saturday July 29th: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday July 30th: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday July 31st:  6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

To register and to find out more information about this important course, please click here.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Special Japathon - Sunday, June 25


TST-LIFELINE will be launching a special Japathon on Sunday, June 25th to collectively offer special prayers to Lord Jagannatha and to get in the right mood for our Ratha -Yatra Festival (Festival of India) this year.







We welcome each member of our community to chant 32+ rounds of Japa to prepare our mood and consciousness to welcome Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra into our hearts. If you cannot do 32, then please chant at least ONE extra round - Everyone matters, every bit counts!

We will be making a special offering of our collective rounds to Lord Jagannath during the Ratha Yatra festival. Therefore we encourage everyone to participate and log your rounds by clicking here.



Did you know that June 25th also marks the Ratha Yatra in Jagannath Puri Dham this year? Another reason to chant extra rounds on this auspicious day and invoke Lord Jagannath's special mercy in the GTA!

Details:

Date: June 25, 2017
Timing: 24 hours (12am-12am)
Location: at your convenience!




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Centre Island Closed Until July 31st Due to Flooding

Special Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India) Announcement
Due to the continuing flood conditions on Toronto Island Park, the City of Toronto has announced that the Toronto Islands, including Centre Island, have been closed to the public until at least July 31, 2017. These developments mean that the 45th Annual Festival of India, scheduled for July 15-16, 2017 will be forced to take place at some other location in downtown Toronto.  We are working closely with the City of Toronto to establish an alternate location for our festival.  Once we have a location confirmed, we will announce it here on our temple website.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Doors Open Toronto - May 27-28, 2017

On May 27th to 28th, the Hare Krishna Temple 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 27th and Sunday May 28th. 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.

Coming Soon - 12-Hour Kirtan!

GUESS WHAT'S COMING SOON: Harinama Eva Kevalam

The much-awaited annual pre-Ratha-Yatra 12-Hour Kirtan is just a few weeks away.  Featuring kirtan leaders from around the world, this is certainly a day not to be missed!  Being held on Friday, July 14th from 10am to 10pm at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple at 243 Avenue Road, it promises to be the best 12 hours of your life!

Book the day off work or school as this is your opportunity to immerse yourselves in 12 amazing hours of the transcendental vibrations of the Maha Mantra accompanied by singing, dancing, drumming and clapping.
Stay tuned for the list of kirtanyas that will be descending on Toronto from all around the world!

Don’t forget to invite and bring your family and friends on Friday July 14th, 2017.  We look forward to seeing you there! Stay tuned for more information!



Mridanga (Drum) Lessons - Level Two

After a successful two-month beginners mridanga course, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is very pleased to announce the next level of the two-month course - "Mridanga Course for Intermediates". A student should have completed the beginners course or at least have some basic knowledge of mridanga prior to taking this course as it is a prerequisite. The start date for the course and other particulars are mentioned below

This course will be taught by our resident devotee – Gopal Prabhu, a young, enthusiastic and energetic devotee who studied mridanga among other subjects in Gurukula in Vrindavan, India.

This course will build upon the basics learned in the Beginners Course and enable a student to play mridanga at a basic level in the Kirtan. This course will still be very valuable for mridanga players of others levels to perfect their technique and playing.

Tentative Course Details: 

  • Prerequisite: Beginners level mridanga course or basic mridanga knowledge
  • Dates: Starting May 13th - July 5th, 2017
  • Venue: ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple on 243 Avenue Road, Toronto
  • Timings: Wednesday (6pm -7pm), Saturday (10 am – 11 am)
  • Fee: $175 for the 2 months course
  • Registration: Registration is mandatory 
  • Other Notes: It is highly recommended that you have your own mridanga because you will need it for practicing, if you don’t have one and are interested to buy, please let us know we will try to make some arrangement.

For more information, please contact Hitesh Patel or Santosh Ravi.  If you are interested in taking the course, please click here to fill out the form and we will get back to you.

Video: Bhajan Night with Vaisesika Dasa

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple hosted a special bhajan night with Vaisesika Dasa.  As is the the tradition during his visit, this incredible evening featured kirtan, bhajans and melodious mantras.  The whole event was captured by Sathi Prabhu and can be seen below.  Check it out:

How I Became a Hare Krishna: Bhakti Yoga Dasa

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be featuring an ongoing series on our website about how active members of our community became practitioners of the Hare Krishna faith.  Written by Krishna Rajesh, a young high school student in our community, this series will share devotees' personal stories of how they became Hare Krishnas!  Please share your encouraging words and feedback with a comment!

An International Story - Bhakti Yoga Dasa
By: Krishna Rajesh

For many devotees, the one question that goes unanswered is: “What can I do to contribute?” Often times, newcomers are surprised by the amount of enthusiasm devotees show towards doing service at the temple. And they are always eager for more. Devotees are also found agonizing over their contribution; thinking that it is not significant enough. Bhakti Yoga Das is an example of a devotee who made the best of all the opportunities he had and incorporated Krishna Consciousness into his life in the best possible way.

Bhakti Yoga Prabhu, formerly known as Bhisham Prasad Mishra, was attracted towards Krishna Consciousness at a very young age. He had a cousin who was already in the movement, and he received guidance to help reach his destination.

He was living in Guyana, South America, when he began what would turn out to be a divine journey in Krishna Consciousness. His cousin, Butadi Prabhu, had previously lived in New York for a while, where he was initiated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder of our Hare Krishna movement. Through association, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu was inevitably pulled towards the temple. And on his first day, he had the opportunity to read the original Krsna book.

“It was a large volume…about twelve inches tall, with a silver jacket, and a picture of Radha and Krishna on the cover.”

That was his first introduction into Krishna Consciousness. And after one taste of the nectarine knowledge, he simply couldn’t get enough. He started going regularly to the temple in Guyana, every day after school, and sometimes he would even stay overnight on the weekends to attend the morning 4 am arati (morning service). He learned how to dress and follow the customs of a Vaishnava, which led to his very first sankirtan outing (outreach through book distribution and kirtan).

In 1980, he immigrated to Canada with his family. He originally lived in Hamilton, Ontario. On weekends and holidays, he would visit the Toronto temple. Eventually, a devotee from the temple used to come visit them. This was the start of a Sunday program in Hamilton.

“Later on, when I finished high school, I moved into the temple and stayed there for a couple of years.”

In June, 1982, while living at the temple, Bhakti Yoga Das met his eventual spiritual master, Gopal Krishna Goswami for the first time. Later on, in September of the same year, he got initiated (was formally as a student of his guru).

As one thing led to another, his thirst for spiritual bliss increased. He became increasingly inclined towards visiting India, and finally, with the blessings of his guru, he went to Vrindavan for the first time in 1985. During the six months that he spent there, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu learned Deity worship; a skill that would come a long way in the future.

“We had a shortage of pujaris (priests) at the time,” he remarks, “and because I wasn’t experienced, I was to tend to the smaller deities.”

After his lengthy stay in Vrindavan, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu returned to Toronto, where he helped in bookkeeping and used his newly acquired knowledge of Deity worship.

In 1989, he returned to Guyana, where he once again was greeted by Butadi Prabhu, who was now his Siksha Guru (spiritual guide). Taking into consideration the fact that he was still young, Butadi Prabhu arranged his marriage with Jahnavi Devi Dasi. After three years, Bhakti Yoga Das and Jhanavi Devi Dasi were married in Canada.

Haridas and Neela Madhava were soon new additions to their family. The couple wanted desperately to find a spiritual school for their sons. They traveled to many North American temples in search of a gurukula (Vedic school). Finally, they found a good gurukula in Mayapur, West Bengal, India. The family moved there, and lived there for about five years.

During their stay there, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu served as a managing director at an NGO called Shri Mayapur Vikas Sangha. They got grants from various countries and organizations for setting up primary schools, clinics, and training sessions for women in the villages near Mayapur.

At the end of five years, the family returned to Canada, where he resumed his service as a Pujari and even conducted a few seminars on Deity worship. He also began assisting a few devotees who wanted to start a temple in Scarborough. When the temple was established, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu was the acting Temple President.

Currently, he is working on establishing a temple in Milton with some enthusiastic devotees who are living there. He says that he hopes to continue spreading the Krishna Conscious movement, “I simply hope to be instrumental helping to make Srila Prabhupada’s vision a reality!"

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lord Narasimha's Appearance Day - May 9, 2017

On Tuesday May 9th, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating Narasimha Caturdasi: the Appearance Day of Lord Narasimhadeva.  Lord Narasimhadeva is one of Lord Krishna's incarnations who appeared in the form of half-man and half-lion in order to protect his young devotee, Prahlada Maharaj, who was been persecuted by his evil father, Hiranyakashipu.

The festival will begin at 6:00pm and will include a discourse on the appearance and qualities of Lord Narasimhadeva, an abhiseka (bathing ceremony), a wonderful drama and enlivening kirtan!

We humbly ask everyone to join in on this auspicious celebration of Lord Narasimhadeva, who protects His devotees from peril.  The schedule for the program is as follows (subject to change):

  • 6:00pm to 6:30pm: Arati and Nrsimha Pranam
  • 6:30pm to 6:35pm: Welcome & Announcements
  • 6:35pm to 7:15pm: Discourse on Lord Narasimhadeva
  • 7:15pm to 7:30pm: Dramatic Presentation
  • 7:30pm to 8:00pm: Abhiskeka (bathing ceremony)
  • 8:00pm to 8:30pm: Arati
  • 8:30pm: Prasadam (vegetarian feast)