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, July 1, 2020

Virtual Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India) Celebrations July 1st-12th



Our biggest festival of the year is underway and we're really excited to share some highlights of our ongoing twelve-day long VIRTUAL celebrations. We know you've been looking forward to it so a detailed schedule can be found below:
*subject to change*
July 4 (Sat)
10:00-11:30 AM Seminar- Values are Invaluable by Rohini Priya das
3:00-4:00 PM Drama- Many Mothers, Many Fathers by Bhaktimarga Swami
4:00-4:40 PM Kids Activity- Chariot Craft with Hemanti Rajesh
5:00-6:30 PM Seminar- Racism and Spirituality by Krsnanandini dasi

July 5 (Sun)
10:00-11:30 AM Seminar- Snana-Yatra: Approaching the Heart of Krishna by Hari Parshada das
4:00-4:40 PM Kids Activity- Music and Movement with Lila Mayi dasi
5:00-6:30 PM Seminar- The Journey from Snana-Yatra to Rath Yatra by Dravida das

July 6 (Mon)
4:00-4:40 PM Craft Time: Jagannath with Oleksandra Odinecs
7:00-8:30 PM Cooking Demo with Shashank Parkhi 

July 7 (Tue)
4:00-4:40 PM Yoga for Kids: Fun and Focus with Raseshwar Madhava das
7:00-8:30 PM Yoga Nidra and Meditation with Vrindavan Vinodini dasi

July 8 (Wed)
4:00-4:40 PM Puppet Show with Rukmini dasi (BMS)
7:00-8:30 PM Cooking Demo: Ayurvedic Kitchri and Eggplant Pakora with Radha Vallabh das

July 9 (Thur)
4:00-4:40 PM Classical Dance: Bharatnatyam with Megha Subramanian
7:00-8:30 PM Vinyasa and Meditation with Ira Ruiz

July 10 (Fri)
8:30-10:00 AM Seminar- Lotus in the Swamp by Sacinandana Swami
10 AM-10 PM 12 Hour Kirtan (schedule to be released next week)

July 11 (Sat)
9:00-10:30 AM Seminar- Light at the End of the Tunnel by Candramauli Swami 
11:00 AM-12:30 PM Mini Ratha-Yatra Procession within Temple
2:00-3:00 PM Cooking Demo: Moong and Kulthi Detox Salad with Healthy Braja (Braja Manjari) 
3:00-4:00 PM Yoga 
4:00-4:40 PM Drama Workshop for Kids: Navarasas - The Nine Moods with Dhruv Patel
5:00-6:30 PM Choosing Healthy, Helpful Relationships with Urmila dasi

July 12 (Sun)
9:00-10:30 AM Seminar- Unity and You by Bhuta Bhavana das
10:30 AM -12:30 PM Temple Groove with Billy Kubina
1:00-2:30 PM Cooking Demo: Thai Herbal Rice and Thai Green Curry with Radha Vallabh das
2:30-3:00 PM Drama: Gita Concise, directed by Bhaktimarga Swami
4:00-4:40 PM Kids' Yoga Safari with Sakhi Harini dasi
5:00-6:30 PM Journeying Beyond the Festival by Rukmini dasi (ACBSP)
6:30-7:30 PM Grand Finale Closing Kirtan with Amala Kirtan das


Activities will be broadcast on Facebook and Youtube
As always our festival is supported by your generous contributions, please consider continuing to support this festival. Donations can be made online at the below link and a tax receipt will be emailed to you. Thank you for your continued support throughout the years!
Distribution of our "Free Vegetarian Feast" has always been a highlight of our festivities. While our traditional distribution method was not possible we decided to give back to the community this year. As such, yesterday there was a 'Food for Life' initiative for distributing food to frontline healthcare workers! We will post a full report on our website shortly!

Monday, June 29, 2020

6-Hour Kirtan on Canada Day

On Wednesday, July 1st we will have a special Canada Day kirtan collaborated with Temples from across Canada. Traditionally devotees go out on street Harinama or chanting on this day, however, as we are advised to stay indoors this year, we are attempting to bring the mood of the various communities across Canada together- to your homes! This is the first of 12-day virtual celebration for Festival of India/Ratha-Yatra
Activities will be broadcast on Facebook and Youtube

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Temple Closure Update

We hope you and your family are safe and have been enjoying our various online activities. The single highest priority of ISKCON Toronto will always be the health and safety of our community. As such, the Temple was closed to the public on March 21, 2020. The province of Ontario has moved into phase two of reopening with guidance to the gradual opening of places of worship. At the current time across GTA ISKCON Temple leaders are evaluating the process of reopening safely so that people can visit us. This requires multiple measures to be put into place because we care about your safety and well being but be assured we are working hard to bring you all back. As of now we (ISKCON Brampton, ISKCON Milton, ISKCON Scarborough, and ISKCON Toronto) remain closed to the public until further notice. Please watch the video below of Bhaktimarga Swami updating us on the situation of our GTA ISKCON Centers. He will be back on June 30th with our next updates. In the meantime, we will continue to bring all our programs to you online. Please visit our Facebook Page and website for more information.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Sweet Rice Festival Recordings




New Remuna Dham’s Virtual Sweet Rice Festival Begins Tomorrow!
Our annual Sweet Rice Festival is here! The focus of the festival has been the glorification of our Deities, Sri Sri Radha Ksira-chora Gopinatha in Their special connection to sweet rice. The festivities will begin Tomorrow (Sunday Jun 7th) and will conclude on Sunday June 14th with many virtual activities (Temple remains closed to the public) throughout the week, click HERE for the full schedule.

We will begin our celebrations with a special session entitled "Sweet History Of Our Temple" presented by Bhaktimaraga Swami and Praharna devi dasi. They will take us on a trip down memory lane as we learn about the early days of our Temple; including how our beloved Deities arrived and why they got Their name. The recording is below:




Bhaktimarga Swami, also known as "The Walking Monk" has achieved the remarkable feat of walking across Canada four times! He has taken an active role in writing and directing theatrical productions that are presented all over the world. We will be featuring one of his plays as part of this Sweet Rice Festival. "Mr. Puri" (Recording available HERE)!

Praharna devi dasi has been a clinical social worker for over 20 years. She have served in a number of capacities including: mentoring young leaders on the Toronto Temple Council, assisting with the management of Govinda’s restaurant in Toronto, as well as being Regional Secretary for Canada. She is also on the North American GBC (Governing Body Commission) executive and the Canadian National Council. 


Virtual Tour of Remuna

Our Deities in Toronto were named by Srila Prabhupada after this famous Deity by the same name, residing in the small town of Remuna, India. As such, our Hare Krishna centre is also lovingly known as “New Remuna Dham”.

On Tuesday, June 9th at 7:30pm (recording available below) we will have an opportunity to go on a virtual tour of Remuna Dhama (Odisha, India). Our tour guide will be our own Rupanuga das.

Rupanuga das was born and raised in India. He grew up in a family of devotees, and carried that tradition to Canada with him. At the Temple his primary services include deity service, mentorship and counseling, and teaching various classes.


As a special feature of this year's virtual celebrations we will feature various Kheer recipes on our Facebook Page and YouTube Channel:


Recipes will premiere throughout the week!

Special readings with Bhaktimarga Swami from Chaitanya Charitamrita. Part 1 is available HERE and Part 2 HERE.


We will be once again hosting a special online live class. This will be broadcast on our Facebook Page during our normal Sunday Feast time (5:00pm-6:00pm). This week's (June 14th, 2020) live class will be given by Rupanuga Das on the topic "A Life of Determination: Madhavendra Puri". Recording below:

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Monthly Education Seminars

Education is the cornerstone of a society's flourishment. It changes one's attitude and consequently the quality of one's life. There are several life skills to master and no shortage of courses or self-help books that one can read to develop one's personality, then why do we still struggle? What is the Vedic perspective on this? It is all there in the scriptures from many a millennia ago, how do we use this and translate it in our personal situations?

We have answers to all these questions! Here’s a new initiative by Education at ISKCON Toronto: we have a series of interesting monthly presentations lined up for you up until end of the year (those for 2021 to follow later). For our first one in the series, we have Jagannath Misra das, a medical professional, give us insights on how to deal with anger. While anger management is an issue for many people at the best of times, it is specially relevant during this pandemic when most of us are cooped up at home and probably have pent up energy that may surface as anger. Let's find out how to deal with this potentially harmful emotion on Saturday June 13, recording below:



Next month, the topic will be "Finding Balance in Life" conducted by Rupanuga das on Saturday, July 18th. See the full schedule of these monthly seminars below:


Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Sweet Rice Festival Jun 7 -14, 2020




For some years now, we have been celebrating the annual Sweet Rice festival. The focus of the festival has been the glorification of our Deities, Sri Sri Radha Ksira-cora Gopinatha in Their special connection to sweet rice. This year the festivities will be from Sunday Jun 7 - 14, 2020.  

In the past, our beloved Deities would be offered a variety of sweet rice in pots hand-painted lovingly by the members of our community. This year though we will have to sadly celebrate in separation from Them, you can still get that delicious blessed kheer! See below the various options for sponsorship!

As the Temple remains closed to the public, all events will be broadcast on our Facebook page (no account required). Details to follow soon!

*** Sponsorship Opportunities ***

We are pleased to offer you the below ways in which you can participate for the festival. You can do so by clicking HERE.

$51- Sponsor a pot of kheer for the morning offering
Receive gift of: Inclusion of name in prayer

$108 - Sponsor kheer for evening (12x7 available) 
Receive gift of: Inclusion of name in prayer and a small jar of kheer (125mL)

$301 - Sponsor for full-day bhoga offering and kheer (6 available) 
Receive gift of: Inclusion of name in prayer and a medium jar of kheer (250mL)

$501 (June) -Sponsor for Special Sunday Bhoga for special occasions every Sunday
Receive gift of: Inclusion of name in prayer, a large jar of kheer (500mL) and special Chandan (sandalwood pulp) offered to Ksira-Chora Gopinatha from Remuna, India

(NOTE: We have a team and an effective system in place to make this happen so please await further instructions from us on the kheer pick-up. The team will reach out to you personally in the first and second week of June) 

Did you know?

  • Our Deities in Toronto were named by Srila Prabhupada after this famous Deity by the same name, residing in the small town of Remuna, India. As such, our Hare Krishna centre is also lovingly known as “New Remuna Dham”.

  • This Deity of Lord Krishna was named "Ksira-Chora” (one who steals sweet rice) after an unbelievably fascinating incident that occurred hundreds of years ago wherein the Deity actually stole a small pot of sweet rice for his devotee, Madhavendra Puri.

  • Since our Deities were given their name in the early 1970s, sweet rice has been offered on our altar every day! 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Special Live Kirtan for Pandava-Nirjal Ekadasi

Pandava-Nirjal Ekadasi: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

Devout followers of the Hare Krishna tradition are used to the idea of enthusiastically celebrating their spirituality through chanting, dancing and feasting! The feasting is such an important part of our tradition, that we have become known as the "kitchen religion"!

Now every fortnight, we observe Ekadasi, a day of prayer and meditation. On this day we fast (or simplify our meals and abstain from grains and beans), and spend extra time reading the scriptures and chanting the auspicious Hare Krishna mantra.

Once a year, we honour Pandava-Nirjal Ekadasi wherein, on this auspicious day, devotees do a complete fast from all food, even from water! The purpose of this day is to spend more time in focusing on feeding our spiritual needs! On this auspicious day of Pandava-Nirajal Ekadasi we will be hosting a special live kirtan. Bhaktimarga Swami will be going live on Tuesday June 2nd accompanied by some of our resident devotees, join us at 6:00pm EST for live Kirtan and Darshan on our Facebook Page!




Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Book Distribution Marathon

For the pleasure of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, we are pleased to announce the Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Book Distribution Marathon.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura made a great effort to send books about Lord Caitanya all over the world. We can too!

During this pandemic, let’s follow in his footsteps by providing sacred knowledge to every part of the globe. We are shipping books through contactless deliveries as well as e-books for all devices.

We’ve discovered how easy it is to distribute books via the Internet, and also by phone, through texting and calling!

To make it fun, we’ve started “calling parties” in which devotees join together simultaneously on Zoom and call contacts, friends and family wishing them well and providing them opportunity to read books during these testing times.

Alongside friends who share successes, advice, and smiles, makes each event feel like a festival. The time flies
and so do the books. Please join us!

For more information or to participate contact toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com

Friday, May 29, 2020

TEMPLE CLOSURE UPDATE

The single highest priority of ISKCON TORONTO will always be the health and safety of our community. As such, the Temple was closed to the public on March 21, 2020.

As of May 29th the Temple continues to remain closed. We are monitoring the situation and we will keep you updated. Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.




Many activities are continuing despite the Temple being closed to the public:
  • Full Deity services continue through the dedicated efforts of our Pujari Department and cooks
  • Virtual Sunday Feast Classes  and Festivals (Including the upcoming Sweet Rice Festival, click HERE for more information)
  • Live Kirtan with resident devotees and Bhaktimarga Swami every Saturday at 6pm (click HERE for more information)
  • Contactless book distribution (click HERE for more information)
  • Virtual Children's Activities (click HERE for more information)
  • Distribution of fruit prasadam to a local homeless shelter

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Nrsimha Caturdasi Entries: Children's Creations and Online Sessions

                         The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple!: Nrsimha Caturdasi - Saturday ...

On May 6 we celebrated the festival that marked the appearance of the Lord in his wondrous form of half man-half lion. Lord Nrsimha stunned the worlds when He appeared and continues to do so today with his contradictory personality. Just like a cub that feels safe in the mouth of the lion, a sincere devotee is assured that the Lord will protect him from all kinds of impediments.

The online festivities lasted from May 3-6, however, for the children the fun will last a WHOLE MONTH! We have Camp Nrsimha (ages 5-12 years), a virtual weekly interactive event that will be held every Tuesday of the month: May 5, 12, 19 and 26These sessions are facilitated via beautiful visuals, sharing of the pastime (story), and other learnings by our beloved teachers at Krishna Funskool. Pictures of the session to be included shortly!

Also see below submissions sent in to us. A gentle reminder, if you would like to send in your child's work, please send pictures by Saturday 9pm each week. The pictures should be accompanied by the child's name, age and caption for their work. Watch this space for weekly updates! 
Please note: Videos will have to be updated to your personal Youtube channel/an external source so please send us the links only, not the file itself. 

Working on the theme of Lord Nrsimha and his devotee Prahlad will help your child understand how at any age they can be spiritually connected in a variety of ways. Click HERE for resources and guidelines. 


Contributions to Date


1. Colouring of Lord Nrsimha by Sujay (5yrs)


2. Drawing of Lord Nrsimha killing Hiranyakashipu by Avighnay Chakraborty (5yrs)

3. Colouring of Prahlad being saved by Lord Vishnu by Saanvi Vanam (8yrs)

4. Mask craftwork of Lord Nrsimha by Saanvi Vanam (8yrs)

5. Drawing of Prahlad seeking protection of the Lord while in the fire 
by Chinmay Sivakumar (10yrs)

6. Cute videos HERE and HERE of a Nrsimhadeva Chatterbox by Gauri Valhe (10yrs)
Please note that this video is hosted on an external site and we have no control over the related videos

7. Craft-work, Nrsimhadev emerging from the pillar by Nandha (7yrs)

8. Prahalad offering prayers to Lord Nrsimha by Chinmay Sivakumar (10yrs)

9. Nrsimhadev with His conch and spinning disc by Srihita (7 yrs)