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, July 11, 2014

Festival of India: Ratha-Yatra July 12-13th!


Please visit www.festivalofindia.ca for more information!

The past four decades have witnessed the Festival of India blossom into one of Toronto’s most dazzling, head-turning summer events. And in 2012 the chariots and festivities rolled into the city for the 40th time. This year again be sure to mark your calendars and come visit the 42nd Annual Festival of India (also known as Ratha-Yatra) from July 12th – 13th, 2014 for an unforgettable experience.

The event begins with a euphoric parade down world-famous Yonge Street (beginning at Bloor and continuing south to Queens Quay). The celebrations then shift to Centre Island for two days of festivities expected to draw close to 40,000 people.

Parade


Toronto’s 42nd Annual Festival of India will launch with a spectacular parade on July 12th at 11:00am that will cruise down Yonge Street, beginning at Yonge & Bloor, and make its way down to the lake. During the parade, three ornate, 40-foot tall floats will be hand-pulled by participants amidst ecstatic singing, drumming, and dancing creating a wondrous, carnival-like atmosphere.

Parade participants and spectators are encouraged to join in the excitement by singing and chanting along to the world-famous Hare Krishna mantra:

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare;
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

For the past 41 years, this annual parade has brought the splendor and tradition of India’s spiritual roots to Yonge Street, generating a vibe like no other summer event in the Greater Toronto Area.

Parade Information:

Time: Saturday July 12th 2014 – 11:00 am to 2:00pm

Parade is only on the Saturday and begins at 11am at Yonge and Asquith, north of Yonge and Bloor near the Toronto Reference Library. The closest TTC subway station is Yonge/Bloor station. The parade goes down Yonge street and ends at Queens Quay and Freeland St.

Click here for the Parade route in Google Maps

Centre Island

After the parade on Yonge, Festival of India celebrations continue for the remainder of the weekend at Centre Island. Festival attendees will be treated to a sumptuous and FREE vegetarian feast along with a host of other family-friendly activities, including:

  • a massive, outdoor tented pavilion
  • acclaimed music, dance, & drama performances – Arts & Culture
  • a bustling South Asian Bazaar – Vendors
  • intriguing exhibits on ancient spiritual culture and heritage
  • traditional face-painting
  • a fun-filled and educational children’s area including yoga for children

The festival is open to and free for the all. With its diverse assortment of celebrations and activities, the 42nd Annual Festival of India at Centre Island is sure to offer something for everyone!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ratha-Yatra Sponsorship and Donation Opportunities

Ratha-Yatra: Festival of India is fast approaching on July 12th- 13th, 2014! Festivities begin with a colorful parade down Yonge Street with three 40-foot tall floats hand-pulled by thousands of participants amidst drumming, chanting and dancing. The main festival continues for the remainder of the weekend, on the beautiful Centre Island (please visit www.festivalofindia.ca for more information on the festivities). We’re always committed to make our festivals better each year. Over 30,000 plates of free prasadam (sanctified vegetarian food) are distributed during this festival. In order to make this happen we need support from our community, every bit counts so please help us make this happen! Here are some of the ways you can help:

Sponsor the route:
The 3500m route from Yonge and Bloor down to the waterfront represent's Lord Jagannatha's (Krishna's) symbolic journey from  Dwarka to Vrndavan. Help make this journey possible by sponsoring a portion of the route for $5/m. 

Sponsor prasadam distribution:
Over 30,000 plates of free prasadam (sanctified vegetarian food) are distributed during this festival. This requires an immense amount of bhoga (ingredients) as well as supplies like plates and cutlery. Please contact Satyabhama devi dasi at satyabhama@torontokrishna.com for more information about prasadam related sponsorship.

Other Sponsorship/General donations: 
You can also sponsor flowers, garlands, chariots and more! Some details can be found on flyer above, please contact Satyabhama devi dasi at satyabhama@torontokrishna.com for more information. Of course general donations of any amount towards the festival are always accepted!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Canada Day Harinama! - July 1, 2014 - 1pm to 5pm

What can be a better way for devotees to celebrate Canada Day than going out on the Fourth 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!

The main goal of this event is to invite as many people as possible to the upcoming RATHA-YATRA (FESTIVAL OF INDIA) by distributing cards! It will be an opportunity for us to create a buzz for the upcoming festival!

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

Time:
Everyone is asked to meet at the temple at 1:00pm, especially for those who would like to get dressed up, have gopi-dots painted, tilak, etc. and then head out at 2pm.

Where:
We will update everyone as to where we will head out! The harinama will take place either at Yonge-Dundas Square or the Waterfront!

What to Bring:
- TTC subway fare
- bottle of water
- your SMILE :)
- hat or sunglasses (if you like)

Please dress in the best vaishnava (devotional) attire so we can present Krishna Consciousness in the most beautiful way. Prasadam will be provided for all of devotees after we come back, (by around 5:00pm).

How You Can Help:
- dance in a coordinated style
- give out Ratha-Yatra cards
- distribute books
- give out lollipops
- hold Mahamantra banner or balloons
- take pictures and videos
- help to cook for Harinam participants
- or just wave and smile at people! :)

Please contact Anshul (647-708-6921), Puneet (647-786-0241), Yuriy (647-302-6653) or Tara (647-707-8272) if you have any questions.

Please message us and let us know how you would like help!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Toronto Star Features One of Our Devotees - Bhakta Yura

Today's Toronto Star (Saturday, June 28, 2014) featured a whole special section on Canadian citizenship.  As part of their feature, they featured 27 people from various parts of the world who had just become Canadian citizens.

Imagine the surprise when we saw that one of our very own young devotees, Bhakta Yura was featured as one of the 27 people profiled!  He even got a chance to plug his Hare Krishna faith by saying, "Being a practitioner of Hare Krishna culture, it gives me a freedom to practice and share it with others in Canada."





Thursday, June 26, 2014

6-Hour Kirtan for Bhaktivinoda Thakur! - Saturday, Jun 28, 2014 **UPDATED**

This Saturday, June 28, 2014, the Hare Krishna temple welcomes you to join us for a special 6-Hour Kirtan honouring Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and his divine legacy as we commemorate 100 years from his disappearance. 

This non-stop six hour kirtan, starting at 3:00 pm, will mark the culmination of various events that are happening throughout this month! 

Here is the schedule *subject to change*:

3:00pm - 3:30pm: Chaitanya Nimai das
3:30pm - 4:00pm: Bhakta Sahil
4:00pm - 4:30pm: Nandini Radha devi dasi
4:30pm - 5:00pm: Sukhavak das
5:00pm - 5:30pm: Bhakta Nipun
5:30pm - 6:00pm: Bhaktin Shastyna
6:00pm - 6:30pm: Bhakta Keshav
6:30pm - 7:15pm: Rukmini devi dasi
7:15pm - 8:00pm: Bhaktin Tara
8:00pm - 9:00pm: Dhira Grahi das
 



Please mark the date in your calendars, and we hope to see you this Saturday!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gundica Clean-Up - Sunday, June 29, 2014

Please join us on Sunday June 29th for a very special clean up!  Not only is it Snana Yatra... but it's also Gundica Clean Up!

As you may already know, on July 12th we will be holding our 42nd annual Festival of India (Ratha Yatra) and every year we clean the temple two weeks in advance.  This is following the example set by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who held the first Gundica Clean Up some 500 years ago.  This year we will be cleaning the temple on Snana Yatra, which is the day their Lordships Sri Jagannatha, Sri Baladeva and Sri Subhadra are bathed.  After this bathing ceremony, all three fall ill and go into seclusion in order to get better.  After two weeks, They will re-emerge for Ratha-Yatra.  It is important that the temple is clean for when Lord Jagannatha makes His appearance after recuperating from being ill for two weeks.

So please join us for this amazing service.  We promise it's going to be a fun day!

Here are the details:

Date: Sunday June 29th, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM sharp
What to wear: Clothes that you are willing to get a little dirty.
What to bring: Just yourself!  We'll provide everything else you'll need.


Please RSVP if you can make it by emailing us at psenatoronto@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jagannatha Snana-Yatra - Sunday, June 29, 2014

A sure sign that the annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) is just around the corner (July 12-13, 2014) is the annual Jagannatha Snana-Yatra festival! Snana-Yatra, a wonderful festival, wherein Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Lady Subhadra will be bathed amidst amazing kirtan and chanting!

The bathing ceremony will tentatively take place from 6:45-8:00pm. Please note that Lord Jagannatha's altar will not be open for the 8:00pm Arati. After the bathing ceremony (Snana-Yatra), Lord Jagannātha apparently becomes sick. He is therefore removed to His private quarters, where no one can see Him. Actually, during this period the body of the Jagannātha Deity is repainted, this is called nava-yauvana.

During the Ratha-Yatra Festival on July 12th, Lord Jagannātha will once again come before the public. Thus for thirteen days after the bathing ceremony, Lord Jagannātha is not visible to any visitors! Don't miss out this last opportunity to see Lord Jagannatha before his grand Ratha-Yatra festival!

The tentative schedule for the evening will be as follows:
   6:00pm to 6:30pm – Kirtan (Arati)
   6:30pm to 6:45pm – Welcome & Announcements
   6:45pm to 8:00pm – Deity Bathing Ceremony (Snana-Yatra)
   8:00pm to 8:30pm  - Kirtan (Arati)
   8:30pm to 9:30pm – Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)


Monday, June 23, 2014

Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Disappearance Day - Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Hare Krishna Temple warmly invites one and all to join us for a reflective eveningas we observe Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur's Disappearance Day on Thursday, June 26th starting 6:00pm. He is known for his personal dedication even in the face of many adversities as well as laying the foundation of our now, international Krishna conscious movement. On this day, we reflect on the remarkable pastimes and achievements of the revolutionary spiritual leader.

The schedule for the evening is as follows (subject to change):

6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 7:15pm - Class by Praharna Prabhu
7:15pm to 7:30pm - Bhajans
7:30pm to 8:00pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)
8:00pm onwards - Kirtan (Arati)

Please join us as we honour Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur on this very important day.