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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Big Birthday Bash - Krishna Janmastami - Aug 25, 2016

On Thursday, August 25, 2016, 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!

Parking
Free festival parking is available at 135 Pears Avenue (on Pears Ave, east of Bedford).  The parking lot is just a 4 minute walk from the temple.  Please note, anybody parked on the street in front of the temple will likely get a ticket after midnight.  So it is best to use the provided parking.

Festival Schedule (subject to change)
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 6:40pm - Welcome & Announcements
6:40pm to 7:30pm - Reading & Discourse
7:30pm to 8:00pm - Presentation
8:00pm to 8:45pm - Kirtan (Arati)
8:45pm to 9:15pm - Video Presentation
9:15pm to 10:00pm - Kalash Abhisheka
10:00pm to 11:00pm - Drama by Bhaktimarga Swami
11:00pm to 12:00am - Maha Abhisheka and Kirtan
12:00am to 12:30am - Midnight Arati
12:30am to 1:30am - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)

Sponsorship Opportunities

Maha Abhishek: $350 - A rare opportunity to personally bathe Sri Sri Radha Krishna with auspicious liquids (water from seven holy rivers as well as panchamrita - a mixture of ghee, yogurt, milk, honey and sugar). Sponsors will get to take home their decorative Kalasha (pot) and puja thali (worship plate).

Feast Sponsorship:
- Gold $1500
- Silver $1000
- Bronze $500 (10 spots available)

Festival Flowers:
- Gold: $1500
- Silver $1000
- Festival Deity Garlands: $750

Other Sponsorship Opportunities
- Deity Dress - $1500 each altar; all three altars: $4500
- Midnight Arati: $108
- Mangal Arati: $51
- Decorations/Flowers: $500
- Cake: $500
- Gopal Swing & Decorations: $ 1008

For more information on Sri Krishna Janmastami’s sponsorship, contact us directly at the festival.

ISKCON Toronto Vyasa Puja Book - Submit Your Offering!

ISKCON Toronto’s 2016 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 Friday, August 26, 2016 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 2016.   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 – doe 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 at: http://tinyurl.com/SPOfferings2016 (form is also embedded below) - typed offerings must be emailed by 8:00am on August 26th.  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 26th. Hand written offerings are encouraged.

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 26, 2016
  • Typed offerings must be submitted via http://tinyurl.com/SPOfferings2016 (form is also embedded below) no later than 8:00am on Friday, August 26, 2016

Vyasa Puja Celebrations - Friday, August 26, 2016

The day after celebrations for one of our biggest festivals of the year, Krsna Janmastami, we will be celebrating one of the most important festivals for us as Hare Krishnas - Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja starting at 11am on Friday, August 26, 2016.

The Vyasa Puja festival is always held the day after Janmastami and the festival honours the appearance of our spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

The program will begin at 11:00am with an abhisheka of Srila Prabhupada (bathing ceremony of a small Deity of Srila Prabhupada) and will continue with the arati, flower offerings (pushpanjali) and the reading of pre-written offerings from devotees in our community. We will be once again encouraging everyone to write their own offering for the Toronto Vyasa Puja Book.  More details will be posted soon!

The schedule is as follows (subject to change):
11:00am - 11:45am: Abhisheka
11:45am - 12:00am: Offering
12:00pm - 12:30pm: Arati
12:30pm - 1:30pm: Reading of Offerings

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Balarama's Appearance Day - Aug 18, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016 marks the auspicious appearance day (birthday) of Lord Balarama, Lord Krishna's older brother!

The Supreme Person appears in innumerable forms to enjoy transcendental relationships. Some of His expansions are tiny, dependent beings, like us, and some are complete and omnipotent beings like Himself.  Balarama, or Baladeva, is Krishna's primary all-powerful expansion.  Lord Balarama symbolizes strength and compassion.  During Krishna's pastimes on earth, Balarama was present as His elder brother. The Srimad-Bhagavatam describes Their amazing activities in the village of Vrindavan and the city of Dwaraka.

We invite you to take part in the celebrations at the Hare Krishna Temple on August 18th.  Festivities will kick off at 6pm with kirtan and will feature special celebrations all evening long.

Festival Schedule (subject to change):
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 6:40pm - Welcome & Announcements
6:40pm to 7:30pm - Discourse by Laxmimoni Devi Dasi
7:30pm to 8:00pm - Nama-Yanja Kirtan
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
8:30pm to 9:30pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Camp - August 15 - 19

We had a wonderful Festival of India this month but the summer fun isn't over yet - join us for the annual Summer Kids Camp, which is happening this year from August 15th - 19th.

You can register for any number of days! As always we have lots of fun activities planned out with sumptuous prasadam (vegetarian meansl) for all the children.

The registration is $25 per day. You can pre-register your child by emailing us at kids@torontokrishna.com or by clicking here for the registration form or sign up below.

Details:

Dates: Monday, August 15 - Friday, August 19

Timings: 9:00am - 5:00pm every day

Fees: $25 for each day

Last day to register is August 10. Please sign up as soon as possible!




Friday, August 5, 2016

New Feature! Daily Darshan for Our Website

We are very excited to announce that we will now be posting daily darshan of our beautiful Deities on our website!  You can find the daily darshan pictures posted on the right-hand side of the page.

Our pujari (priest) department has been capturing photos each day and have been sharing them on Facebook.  We've now added them to our temple website, through our temple's Instagram account.  You can also read more about our Deities by clicking here!

Maha-Mantra Festival - July 28 to August 14

A lone, broke and aged man once embarked on a cargo ship to an unknown land. He suffered three heart attacks but what kept the him going was a mission which was not even his own but his guru’s. A perfect beginning to the history in making. Decades later he is celebrated on CNN as one of the top 10 successful men who launched their careers after 50.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada or simply Prabhupada, in a span of five decades, has inspired thousands and established hundreds of temples globally. Amongst his biggest contributions are the English translation of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and over 60 other titles that are now translated in over 80 languages.

This year ISKCON centres all over the world will commemorate the arrival of Srila Prabhupada to the West from July 28th - August 14th. In Toronto, we will have an 18 day festival with a mix of a variety of events- seminars, Harinamas, readings and more. Also known as the 'World Holy Name Week', this really is a festival of gratitude and appreciation for what Prabhupada has given us via the medium of learning and sharing the (Holy) word! Be engaged in the following variety of ways.

Weekday Events:

  • Daily 15 min readings from Srila Prabhupada’s Lilamrta 
    • Time: 9:00pm - 9:15pm
    • A lifetime spent in preparation to build a house the world could live in. Who is this 70 year old remarkable man who continues to change lives in this universe and beyond, way after he moved on to the eternal realm in 1977? Sound ethereal yet? Let's discover his unbelievable journey with 15min of daily readings and celebrate the man himself.                                              To participate, call: (416)-800-4317; conference code: 8440353#
  • Thursday, Jul 28: Inaugural Kirtan
    • Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    • The festivities kickstarted with the right mood of welcoming the Holy names. It was a sweet evening and the Deities looked stunning in pink!
  • Tuesday Sanga with Laxmimoni Dasi, 
    • August 2, 2016
    • Key Elements of Vaisnava Etiquette
  • Wednesday, August 3 and 10: Weekly Kirtan
    • Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    • The attempt of these kirtans will be to focus and meditate by diving deeper into the resonance of the Holy name in congregation. 
Weekend Events:

  • Saturday, Jul 30: Monthly Sankirtan Festival
    • Time: 11am - 2pm
    • Join us for the monthly sankirtan festival, this month in honour of Srila Prabhupada's entrance to the Western world. We will continue to celebrate with more kirtan, prasad and smiles - this time with the residents of Toronto. Location TBD.
  • Wednesday, Aug 3 and 10: Seminar: How to Study Srila Prabhupada’s Books
    • Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
    • So there is "reading a book", and then there is "studying with scrutiny". A gulf of difference between the two. We might have read some of Prabhupada’s books and thought them to be philosophically appealing; how about reading them in a light that would turn and transform your life? It is possible. It has happened and continues to happen. Come find out how.
  • Sunday, Aug 7: 32+ Rounds Japathon
    • Time: 4:30 am onwards
    • Kirtan is a collective prayer while japa or chanting on beads is a personal one-on-one. Here is a chance to connect deeper with the Holy name by chanting 32+ rounds with the support and association of others!
  • Saturday, Aug 13: Maha-Harinam 
    • Time: starting 4pm from temple
    • We will head out to the Old City Hall, as we've done so in the past, and bring these positive vibrations to those in Downtown Toronto. There will be singing, dancing, jumping and lots of smiling.
When Prabhupada came to the West, among the few sparse items that he brought with himself was a book of his translated Bhagavatam. As a part of the ISKCON50 celebrations, embrace yourself with the 50+ Bhagavatam Challenge! All one needs to do is pledge to distribute one set by August 14th!

18 days of mindfully embracing the Holy names! See you there! For further information, please feel free to contact- Hladini Gopika Devi dasi: 647-989-1806 or email: toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com.


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Studying Srila Prabhupada's Books - Aug 3 & 10 (Seminar)

On both Wednesday, August 3, 2016 and Wednesday, August 10, 2016, a very special two-part seminar will be conducted by our very special guest, Laxmimoni Devi Dasi!  This ground-breaking seminar will be focused on how and why we need to make a more focused effort on reading the books of our beloved founder, Srila Prabhupada.

Described as an eye-opening seminar, this two part series is primarily targeted to the many actively practicing Hare Krishna devotees in our Toronto community.  The seminar will dive deeply into topics like:
  • glancing at the history of the Hare Krishna movement
  • the importance of thoroughly understanding Srila Prabhupada's books for future generations
  • how to read Srila Prabhupada's books
  • different ways to study
  • practical tips about how to absorb and retain knowledge
  • the importance of reading individually and in group settings
  • and much, much more!
The course promises to be a very transformational experience, especially for practicing (especially initiated) devotees in our community.  If you would like to attend the course, you can register by filling the form below.  There is no cost for the two-part seminar, but donations are welcome!


Welcoming Laxmimoni Devi Dasi Back to Toronto

Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple is very excited to welcome Laxmimoni Devi Dasi back home to Toronto!  One of the pioneers of our Hare Krishna movement in Toronto, Laxmimoni Devi Dasi is an inspiring teacher, mentor, guide and more.

Laxmimoni Dasi was initiated by Srila Prabhuada in 1969 while attending the State University of New York at Buffalo. She received a B.A. in psychology after getting an "A" for her senior sociology project: "Life in a Krishna Temple." She has been involved in ISKCON educational projects since 1974.

She is now a member of the GBC Ministry of Educational Development and a GBC Deputy. She was the principal of the Vaishnava Academy for Girls, in the USA, for 29 years. She has given seminars on the practice of Krishna consciousness and on media awareness and has traveled to ISKCON schools to teach primary and secondary teachers.

Her travels take her throughout North America, Europe and India, where she teaches teacher-training courses and foundational seminars like the ISKCON Disciples Course and more.

Laxmimoni Devi Dasi's scheduled programs for her Toronto visit are as follows (subject to change):

Stunning Video: "A Day in Vrndavan"

Check out this stunningly made video, entitled "A Day in Vrndavan".  Produced by Sacinandana Swami and Bhava Films, this eight minute video provides a soul-stirring glimpse into the timeless beauty of this most sacred of lands, Vrndavan.  You are sure to get a few goosebumps watching this beautiful video.