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 5, 2017

New Location for Ratha-Yatra - July 14-16, 2017

We would like to humbly invite everyone to join us this year, from July 14th-16th, 2017 for our 45th Annual Ratha-Yatra here in Toronto.

As the whole city has noticed, the Toronto Islands have flooded due to the high amounts of rain this spring and summer.  The city has closed the Toronto Islands, including Centre Island, to the public until at least August 1st.  For this reason, our festival will now be taking place at a beautiful new park called Sherbourne Common (more information below)!

Festivities will kick off on Friday, July 14th as we celebrate a 12-Hour Kirtan, featuring Madhava Prabhu, Agnideva Dasa, Amala Kirtan Dasa, Jahnavi Jivana Devi Dasi and more (see below)!  We will be blowing the roof off New Remuna Dhama (ISKCON Toronto) with this 12-hour kirtan marathon.  Once again, the special event is planned for Friday, July 14th from 10:00am to 10:00pm. This kirtan event is not to be missed!

Of course, this precedes the big weekend!  Toronto’s Ratha-Yatra is one of the largest Ratha-Yatras in North America with tens of thousands of people in attendance each year!

Some of the unique features of Toronto’s Ratha-Yatra include:
  • A Parade Right Through Downtown Toronto
  • A “Bhajan Kutir” with Non-Stop Kirtan
  • “Yoga Meltdown” – A Mini Yoga Festival
  • Live Cooking Demonstrations
  • Arts & Culture Showcase and much more!
Immediately following the parade, festival-goers will be able to attend the two-day festivities at Sherbourne Common, a beautiful new park right at the waterfront and which is a short walk from the end of the parade.  The main festival-pavilion will also host a children’s area featuring fun and wholesome, Vedic-themed activities and events.  All in all, Toronto's Ratha-Yatra will offer everyone a chance to experience a unique festival promoting simple-living and high-thinking!

Pictures of Sherbourne Common (New Festival Location):

Don't Miss the 12-Hour Kirtan - Friday, July 14, 2017

Harinama Eva Kevalam

The much awaited annual pre-Rathayatra 12-Hour Kirtan is just sround the corner!  Featuring kirtan leaders from around the world, this is certainly a day not to be missed!  Being held on Friday July 14th from 10am - 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.

World renowned kirtanyas will be descending on Toronto from around the world, including Madhava Prabhu from Switzerland, Agnideva Dasa from the West Indies, Amala Kirtan Dasa from Brazil, Jahnavi Jivana Devi Dasi from the United Kingdom and many more! Make sure you come early as your favourite kirtanya might be chanting earlier than you expect!

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

Help Needed! - Hospitality for Ratha-Yatra

Are you getting excited for our community to host the 45th Annual Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India)? As the largest of it's kind in North America, our festival draws people from around the world. To that end, we need some help! Specifically:
  • Airport drop offs / pick ups during the week of the festival
  • Donations to the temple of bedding, fans, and air fresheners
  • Hosts for visiting devotees 
If you're able to help, please email Remember, this is your festival - let's show the world how hospitable Torontonians are!  Hare Krishna!

Donate to Help Support the Ratha-Yatra Festival!

With the official countdown on to the 45th Annual Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India), excitement is building for the grand event which will be taking place from July 14-16, 2017.

There are plenty of ways for you to get involved to support the festival. Our hope is to make this year’s festival the biggest ever! One of the biggest features is the free vegetarian feast at Sherbourne Common and to serve the tens of thousands of people, we need an abundant amount of spices, vegetables, dry goods and more! It is through your generous donations that we can make this year's festival the most memorable. You can also sponsor various elements of the festival or just make a general donation.

How Can You Donate?

  • Online using the donate button on our website (located on the right hand side of the page).
  • Contact Satyabhama Devi Dasi via email or (416) 414-4123.
  • Visit our temple at 243 Avenue Road and make your donation to our front desk volunteer at anytime.
  • Click here to download a fundraising form to ask your friends and family to contribute Festival of India!

"Your Ever Well Wisher" Viewing - July 7, 2017

The Hare Krishna Temple would like to invited eveyrone to a special screening of Srila Prabhupada’s biography, “Your Ever Well Wisher”, this Friday, July 7, 2017 at 6:30pm in the temple.

Please come and witness the love and dedication Srila Prabhupada put in the order of his spiritual master and see the struggle he endured as he single handedly spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world for the benefit of all of us. 

Video: Snana-Yatra Festivities

On Sunday, July 2, 2017, the Hare Krishna Temple celebrated Snana-Yatra.  Snana-Yatra is a wonderful festival, wherein Deities of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Lady Subhadra are bathed amidst amazing kirtan and chanting!  After the bathing ceremony (Snana-Yatra), Lord Jagannātha becomes "sick". He is therefore removed to His private quarters, where no one can see Him until the grand Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India) festival!

Special thanks to Sathi Prabhu for capturing the event!  Check out the video from the festival below:

Video: Canada Day Harinama (Outdoor Chanting)

On Saturday, July 1, 2017 the entire country was celebrating the 150th birthday of Canada!  The Hare Krishna Temple did it's own version of celebrations by having an amazing harinama (outdoor chanting) right in downtown.  Dressed in Canadian red and white colours, the smiling devotees brought music, dance and joy to the streets of Toronto!

Special thanks to Sathi Prabhu for capturing the event!  Check out the video below:

Cooking for Krishna - Stuffed & Baked Eggplant

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple has started a new online cooking series called "Cooking for Krishna" wherein delectable dishes from famous Hare Krishna cookbooks will be lovingly prepared and shown in a step-by-step fashion.  This series is presented by one of our very nice devotees of our Toronto Hare Krishna community, Lyudmila Mataji.  We hope you enjoy!  Please leave your comments below!

Cooking for Krishna - Stuffed & Baked Eggplant
Prepared By: Lyudmila Tamahina
Preparation and Cooking Time: 35 - 45 minutes
Yield: 8 stuffed eggplant halves

Today's recipe is from the famous Hare Krishna Cookbook, "Cooking with Kurma" by Kurma Dasa and can be found on page 71.  You can pick up your copy of this amazing book at the temple!

Step One - Ingredients:
  • 4 medium- sized eggplants, about 750 g
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon (2ml) yellow asafetida powder
  • 2 cups (500 ml) fresh tomato puree
  • ½ cups (125 ml) tomato paste
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) packed fresh basil leaves, about ¼ large bunch basil, chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) salt 
  • 1 tablespoon (20 ml) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2ml) freshly-ground black pepper 
  • ¾ cup (185 ml) parmesan cheese 
  • 1 ½-2 cups (375-500 ml) breadcrumbs 
  • 2 tablespoons (400 ml) reserved parmesan cheese 

Step Two:
  • Cut the eggplants in half, lengthwise. 
  • Place them in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, and boil them for 5-7 minutes  or until they are tender enough for their flesh to be spooned out. 
  • Remove and drain the eggplant halves.

Step Three:
  • With a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the eggplants, being careful to allow a little flesh around the narrow neck of the eggplant to remain intact. This will ensure that the eggplant shell does not collapse and lose its shape.
  • Set the shell of the eggplant aside.
  • Chop the eggplant flesh, squeeze out liquid

Step Four:
  • Place the olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. When hot sprinkle the yellow asafetida powder, then drop in the chopped eggplant flesh. Fry stirring for 6-8 min. 
  • Pour in tomato puree, stir in the tomato paste, basil, salt, sugar, black pepper. Reduce the heat slightly and stirring often, cook the mixture for another 5 or 6 minutes or until fairly thick and reduced. 

Step Five:
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cheese and ½ cups (635 ml) of the breadcrumbs. 
  • The mixture should now be thick . Add a little extra breadcrumbs if required. 

Step Six:
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 ℃/390 °F. Spoon the mixtures into the eggplant shells, packing and piling it up until all the filling is used. Sprinkle the reserved cheese on top, place the eggplants on an oiled baking sheet or in a casserole dish and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Step Seven:
  • Serve Krsna first!

Step Eight:
  • Serve hot or warm.
  • Bon Appétit

Bhaktimarga Swami's Walk Across the USA

Since 2016, our resident "swami" and spiritual guide for our Canadian Hare Krishna communities, Bhaktimarga Swami has been taking on the valiant task of walking across the United States of America. Known famously as "The Walking Monk", Bhaktimarga Swami has walked across Canada four times and has been spending several months at a time since 2016 walking across the USA.  During his most recent leg of the trek, which took him across parts of the western United States, Maharaj garnered some attention from the media!  Check it out below!  You can read the latest from Maharaj's diary entries by checking out his blog!

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.