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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

ISKCON Toronto Celebrates Diwali

12:21:00 AM By Kevala-Bhakti Dasa (Keshav) , , , , , No comments

With a temple room as large as ours, it may seem impossible to create intimacy and ambiance! However, with the house lights turned down and the dramatic spotlights in use, the atmosphere can suddenly be changed! With a festive mood. a packed temple celebrated Diwali at New Remuna Dhama, ISKCON Toronto, this past Sunday.

During the four Sundays of Kartik, ISKCON Toronto is presenting an ongoing theme of lila (pastimes) or, more specifically, Worshiping the Lord Through His Lila.

Beginning last week with an introduction to Damodara lila, Diwali celebrations focused on the lila of Lord Rama's triumphant return to Ayodhya. The next two weeks will feature presentations which continue our theme of approaching Lord Krsna through His lila. (hint: next week will revisit a famous pastime with Krsna and a hill)

Festivities kicked off with a rousing kirtan during the 6:00pm arati, led by Dhira Grahi das. The assembled devotees were then led in the weekly singing of the Damodarastakam. With the lights turned down and images of baby Krsna being projected, the mood created was one of bliss and serenity.

HH Bhaktimarga Swami then gave a wonderful class as he continued the series of lectures during this month that analyze two verses of the Damodarastakam each Sunday. Maharaj spoke about the beauty of Lord Krsna's pastimes as a small child and how the month of Kartik, being such a special time of year, provides devotees with an opportunity to glorify this enamouring form of Krsna as a little child.

Attendees were then in for a special treat. Maharaj conducted a dramatic reading of Lord Rama's triumphant return to Ayodhya. Maharaj's dramatic reading was accompanied by live bamboo flute and harmonium. The atmosphere created was amazing as devotees dove deep into the reading!

The evening concluded with a rousing kirtan that had the walls shaking! Devotees danced to their hearts content and then enjoyed a sumptuous prasadam feast after. Govardhana Puja is next and will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 29th! See you there!