Fresh off larger-than-life festivities for Gaura Purnima mere days before, Toronto's Hare Krishna temple held Holi celebrations on Sunday, March 15th, 2009. A festival filled with colour and kirtan welcomed devotees as the temple filled to capacity, yet again, for another fun-filled festival.
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, March 16, 2009
7:17:00 AM By Kevala-Bhakti Dasa (Keshav) bhajan, darshan, deities, festival, kirtan, pictures, program, sunday feast 3 comments
Celebrations kicked off with the 6:00pm arati and it only took a quick glance around the temple room to sense the buzz in the air that comes during festival celebrations. After an exuberant opening kirtan, devotees settled in for a class by HG Praharna devi dasi about the spiritual context of Holi. Telling stories from scripture, the captive audience heard of the many wonderful pastimes associated with Holi, including the protecting of the child devotee Prahlad from the evil Holika.
After the wonderful class, the assembled devotees were treated to two classical dance numbers by local youth member, Tara. After an introductory dance, Tara performed a number which relayed the many pastimes of Lord Krishna. The riveted audience erupted into a huge round of applause after the performance!
As explained during the class by Praharna devi dasi, in Manipur, India on the occasion of Holi, devotees travel from home to home performing sankirtan (chanting and dancing). With that as an inspiration, the next part of the program proved to be a real treat for devotees. A palanquin carrying deities of Sri Sri Gaura Nitai were taken around the temple room accompanied by a soulful kirtan led by Dhira Grahi das. The palanquin first stopped in front of Srila Prabhupada where some of our many local Prabhupada disciples offered flowers to the Deities on behalf of Srila Prabhupada. The Deities were then carried around the temple room, stopping in front of each of the three altars.
Once the procession was completed, the focus shifted on the kirtan and, with the temple room in darkness, coloured spotlights began to flash off and on. A fog machine was let loose to help build more atmosphere and, as the kirtan built up to a climax right before the 8:00pm arati, the lights suddenly came on and six confetti canons were set off from the balcony, filling the temple room with colour! The evening concluded with a raucous 8:00pm arati led by Ajamila das and an incredible vegetarian feast!
During the weeks leading up to Holi celebrations, we asked that devotees not bring coloured powder to the temple as, when thrown, it makes a big mess and is difficult to clean up. Devotees were then promised that if they left the coloured powder at home, they would get to experience a colourful festival that would do justice to Holi! With an electric and colourful atmosphere, the smiles found on the faces of so many devotees on Sunday evening seemed to be prove that celebrations had passed that test... with flying colours, no less!
View Picture Gallery from Holi Celebrations Below: