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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Diwali and Govardhana Puja This Weekend!

7:26:00 PM By Kevala-Bhakti Dasa (Keshav) , , , , , , , 2 comments

The weekend is almost here and it will certainly be a special one at Toronto's Hare Krishna temple! On Saturday, October 17th, we will be celebrating Diwali and on the following day, October 18th, we will celebrate Govardhana Puja!


The story of Diwali stems back to ancient times when inhabitants of Ayodhya celebrated the return of Lord Ramachandra. Lord Rama was in exile, away from His kingdom, for many years. The joyful day on which He finally returned is observed as Diwali, or Dipavali (“dipa” means candles, and “vali” means numerous.)

The day after Diwali is referred to as Annakuta, or Govardhana Puja. On this day the inhabitants of Vrindavan (Lord Krishna’s abode on Earth) would hold a harvest festival in honour of King Indra, the demigod who provided the rains essential for the harvest. One day, however, Lord Krishna wanted to teach Indra a lesson. He convinced the inhabitants of Vrindavan to honor Govardhana Hill instead, whose fertile soil provided the grass upon which the cows and bulls grazed, and to honour the cows and bulls who provided milk and ploughed the lands.

Outraged, Indra retaliated with terrifying thunderstorms. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, calmly lifted Govardhana Hill with the little finger of his left hand. For seven days and seven nights the Lord held up Govardhana Hill, providing a giant umbrella to shelter the inhabitants of Vrindavan from the torrential rain.

The weekend will be busy with wonderful celebrations on both days! Saturday evening will feature some special festivities in honour of Diwali and Sunday's festival will feature a grand "Govardhana Hill" made entirely of sweets in the middle of the temple room!

Diwali Celebrations will be as follows (subject to change):
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Arati
6:30pm to 6:50pm - Damodarastakam Prayers - everyone will be given a chance to offer lamp during this time.
6:50pm to 7:00pm - Welcome and Announcements
7:00pm to 7:30pm - Class on Diwali
7:30pm to 8:00pm - Welcoming Lord Rama Back to Ayodhya!!!
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Arati
8:30pm - Prasadam

Govardhana Puja Celebrations will be as follows (subject to change):
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Arati
6:30pm to 6:50pm - Damodarastakam Prayers
6:50pm to 7:00pm - Welcome and Announcements
7:00pm to 7:10 - Unveiling of Final set of New Temple Room Paintings
7:10pm to 7:40 - Class on Govardhana Puja
7:40pm to 8:00pm - Special Interactive Presentation!
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Arati
8:30pm - Prasadam

To learn more about the story of Diwali, please enjoy this small video which is a shortened version of the presentation that took place during last year's Diwali celebrations.


2 comments:

Rishi said...

6:30pm to 6:50pm - Damodarastakam Prayers - everyone will be given a chance to offer lamp during this time.


Whats the Lamp?

Keshav said...

By "lamp", we mean "dhiya" or small candle. It is customary on Diwali to light a small ghee-lamp on Diwali, so we will be having small tea lights for everyone to offer at each altar. We hope it helps make the Diwali celebrations a bit more special. :-)