The ISKCON Toronto Blog - News & Events!

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Welcome to the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple's website where you can find the latest exciting news and events at Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre!Keshavhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/04593002396550453200noreply@blogger.comBlogger1196125
Updated: 3 weeks 2 days ago

He's Coming! Ratha-Yatra: Festival of India - July 17-19, 2015

Tue, 2015-07-07 22:54
Srila Prabhupada’s mercy continues to bless and nourish our international movement in a myriad of ways, and the global Ratha-Yatras are indeed a prime example of but one such benediction.  Srila Prabhupada’s grace has transformed the once-rare opportunity to pull the ropes of the beautiful chariots of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva, and Lady Subhadra into an international phenomenon for devotees the world over.

We in Toronto’s Hare Krishna community are exceedingly fortunate to have had the opportunity to present this Ratha-Yatra festival for the past four decades where thousands enjoy the festival amidst the association of great Vaisnavas and ecstatic kirtans.

We would like to humbly invite everyone to join us this year, on July 18th-19th, 2015 for our 43rd Annual Ratha-Yatra here in Toronto.

Festivities will kick off on Friday, July 17th as we celebrate a 12-Hour Kirtan, featuring Madhava Prabhu, Agnideva das, Amala Kirtan das and more!  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 17th 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 has the unique distinction of being accredited by Madhuha das, the organizer of the traveling Festival of India tour, as being the largest Ratha-Yatra in North America with close to 40,000 people in attendance and a veritable plethora of Srila Prabhupada’s books sold 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
  • Internationally-Acclaimed Arts & Entertainment and much more!

Most significantly, Toronto’s Ratha-Yatra presents a unique and wonderful outreach opportunity. Thousands of Torontonians observe the parade as it proceeds down Yonge Street and dance with us when the kirtan reaches its climax in the famous “Toronto Tunnel”.

Immediately following the parade, festival-goers enjoy a kirtan-filled ferry ride over to Centre Island, where celebrations continue for the rest of the weekend. While on Centre Island devotees will be able to enjoy the association of a number of distinguished personalities including: HH Bhaktimarga Swami, HH Candramauli Swami, HG Dravida Prabhu, HH Bhakti Vinod Swami, HG Krsnanadini Prabhu, HG Madhava Prabhu and many more! The Centre Island 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, with kirtan on the streets, underground, and on the water!

We hope to see you at the big event!  Hare Krishna!!!

12 Hour Kirtan - Friday, July 17, 2015 - 10am to 10pm

Tue, 2015-07-07 16:05
Sing & Dance All Day Long  - 12 Hour Kirtan Coming on Friday, July 17, 2015!

It’s that exciting time of the year again and now is the time for you to book a day off work or take leave from school!  But do you know why?  It is because the 12 Hour Kirtan is back and will be happening on Friday, July 17, 2015 from 10:00am to 10:00pm!
We are proud to announce that Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will once again be welcoming back sensational kirtaneer Madhava Prabhu to headline the 12-Hour Kirtan!  Joining him will be Agnideva das, Amala Kirtan das, members of the Mayapuris,  as well as many other kirtaneers from all around the world! 
There is no other better way to prepare for the 43rd Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) than singing and dancing the famous Hare Krsna mantra for 12 straight hours along with other devotees. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family to join the 12-Hour Kirtan with us!  We are very delighted and anxiously looking forward to seeing you there.

Please stays tuned for the kirtan schedule and join your favourite kirtaneer singing the Hare Krsna Maha Mantra!

Help Needed! - Hospitality for Ratha Yatra

Tue, 2015-07-07 16:00
Are you getting ready to host your 43rd annual Ratha Yatra? As the largest 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 radhabhaktidd.cms@gmail.com. Remember, this is your festival - let's show the world how hospitable Torontonians are!

Hare Krishna!

Mastering Yoga of Cooking

Mon, 2015-06-15 20:54
Join us for a three part cooking series and learn how to prepare quick and healthy meals with devotion. These cooking classes will be facilitated by our very own Shashank Prabhu who is a professional chef and has facilitated several cooking classes!
Dates: Friday June 19th, Friday, June 26th and Friday, July 10th 
Timings: 6:30pm - 8:30pm


Part 1: Cutting techniques, Appetizers, Sauces and Soups
Part 2: Entrees
Part 3: Baking

Class Size: 10 people 
Registration: $30 (Some basic equipment will be provided for everybody)

Last Day to Register: June 18th

Since space is limited, at this point we will only accept registrations from devotees who are able to attend all the three classes.

For more information please contact - sparkhi@yahoo.com

Tribute for HG Brahmananda Prabhu this Saturday

Thu, 2015-06-11 23:28
As many devotees of our community may be aware, we were saddened to hear that a senior disciple
of Srila Prabhupada, HG Brahmananda prabhu passed away this past Sunday in Vrindavan, India. Our event on Sunday at Yonge-Dundas Square was dedicated to him and the wonderful service he has done over many years.

This Saturday, June 13, 2015, we will be having a memorial program for HG Brahmananda prabhu after the Srimad Bhagavatam class at 8:15am in the temple room. Further, the Sankirtan team will be going out on the streets for harinam (chanting and dancing on the streets) in Hamilton starting at 9:00am. You can contact the Sankirtan team for more details by emailing toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com .

To read a tribute in honour of HG Brahmananda prabhu, please click here .

Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India) Launch Party - Sunday, June 7th

Thu, 2015-06-04 04:00
Festival of India Launch Party!
Date: Sunday, June 7th, 2015
Time: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Location: Yonge-Dundas Square (southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas)
TTC Subway: Dundas Station

To kick off the official countdown to the 43rd Annual Festival of India, a special day-long launch party will be held at Yonge-Dundas Square. The festival will include a cavalcade of activities, attractions and performances, including live art, vegetarian cooking demonstrations, free yoga classes, a South Asian bazaar, delicious food from Govinda’s, henna tattoos, face-painting, dress-in-a-saree booths, and more.

Also, be sure to stay until the evening to participate in an incredible, interactive mantra concert (kirtan) in which ancient sounds from the east will reverberate and grace Toronto’s busiest corner!

Click Here to Visit the Official Festival of India Website

Two More Chances to Associate with HG Jananivas Prabhu!

Tue, 2015-06-02 12:01
This past weekend, our community was excited to have the entire TOVP team as well as Lord
Nityananda’s shoes and Lord Narasimha’s helmet from Mayapur for a wonderful presentation about the upcoming temple being built there.

The excitement continues as we have two more opportunities to hear from HG Jananivas prabhu starting TODAY - Tuesday, June 2, 2015 starting at 6:30pm. This will be a once in a lifetime opportunity as this will most likely be his first and last trip to our community. Please come hear from one of our most senior pujaris (priests) in ISKCON and his many wonderful stories with Sri Sri Radha Madhava.

You can also hear from HG Jananivas prabhu this Thursday, June 4, 2015 for a special morning Srimad Bhagavatam Class starting at 7:30am. 

Please come with your entire family to participate in these two events that are truly, once in a lifetime!

TOVP Presentation with Special Guests - May 31, 2015

Mon, 2015-05-25 05:00
Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple is excited to share a “once in a lifetime” transcendental opportunity for you and your family!

Our beloved founder, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada desired to establish a massive temple and planetarium that depicts the universe as described in the Vedic scriptures in Mayapur, West Bengal, India.  Particularly, he directed that the planetarium be based on the descriptions given in the Srimad Bhagavatam and other Puranas, as well as the Brahma Samhita.

HG Ambarisa Prabhu is the main Chairman of the entire TOVP project and will be visiting Toronto as one of the few temples that he will personally be visiting in North America. Along with him will be HG Jananivas Prabhu, who has not stepped out of India for 45 years, but has now done so. He has brought with him Lord Nityananda’s shoes and Lord Narasimha’s helmet from Mayapur. Together, they are leading a team of devotees on a tour and ISKCON Toronto will be one of their main stops and we will be welcoming them on Sunday, May 31, 2015 for our weekly Sunday Feast.

We humbly invite you and your families and friends to join us and take full advantage to participate and give full support in this “once in a lifetime” opportunity.  Your generous donations will qualify for a valid Canadian income tax receipt.


Welcoming HG Eklavya das - Sunday, May 24th

Sat, 2015-05-23 00:58
This week, Toronto's Hare Krishna community is excited to welcome HG Eklavya das!  He will be conducting various programs around the GTA and will be conducting the Sunday Feast this upcoming Sunday, May 24th!

Eklavya Das was born in New York City, USA in 1965. By the time he entered the Berklee College of Music in Boston, in 1982 at the age of 19, he had already learned sixteen different instruments and played in orchestras, jazz big bands, brass quartets and rock bands in prestigious venues like New York Carnegie Hall and the Cool Jazz Festival. In 1987, Eklavya received his degree from Berklee College of Music in Recording Engineering and Production.

Eklavya Das joined ISKCON at the age of 26 in Ireland, Europe. At 27, during a meeting in Spain with his spiritual master, His Holiness Lokanath Swami Maharaja, he received the instruction to go to India where he remains based today, in Sri Pandharpur Dhama.

He was appointed, by ISKCON’s highest managerial body, the GBC, to join a team of HH Lokanath Swami Maharaja and HH Janananda Goswami Maharaja in promoting World Holy Name Day all over the world. Eklavya is a well known traveling preacher in the world of international ISKCON visiting USA, France, England, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, Guyana, Trinidad, Russia, Dubai, Oman, Kuwait, Abu Dabi and Sharjah.

Welcoming HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami!

Wed, 2015-05-13 03:28
This week, Toronto's Hare Krishna community is excited to welcome HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami!  He will be conducting various programs around the GTA and will be conducting the Sunday Feast this upcoming Sunday, May 17th!

HH Bhakti Swarupa Caitanya Swami joined ISKCON in 1979.  From 1984-89, he printed and distributed Srila Prabhupada books underground in Russian language.  He served as the temple president in the first temple in former USSR, Kaunas city.  He also served as the regional secretary for Volga and west Siberia regions, in Russia.  Since 1998, Maharaj has since visited Germany, Canada, the United States, Switzerland , South Africa and in Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia Lithuania.  On February 21st, 2015,  His Holiness Bhakti Caitanya Maharaja awarded sannyasa to Maharaj.

Mridanga Meditations - Seminar REGISTER NOW!

Mon, 2015-05-11 08:00
The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is very excited to announce our next Mridanga course! With great success and feedback on our first Mridanga course in January, and a huge demand for another one, it's finally here! This mridanga course is for anyone and everyone - all ages and mridanga playing levels welcome! The course will be taking place over the long weekend of May 15th to 18th, 2015.

The course will be taught by Devala Prabhu, a young, second-generation Hare Krishna youth from Alachua Florida who is a masterful mridanga player. He will be facilitating the course at the temple and everyone is invited.

Course Details: Dates - Friday, May 15th to Monday, May 18th, 2015
Fee - $108 for 4 days (meals included)
Registration - Registration is mandatory and payment must be made before the course date (registration form at the bottom of this post)
Other Notes - please let us know if you will be bringing your own drum or if you need one
Contact - KirtanToronto@gmail.com
                 Nipun at (647)466-7735

REGISTER NOW http://goo.gl/forms/2PP5UB8wOS

Welcoming HG Kratu das this Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mon, 2015-05-04 12:05
This Sunday, Kratu das, a special guest will be speaking at our weekly Sunday Feast this Sunday, May 10, 2015.   Kratu das joined the Hare Krishna movement in 1970. It was right here in Toronto, in 1976, that he met Srila Prabhupada, and took initiation from him.

Since then, he has been traveling extensively around the world and sharing his realizations about bhakti-yoga. This Sunday, he will be giving the class at our Sunday Feast. We encourage you to come out to hear from Kratu das at the Sunday Feast!

Sweet Rice Festival - Decorate & Offer a Pot of Sweet Rice!

Wed, 2015-04-22 16:54
On Sunday May 3, 2015 we will celebrate our Sweet Rice Festival for the second time! This festival will be filled with many festivities including a dramatic presentation by our very own HH Bhaktimarga Swami.






This year, you also have the chance of offering a pot of sweet rice personally to our Deities! Come see us at our Sunday Feast this weekend and purchase a clay pot that you can decorate and bring back on Sunday, May 3 during the Sweet Rice Festival to be offered to the Deities on your behalf.

If you have any questions, please email us at info@torontokrishna.com .

2nd Annual Sweet Rice Festival - Sunday, May 3

Wed, 2015-04-22 16:46
Our beautiful and beloved Deities, Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha, have been the heart and soul of our Hare Krishna Centre for over 40 years. Actually, Srila Prabhupada named our Deities in Toronto after a famous Deity of the same name in the beautiful and ancient city of Remuna, India.

Ksira means "sweet rice" and chora means "thief".  So, the name "Ksira-Chora" translates into, "one who steals sweet rice".  This famous Deity of Lord Krishna in Remuna was given this name after an incredible incident which occurred hundreds of years ago wherein the Deity actually stole a small pot of sweet rice for his devotee, Madhavendra Puri.

Madhavendra Puri, a great 14 century saint in our lineage, had visited the ancient temple in Remuna and saw the priests (pujaris) offering small pots of sweet rice to the Deity. In his heart, he desired to taste the sweet rice so that he could create a similar preparation for his personal worship of his own Deity.  Seeing the genuine sincerity in his heart, the Deity of the temple secretly hid one of the earthen pots of sweet rice offered every night and then appeared in the dream of the priest (pujari) and instructed him to locate the hidden pot and give it to Madhavendra Puri.  In this way, the legend grew of the Gopinatha Deity which stole sweet rice for his devotee and thus Deity became known as "Ksira-Chora Gopinatha"!

Many may not know this, but since our Deities were given their name in the early 1970s, sweet rice has been offered on our altar every day!  On Sunday May 3, 2015, we are celebrating an annual festival called the "Sweet Rice Festival" that began last year. We will be honouring Madhavendra Puri's appearance day on this day along with relishing the wonderful story of Ksira-Chora Gopinatha! We will also have a dramatic presentation by HH Bhaktimarga Swami, which you do not want to miss!

We hope to see you all there! Learn about our fun initiative that everyone can participate in by offering a personal pot of sweet rice to our Deities - click here for more information!

Narsimha Caturdasi Celebrations - May 2, 2015

Sun, 2015-04-19 17:35
Festival season continues with Narsimha Caturdasi on Saturday, May 2, 2015. This festival marks the appearance day of Lord Narsimhadeva, Krishna's half-man half-lion incarnation who appeared in order to protect the saintly child Prahlada who was being tormented by his father, Hiranyakashipu.

Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre will be celebrating Narsimha Caturdasi, starting at 6pm and will include a discourse from our special guest HG Rohini Priya das,  an abhisheka (bathing ceremony) and amazing kirtan!

Schedule (subject to change):

6:00pm - 6:30pm: Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm - 6:40pm: Welcome and Announcements
6:40pm - 7:30pm: Discourse on Lord Narsimhadeva by HG Rohini Priya das
7:30pm - 8:00pm: Abhisheka (Bathing Ceremony)
8:00pm - 8:30pm: Kirtan (Arati)
8:30pm - onwards: Vegetarian Feast
**ekadashi feast (feast without grains and legumes) will be provided**

Come join us for a special weekend with MORE festivities on the following day!

Ratha-Yatra Launch Date! April 19, 2015

Thu, 2015-04-16 19:00
With warmer weather (hopefully) approaching, the excitement surrounding the 43rd Annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) will be growing as each day passes!  On Sunday, April 19, 2015 will mark the official launch of the countdown to this year's festival! The program will begin at 4:30 pm with a special fire sacrifice to invoke auspiciousness for this year's Festival of India.

The program will be as follows (subject to change):
4:00pm to 5:45pm - Special Yajna (Fire Sacrifice)
5:45pm to 6:00pm - Tulasi Arati
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 6:40pm - Welcome & Announcements
6:40pm to 7:30pm - Festival of India Presentation
7:30pm to 8:00pm - Free Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)

Kitchen Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Shows

Thu, 2015-04-09 21:00
After a very cold winter, that special time of the year has arrived. With clear skies, sunshine and warm cool breezes greeting you, spring has arrived!  With the warmer weather comes lots of opportunities to render service to our beautiful Deities, Sri Sri Radha Ksira Chora Gopinatha.

For starters, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is participating in two very large conventions and shows where we serve 1000+ plates of prasadam (spiritualized, delicious vegetarian meals) for three days, nonstop.

The first show is The Yoga Show and Conference, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from April 10-12th, 2015 and is just around the corner!  The next show is the Total Health Show, also taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from April 17-19th, 2015.  These two weekends are going to be some of our busier weekends in temple kitchen!

Over the years these shows and expos have been very successful and thousands of people of varying backgrounds come to visit our “Govinda’s” booth to taste sumptuous vegetarian delights!

However, all of this success comes only with team work and hard work.  Over the years, many volunteers have participated in this event in numerous ways. These massive shows require a lot of team work in the kitchen, doing intense but fun loving service. If you are interested in being one of the many volunteers and curious to know more about being part of this wonderful outreach program, please fill out the form below and we will be in touch with you very soon!

You can also feel free to contact Kanaad Prabhu at (647) 299-9903 or by emailing him.

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Morning Class with Devamrita Swami - Apr 11th

Wed, 2015-04-08 20:00
On Saturday, April 11, 2015, the Toronto Hare Krishna temple will welcome HH Devamrita Swami for a special morning class which will take place from 7:45am to 9:00am.  Devamrita Swami will be giving a special morning class on the topic of: "Bhakti-bhava: The Emotional Dynamics of a Devotee" which will feature topics including:

  • the future for your heart and its longings in bhakti
  • can you train your emotions how to feel?
  • the psychology of insecurity and insufficiency
  • the battle with the envy monster

****Breakfast prasadam will be served afterwards****

About Devamrita Swami
Devamrita Swami took initiation in 1974 from Srila Prabhupada and devoted his life to sharing his guru’s teachings, distributing his books and serving at the BBT. In 1982 Devamrita Swami took sannyas initiation and in 2002 began serving as an initiating spiritual master in ISKCON.

A member of ISKCON’s governing body since 2001 he has occupied the responsible posts of GBC vice chairman and later, chairman. His current regional responsibilities include Australia and New Zealand, as well as South Africa, Brazil and the Gita-nagari Farm Project in Pennsylvania. Beyond those areas of spiritual leadership, he travels far and wide, especially in North America, Europe and India.

Please come and grab this opportunity to hear from Devamrita Swami - a world renowned teacher in the Krishna Consciousness movement.

The Story of the Arrival of Our Deities!

Wed, 2015-04-01 12:13
The presiding Deities of the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple are Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha (Radha Krishna), Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai and Sri Sri Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra.  Everything we do in our temple is a just a humble offering to the Lord and our Deities are the heart of our temple!  Below, you can find the latest pictures of our beautiful Deities, information about darshan times and even the stories about how our Deities arrived in Toronto!

We've recently updated the page on our website dedicated to our Deities and we've added stories about how our Deities arrived to our beautiful temple!  Check out our new "Our Deities" page by clicking here!

Deity Darshan: Rama Navami 2015

Wed, 2015-04-01 06:00
Darshan of Their Lordships on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami (Saturday, March 28th, 2015), the appearance day of Lord Ramachandra.

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Posted by ISKCON Toronto: The Hare Krishna Centre on Tuesday, 31 March 2015