The ISKCON Toronto Blog - News & Events!
Like a River is the title track from the debut album of Jahnavi Harrison, 'Like a River to the Sea', released on July 24th 2015.
The track features a refrain from the Govinda Damodara Stotram by medieval saint-poet, Srila Bilvamangala Thakur and is a meditation on protecting sacred environments internally and externally.
Written, composed and arranged by Jahnavi Harrison and Gauravani Buchwald.
If you and your family feel inclined, you are welcome to bring a gift for Their Lordships. We will be posting a link to an official gift registry in the coming days! Stay tuned!
A humble request is that all gift items be new as gifts will be placed on the altar and will be unwrapped and shown to the Deities during the program. Of course, donations of any kind are always warmly accepted! For festival sponsorship information contact us.
- Are you already familiar with some of the foundational texts and practices of bhakti, and want to systematically study AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada's books?
- Are you seeking quality association with devotees from various backgrounds and experience levels?
- Do you feel the need to deepen your connection with Krishna, and to broaden your understanding of his instructions?
- Are you looking for a real spiritual immersion and transformation, without changing your external circumstances?
If yes, please come and learn more about the Bhakti Sastri Course. The Bhakti Sastri program is designed for systematic study of 4 very prominent scriptures - Bhagavad Gita, Nectar of Instruction, Nectar of Devotion and Sri Isopanishad. The sessions will be facilitated by devotees who have completed the Bhakti Sastri and Teachers Training. In addition, we will also have some sessions facilitated by visiting devotees.
To register for the course please fill this form. There will be a nominal suggested registration fees to assist with the printing costs and other supplies.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Please help share this message with other devotees who may be interested.
ISKCON Toronto Education Department
The Town Hall will begin with a small presentation from the ISKCON Toronto Temple Council, highlighting the successes, challenges and financial developments over the last several months. After this, we will open up the dialogue to our entire community to share their thoughts, dreams, concerns and suggestions about how we can continue to grow our temple and community.
Please accept this as a warm invitation for you to come and attend our Town Hall. We continue to host these Town Halls every three months in an attempt to increase the communication between the temple management and our dear congregation.
If you are unable to make it to the Town Hall, but would like to share some ideas, suggestions or feedback, please feel free to fill out our form by clicking here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the Temple Council's website at templecouncil.torontokrishna.com.
We hope to see you on Sunday, September 27, 2015 - please feel free to pass along this warm invitation to your devotee friends! Hare Krishna!
The ISKCON Toronto Temple Council
Festival Report by: Smruthi Venkateshan
Recordings by: Hitesh Patel
Pictures by: Sahil Srivastava
On Saturday, September 5th, the Hare Krishna Temple celebrated the biggest birthday bash of the year, Sri Krishna Janmastami. This is one of the most auspicious days in the Vaishnava calendar as it marks the birthday of Lord Sri Krishna.
As the guests started pouring in from all over the Greater Toronto Area, the festivities began with more enthusiasm than ever before. In the evening there were many performances, bhajans and lectures given by many devotees. During the festivities a beautiful abhisheka (bathing ceremony of small Deities) was performed with an ecstatic kirtan by the Radha Murari group from ISKCON Scarborough. Following the abhisheka, Bhaktimarga Swami put on a brilliant play highlighting all the wonderful qualities of Lord Krishna. All the performers received rave reviews from the audience with a thunderous applause.
The mood was set and all the devotees were eager to see their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha for the annual tradition of the special midnight darshan! When the clock struck midnight, the doors opened to reveal the gorgeous Deities of Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha, decorated in their dazzling flower outfits! All those gathered enjoyed this joyous occasion by popping balloons, having a shower of flowers and singing their hearts out for the kirtan.
This was truly the biggest birthday bash of the year, and it is marked by the excitement that still lingers in the air. Hare Krishna!
Recordings of Kirtans from Janmastami:
Pictures from the Festival:
The festival is the annual Veg Food Fest, taking place at Harbourfront Centre from September 11-13, 2015. This weekend will be very busy in the 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.
Festivities will be filled with kirtan, bhajans, discourses and more! On Saturday, the highlight of the evening is the countdown to midnight! The momentum builds as the abhisheka (bathing ceremony) is performed and the Temple is filled with wonderful rocking kirtan, at the stroke of midnight, the Deity doors will open and their Lordships Sr Sri
Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha will be revealed in a stunning flower outfit! It is truly a festival NOT to be missed!
On Saturday, September 5th, free indoor parking will be available for festival attendees, located on Pears Avenue, a 2-3 minute walk from the temple.
Friday, September 4, 2015:
- 3:00pm to 9:00pm - 6-Hour Kirtan
Saturday, September 5, 2015 (subject to change):
- 6:00pm - 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
- 6:30pm - 6:45pm - Welcome & Announcements
- 6:45pm - 7:15pm - Class "Become Fearless by Understanding the Bhagavad-Gita"
- 7:15pm - 7:30pm - Verse Recitation by Children
- 7:30pm - 8:00pm - Drama by Krishna Fun School Children
- 8:00pm - 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
- 8:30pm - 9:00pm - Class "Srila Prabhupada's Relevance - 50 years Later"
- 9:00pm - 9:30pm - Presentation
- 9:30pm - 10:15pm - Donor Abhisheka
- 10:15pm - 11:00pm - Drama by HH Bhaktimarga Swami
- 11:00pm - 12:00pm - Abhisheka
- 12:00am - 12:45am - Special Darshan and Midnight Arati
- 12:45am - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)
- Maha Abhishek: $401 - A rare opportunity to personally bathe Sri Sri Radha Krishna with auspicious liquids (water from seven holy rivers as well as panchamrita - a mixture of ghee, yogurt, milk, honey and sugar). Sponsors will get to take home their decorative Kalasha (pot) and puja thali (worship plate).
- Feast Sponsorship:
- Gold $1500
- Silver $1000
- Bronze $500 (10 spots available)
- Festival Flowers:
- Gold: $1500
- Silver $1000
- Festival Deity Garlands: $750
- Deity Dress: $1500 each altar; all thee altars: $4500
- Platinum Festival Sponsorship: $10008 (complete festival)
- Midnight Arati: $108
- Mangal Arati: $51
- Decorations/Flowers: $500
- Cake: $500
- Gopal Swing & Decorations: $ 1008
- Srila Prabhupada Appearance Day Feast:
- Morning $501
- Evening $501
- Cake $200
For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact email@example.com
The schedules for both days will be posted soon!
The Vyasa Puja festival is always held the day after Janmastami and the festival honours the appearance of our spiritual master His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada - Founder Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.
The program will begin at 11:00am with an abhisheka of Srila Prabhupada (bathing ceremony of a small Deity of Srila Prabhupada) and will continue with the arati, flower offerings (pushpanjali) and the reading of pre-written offerings from devotees in our community. It is encouraged for everyone to write their own offering by submitting it online (click here) or writing your offering on pre-printed pages available at the temple.
The schedule is as follows (subject to change):
11:00am - 11:45am: Abhisheka11:45am - 12:00am: Offering12:00pm - 12:30pm: Arati12:30pm - 1:30pm: Reading of Offerings
We hope to see everyone at this very important and sweet festival!
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
The appearance day of Srila Prabhupada is a very special occasion for all ISKCON devotees. Srila Prabhupada appeared on Nandotsava – the day that Nanda Maharaja had a big festival to celebrate the birth of Lord Krsna (Sri Krsna Janmastami). This year, Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasa Puja falls on Sunday, September 6th, 2015 and celebrations will be from 11am-3pm at ISKCON Toronto and will continue through to the Sunday Feast (6pm to 9pm).
This day is known as Vyasa Puja because the spiritual master is a representative of Srila Vyasadeva who is the author of the Srimad Bhagavatam. Vyasa Puja offerings are made by devotees who write and present personal messages to the spiritual master. The Governing Body Commission (GBC) for ISKCON has stated that every devotee in ISKCON should write an offering to Srila Prabhupada on Vyasa Puja.
We would like to encourage all devotees in our community to write a personal letter, in the form of an offering to Srila Prabhupada for this year’s festival and, to further facilitate this process, we will be making a special ISKCON Toronto Vyasa Puja Book for 2015. This book will be presented to Srila Prabhupada on the day of Vyasa Puja. Following the program, the book will be on display for devotees to read all the offerings by devotees of our community. Please note – doe to time constraints during the festival, we will not be able to have everyone read out their offerings during the main festivities. However, devotees are welcome to privately do so before or after the festival.
In order to facilitate this whole process, pre-printed pages have been prepared and we are asking devotees to hand write offerings onto these specially-designed pages. The maximum length of the offering is one page per person. If you wish to type your offering, you can use our Vyasa Puja online form at: http://tinyurl.com/SPOfferings2015 (form is also embedded below) - typed offerings must be emailed by 8:00am on September 6th. We will print out these offerings for you.
The hand-written offerings can be submitted in person at the temple, in the designated drop box, up until 11:00am on September 6th. Hand written offerings are encouraged.
We humbly encourage you to please take this opportunity to honour Srila Prabhupada with a personal offering! Hare Krsna!
The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple
Guidelines for Your Written Offering:
- Write your offering in the mood of a personal letter to Srila Prabhupada. Write in a style as if you are addressing Srila Prabhupada directly (e.g. “Srila Prabhupada, it is by your mercy that I have come to Krsna consciousness.”)
- The Vyasa Puja offering is meant for glorifying the spiritual master. So offerings need to be made in that mood and not be used as a platform for airing one's grievances.
- You may wish to read the previous year’s Vyasa Puja offerings made to Srila Prabhupada by various senior devotees around ISKCON. It may give you some ideas of how to express yourself. These can be found here: http://prabhupada.krishna.com/homages
- It is a courtesy to start your offering with Srila Prabhupada’s pranama mantras; we have already printed these onto the official pages. A suggested opening is as follows: “Dear Srila Prabhupada, Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to you on this auspicious occasion of your Vyasa Puja.”
- The main content of the offering should glorify the role that Srila Prabhupada is playing in your life as well as express your indebtedness to him. You may also include reports about your spiritual growth, how you are meeting challenges and how you are carrying out his orders.
- To end the offering it would be nice to show one’s appreciation and desire to please, by some nice phrase such as “Your Humble Servant” or something similar.
- If you have any questions, concerns or challenges, feel free to write to us at SPofferings@torontokrishna.com
- Please note, the temple reserves the right to not publish an offering if it is deemed inappropriate.
Submission Requirements and Deadlines
- Hand-written offerings must be submitted no later than 11:00am at ISKCON Toronto on Sunday, September 6, 2015
- Typed offerings must be submitted via http://tinyurl.com/SPOfferings2015 (form is also embedded below) no later than 8:00am on Sunday, September 6, 2015
With any big festival, it requires the help of many to help out to ensure it is a wonderful festival for all. If you have an hour to spare or even the whole day, please sign up to volunteer your time and efforts on this very auspicious weekend.
To sign up, please fill out the form below with your availability and we will get back to you!
The festival will kick off with a special Monthly Sankirtan Festival (MSF) by taking our spiritual books and sharing with others on the streets of Toronto! Our enthusiastic team will leave at 1:00pm from the temple. Please join us for what will be a bright sankirtan outing!
The main festival at the temple will begin at 6:00pm with kirtan and arati and will be followed by an enlivening discourse given by our special guest, HG Narayani devi dasi. Then, we will continue with our annual tradition by having our Sixth Annual Balarama Bake Off with a little twist this year. Stay tuned for this very sweet tradition!
Everyone during the festival will also be able to take part in the Jhulan Yatra Festival. A specially decorated swing will be arranged by the devotees for Sri Sri Radha and Krishna to sit and and accept the flower offerings from the devotees. Please join the festival and get a rare chance to personally swing their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Krishna.
And remember, Balarama's Appearance day only begins the countdown to the BIGGEST Birthday Bash of the year as we celebrate Sri Krishna Janmastami on Saturday, September 5, 2015. Please mark your calendars and join us in creating a spiritually charged Krishna Conscious long-weekend. More information about what to expect will be coming your way soon!
The Krishna FunSkool (Sunday evening weekly classes conducted at the temple) has a new session starting on Sunday, September 13 for children 4-12 years. For more information and registration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kizoa slideshow: Summer Kids Camp - Slideshow
Lord Lord Krishna’s Grand Birthday Celebrations will be taking place on Saturday, September 5th, 2015! Stay tuned for a more information on the festivities! There are many ways you can participate, see our sponsorship opportunities below:
Maha Abhishek: $451A rare opportunity to personally bathe Sri Sri Radha Krishna with auspicious liquids (water from seven holy rivers as well as panchamrita - a mixture of ghee, yogurt, milk, honey and sugar). Sponsors will get to take home their decorative Kalasha (pot) and puja thali (worship plate).
Feast Sponsorship:Gold $1500 Silver $1000 Bronze $750
Festival Flowers: Gold: $1500 Silver $1000
Festival Deity Garlands: $750
Deity Dress: $1500 each altar; all thee altars: $4500
Platinum Festival Sponsorship: $10008 (complete festival)
For more information please contact email@example.com
Stay tuned for a more information on the grand festivities!
This course will cover several important aspects, including:
- The importance of accepting initiation in disciplic succcession
- Srila Prabhupada's special position
- How to select a spiritual master
- Relationships in a multi-guru environment
- Parallel lines of authority and much more...
The course will be facilitated by HG Laxmimoni devi dasi, who is a senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada. She has been involved in ISKCON educational projects since 1974. Now, she is a member of the GBC Ministry of Educational Development and a GBC Deputy.
We kindly ask anyone who is interested in attending to please fill out a preliminary registration form by clicking here.
annual Summer Kids Camp, which is happening this year from August 4-7th (Tuesday - Friday every day).
You can register for any number of days! As always we have lots of fun activities planned out with sumptuous prasadam (vegetarian meansl) for all the children.
The registration is $25 per day or $75 for all 4 days. You can pre-register your child by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by clicking here for the registration form.
Dates: Tuesday August 4 - Friday, August 7
Timings: 9:00am - 5:00pm every day
Fees: $25 for each day; $75 for all four days
To register, click here!
9:45am to 10:00am HG Dravida Prabhu
10:00am to 10:45am HH BhaktiMarga Swami
10:45am to 11:30pm Youth Bus Tour
11:30pm to 12:00pm HH Candramauli Swami
12:00pm to 12:30pm Radha Murari Band
12:30pm to 1:00pm Shiv Prabhu
1:00pm to 1:30pm Jagannath Priya Das
1:30pm to 2:00pm Tara
2:00pm to 2:30pm Sugosh Berg
2:30pm to 3:00pm Jittu
3:00pm to 3:45pm Balarama Tirtha das
3:45pm to 4:15pm Dhira Grahi das
4:15pm to 5:00pm Krishna Kishore Muralidhara Das
5:00pm to 6:00pm Ajamila das
6:00pm to 7:00pm Amala Kirtan das
7:00pm to 8:00pm Agnideva das
8:00pm to 10:00pm Madhava
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!!!
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!