The ISKCON Toronto Blog - News & Events!
The schedule of events is as follows:
- Friday, May 20 to Tuesday, May 24
- Daily Srimad Bhagavatam Classes
- 7:45am to 9:00am
- Friday, May 20, 2016
- Nrishma Chaturdasi Festival
- 6:00pm to 9:00pm
- Sunday, May 22, 2016
- Sweet Rice Festival (Sunday Feast)
- 6:00pm to 9:00pm
- Monday, May 23, 2016
- 12:00pm to 3:00pm - Victoria Day Maha Harinama Sankirtan in downtown Toronto
- 6:00pm to 8:30pm - Bhajan Night at Temple
The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is very excited to announce a special educational course with Devaki devi dasi, who will be making her first visit to Canada.
In this course students will discover the necessary qualities to be eager for shelter, and the qualities we have to develop in order to give shelter, and what blocks us the most from giving and accepting shelter. We will also receive insights how this principle of shelter forms the foundation to "Devotee Care".
Please mark your calendars for the upcoming Seminar with Devaki Mataji. Please Pre-Register by clicking here.
We are also happy to announce that Devaki Mataji is also conducting a Holy Name Retreat in Ottawa. You can find more information - http://www.theholynameretreat.net/
Giving and Accepting Shelter
Friday June 3rd to Monday June 6th
About H.G. Devaki Devi Dasi
Devaki Devi Dasi was born in Germany in 1958 and, after a long search and journey, joined ISKCON in Sydney, Australia in 1985. For the last sixteen years she has been regularly visiting Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Germany, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. She helped establish Bhakti Sangam Festivals in Bangladesh, Nepal and Sweden and is regularly conducting Holy Name Retreats in Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Germany, Bangladesh and Ekachakra. She was serving for several years as a member of the GBC Committee for Devotee Care and promotes spiritual care of every ISKCON devotee to the highest level of priority in our movement. In March 2014 she established the Institute for Spiritual Culture.
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Can you imagine a school where children are looked after academically, socially, cognitively, and spiritually? A school where the children learn reading, writing, arithmetic, and also wholesome Vedic values?
Opened in September of 2015, the Vedic Roots Montessori Academy aims to achieve this holistic vision. The Montessori method of education ensures that children develop the fullness of their individual human potential through independence, inner discipline, and discovery. The objective is to provide children with the structure, groundwork, knowledge and social skills to successfully move into the future. With the addition of a Vedic education, our students are sure to grow into healthy, happy, spiritually grounded adults. This spiritual soundness, in particular, can arm our children with the strength to resist peer pressure, and to cope with the stresses most students typically encounter.
The current program caters to toddlers aged 18 months to three years old. Next year (September 2016), we will expand our programs to also include children who are 3-6 years of age. Our hope is to continue to grow into a full functioning, multi-level Montessori school. If you are interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to contact us at:
Shyama Mohini Devi Dasi (Dr. Sonam Agarwal)
Director Vedic Roots Montessori Academy
There many prayers to Lord Narasimha that invoke powerful mantras for protection, appealing to the Lord's half-lion incarnation and His weapons. These are for protection from such things as malevolent spirits and material desires, as well as increased devotion and a peaceful world.
We humbly invite you to join us to celebrate Nrsimha Caturdasi on Friday, May 20, 2016 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Hare Krishna Temple!
Stay tuned for more information!
Festival Report by: Smruthi Venkateshan
Pictures by: Monisha Pillai (new temple website contributor) & Sahil Srivastava
As the city is springing into action with warmer weather arriving, the Toronto Hare Krishna Community also sprung into action by having its annual "Ratha-Yatra Launch Day" on Sunday, May 1, 2016. The Launch Day is an annual celebration that is held every spring to help "launch" the countdown to our biggest festival of the year: Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India)!
The evening started out with arati ceremony for their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha, who were stunning in their gorgeous light blue spring outfits. Then Bhaktimarga Swami gave an informative talk about the historical importance of performing fire sacrifices. He explained that this sacrifice (yajna), was being performed to launch off the Ratha-Yatra in the right mood.
After bringing all the devotees into a divine mood, the priests began the fire sacrifice. They incorporated an interactive power point presentation which they used to explain the importance of the mantras being recited. They started out by purifying the temple, reciting mantras for auspiciousness, then scarified various grain items, clarified butter (ghee) and wood into the fire. Soon, the temple was radiating with warmth, divinity and all auspiciousness.
All the assembled festival-goers experienced the divine and mystical powers of Lord Jagnnatha (Lord Krishna). This blissful evening, closed with an energetic kirtan and arati ceremony. Devotees left with hearts and tummies filled with devotion and a vegetarian feast.
Festival Pictures (downloadable pics here):
Photo Gallery by QuickGallery.com
Sunday, May 1, 2016 will mark the official launch of the countdown to this year's festival! The program will begin at 6:00pm and will continue to 9:00pm (extended program).
A special feature of the festival will be the chance for all devotees to observe a special fire yajna wherein auspicious mantras are recited and grains are offered into fire!
The festival schedule will be as follows (subject to change):
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 6:35pm - Announcements
6:35pm to 6:55pm - Welcome by Bhaktimarga Swami
6:55pm to 7:40pm - Fire Yajna Ceremony
7:40pm to 8:00pm - Ratha-Yatra 2016 Presentation
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
8:30pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)
Sunday, May 15th, 11:00am - 6:00pm
A chartered, private bus will visit the following sites:
- Hare Krishna Temple
- Ismaili Centre and Aga Khan Museum
- St. Gabriel's Parish and Eco-Sabbath Program
- Jaffari Islamic Community Centre
- Shoresh Jewish Centre and Kavanah Garden
We hope people will continue to take an interest, and we're confident you'll find the experience to be meaningful.
ATTENDEES MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE AS SPACES ARE LIMITED.
The $20 registration fee covers the bus rental and insurance, and the cost of lunch and refreshments throughout the day.
This event is presented by the following partners: TakingITGlobal, the World Economic Forum's Global Shapers Community - Toronto Hub, Explore150, and Faith & the Common Good.
Our Cuban journey is now finished. We were very privileged to be able to share Krishna Consciousness in Cuba. A few things we really appreciated about the Cubans is that they are very warm people, they are kindhearted and have quite a natural service attitude.
We were able to do harinama (outdoor chanting and dancing) regularly, we organized around 40 programs, six retreats and distributed over 100 of Srila Prabhupada's books.
One story: we were chanting in the "Plaza Central" in La Habana when one young girl (who had autism) came to us and started to dance ecstatically, smiling, with our Harinama Party. Her mother (in tears) came to us afterwards and shared that she never saw her daughter so happy in a very long time. Usually, her daughter is very introverted and neutral. Definitely, her soul was awakened by the irresistibly sweet sound of the kirtan!
We really hope that you can one day visit the Cuban devotees. After all, we are the International Society for Krishna Consciousness!
Hayagriva dasaPhoto Gallery by QuickGallery.com
We invite you to special interactive classes on the Srimad Bhagavatam every weekend (Saturday and Sunday). While Bhagavtam classes actually take place every day of the week, we specially invite you to join us on the weekends. Classes take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings and start at around 7:30am and go until about 8:45am. You are most welcome to join us for these special morning classes!
“The meaning of the Vedānta-sūtra is present in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. The full purport of the Mahābhārata is also there. The commentary of the Brahma-gāyatrī is also there and fully expanded with all Vedic knowledge. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the supreme Purāṇa, and it was compiled by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His incarnation as Vyāsadeva. There are twelve cantos, 335 chapters and eighteen thousand verses."
-- Garuda Purana
Upcoming Speakers for Bhagavatam Classes:
- Saturday, April 30th - Kevala Bhakti das
- Saturday, May 7 - To Be Determined
- Saturday, May 14 - Vidurpriya Prabhu
- Saturday, May 22 - Vaisesika Prabhu
- Saturday, May 28 - Katamrta devi dasi
- Saturday, June 4 - Mother Devaki
- Saturday, June 11 - Akrura Prabhu
- Saturday, June 18 - Akrura Prabhu
- Saturday, June 25 - Mother Laxmimoni
An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating.
You have have seen AEDs in public places like shopping malls, subway stations and more. With the countless number of people who pass through our temple building in any given year, the wise investment was made to purchase an AED device for the temple.
The AED in the temple was intentionally placed in a highly visible spot so that anyone could use it if the sudden need arises. To help orient yourself about how to use our AED, please watch the short four-minute video below. Your taking a few minutes to watch this video puts you in a position to possibly save someone's life! (Note: the model shown in the video below is similar to the model of the device in our temple.)
Maybe you have some neat recipes to share, or want to share Krsna conscious videos, or even have some wonderfully crazy idea that we just haven't thought of. Now's your chance to contribute!
If you have some neat idea to bring to the table, or if you just want to join the team, please feel free to fill out the form below! Hare Krsna!
This Community Town Hall will have a special theme as we will be having a dialogue about revamping and renovating our temple basement!
Please accept this as a warm invitation for you to come and attend our Town Hall. We continue to host these Town Halls every few 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.
Please note, the Community Town Hall will NOT be broadcast live online in an effort to promote better in-person attendance.
We hope to see you on Sunday, April 24, 2016 from 4pm to 6pm - please feel free to pass along this warm invitation to your devotee friends! Hare Krishna!
The ISKCON Toronto Temple Council
Mother Earth Day
By: Manorama das
Devotees of Krishna respect the Earth as the energy of God and as one of our mothers. By the will of God she provides the materials our bodies are made of, as well as food and shelter to maintain them. The clothes we wear, the buildings we inhabit, and the computers we use to read this article are all manufactured from her elements.
The sacred Vedas describe our interdependent relationship. If we live in harmony with our mother, take only as much as we need for our subsistence, and use whatever she provides in our Father's service, peace and prosperity increase. However, when we exploit the earth, plundering her resources for ungodly purposes, we become thieves, liable to be punished. She withholds her bounty. Natural disasters, wars and catastrophes increase, resulting in scarcity of food and suffering.
Humanitarian relief efforts and charitable causes ("save the rain forest," for example) address the symptoms of the Earth's problems. Such efforts do little to reduce the underlying greed and envy that cause human beings to exploit one another and the Earth, resulting in one nation living in prosperity at the expense (and pollution) of another.
Therefore saintly persons advise that the best recourse to save our planet from disaster is to revive God consciousness, Krishna consciousness among the people. Krishna consciousness means to become aware that everything produced by the Earth is God's energy; it belongs to God and should be used in His service. We're all interconnected as brothers and sisters and have responsibilities to one another, Mother Earth and Father God. Krishna consciousness means that all creatures - human beings, animals, trees, plants, rivers, mountains, and oceans - are God's creatures, are sacred, and deserve our care and respect.
Lord Ramachandra is Krishna's avatar who ruled the earth as the ideal king. He appeared more than two million years ago. The history of Lord Ramachandra's pastimes is recounted by the sage Valmiki in his epic Ramayana.
The festival began with wonderful kirtan and while the crowd was small, it quickly grew as devotees arrived for the festivities. A very nice class was given by Mahabhagavat das as he read from the Ninth Canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. His class helped to paint a wonderful picture of the glories of Lord Rama.
Following the class, a unique interactive feature was in store for all the assembled devotees. With the Temple Room now filled, a special "Lord Rama Game Show" was held! With some fun background music, questions about the pastimes of Lord Rama were put out to the crowd and devotees fell over themselves as they raised their hands to give answers. The prize for a correct answer? A banana which was offered to our beautiful Deities!
A delicious feast then awaited all the assembled devotees and the program finished with an enthusiastic kirtan. The evening provided a great opportunity for all the devotees to come together and celebrate the glories of Lord Rama!
Lord Ramachandra is Krishna's avatar who ruled the earth as the ideal king. He appeared more than two million years ago. Under the order of His father, Lord Ramachandra lived in the forest for fourteen years, along with His wife, Sita Devi, and His younger brother, Lakshmana.
After the powerful demon Ravana kidnapped His wife, Lord Ramachandra rescued her, with the help of His faithful servant Hanuman, and killed Ravana along with Ravana's armies. The history of Lord Ramachandra's pastimes is recounted by the sage Valmiki in his Ramayana. Everyone is welcome to attend this special festival!
Festivities will take place on Friday, April 15, 2016 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm at the Hare Krishna Temple! Below is the schedule for the festival (subject to change):
6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
6:30pm to 6:40pm - Welcome & Announcements
6:40pm to 7:15pm - Class by Mahabhagavat das
7:15pm to 7:30pm - Rama Navami Quiz!
7:30pm to 8:00pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)
8:00pm to 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)