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!Kevala Bhakti das (Keshav)http://www.blogger.com/profile/04593002396550453200noreply@blogger.comBlogger1304125
Updated: 3 weeks 4 days ago

View Our Monthly Newsletter - April 2016

Wed, 2016-04-06 10:48
We are happy to share our April edition of our monthly newsletter!  Special thanks to Thulasi Sathianathan, one of our active young devotees, for taking the lead on the monthly newsletter project.  Click the image below (or click here) to open the April 2016 newsletter.

Remember, you can receive our monthly newsletter right in your inbox by clicking here to sign up, or by using the sign up form on the right hand side of this page!  Hare Krsna!


Lord Rama's Appearance Day - Fri, April 15, 2016

Tue, 2016-04-05 23:56
On Friday, April 15, 2016, Toronto’s Hare Krishna Temple will celebrate the Appearance of Lord Ramachandra - Rama Navami.

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! Stay tuned for more information!

Welcoming Rohini Priya Prabhu to Toronto!

Tue, 2016-04-05 23:54
The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is excited to announce that HG Rohini Priya das will be back in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) from April 15 to 18, 2016!  He will facilitating programs all around the GTA, including the Sunday Feast discourse on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple.

His Grace Rohini Priya Das Prabhu graduated as a doctor of Medicine from Mumbai University but decided to dedicate his life in the service of Lord Krishna.  He is a senior brahmachari (monk) at ISKCON's Sri Radha Gopinath Mandir at Chowpatty, Mumbai, India. He is currently serving as the Vice President at ISKCON Chowpatty in Mumbai.

For the last 19 years he has not only been practicing Krishna Conciousness but has been actively distributing the message of Bhagavad Gita to thousands of engineering, medical students and other professionals all over India.

He also travels widely to USA, UK, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauricious, Nepal and Canada and delivers various seminars on Krsna Consciousness.  He also delivers various seminars in Universities and other ISKCON centers.

Hollywood Movie Filming at the Temple - Extras Needed!

Fri, 2016-04-01 00:30
Last month, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple was contacted by a local production company that is working with Hollywood-based filmmakers for an upcoming big-budget movie set to be released in 2018.  They were scouting locations for a film shoot and came upon our building and fell in love with it!  They contacted the temple to see if they could shoot a major scene of the movie at the temple this spring.

We have been given permission to share that the movie is a futuristic zombie-apocalypse story and it has one key scene which takes place wherein the main characters take refuge in a temple only to find that it's monks are also zombies!  The movie producers want the scene to be shot at our temple!

Needless to say, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple spent the last several weeks carefully combing through the script of the movie to ensure that there was nothing that would portray our faith in a negative light.  Having given the green light, we are happy to announce that the production company has given us a chance to ask our own community members if they would like to play roles as background extras in the movie.  Some extras will also be dressed as zombies!

Each actor/actress will be financially compensated and the movie producers will also be making a sizable donation to the temple once shooting is complete (by the end of the spring).

We have been assured that all filming will take place during the week when the temple is less busy and that there will be no interference with regular weekend programming (Sunday Feasts, etc).

If you are interested in being an extra in the movie, please feel free to fill out the form below.  You can also learn more about this futuristic zombie movie by visiting their official website.

Click here to view the official poster of the movie which shows a "zombie Hare Krishna"!

For those of you who figured we are too spiritual to play tricks on you, we'd like to wish you a Happy April Fool's Day!!! There will be no zombies roaming the halls of our temple... at least, not for now! (Check out previous years' Aprils Fools jokes herehere and here!)

Town Hall - Basement Overhaul - Apr 24, 2016

Wed, 2016-03-30 13:56
We are very excited to announce that ISKCON Toronto will be hosting our next Community Town Hall on Sunday, April 24, 2016 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm in Govinda’s Dining Hall.

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 templecouncil@torontokrishna.com.  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!

Sincerely,
The ISKCON Toronto Temple Council
templecouncil@torontokrishna.com
www.templecouncil.torontokrishna.com


Festival Report - Gaura Purnima 2016

Fri, 2016-03-25 01:54
Picutres by Sahil Srivastava and Subhadra devi dasi

On a rainy, full moon Tuesday evening in March, devotees from Toronto's Hare Krishna community gathered to celebrate the advent of one of the most merciful forms of Lord Krishna - Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!  A packed temple, filled with reveling devotees exploded with colour, kirtan and the aroma of a delectable vegetarian feast.

The evening began with kirtan (musical chanting) and continued with a class by Krsnadas Kaviraj das wherein he lovingly expounded on the appearance of Chaitanya over 500 years ago.  He then weaved a beautiful picture of a famous pastime (story) of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu wherein He danced through the Jarikanda Forest, singing and dancing and the animals accompanied Him in the chanting and dancing as well.

In seamless fashion, the next part of the program featured a parade of smiling children dancing their way into the Temple Hall, both costumed and face-painted as tigers, monkeys, rabbits, butterflies and foxes.  They were led by an actor playing the role of Chaitanya amidst joyful kirtan.  One glance at the audience was enough to prove that all hearts were melted instantaneously as the smiling children reenacted this most glorious story of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu!

As the costumed-kids settled in, the grand abhisheka took over.  The abhisheka was a special "bathing ceremony" wherein small Deities of Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda were lovingly bathed in various items like yogurt, milk, honey and more!  The walls resounded with kirtan as colourful lights illuminated the Temple Hall.

A final kirtan (arati) was followed by a giant feast served for anyone and everyone!  Spiritually contented, the community of devotees made their way home with memories of a very special evening dancing in the forest of their hearts!

Festival Pictures (downloadable pics here):
Photo Gallery by QuickGallery.com

When Mayor Rob Ford Chanted "Hare Krishna"

Fri, 2016-03-25 01:30
With recent news of the tragic passing of former Mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, many devotees of Toronto's Hare Krishna Community have been fondly recalling how the then-Mayor visited our annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra) in 2014.

It was the second day of our grand two-day annual event on Centre Island and word quickly got around that the Mayor had arrived at the festival site.  He first visited the Deity booth, diligently removed his shoes and then took darshan (audience) of Lord Jagannatha (Lord Krishna).  He was then garlanded by one of our pujaris (priests).

Mayor Ford was then brought to the main stage where he shared a proclamation from the City of Toronto, honouring our annual Festival of India (Ratha-Yatra). The highlight was the Mayor enthusiastically yelling out to the crowd, "Hare Krishna!" and receiving a jubilant "Hare Krishna" back as seen at the end of the video below!

Mayor Ford then toured the rest of the festival site, indulged in some prasadam (sanctified vegetarian food) and shook hands with what seemed to be an endless throng of people!

Toronto's Hare Krishna community extends our prayers and condolences to the members of the Ford family during this difficult time.  We hope that those who are mourning the loss of Rob Ford can take solace in knowing that he most certainly received great spiritual benefit by chanting the words "Hare Krishna" with all of his heart.

Video: 50 Years of Joy & Service

Fri, 2016-03-25 01:19
In 1965, a 69 year-old spiritual teacher from India arrives in the West and settles among the hippies of New York’s Lower East Side. From a tiny storefront, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami starts a revolution of consciousness influencing tens of thousands in the US and worldwide.

Check out this inspirational video all about the worldwide contributions and growth of ISKCON!



Video: Incredible Mayapur - "For Tomorrow"

Thu, 2016-03-24 23:30
There is an incredible video making the rounds online which paints an amazingly beautiful picture of what life is like in the holy land of Mayapur.  Told from the perspective of a young gurukula (school) student, this video promises to leave you with goosebumps!  Check it out below.

Upcoming Weekend Srimad Bhagavatam Classes

Thu, 2016-03-24 23:00
Srimad Bhagavatam is described as the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. Reading and discussing Srimad Bhagavatam is a core practice amongst Hare Krishnas (bhakti-yogis). By the regular reading and discussing of the Srimad Bhagavatam, one not only acquires deep spiritual realizations but also overcomes several disturbances to ones  inner happiness and overall success in life.

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, March 26th - Shyama Mohini devi dasi
  • Saturday, April 2nd   Ananda Gauranga das
  • Saturday, April 9th - Mahabhagavat das
  • Saturday, April 16th - Mahabhagavat das
  • Saturday, April 23rd - Radha Bhakti devi dasi 
  • Saturday, April 30th - Kevala Bhakti das
* Sunday Classes each week are delivered by HG Rupanuga das

UPDATED - Gaura Purnima: Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Mon, 2016-03-14 05:30
*** ANNOUNCEMENT - We have a special arrangements for the kids of community for the festival.  We will have professional face painters at the festival and all kids will be invited to be part of the celebrations in a unique way.  In order to keep things organized, we are asking all parents to bring their kids to the temple no later than 6:30pm this upcoming Tuesday, March 22, 2016. ***

One of the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple’s biggest festivals of the year, Gaura Purnima,  falls on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.  Celebrations will start early in the morning and continue into the evening where expect a huge turnout of devotees!

Gaura Purnima marks the divine appearance of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is non-different than Lord Krishna.  He appeared in Navadwipa (modern day West Bengal) in 1486. Lord Chaitanya was born on full moon and blessed everyone with the moonlike rays of his teachings. He launched the movement of chanting the Holy Names of Krishna and taught how we can gain enlightenment in this age by chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.

It will be a special day of celebrations and for more details about this sweet festival, including a schedule of events, keep an eye on our website. There are also many sponsorship opportunities still available for the festival: garlands, flowers, aratis and the festival feast.

Official Festival Schedule

  • 6:00pm to 6:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
  • 6:30pm to 6:40pm - Welcome & Announcements
  • 6:40pm to 7:00pm - Class & Presentation
  • 7:00pm to 7:15pm - "The Jarikanda Experience"
  • 7:15pm to 8:00pm - Abhiseka (bathing ceremony)
  • 8:00pm to 8:30pm - Kirtan (Arati)
  • 8:30pm - Vegetarian Feast (Prasadam)

For sponsorship opportunities, feel free to contact us.

Festival Report- Shiva Ratri

Sun, 2016-03-13 23:30
On Sunday, March 13th, Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple celebrated Shiva Rati. Shiva Rati is a night of celebrations that are dedicated to Lord Shiva who is the top most devotee of Lord Krishna. 

The night started out with an arati ceremony for their Lordships Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha, who were as radiant as spring sunshine. Then devotees gathered for lecture and shared enchanting pastimes of Lord Shiva. One of the senior devotees Rupangu Prabhu enlightened devotees with a clear explanation of the beautiful relationship between Lord Shiva and Lord Sri Krishna. 

After filling up their souls with transcendental information, devotees were treated to a scrumptious feast. The night finished with an aarti ceremony where devotees sang melodic harmony.  

Kitchen Volunteers Needed for Upcoming Shows

Sun, 2016-03-13 13:25
After a 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 1-3rd, 2016 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 8-10th, 2016.  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 feel free to contact our temple's Kitchen Manager, Kamalakanta Acharya das at (647) 299-9903 or by emailing him.

View Our Monthly Newsletter - March 2016

Wed, 2016-03-02 23:35
We are happy to share our March edition of our monthly newsletter!  Special thanks to Thulasi Sathianathan, one of our active young devotees, for taking the lead on the monthly newsletter project.  Click the image below (or click here) to open the February 2016 newsletter.

Remember, you can receive our monthly newsletter right in your inbox by clicking here to sign up, or by using the sign up form on the right hand side of this page!  Hare Krsna!



Siva Ratri Celebrations - March 13, 2016

Tue, 2016-03-01 00:07
The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating Siva Ratri on Sunday, March 13, 2016.

Siva Ratri literally translates as, "the night of Lord Siva". Devotees of Lord Krishna view Lord Shiva as the greatest Vaishnava (devotee of Vishnu), based on Srimad-Bhagavatam, 12.13.16 says this (among other things) about Lord Shiva: vaishnavanam yatha shambhu, “Amongst all Vaishnavas, Lord Shiva is the best."

On this special Sunday, we will learn more about the great qualities and pastimes of Lord Siva. We extend a special invitation to you and your family to join us for this special festival! To learn more about the festival details, keep an eye on this page!

Video - Lord Nityananda App Day Festivities

Mon, 2016-02-29 13:40
On Saturday, February 20th, 2016, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple celebrated Lord Nityananda's Appearance Day in grand fashion!  The wonderful festival featured delightful kirtan, amazing prasadam and the most amazing darshan of our beautiful Deities!  Our wonderful congregation member, Sathi Prabhu, captured the festival on camera.  Check out the full festival video below:

Prayers for Jayapataka Swami & Kadamba Kanana Swami

Wed, 2016-02-24 13:36
*** Please Note: We will try to regularly post updates on this post about the latest news about both Jayapataka Swami and Kadamba Kanana Swami ***

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple would like to make a special plea for all devotees and well-wishers to extend their prayers for the health of two senior devotees of our international Hare Krishna movement: Jayapataka Swami and Kadamba Kanana Swami.  Jayapataka Swami has been battling poor health for some time now.  He was recently hospitalized.  Kadamba Kanana Swami has been recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing surgery today.  Some information and updates as follows:

Update on Jayapataka Swami
New Update - Feb 26, 2016
Jayapataka Swami is now out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the specialist hospital in Delhi. He was transferred to the private room within the same hospital and is responding quite well to the treatment. The doctors are reporting his progress as promising.  He has been receiving get-well-soon video messages and he is happy to receive good reports about the developments in Mayapur with the gathering of over ISKCON 1200 leaders before the Gaura Purnima festival.

As we all know he is very keen in being able to recover as soon as possible so he can attend the celebrations in Mayapur. He has requested to participate the GBC meetings via tele conference and arrangements have been made for that to happen.

Although these are all good signs, we still are concerned that there is a relapse, thus we kindly request all devotees to, at this time, please maintain your sincere prayers for Lord Nrisimhadeva and Srila Prabhupada to kindly protect Jayapataka Swami so he is able to recover rapidly.

We will keep posting regular health updates of Guru Maharaja’s condition. Kindly share this message with others so we all together support him in his recovery.
Your servants,

Guru Maharaja’s Health Team
Maha Varaha Das / Iksvaku Das

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016
Jayapataka Swami has been off of the ventilator for over 24 hours and spent a good night without it.  He remains in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the hospital in Delhi under detailed supervision to ensure he progresses nicely in his recovery. At this point he has been responding well to the treatment so far. We pray that he continues this positive trend.

At this very moment all the leaders meeting at the ISKCON International Leaders Sanga (ILS) in Mayapur sent a collective prayer for Jayapataka Swami’s wellbeing. The master of ceremony referred to him as a soldier of the “good old days, present days and future days”. So let’s also keep our prayers so he continues without the need of a ventilator and that his lungs breathe on their own at this time.

We kindly request all disciples and well-wishers to please continue with your sincere prayers for Lord Nrisimhadeva and Srila Prabhupada that they kindly protect Jayapataka Swami.

We will post regular health updates of the situation with Jayapataka Swami’s health. Kindly share this message with others so we all together support him in his recovery.

Your servants,
Guru Maharaja’s Health Team
Maha Varaha Das / Iksvaku Das


Update on Kadamba Kanana Swami
New Update - Friday, Feb 26, 2016
After a succesful second operation on Wednesday afternoon, Kadamba Kanana Swami was recovering on Thursday and Friday morning. He is currently recovering from the operation at the Durban temple. If his health permits he will give class on Saturday at 11am South African time which will be streamed in Mayapur.tv.

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016
There was a second operation yesterday. The results came in today (Thursday) and the conclusion was that the surrounding tissues is tumor free. The doctors are advising oral chemotherapy. Maharaja is feeling nauseated and has low blood pressure. If his situation improves he might be dismissed from the hospital on Friday.

Wednesday, Feb 19, 2016
[Excerpts from a public post from Kadamba Kanana Swami]
Only days ago I was diagnosed with cancer in the rectum, the tumor has already been removed by operation. Now a second operation is due to remove the surrounding tissue. It may or may not end there, that will come out after some more time. So far it has not been found that the cancer has spread to other places in the body, let’s hope it will remain so.

Lord Krsna is the Supreme Controller and we are little controllers, in this situation there is not much for me to control, I can not steer my boat on the now wild river of time, I have to just go along with things and see what will come on the way. So far there is a realistic chance of survival, but let’s see how things will evolve. You kindly pray for me. Either in this world or the next I am in Krsna’s hands. I will let you know more as things develop.

The doctors are advising me not to have many visitors, because there will be some radiation and chemo involved, which breaks down the immune system, we can’t afford to catch something on top of this.So I will write an update from time to time.

My heart goes out to so many wonderful people that I have met everywhere, and if Krsna so desires I hope that we can meet again and spend many inspiring moments together.

Your servant
Kadamba Kanana Swami

Festival Report - Lord Nityananda's Appearance Day

Wed, 2016-02-24 13:08
A Magical Evening Celebrating the Appearance of Lord Nityananda!
Festival Report by: Smruthi Venkateshan
Pictures by: Sahil Srivastava

This past Saturday, February, 20th, Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple celebrated the appearance of Lord Nitayanada with a special twist. 

The event started out with an arati ceremony where the stars of the event Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai beamed brighter than a 1,000 full moons, beside the ever gorgeous Deities of Sri Sri Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha. After the arati, the guests settled in for an evening of storytelling with a stunning visuals, inspiring speakers and innovate stage setup. The program involved four stations around the temple room and devotees turned to face each station where different stories of Lord Ntityananda were told.  Meanwhile, artwork depicting each story was lowered from the balcony!

This unique twist was organized by a group of teens from the community (Anjali, Krishna, Bagyashree and Aditi) who have formed the new festival team for the temple. They rounded up all their talents to put together stunning artwork, creative visuals and an awesome experience for the guests.


Despite this being their first time organizing a festival the hit it out of the park! As the teens put it, they felt “accomplished” and thankful for the success of the event. Upon hearing the enlightening past times of the Lord the devotees proceeded to a have an enthusiastic closing kirtan follow by scrumptious feast.


As the evening was coming to a close one of the young members of the Festival Team, Bagyashree, remarked on her experiences and she felt “more confident about the future and what is to come.”  It is surely safe to sat that the Toronto Hare Krishna Community feels just as confident and excited about its upcoming festivals!
Festival Pictures (downloadable pics here):
Photo Gallery by QuickGallery.com

Holy Name Retreat with Devaki devi dasi this June!

Fri, 2016-02-19 23:40
From June 10-14, 2016 the Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa Hare Krishna communities will be jointly hosting a "Holy Name Retreat" at a Buddhist Retreat Centre, located two hours away from Montreal.  This very special retreat will be facilitated by Devaki devi dasi, a senior devotee in our international Hare Krishna movement.

Some features of the Holy Name Retreat:

  • Deepen your relationship with the Holy Name.
  • Spend these days in seclusion, away from all usual distractions.
  • Hear about the glories of the Holy Name in the association of like-minded devotees and practically apply what you have heard in kirtan and japa.
  • Experience a different reality - associate with Krishna in person, through His Holy Name.
  • Open your heart and allow the Holy Name to do His mysterious work on it.
  • Qualification: This seminar is for seriously practicing devotees, since it is aimed to bring us to deeper levels of chanting. Therefore the participating devotees should be chanting some rounds regularly for at least one year.
  • Accommodation: In the Guest House of the Buddhist Retreat. These facilities will be offered on donation basis.

Stay tuned in the coming months as we continue to post more information about this very special Holy Name Retreat.

About Devaki devi dasi:
This will be Mother Devaki's first time visiting Canada.  She was born in Germany in 1958 and, after a long search and journey, joined ISKCON in Sydney, Australia in 1985.

She is a disciple of HH Niranjana Swami.  During her ten years as a grhastha (1989-1999) she preached in Riga, Latvia and spent adventurous years in helping to pioneer the first more organised temple in the former Soviet Union. In 1999, she became a renounced traveling preacher.

For the last sixteen years she has been regularly visiting Ukraine, Moldova, Sweden, Germany, Nepal, India and Bangladesh.  She is now very actively involved in the IYF Student Preaching in Bangladesh, conducting seminars and IYF festivals under the expert guidance of HH Bhakti Purusottama Swami. She cultivates the mood of a "Bengali mother" and in so doing tries to create an atmosphere conducive for devotees to be happy in their services by encouraging them to develop their bhakti to their hearts content and by encouraging the men to become good leaders.

During her years of service in Bangladesh she developed deep insights into Vaisnava culture that have enriched her spiritual practice and inspired her preaching. She is sharing this wisdom in the course "Exploring the Roots of Spiritual Culture".

In Ukraine she has served under the expert guidance of HH Niranjana Swami, spreading the culture of care for the past fifteen years: on a personal level by serving as a spiritual guide and mentor to many devotees, by assisting devotees to become a spiritual guide themselves, and by lecturing and conducting seminars.

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.

Video from Holy Name Retreat in Moldova (2014):

6 Tips for Bhakti-Vrikshas (Spiritual Group Discussions)

Fri, 2016-02-19 23:02
Most of us may be accustomed to taking part in large kirtans (musical chanting sessions), weekly Sunday Feasts, or fantastic festivals at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple.  In addition to these inspiring gatherings, many of our international Hare Krishna communities also have smaller gatherings called "Bhakti-Vrikshas".

Bhakti-Vrikshas are congregational development programs that utilize small group structures in order to encourage its members in their spiritual paths. It has been a successful model which has been used here in Toronto for many years.  We have Bhakti-Vrikshas that take place in different parts of the Greater Toronto Area!

If you are interested in attending a Bhakti-Vriksha program, email us!  Meanwhile, the Conregational Development Ministry has put together a nice little video with six tips for hosting a Bhakti-vriksha program (be sure to look for the part of the video where some monkeys are having their own Bhakti-Vriksha in the background).  Check out this very inspirational video below!