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 Dasa (Keshav)http://www.blogger.com/profile/04593002396550453200noreply@blogger.comBlogger1357125
Updated: 3 weeks 7 hours ago

Summer Camp - August 15 - 19

Mon, 2016-08-08 23:37
We had a wonderful Festival of India this month but the summer fun isn't over yet - join us for the
annual Summer Kids Camp, which is happening this year from August 15th - 19th.

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. You can pre-register your child by emailing us at kids@torontokrishna.com or by clicking here for the registration form or sign up below.

Details:
Dates: Monday, August 15 - Friday, August 19
Timings: 9:00am - 5:00pm every day
Fees: $25 for each day

Last day to register is August 10. Please sign up as soon as possible!

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New Feature! Daily Darshan for Our Website

Fri, 2016-08-05 11:52
We are very excited to announce that we will now be posting daily darshan of our beautiful Deities on our website!  You can find the daily darshan pictures posted on the right-hand side of the page.

Our pujari (priest) department has been capturing photos each day and have been sharing them on Facebook.  We've now added them to our temple website, through our temple's Instagram account.  You can also read more about our Deities by clicking here!

Maha-Mantra Festival - July 28 to August 14

Fri, 2016-08-05 06:00
A lone, broke and aged man once embarked on a cargo ship to an unknown land. He suffered three heart attacks but what kept the him going was a mission which was not even his own but his guru’s. A perfect beginning to the history in making. Decades later he is celebrated on CNN as one of the top 10 successful men who launched their careers after 50.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada or simply Prabhupada, in a span of five decades, has inspired thousands and established hundreds of temples globally. Amongst his biggest contributions are the English translation of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and over 60 other titles that are now translated in over 80 languages.

This year ISKCON centres all over the world will commemorate the arrival of Srila Prabhupada to the West from July 28th - August 14th. In Toronto, we will have an 18 day festival with a mix of a variety of events- seminars, Harinamas, readings and more. Also known as the 'World Holy Name Week', this really is a festival of gratitude and appreciation for what Prabhupada has given us via the medium of learning and sharing the (Holy) word! Be engaged in the following variety of ways.

Weekday Events:

  • Daily 15 min readings from Srila Prabhupada’s Lilamrta 
    • Time: 9:00pm - 9:15pm
    • A lifetime spent in preparation to build a house the world could live in. Who is this 70 year old remarkable man who continues to change lives in this universe and beyond, way after he moved on to the eternal realm in 1977? Sound ethereal yet? Let's discover his unbelievable journey with 15min of daily readings and celebrate the man himself.                                              To participate, call: (416)-800-4317; conference code: 8440353#
  • Thursday, Jul 28: Inaugural Kirtan
    • Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    • The festivities kickstarted with the right mood of welcoming the Holy names. It was a sweet evening and the Deities looked stunning in pink!
  • Tuesday Sanga with Laxmimoni Dasi, 
    • August 2, 2016
    • Key Elements of Vaisnava Etiquette
  • Wednesday, August 3 and 10: Weekly Kirtan
    • Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    • The attempt of these kirtans will be to focus and meditate by diving deeper into the resonance of the Holy name in congregation. 
Weekend Events:

  • Saturday, Jul 30: Monthly Sankirtan Festival
    • Time: 11am - 2pm
    • Join us for the monthly sankirtan festival, this month in honour of Srila Prabhupada's entrance to the Western world. We will continue to celebrate with more kirtan, prasad and smiles - this time with the residents of Toronto. Location TBD.
  • Wednesday, Aug 3 and 10: Seminar: How to Study Srila Prabhupada’s Books
    • Time: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
    • So there is "reading a book", and then there is "studying with scrutiny". A gulf of difference between the two. We might have read some of Prabhupada’s books and thought them to be philosophically appealing; how about reading them in a light that would turn and transform your life? It is possible. It has happened and continues to happen. Come find out how.
  • Sunday, Aug 7: 32+ Rounds Japathon
    • Time: 4:30 am onwards
    • Kirtan is a collective prayer while japa or chanting on beads is a personal one-on-one. Here is a chance to connect deeper with the Holy name by chanting 32+ rounds with the support and association of others!
  • Saturday, Aug 13: Maha-Harinam 
    • Time: starting 4pm from temple
    • We will head out to the Old City Hall, as we've done so in the past, and bring these positive vibrations to those in Downtown Toronto. There will be singing, dancing, jumping and lots of smiling.
When Prabhupada came to the West, among the few sparse items that he brought with himself was a book of his translated Bhagavatam. As a part of the ISKCON50 celebrations, embrace yourself with the 50+ Bhagavatam Challenge! All one needs to do is pledge to distribute one set by August 14th!

18 days of mindfully embracing the Holy names! See you there! For further information, please feel free to contact- Hladini Gopika Devi dasi: 647-989-1806 or email: toronto.sankirtan@gmail.com.


Studying Srila Prabhupada's Books - Aug 3 & 10 (Seminar)

Tue, 2016-08-02 22:42
On both Wednesday, August 3, 2016 and Wednesday, August 10, 2016, a very special two-part seminar will be conducted by our very special guest, Laxmimoni Devi Dasi!  This ground-breaking seminar will be focused on how and why we need to make a more focused effort on reading the books of our beloved founder, Srila Prabhupada.

Described as an eye-opening seminar, this two part series is primarily targeted to the many actively practicing Hare Krishna devotees in our Toronto community.  The seminar will dive deeply into topics like:
  • glancing at the history of the Hare Krishna movement
  • the importance of thoroughly understanding Srila Prabhupada's books for future generations
  • how to read Srila Prabhupada's books
  • different ways to study
  • practical tips about how to absorb and retain knowledge
  • the importance of reading individually and in group settings
  • and much, much more!
The course promises to be a very transformational experience, especially for practicing (especially initiated) devotees in our community.  If you would like to attend the course, you can register by filling the form below.  There is no cost for the two-part seminar, but donations are welcome!

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Welcoming Laxmimoni Devi Dasi Back to Toronto

Tue, 2016-08-02 22:40
Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple is very excited to welcome Laxmimoni Devi Dasi back home to Toronto!  One of the pioneers of our Hare Krishna movement in Toronto, Laxmimoni Devi Dasi is an inspiring teacher, mentor, guide and more.

Laxmimoni Dasi was initiated by Srila Prabhuada in 1969 while attending the State University of New York at Buffalo. She received a B.A. in psychology after getting an "A" for her senior sociology project: "Life in a Krishna Temple." She has been involved in ISKCON educational projects since 1974.

She is now a member of the GBC Ministry of Educational Development and a GBC Deputy. She was the principal of the Vaishnava Academy for Girls, in the USA, for 29 years. She has given seminars on the practice of Krishna consciousness and on media awareness and has traveled to ISKCON schools to teach primary and secondary teachers.

Her travels take her throughout North America, Europe and India, where she teaches teacher-training courses and foundational seminars like the ISKCON Disciples Course and more.

Laxmimoni Devi Dasi's scheduled programs for her Toronto visit are as follows (subject to change):

Stunning Video: "A Day in Vrndavan"

Tue, 2016-08-02 22:39
Check out this stunningly made video, entitled "A Day in Vrndavan".  Produced by Sacinandana Swami and Bhava Films, this eight minute video provides a soul-stirring glimpse into the timeless beauty of this most sacred of lands, Vrndavan.  You are sure to get a few goosebumps watching this beautiful video.

Video: Eurobus Tour - Some Fun with Younger Devotees

Tue, 2016-08-02 22:38
We came upon this fun little video made by one of the young devotees who took part in the Eurobus Tour.  The tour consists of a group of young devotees traveling through 13 countries over the course of the summer.  It's a fun perspective at how these young devotees keep things "lively"!  Enjoy!


Balarama's Appearance Day - Aug 18, 2016

Tue, 2016-08-02 22:36
Thursday, August 18, 2016 marks the auspicious appearance day (birthday) of Lord Balarama, Lord Krishna's older brother!

The Supreme Person appears in innumerable forms to enjoy transcendental relationships. Some of His expansions are tiny, dependent beings, like us, and some are complete and omnipotent beings like Himself.  Balarama, or Baladeva, is Krishna's primary all-powerful expansion.  Lord Balarama symbolizes strength and compassion.  During Krishna's pastimes on earth, Balarama was present as His elder brother. The Srimad-Bhagavatam describes Their amazing activities in the village of Vrindavan and the city of Dwaraka.

We invite you to take part in the celebrations at the Hare Krishna Temple on August 18th.  Festivities will kick off at 6pm with kirtan and will feature special celebrations all evening long.

The official festival schedule will be posted soon!

Big Birthday Bash - Krishna Janmastami - Aug 25, 2016

Tue, 2016-08-02 22:35
On Thursday, August 25, 2016, the Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day - Sri Krishna Janmastami!

Festivities will start at 4:30am (in the morning) until midnight and will be filled with kirtan, bhajans, discourses and more! 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!

Free indoor parking will be available for festival attendees, (located on Pears Avenue).

Sponsorship Opportunities

Maha Abhishek: $350 - 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

Other Sponsorship Opportunities
- Deity Dress - $1500 each altar; all three altars: $4500
- Midnight Arati: $108
- Mangal Arati: $51
- Decorations/Flowers: $500
- Cake: $500
- Gopal Swing & Decorations: $ 1008

For more information on Sri Krishna Janmastami’s sponsorship, email us.


More festival information will be posted here in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Vyasa Puja Celebrations - Friday, August 26, 2016

Tue, 2016-08-02 22:06
The day after celebrations for one of our biggest festivals of the year, Krsna Janmastami, we will be celebrating one of the most important festivals for us as Hare Krishnas - Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja starting at 11am on Friday, August 26, 2016.

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. We will be once again encouraging everyone to write their own offering for the Toronto Vyasa Puja Book.  More details will be posted soon!

The schedule is as follows (subject to change):
11:00am - 11:45am: Abhisheka
11:45am - 12:00am: Offering
12:00pm - 12:30pm: Arati
12:30pm - 1:30pm: Reading of Offerings

ISKCON Disciples Course - Aug 5-9, 2016

Sun, 2016-07-31 19:09
Update #2 (07/31/16) - It looks like there was significant interest in holding the course!  So it's back on!  However, the course facilitator would like to keep the class size small and so class capacity has already been reached.  If you would really, really like to still attend, please email us.

Update #1 (07/28/16) - At this time, it has been decided to not hold the ISKCON Disciples Course.  If you are interested in still doing the course, please contact us and we can discuss options for you!

A few years ago, the leadership of our international Hare Krishna movement instituted the "ISKCON Disciples Course", which is a great overview about several important aspects in one's spiritual life within our Hare Krishna family. This foundational course covers important topics like:
  • The importance of accepting initiation in a disciplic succession
  • Srila Prabhupada's special position
  • How to select a spiritual master
  • Relationships in a multi-guru environment
  •  Parallel lines of authority and more
Laxmimoni Devi Dasi is visiting Toronto for a few weeks this summer and she will be facilitating the ISKCON Disciples Course from August 5th-9th.

Course Schedule
Friday August 5th  - 6:30pm- 8:30pm
Saturday August 6th - 10:30 am to 6:00 pm (with lunch break)
Sunday  August 7th 10:30 am to 6:00 pm (with lunch break)
Monday  August 8th 6:30pm- 8:30pm
Tuesday  August 9th 6:30pm- 8:30pm

Preschool Teachers Needed for Montessori School

Thu, 2016-07-28 01:06
Inspired by the success of Krishna conscious schools in various parts of the world, a group of devotees decided to open the Vedic Roots Montessori Academy in Toronto. The school was opened in September of 2015, and now has an exciting temporary (with potential to extend to full time) opportunity for a preschool teacher!

About you: 
You are a Krishna conscious devotee, loyal to Srila Prabhupada. You love children, and have experience working with them. You understand and can articulate the importance of children in ISKCON, based on Srila Prabhupada’s teachings. You also understand the importance of a Krishna conscious education and atmosphere for children as they grow up.
You’re comfortable with ambiguity, and you’re excited about seeing a grassroots project such as this grow. For you, as a teacher, it’s your dream to work alongside devotees, and help raise little vaisnavas and vaisnavis as their respected, loving, and kind teacher.

You have proven organizational skills and multitasking ability. You are professional, creative, and eager to learn. You have strong English language skills, both verbal and written.

It’s a bonus if you have a MACTE or an AMI certificate, and current first aid / CPR training.

You also have a minimum of one year’s experience teaching in a preschool environment.

Responsibilities:
The responsibilities for this role include, but are not limited to:

  1. Develop and implement a developmentally appropriate preschool program for young children
    1. Implement activities to meet the physical, emotional, intellectual, social, and spiritual needs of the children 
    2. Facilitate nutritious snacks and lunches (no cooking required; just supervision and clean up)
    3. Ensure equipment and the facility are clean, well maintained, and safe at all times
    4. Develop culturally and academically appropriate programs and activities 
    5. Be familiar with emergency procedures 
    6. Provide experiences and activities for children including songs, games, and storytelling 
    7. Develop daily activity plans
  2. Supervise children in the preschool
    1. Ensure the children are supervised at all times
    2. Establish routines and provide positive guidance 
    3. Provide a safe and secure environment for children to feel comfortable
    4. Implement positive discipline when required. Adhere to the school’s policy on discipline. 
    5. Clearly and effectively communicate in a manner that children understand
    6. Observe children and make note of progress
    7. Integrate special needs children in a positive and respectful manner. 
  3. Communicate with parents and members of the community
    1. Discuss children’s development with parents
    2. Discuss identified problems and needs with professionals as appropriate
    3. Complete progress reports for each child as appropriate 
    4. Keep parents informed of program expectations and their child’s progress
    5. Develop and maintain current, accurate and confidential client files

Please forward your CV and a cover letter to info@vedicroots.net.  Please be sure to include your answer to "Why do you want to teach at a Krishna conscious preschool?"

Salary expectations will be discussed at the interview phase. We thank all candidates for applying, however only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Thank you, Hare Krishna!

Small ISKCON50 Celebrations - July 27, 2016

Tue, 2016-07-26 19:28
Throughout 2016, our international Hare Krishna movement has been celebrating our 50th anniversary.  While the teachings of our Hare Krishna culture have existed for thousands of years, the modern "Hare Krishna movement" was incorporated in 1966.  Grand celebrations have been taking place all around the world!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON's incorporation, as calculated by the lunar calendar model.  We invite you to join us for small celebrations at our temple from 6:30pm onwards.

There will be readings, appreciations, sharing of realizations, prasadam, and hopefully more!  Please also see what is going on in ISKCON around the world - to commemorate this 50 year anniversary by visiting http://iskcon50.org/  

Welcoming Gopal Krishna Goswami Back to Toronto!

Fri, 2016-07-22 00:18
From July 22-27, 2016, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will have the great opportunity to have the association of Gopal Krsna Goswami! As part of his annual visit to Canada, he will be enlivening all of us through the discourse this upcoming Sunday Feast and will also be conducting programs across the Greater Toronto Area.

Gopal Krishna Goswami, a senior disciple of Srila Prabhupada, is presently GBC of many countries throughout the world including parts of Russia, America, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, and India and has many disciples world wide.

Gopal Krishna Goswami was living in Toronto when he first met with Srila Prabhupada in June 1968 and soon after, took formal initiation from him. He is actively spearheading and involved with many of ISKCON projects globally and we are very excited to be welcoming him for his annual visit to Toronto.

12 Hour Kirtan - Friday, July 15, 2016 - 10am to 10pm

Mon, 2016-07-11 09:30
Sing & Dance All Day Long  - 12 Hour Kirtan Coming on Friday, July 15, 2016!

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 15, 2016 from 10:00am to 10:00pm!
We are proud to announce that Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be welcoming a whole slew of amazing kirtan artists!  Headlining the 12-Hour Kirtan will be B.B. Govinda Swami and joining him will be Agnideva das, Amala Kirtan das, Akinchina Krsna das as well as many other kirtaneers from all around the world! 
There is no other better way to prepare for the 44th 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!






He's Coming! Ratha-Yatra: Festival of India - July 15-17, 2016

Mon, 2016-07-11 09:00
Click Here to Visit the Official Festival Website!
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 16th-17th, 2016 for our 44th Annual Ratha-Yatra here in Toronto.

Festivities will kick off on Friday, July 15th as we celebrate a 12-Hour Kirtan, featuring B.B. Govinda Swami, 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 15th 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 (see below)! 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!!!


Special Guests for Sunday Feast - July 10, 2016

Sat, 2016-07-09 09:30
On Sunday, July 10, 2016, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be welcoming three very special devotees to our weekly Sunday Feast program: Dravida das, Subhag Swami, and Vaisesika das!  This Sunday will mark the final Sunday Feast before our biggest festival of the year, Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India)!

To help set the right mood, we will be having an extended program (the vegetarian feast served after 8:30pm) on that Sunday.  It promises to be a special evening and everyone is welcome!

Video: RY Launch Party @ Yonge-Dundas Square

Sat, 2016-07-09 07:30
On Sunday, June 26th, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple hosted a "Launch Party" for our annual Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India) in the heart of the city at downtown Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square.  Check out the video highlights below:



Special "Ratha-Yatra" Mridanga Course - July 9-10, 2016

Thu, 2016-07-07 06:00
Due to an outstanding response from our previous mridanga course, the Toronto Hare Krishna temple is proud to announce another training course which will happen on July 9th and 10th.

This course will teach karatalas (hand cymbals) to beginner students of mridanga, and mridanga to intermediate and advanced students of mridanga.

As an exciting idea, students who attend this course will be able to play their respective instrument(s) during the Ratha-Yatra parade which will happen on the next weekend!

We are offering this training at a very minimal cost of $31. Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity!  Details in the poster image below.


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Festival Report: Snana-Yatra Festivities

Mon, 2016-07-04 10:19
Swimming in Snana-Yatra Bliss!
Festival Report by: Smruthi Venkateshan
Festival Photos by: Monisha Pillai

On Sunday, July 3, 2016, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple continued it's countdown to the annual Ratha-Yatra (Festival of India) by celebrating Jagannatha Snana-Yatra almost 14 days before the grand festival.

This celebration is an integral part of the Ratha-Yatra festival when their Lordships Sri Jagannatha, Sri Baladeva and and Srimati Subhadra are bathed.

After bathing in special waters filled with love and devotion, Lord Jagannatha enacts a pasttime by becoming "sick". His sickness confines him and he receives special care for the next two weeks until he comes out at the Ratha-Yatra.

At the Hare Krishna Temple, devotees congregated and started out the festivities by preforming an aarti ceremony amidst wonderful kirtan. Following the aarti ceremony, the bathing ceremony for their Lordships took place with an extravagant kirtan lead by Hari Bhakti Das Prabhu. The Deities were bathed in a rainbow of colors, with varieties of fruit juice, milk, honey, yogurt, and holy water. At the same time, the devotees were immersed in the kirtan and the mercy of the Lord.

The evening continued with tantalizing tunes from the kirtan and a wonderful aarti and kirtan. Everyone who attend left beaming as bright as the full moon after enjoying a delightful vegetarian feast. 
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