The ISKCON Toronto Blog - News & Events!
“To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.” Bhagavad-gita As It Is 10.11
Wishing you and your family a Happy Diwali!
The story of Diwali stems back to ancient times when inhabitants of Ayodhya celebrated the return of Lord Ramachandra. Lord Rama was in exile, away from His kingdom, for many years. The joyful day on which He finally returned is observed as Diwali, or Dipavali as the residents of Ayodhya lit many lamps to welcome Lord Ramachandra home (“dipa” means candles, and “vali” means numerous). Click HERE for a small video that tells the wonderful story of Diwali! This time of year, the month of Kartik/Damodara, provides a very special opportunity to celebrate various festivals and events at the Hare Krishna Temple!
Please join us for Diwali Celebrations tonight (November 3rd; 6-9pm) and Govardhan Puja tomorrow (November 4th; 6-9pm)!
Radha Kunda is a reservoir of water located in Vrindavan, India, where Krishna and Srimati Radharani had Their pastimes. It is mentioned in Sri Isopanishad and other Vedic texts as one of the most sacred places in the universe. Be sure to come out and be transported to this amazing place!
Further, this Sunday' festivities will be extra special as we will have a themed Sunday Feast, celebrating the appearance of Radha Kunda. Festivities will begin at 6:00pm, continue through to 9:00pm and will feature kirtan, class and wonderful prasadam!
The lunar month known as Damodara/Kartik falls between October 19th and November 17th. This month is celebrated as an opportunity to dive deeper in our spirituality. This month is described as especially dear to Krishna and sincere spiritualists keep it sacred through acts of devotion and vows of austerity aimed at increasing their spiritual strength and allowing them to draw closer to Krishna.
It was during Kartik that Lord Krishna allowed Himself to be bound with ropes by His mother, Yashoda. Out of loving anger at her transcendentally naughty child, she tied him (dama) around the abdomen (udara) with ropes. Thus the month of Kartik is also known as the month of Damodara, “He who was bound around the abdomen”.
Several festivals also fall within this auspicious month including Diwali on November 3rd and Govardhan Puja on November 4th. Please stay tuned to www.torontokrishna.com for more information about Kartik celebrations at Toronto’s Hare Krishna Temple!
Additionally, Kartik is observed by offering lamps and chanting a special prayer to Lord Damodara known as the Damodarastakam (Click HERE). The Padma Purana, an ancient text, assures:
“Even a person addicted to all sins and averse to all pious deeds who somehow offers a lamp during Kartik becomes purified. Of this there is no doubt.”During the month of Kartik, every day at 7am and 8pm at ISKCON Toronto we will offer ghee lamps and chant the Damodarastakam prayers *no lamp offerings on Sunday evenings.
As a special initiative for this holy month of Damodara, devotees from ISKCON Toronto will host Damodara Programs in the homes of our congregation members to spread the glories of the Lord. Please contact Program Coordinator, Satyabhama devi dasi for more information or to book a program.
This special month also presents several sponsorship Opportunities:
Diwali – Sunday, November 3rd
Deity Garlands: $351
Govardhan Puja – Monday, November 4th
Deity Garlands: $351
Kartik Deepa Dana
"If somebody burns a lamp in the temple of Lord Shri Hari even for a short time (in the month of Kartik), then whatever sins, he has acquired for millions of kalpas (one kalpa equals 1000 yugas) are all destroyed."Sponsor Daily Lamp Offerings to Lord Damodara $51
Diwali Deepa Dana $108
Please contact Satyabhama devi dasi for sponsorship enquiries.
Festival Nuit Blanche - an all-night arts festival which transforms a huge area of downtown Toronto into a giant contemporary art museum. Last year, we presented a 12-Hour Kirtan that spiritually blew the roof off!
This year, we hope to have the same effect on downtown Toronto with a large harinam going out to the streets! The plan is to meet up at the Temple on Saturday, October 5th at 11:00pm and walk to Yonge and Wellesley, where we will set up carperts in the middle of the road and bring the sacred sounds of our tradition to the masses!
Please dress in your best Vaishnava traditional attire and warmly as it might be cold out. Bring your smile and enthusiasm to chant! We hoe to see you there!
We are very excited to announce that ISKCON Toronto will be hosting our second Town Hall on Sunday, September 22nd, 2013 from 4pm to 6pm in Govinda’s Dining Hall. This Town Hall will present an opportunity for our vibrant Hare Krishna community to come forward and engage in a productive, two-way dialogue about our Hare Krishna temple and community at large.
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. Our hope is that we will be able to host these Town Halls every three months and thus increase the communication between the temple management and our dear congregation. We hope to see you this Sunday - please feel free to pass along this warm invitation to your devotee friends! Hare Krishna!
The ISKCON Toronto Temple Council
On September 18, 1965, His Divine Grace A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada stepped off the ship Jaladutta onto American soil in Boston. The rest is history!
After Srila Prabhupada came to the US, within 12 years he was able to establish over a hundred temples and inspire thousands of followers and share with them the strength of the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra. Today, ISKCON has grown to a world wide confederation of over 400 centres around the world!
Starting Sep 17th, ISKCON centres all over the world will celebrate the arrival of Srila Prabhupada in the West 45 years ago, the day that changed the life trajectory of millions all over the globe. The celebrations this year in ISKCON Toronto will be marked by 10 days of non-stop activity. We encourage you to make the most of this occasion, participate in the numerous activities, help organize them and most importantly - spread the word around!
Morning Conference Call Readings from Sri Namamrta about the glories of the Holy Name - the perfect way to start your day!
Daily from 7:00 - 7:15amToll-free dial-in: 1-(877) 860-3058Conference code: 837956#
500 "Chant and be Happy" Distribution Challenge!
The book that shares the mantra journey of the legendary Beatles. Help us bring it to others! How many does it take to distribute such transcendence in 10 days? 5 books per 10 people every day! Simple enough? Are you up for the challenge?
Special Themed Morning Bhagavatam Classes
Interactive sessions based on how to overcome the ten offenses of chanting-one for each day!
Special Events During Maha-Mantra Week:
Inaugural Tuesday Sanga
A presentation on how Srila Prabhupada fulfilled Bhaktivinoda Thakur's prophecy.Tuesday, Sept 17: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Srila Prabhupada Movie Night
An inspirational Thursday with viewing from "Following Srila Prabhupada" with popcorn and juice!Thursday, Sept 19: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Downtown Street Harinam
Friday evening Kirtan down the streets of Yorkville.Friday, Sept 20: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Saturday Double Decker Bus Harinam
The popular bus harinam is back! Enjoy the chance to do kirtan aboard a double decker bus as we drive around Toronto! With a modest fee of $25 for the upper level and $10 for the lower level, get your tickets fast!Saturday, Sept 21: 2:00pm - 5:00pm - Pre Registration Required - Limited Seating! Please sign up by clicking here!
** UPDATE: Due to rain today, we are postponing the Double Decker Harinam event to a later date. HOWEVER, there is still a wonderful program in the evening. So please come out for a sweet evening as the local disciples of our dear most Srila Prabhupada all come together to share their personal experiences with him! **
Srila Prabhupada Memories
After a beautiful day driving around Toronto, spend an intimate evening with Prabupada disciples from the Toronto region as they share their memorable experiences. Saturday, Sept 21: 6:00pm - 8:30pm
48+ Rounds Day
Grab the opportunity to connect deeper with the holy name by chanting 48+ rounds in association of other devotees on Sunday!Sunday, Sept 22: 4:30am onwards
"What is the Difficulty" Tuesday Sanga
Tuesday, Sep 24: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Grand Finale : Kirtan and Pizza Party
A fantastic way to cap off 10 days of fun and bliss at the Hare Krishna Temple!Thursday, Sep 26: 6:00pm - 8:30pm
It is going to be busy 10 days but we hope to see you at these events! For more information please feel free to contact:
Hina - 647-989-1806
You can also send an email to email@example.com .
If you and your family feel inclined, you are welcome to bring a gift for Their Lordships. For gift ideas, please click here for a list of items. Gifts can 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.
Schedule **Subject to change**
6:00pm - 6:30pm: Arati
6:30pm - 6:40pm: Welcome and Announcements
6:40pm - 7:15pm: Class
7:15pm - 8:00pm: Gift Opening Ceremony
8:00pm - 8:30pm: Arati
8:30pm - 9:00pm: Vegetarian Feast
If you and your family feel inclined, you are welcome to bring a gift for Their Lordships. Some humble suggestions from our beloved pujari department for gifts for the Deities include:
- bindis and bindi sets
- 1 set of 14"-16" tall brown vases (colour to match with the Altar)
- medium size storage containers
- small pots
- medium size pots
- food processor
- oven mitts
- mop & bucket
- silver polish
- copper polish
- wood polish
- laundry soap
- floor cleaner
- cleaning towels
- soft towels for the Deities
- kitchen towels
- cotton handkerchiefs
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!
When does the new session begin?
Sunday, September 8th
Classes will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:20 p.m.
In Govinda’s Dining Hall.
What classes are taught?
Children will learn a variety of spirtual topics, including “Devotional Practices,” “What Makes Someone God?” “The Material World and the Spiritual Sky,” “Who Am I?” “Bhagavad Gita,” “Vaishnava Behavior,” and “Animals in the Vedas,”to name a few.
• One Sunday School session lasts 2 months. There are 5 sessions per year.
• Registration fees are $15 per child per session, $10 for the second + child.
• No new registration is allowed in the middle of a session. Parents can enroll
their children for the following session.
We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity for your children to strengthen and reinforce their Vedic upbringing. The students develop positive, spiritual friendships with other children and learn how to make Krishna Consciousness part of their everyday life. For more information about registration or classes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.