Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple

Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre (ISKCON Toronto), has always been the hub of a rich, vibrant and enthusiastic community. Whether it be grand festivals, programs at local universities and yoga studios, philosophical discussions, cooking sessions, or singing and dancing on the streets, there are events taking place for everyone's interest.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Doors Open Toronto - May 27-28, 2017

On May 27th to 28th, the Hare Krishna Temple is participating in Doors Open Toronto. Annually, over 150 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and social significance open their doors to the public for a city-wide celebration. While Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple is open, free of charge, to the public year-round, Doors Open presents an opportunity for the public to learn about the architectural and historical story of our amazing building!

Guided Tours will take place from 10am-5pm on Saturday May 27th and Sunday May 28th. Guided tours of the building highlight the architectural, historical and spiritual history of the building. There are also visual displays of media news clippings and interesting publications related to the building.

For more information, please visit the official Doors Open website by clicking here.  We hope to see you this weekend!  If you wish to volunteer, please contact us.

Coming Soon - 12-Hour Kirtan!

GUESS WHAT'S COMING SOON: Harinama Eva Kevalam

The much-awaited annual pre-Ratha-Yatra 12-Hour Kirtan is just a few weeks away.  Featuring kirtan leaders from around the world, this is certainly a day not to be missed!  Being held on Friday, July 14th from 10am to 10pm at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple at 243 Avenue Road, it promises to be the best 12 hours of your life!

Book the day off work or school as this is your opportunity to immerse yourselves in 12 amazing hours of the transcendental vibrations of the Maha Mantra accompanied by singing, dancing, drumming and clapping.
Stay tuned for the list of kirtanyas that will be descending on Toronto from all around the world!

Don’t forget to invite and bring your family and friends on Friday July 14th, 2017.  We look forward to seeing you there! Stay tuned for more information!

Mridanga (Drum) Lessons - Level Two

After a successful two-month beginners mridanga course, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is very pleased to announce the next level of the two-month course - "Mridanga Course for Intermediates". A student should have completed the beginners course or at least have some basic knowledge of mridanga prior to taking this course as it is a prerequisite. The start date for the course and other particulars are mentioned below

This course will be taught by our resident devotee – Gopal Prabhu, a young, enthusiastic and energetic devotee who studied mridanga among other subjects in Gurukula in Vrindavan, India.

This course will build upon the basics learned in the Beginners Course and enable a student to play mridanga at a basic level in the Kirtan. This course will still be very valuable for mridanga players of others levels to perfect their technique and playing.

Tentative Course Details: 

  • Prerequisite: Beginners level mridanga course or basic mridanga knowledge
  • Dates: Starting May 13th - July 5th, 2017
  • Venue: ISKCON Hare Krishna Temple on 243 Avenue Road, Toronto
  • Timings: Wednesday (6pm -7pm), Saturday (10 am – 11 am)
  • Fee: $175 for the 2 months course
  • Registration: Registration is mandatory 
  • Other Notes: It is highly recommended that you have your own mridanga because you will need it for practicing, if you don’t have one and are interested to buy, please let us know we will try to make some arrangement.

For more information, please contact Hitesh Patel or Santosh Ravi.  If you are interested in taking the course, please click here to fill out the form and we will get back to you.

Video: Bhajan Night with Vaisesika Dasa

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple hosted a special bhajan night with Vaisesika Dasa.  As is the the tradition during his visit, this incredible evening featured kirtan, bhajans and melodious mantras.  The whole event was captured by Sathi Prabhu and can be seen below.  Check it out:

How I Became a Hare Krishna: Bhakti Yoga Dasa

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be featuring an ongoing series on our website about how active members of our community became practitioners of the Hare Krishna faith.  Written by Krishna Rajesh, a young high school student in our community, this series will share devotees' personal stories of how they became Hare Krishnas!  Please share your encouraging words and feedback with a comment!

An International Story - Bhakti Yoga Dasa
By: Krishna Rajesh

For many devotees, the one question that goes unanswered is: “What can I do to contribute?” Often times, newcomers are surprised by the amount of enthusiasm devotees show towards doing service at the temple. And they are always eager for more. Devotees are also found agonizing over their contribution; thinking that it is not significant enough. Bhakti Yoga Das is an example of a devotee who made the best of all the opportunities he had and incorporated Krishna Consciousness into his life in the best possible way.

Bhakti Yoga Prabhu, formerly known as Bhisham Prasad Mishra, was attracted towards Krishna Consciousness at a very young age. He had a cousin who was already in the movement, and he received guidance to help reach his destination.

He was living in Guyana, South America, when he began what would turn out to be a divine journey in Krishna Consciousness. His cousin, Butadi Prabhu, had previously lived in New York for a while, where he was initiated by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder of our Hare Krishna movement. Through association, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu was inevitably pulled towards the temple. And on his first day, he had the opportunity to read the original Krsna book.

“It was a large volume…about twelve inches tall, with a silver jacket, and a picture of Radha and Krishna on the cover.”

That was his first introduction into Krishna Consciousness. And after one taste of the nectarine knowledge, he simply couldn’t get enough. He started going regularly to the temple in Guyana, every day after school, and sometimes he would even stay overnight on the weekends to attend the morning 4 am arati (morning service). He learned how to dress and follow the customs of a Vaishnava, which led to his very first sankirtan outing (outreach through book distribution and kirtan).

In 1980, he immigrated to Canada with his family. He originally lived in Hamilton, Ontario. On weekends and holidays, he would visit the Toronto temple. Eventually, a devotee from the temple used to come visit them. This was the start of a Sunday program in Hamilton.

“Later on, when I finished high school, I moved into the temple and stayed there for a couple of years.”

In June, 1982, while living at the temple, Bhakti Yoga Das met his eventual spiritual master, Gopal Krishna Goswami for the first time. Later on, in September of the same year, he got initiated (was formally as a student of his guru).

As one thing led to another, his thirst for spiritual bliss increased. He became increasingly inclined towards visiting India, and finally, with the blessings of his guru, he went to Vrindavan for the first time in 1985. During the six months that he spent there, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu learned Deity worship; a skill that would come a long way in the future.

“We had a shortage of pujaris (priests) at the time,” he remarks, “and because I wasn’t experienced, I was to tend to the smaller deities.”

After his lengthy stay in Vrindavan, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu returned to Toronto, where he helped in bookkeeping and used his newly acquired knowledge of Deity worship.

In 1989, he returned to Guyana, where he once again was greeted by Butadi Prabhu, who was now his Siksha Guru (spiritual guide). Taking into consideration the fact that he was still young, Butadi Prabhu arranged his marriage with Jahnavi Devi Dasi. After three years, Bhakti Yoga Das and Jhanavi Devi Dasi were married in Canada.

Haridas and Neela Madhava were soon new additions to their family. The couple wanted desperately to find a spiritual school for their sons. They traveled to many North American temples in search of a gurukula (Vedic school). Finally, they found a good gurukula in Mayapur, West Bengal, India. The family moved there, and lived there for about five years.

During their stay there, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu served as a managing director at an NGO called Shri Mayapur Vikas Sangha. They got grants from various countries and organizations for setting up primary schools, clinics, and training sessions for women in the villages near Mayapur.

At the end of five years, the family returned to Canada, where he resumed his service as a Pujari and even conducted a few seminars on Deity worship. He also began assisting a few devotees who wanted to start a temple in Scarborough. When the temple was established, Bhakti Yoga Prabhu was the acting Temple President.

Currently, he is working on establishing a temple in Milton with some enthusiastic devotees who are living there. He says that he hopes to continue spreading the Krishna Conscious movement, “I simply hope to be instrumental helping to make Srila Prabhupada’s vision a reality!"

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lord Narasimha's Appearance Day - May 9, 2017

On Tuesday May 9th, the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating Narasimha Caturdasi: the Appearance Day of Lord Narasimhadeva.  Lord Narasimhadeva is one of Lord Krishna's incarnations who appeared in the form of half-man and half-lion in order to protect his young devotee, Prahlada Maharaj, who was been persecuted by his evil father, Hiranyakashipu.

The festival will begin at 6:00pm and will include a discourse on the appearance and qualities of Lord Narasimhadeva, an abhiseka (bathing ceremony), a wonderful drama and enlivening kirtan!

We humbly ask everyone to join in on this auspicious celebration of Lord Narasimhadeva, who protects His devotees from peril.  The schedule for the program is as follows (subject to change):

  • 6:00pm to 6:30pm: Arati and Nrsimha Pranam
  • 6:30pm to 6:35pm: Welcome & Announcements
  • 6:35pm to 7:15pm: Discourse on Lord Narasimhadeva
  • 7:15pm to 7:30pm: Dramatic Presentation
  • 7:30pm to 8:00pm: Abhiskeka (bathing ceremony)
  • 8:00pm to 8:30pm: Arati
  • 8:30pm: Prasadam (vegetarian feast)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Welcoming Vaisesika Dasa & Nirakula Devi Dasi

Note: Most programs will be video broadcast and audio broadcast!

Toronto's Hare Krishna community is very excited to once again be welcoming Vaisesika Dasa and Nirakula Devi Dasi to our community from May 5th to May 7th!  Their visit will be punctuated by a whirlwind three days of seminars, classes, and book distribution!  The official schedule is as follows:

There will be programs daily from Thursday-Sunday. Please see the poster below and please come for as many programs as possible.  You can never have enough of this most enlivening association!

Official Itinerary:

  • Thursday (May 4th) and Friday (May 5th) - Srimad Bhagavatam Class @ 7:30 am
  • Friday (May 5th) - Becoming Ambassadors of Good Will @ 6:30 pm (Seminar in Temple Room)
  • Saturday (May 6th) and Sunday (May 7th) - Sankirtan Training @ 7:30 am 
  • Saturday (May 6th) - Sankirtan Outing @ 11:00 am 
  • Sunday (May 7th) - Sunday Feast @ 6:00 pm

Sankirtan Orientation Seminar - May 5-7, 2017

Sankirtan Orientation Seminar with Vaisesika Dasa
May 5-7, 2017

Srila Prabhupada’s mission was to write and distribute transcendental books far and wide so that they could change people’s lives. He has quoted that if even 1% of the people who encounter our books become devotees, it will change the entire world. As we are continuing to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON, here is an opportunity to learn the art of distributing his books through a dynamic and hands on seminar.

We are very happy to announce for the first time, Toronto will be hosting a North America wide Sankirtan Orientation Seminar 101 (SOS 101).

SOS 101 will help you acquire the tools of trade by learning the nuances of book distribution, basic laws, codes of conduct and success stories along with hands on sessions in a fun filled environment. You’ll learn tips and strategies to successfully distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books to anyone and everyone.

This is a wonderful opportunity to attend as a family as we have hands on practical Sankirtan sessions to children as well! Join us for this enlivening course and boost your self-confidence.

Benefits of Attending:
  • master the art of book distribution
  • boost your self-confidence
  • feel happy and successful
  • stay motivated
  • strengthen your spiritual life

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Chaitanya Charan Dasa - April 27 - May 1

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple will be welcoming Chaitanya Charan Dasa from April 27 to May 1, 2017.  Chaitanya Charan is a monk and spiritual author. He has done his Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering from the Government College of Engineering, Pune. He subsequently served as a software engineer in a prominent multinational software corporation.

Seeing the prevalent problems of stress, depression, addiction and overall misdirection – all caused by a lack of spirituality – he felt inspired to dedicate his life to the cause of sharing the spiritual wisdom of the Bhagavad-gita under the aegis of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna consciousness). He is a member of ISKCON’s leading intellectual body, the Shastric Advisory Council, and is the associate-editor of ISKCON’s global magazine, Back to Godhead. He is the author of the world’s only Gita-daily feature, wherein he writes daily a 300-word inspirational reflection on a verse from the Bhagavad- Gita. He has written over seventeen hundred Gita meditations that are posted on and are read through daily feeds by thousands from all over the world.

He also answers questions by seekers on his site, where his over three thousand five hundred audio answers and several hundred articles are available.

He travels all over the world from Australia to America, giving talks on spiritual subjects in temples, universities and companies. His articles have been published in many national newspapers including Indian Express, Economic Times and Times of India in the Speaking Tree column. His writings in English have been translated into several foreign languages including German, Chinese and Romanian and several Indian languages including Kannada, Telgu, Bengali, Hindi and Marathi. He is the author of sixteen books.

Official Schedule:

  • Apr 28th: 6pm-9pm - ISKCON Scarborough
  • Apr 29th: 10am-2pm  - Seminar at ISKCON Brampton
  • Apr 30th:  10am-1:30pm - Sunday Feast ISKCON Brampton
  • Apr 30th:  6:00pm-8:30pm - Sunday Feast ISKCON Toronto

Home Deity Worship Seminar - Sunday, April 30, 2017

As devotees of Krishna, have you aspired to transform your home into a small temple for God?  Have you ever desired to perform  personal service to Deities? Are you not sure how to do so authentically?  The Hare Krishna Temple is organizing an all-day seminar on Deity Worship with Bhakti Yoga Dasa.

This seminar will cover various topics, including how to:
  • pronounce mantras properly
  • perform achaman (water purification)
  • prepare bhoga (food) offerings
  • use paraphernalia for worship
  • apply tilak (sacred markings on the body)
  • performing arati
Seminar Details:
  • Seminar on Deity Worship
  • Date: April 30th 2017
  • Time: 10.00 am till 4.00 pm (lunch included)
  • Location: 243 Avenue Road - Green Room/Govindas based on RSVP
  • Speaker: Bhakti Yoga Dasa
Our sacred texts reveal that God has an authorized representation in the Deity form, which is called arcā-vigraha. This arcā-vigraha is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. Lord Krishna will accept service through that form. The Lord is omnipotent, all-powerful; therefore, by His incarnation as arcā-vigraha, He can accept the services of the devotee. Click Here to Register for the Seminar!

"Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, become My devotee, offer obeisances to Me and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me."
(Bhagavad Gita 9.34)