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.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Upcoming Seminar - False Ego: Our Constant Companion and Trouble Maker

Please join us for a special Tuesday Sanga Seminar on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm on the False Ego: Our Constant Companion and Trouble Maker. This seminar will be given by our special guest, Hayagriva das. Some topics that will be addressed in this seminar:

  • The more we give up our false ego and identify as true servant, the more we will feel relieved from anxiety and find peace
  • Most subtle part of the subtle body is carried with us for many lifetimes
  • Feeding the false ego vs. dissolving it


Join us for what will be a very educational and inspiring evening!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Gita Jayanti - Wednesday, Nov 29, 2017

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, the auspicious festival of Gita Jayanti will be celebrated at the Toronto Hare Krishna Temple. Gita Jayanti marks when Lord Krishna expressed the truth of life and the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita to his student, Arjuna.

The Bhagavad-gita continues to be one of the world's most popular and inspiring books, covering topics such as the immortality of the self, the origin of all existence, how to remain peaceful in the most trying circumstances, and the relationship between us and God.

To celebrate Gita Jayanti, we will be reading the entire Bhagavad-Gita during the festivities.  We will alternate between reading Sanskrit and English chapters.We warmly invite you and your family to come join us for this very special festival on Wednesday, November 29, 2017.

The Gita Contest - December 2, 2017

The Gita Contest 2017

Krishna's Funskool at ISKCON Toronto is pleased to announce the Gita Contest 2017– Bhagavad Gita competitions for children.
                           
Event Date: Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
Venue: The Hare Krishna Temple, 243 Avenue Road, Toronto

Category 1: Age 3-5 years - Recitation and Translation
Category 2: Age: 6-8 years - Recitation and Translation
Category 3: Age: 9-12 years - Recitation, Translation and application
Category 4: Age: 13-17 years - Chapter study - MCQ and Short answer quiz

Please note: The selected verses will be sent by email to the participants on completion of registration

  • Assured prizes and Certificates of Participation for all contestants
  • For Gita verses and translations, please refer only to Bhagavad-gita As it is by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
  • Contestants should bring proof of age (preferably copy of birth certiļ¬cate/ photo ID card with age on the day of the contest
  • Registration fee is $20 per child (can be paid online at torontokrishna.com, or at Krishna's Funskool, ISKCON temple, Toronto on Sundays between 6:15 and 8:30 p.m.)

For details about content for Bhagavad Gita contest, registration and other information, contact kids@torontokrishna.com


Thursday, November 2, 2017

How I Became a Hare Krishna: Karuna Sindhu Dasa

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is 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!

How I Became a Hare Krishna - Karuna Sindhu Dasa
By: Krishna Rajesh

“Intelligence, knowledge, freedom from doubt and delusion, forgiveness, truthfulness, control of the senses, control of the mind, happiness, and distress, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, non-violence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy—all these various qualities of living beings are created by Me alone”
--Bhagavad-Gita As It Is 10.5

Sankirtan” is the process of conducting outreach to those who may not know of the power of the divine names of Krishna (God). People mistakenly think that this movement, which was originally started by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (who is none other than Lord Krishna Himself), does not have a major impact in this world. But what they fail to understand is the deep and profound impact that it has on those who are involved and to those who are being reached out to. In fact, sankirtan is one of many outreach tools that have an impact!  Every festival, every kirtan, every sanga, and even just the smiles that are given by devotees make a huge difference. Such, is the story of Karuna Sindhu Dasa and his journey to Krishna Consciousness.

In 1994, Karuna Sindhu Dasa, then known as Kunal Benjamin Kugel, visited the ISKCON temple in Toronto for the first time. He had visited with a friend to eat at the restaurant known as Govinda’s. Struck by the ambience of the temple, Kunal immediately felt a connection. He was drawn to the vegetarian food and the high ceilings in the temple room. He was surprised to see how much things differed from the other Indian restaurants that he had visited.

“It was a special experience that I never forgot. I especially liked the karela (bitter melon) preparation they had that day. It is something you never see in other Indian restaurants.”

In 1996, Kunal had the opportunity to attend the annual Ratha-Yatra festival in British Columbia, Canada. It gave him a deeper insight of ISKCON’s values and he saw how devotees practiced Krishna Consciousness. Kunal then began to regularly attend the Sunday program at the temple, which was four hours away from his residence. He gradually began to make friends within the devotee community and he soon got involved with the temple in many events.  As one thing led to another, Kunal was soon initiated and given the spiritual name, Karuna Sindhu Dasa.

With respect to his reflections on his faith, Karuna Sindhu Dasa said, “It helps me become more peaceful and understanding of others because the philosophy of Krishna Consciousness is that we are all children of the same father, in other words that we are all souls; spirit souls. Due to our previous activities we are in different situations, but we are all children of the same father. That understanding helps me appreciate all those around me. Whereas before, I used to be more intolerant of others and more self-absorbed.”

As you can see, Karuna Sindhu Dasa is one of the many jewels in the devotee community of ISKCON Toronto.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Govardhana Puja - October 20, 2017

The Toronto Hare Krishna temple will be celebrating Govardhana Puja on Friday, October 20, 2017. Govardhana Puja is an especially "sweet" festival!

During the time of Lord Krishna, the villagers of Vrindavan used to honour King Indra, the demigod responsible for providing rain for harvest. One day, young Krishna convinced the villagers to celebrate Govardhana Hill instead of Lord Indra because it was the soil of the hill that provided grass for the cows and bulls to graze and then they provided milk. Thus, the hill should be worshiped. King Indra got infuriated and sent massive thunderstorms as punishment. Lord Krishna calmly lifted Govardhana Hill with his little finger to provide shelter for Vrindavan’s residents. After seven days of continuous thunderstorms and rain, King Indra surrendered and asked for forgiveness from Lord Krishna. He realized his true position as a servant of Lord Krishna.

On Friday, October 31, 2017, the temple will build a Govardhana Hill replica, made of prasadam, to worship Lord Krishna as the lifter of Govardhana HIll and worship the cows and bulls who are so dear to the Lord.

The program will take place from 6:00pm to 9:00pm!  We hope to see you there!

Honouring Srila Prabhupada - Monday, October 23, 2017

The Hare Krishna Temple warmly invites one and all to join us for a reflective evening as we observe Srila Prabhupada's Disappearance Day on Monday, October 23th, from 6pm to 8:30pm. On this day, we reflect on the remarkable life of Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) on the anniversary of his passing (known as the Disappearance Day).

ISKCON is now a worldwide movement and is comprised of more than 350 centres, 60 rural communities, 50 schools and 60 restaurants around the globe. This day will provide a great chance to meditate on what Srila Prabhupada means to us.

Please join us for the festivities that will start at 6:00pm with arati and will continue until approximately 9:00pm. Please join us as we glorify Srila Prabhupada on this very important day.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Invite and Honour Lord Damodara in Your Home!

During this most auspicious month of Kartik (Oct 5 to Nov 3), you can invite Lord Krishna in the form of Bala Gopala (Damodara) to your home, offer beautiful lamps and hear about wonderful stories of baby Krishna.

You can book your 1-hour slot by contacting (647) 867-4727 or kartikbookings@gmail.com to reserve your spot during Kartik weekday evenings or weekends. Please note, limited spots are available. Please feel free to take this unique opportunity for your family.


Kartik 12 Hour Kirtan - Saturday, October 28

Kartik is an auspicious month to go deeper into our spiritual practice. This month is particularly dear to Krishna and those that perform spiritual activities, including chanting and hearing, will see the benefits compounded.

A great way to receive special mercy of the Lord is to chant and dance together for as many hours as possible in a day. For that reason we are inviting every one of you to join for this 12 hour kirtan. Come, chant and dance with your family and friends with all your heart on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 9:00am - 9:00pm!



Monday, September 18, 2017

Community Town Hall - October 1, 2017

UPDATE - The Town Hall will NOT be broadcast live online in an effort to promote better in-person attendance.

The Temple Council is very excited to announce that we will be hosting our next Town Hall on Sunday, October 1, 2017 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm 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.  We continue to host these Town Halls every three 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.

We hope to see you on Sunday, October 1, 2017 - 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.torontokrishna.com

Monday, September 4, 2017

"Hare Krishna" Film Toronto Premiere - Sep 8-19, 2017

The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple is very excited to announce that the hit film "Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami who started it all" is having it's Toronto premiere from Friday, September 8th through to the 19th at the historic Hot Docs Cinema located at 506 Bloor Street West.

There will be two special screenings of the film on Friday, September 8th (6:30pm) and Saturday, September 9th (6:30pm) where the film's directors Yadubara Dasa (John Griesser) and his wife Visakha Devi Dasi (Jean Griesser) will be facilitating short Q&A sessions after the movie.

Book your tickets today by visiting this Hot Docs Cinema website!

The following is a synopsis about the film, from the official website:

1965: America is in turmoil. Unprecedented introspection and questioning of societal norms roil the country. Prabhupada, an unassuming 70-year-old Swami from India, arrives in New York City alone and without support or money. He carries only the ancient scriptures he has translated, and the firm faith in his teacher’s request: “offer spiritual wisdom to the people of the world!”

Suddenly thrust into the raging counterculture movement, Prabhupada speaks of the world’s real need, which is not necessarily satisfied by political or social revolutions, but by a revolution of consciousness. This divergence from the status quo successfully captures the attention of a generation of youth seeking answers to life’s existential questions. From a tiny storefront on 26th 2nd Avenue, Prabhupada shares with them the idea that the way to find real happiness, love and freedom is to search within and connect to your true self. All this, the Swami says, begins by simply chanting a rhythmic, meditative 16-word mantra – Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.

This universal message resonates with more and more people, including musician George Harrison whose hit song ‘My Sweet Lord’, features the Hare Krishna chant. From there, Prabhupada’s movement explodes, and his followers – now known as the Hare Krishnas – become infamous for chanting and dancing in the streets.

Not everyone is enamored by the enthusiastic, and at times overzealous, fervor of Prabhupada’s young followers. As more people join the movement, parents and community leaders begin to view it as a dangerous cult. Devotees are charged with brainwashing and are taken to court in a controversial case that threatens to undermine everything that Prabhupada has worked for...

Hare Krishna! is the true story of an unexpected, prolific, and controversial revolutionary. Using never-before-seen archival verite, Prabhupada’s own recorded words, and interviews with his early followers, the film takes the audience behind-the-scenes of a cultural movement born in the artistic and intellectual scene of New York’s Bowery, the hippie mecca of Haight Ashbury, and the Beatle mania of London, to meet the Swami who started it all.