→ The Toronto Hare Krishna Temple!

This Sunday, February 23, 2020, Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple will be celebrating Siva Ratri.*

Siva Ratri literally translates as, "the night of Lord Siva". Devotees of Lord Krishna view Lord Shiva as the greatest Vaishnava (devotee of Vishnu). Every week we recite the Brahma Samhita at the Temple where Lord Siva's position is very beautiful explained (Verse 10), that he derives his power from Lord Vishnu. The Vedic texts like Padma Purana and Srimad Bhagavatam also glorify his contribution in the creation and for his unalloyed devotion to Lord Vishnu. For example, in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 12.13.16 states: 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! Festivities will begin at 4:30pm and continue till till 6:30pm. 

*Please note that the actual day of Siva Ratri is on Wednesday, February 21st, but the festival will be celebrated at the temple on Sunday, February 23rd.

When different paths have stark differences how can all paths be valid and how can we explain our path offers something more?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

Answer Podcast

The post When different paths have stark differences how can all paths be valid and how can we explain our path offers something more? appeared first on The Spiritual Scientist.

ISKCON Scarborough – Srimad Bhagavatam Katha- Multimedia presentation- Lord Krishna retrieves Devaki’s sons – Feb 22nd 2020 (Saturday)
→ ISKCON Scarborough

Hare Krsna
Please accept our humble obeisances
All glories to Srila Prabhupada

Our 32nd month - interactive, multimedia SB Katha will be held at ISKCON Scarborough from 4 pm to 6 pm. Admission is free and prasadam will be served.
You will also get printed notes /quiz to take home with you for your future reference of the pastime.
All are welcome and there are no pre-requisites.

Topic: Lord Krishna retrieves Devaki's sons

Date: 22nd Feb 2020 (Saturday)

Time: 4 pm to 6 pm

Summary of the pastime:
Devaki praised Krishna and Balarama, reminding Them how They had retrieved the dead son of Their spiritual master. She said, "Please fulfill my desire in the same way. Please bring back my sons who were killed by Kamsa so I may see them once again."The Lords received the boys from Bali and returned them to Devaki.

Benediction for hearing the pastime:
Sri Suta Gosvami said: This pastime enacted by Lord Murari, whose fame is eternal, totally destroys the sins of the universe and serves as the transcendental ornament for His devotees' ears. Anyone who carefully hears or narrates this pastime, as recounted by the venerable son of Vyasa, will be able to fix his mind in meditation on the Supreme Lord and attain to the all-auspicious kingdom of God.

ISKCON Scarborough
3500 McNicoll Avenue, Unit #3,
Scarborough, Ontario,
Canada, M1V4C7

Iskcon Leadership Sanga
→ Ramai Swami

The Iskcon Leadership Sanga is held in Mayapur every two years and is arranged by a sub-committee of the GBC called the Strategic Planning Team.

This year about eight hundred devotees from around the world attended. The sanga went for seven days and each day devotees came for a morning presentation and then went to one of seventy five seminars that were presented.

Sri Isvara Puri’s Disappearance Day
Giriraj Swami

Today is the disappearance day of Sri Isvara Puri. He was such a perfect disciple of Sri Madhavendra Puri that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Krishna Himself, was pleased to accept him as his spiritual master. Later, Lord Chaitanya visited Isvara Puri’s birthplace at Kumara-hatta and collected some earth from the birth site, which He kept very carefully and ate a small portion of daily. Thus He showed us how a faithful disciple worships a spiritual master who has faithfully served his spiritual master perfectly.

On this auspicious occasion, we pray that Sri Isvara Puri and his disciple Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu will bless us with devotion to the spiritual master.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

NASN January 2020 – North American Sankirtan Newsletter
→ Dandavats

By Mayapur Sasi dasa

For the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada this report contains the following North American results of book distribution for the month of January 2020. North American Totals, Monthly Temples, Monthly Weekend Warriors. Monthly Top 100 Individuals, Monthly Top 5, Cumulative Countries, Cumulative Temples, Cumulative Top 100 Individuals, Cumulative Top 5 Continue reading "NASN January 2020 – North American Sankirtan Newsletter
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Updated TOVP Temple Room 360° Panoramic View

For the pleasure of all devotees worldwide we present this amazing updated 360° panoramic CGI image of the completed TOVP Temple Room by Shrisha das of the TOVP 3D Modeling and Visualization Department.

You can manually go around, up or down, and zoom in and back to see the incredibly ornate details of the beautiful altar and floor designs, Srila Prabhupada’s Vyasasana, etc..

TOVP Temple Room 360° Panoramic View

The post Updated TOVP Temple Room 360° Panoramic View appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

TOVP Progress Report 2020

Hold onto your seat, watch this video, and prepare to be amazed, inspired, delighted and totally enthused by this TOVP 2020 Progress Report by Sadbhuja das.

He will go over the wonderful progress in the areas of Art and Embellishments to the TOVP such as marble work, GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete) production, GRG (Gypsum Reinforced Concrete) production, cast iron work, murtis, balustrades, tilak symbols, bas-reliefs, elephants and much more. And the grand finale is the Upcoming Works section displaying the future Vayasasana for Srila Prabhupada, Singhasana for the altars, and computerized visuals of the altar, walkways, pillars, and walls of the inner temple hall as well.

You’ll probably want to watch it a few times to let it all soak in. This will be a reality in two short years!

Please share this video with your friends and relatives through email, Facebook, etc. and get the word out: The TOVP is Coming – 2022!


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By His Mercy, All Our Desires Are Fulfilled
Giriraj Swami

Those who are intelligent know that everything is supplied by Krishna. So why not depend on Krishna only? Why so many other attempts? Therefore Krishna says,

vyavasayatmika buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana
bahu-sakha hy anantas ca
buddhayo ’vyavasayinam
        [Gita 2.41]

Vyavasayi means one who knows business particularly. Vyavasaya. Or one who knows confidently, “This is the cause; this is the effect.” Those who know that Krishna is the origin of everything are fixed up in Krishna. Vyavasayatmika buddhir ekeha. One. Just depend on Krishna. They who do not know this depend on so many things. Buddhi avyavasayina.

So, if we want to be Krishna conscious, we shall fix up our mind on Krishna. And how to become fixed up—that art will be given to you by the spiritual master. Therefore Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says in connection with the explanation of this verse, vyavasayatmika buddhih means to take the words of the spiritual master as one’s life and soul. That is vyavasaya . . . That is called vyavasayatmika buddhih. Visvanatha Cakravarti says that “Whatever I am ordered by the spiritual master, that is my life and soul. I don’t care for liberation. My only business is to serve my spiritual master.” And in the song we sing, Ye prasade pure sarva asa. Ye prasade means, “By his mercy, all our desires are fulfilled.” Ye prasade pure sarva asa.

So, this is our process, to depend on Krishna. “Depend” does not mean I shall remain idle. Depend means to work according to the direction of the shastra. Sadhu-sastra-guru-vakya, tinete kariya aikya [Srila Narottam dasa Thakura].

—Srila Prabhupada, talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.16.24, July 14, 1974, Los Angeles

Dear Devotees and friends Kindly pray for Dukhi Radha Mataji a…
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Dear Devotees and friends

Kindly pray for Dukhi Radha Mataji a disciple of HH Partha Sarathi Das Goswami who was killed this morning in a house robbery.

She was a stalwart book distributor. May Lord Narasimhadev give strength to the family especially her daughter, Raksha, who is in a critical condition in hospital.

May our Beloved Sri Sri Radha Radhanath welcome Dukhi Radha Mataji into Their embrace.

-devotee care team, Durban
Durban - Chatsworth police have launched a manhunt for the four men who stormed a home in Kharwastan on Monday, strangled a 72-year-old woman to death and assaulted her 40-year-old daughter before fleeing with money and jewelry.

Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala said that the men entered the home on Robin Road at around 7.15am on Monday and attacked the two women.

“She was strangled to death. The suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money. Charges of murder and house robbery are being investigated by Chatsworth SAPS”.

Garrith Jamieson the spokesman for Rescue Care Paramedics said that by the time emergency services arrived at the women’s home, the pensioner was already dead and the 40-year-old seriously injured after being attacked.

“Paramedics arrived on scene to find the woman in her 70’s had passed away due to the injuries sustained during the home invasion as well as a woman in her 40’s who sustained serious injuries. Advanced life support paramedics are working on the scene with police to stabilize the injured woman before transporting her to hospital,” he said.

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HG Bhakta Das ACBSP left his body last Sunday
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HG Bhakta Das ACBSP left his body Sunday.
Srila Prabhupada: For a sincere person to go back to home, back to Godhead, is not at all difficult. Especially Krsna in this age has personally appeared as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is very, very kind to the fallen souls. Papi-tapi jata chilo, hari-name uddharilo. His business was with all the papi and tapi. Papi means sinful, and tapi means suffering. So His business was papi-tapi? No. His business was with the most exalted personalities like… Sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda, sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta. They were all very exalted personalities. But all of their mission was to deliver the papi-tapis. Papi-tapi is everyone, in this age especially. But if we take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by His mercy we get everything. - May 22, 1975, Melbourne

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TOVP progress report (14 min. video)
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TOVP progress report (14 min. video)
Sadbhuja Das: I would like to share these wonderful videos, the first being the video presentation which was shown to the GBC of our progress that has happened over the span of last year. The second a nice small clip of the Pujari floor opening which occurred on the 13th of February of this year. We are quite happy with all these recent events and will continue on in achieving the end goal as soon as possible!

(This post has been viewed 359 times so far)

Srimad Bhagavatam class in Mayapur 10.3.14
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By Vaisesika Das

Let Me go and search for the calves,” Krsna said. “Don’t disturb your enjoyment.” Then, carrying His yogurt and rice in His hand, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, immediately went out to search for the calves of His friends. To please His friends, He began searching in all the mountains, mountain caves, bushes and narrow passages Continue reading "Srimad Bhagavatam class in Mayapur 10.3.14
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The greatest mantra
→ KKSBlog

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 7 January 2017, Brisbane, Australia, Srimad Bhagavatam 1.1.4)

There are so many mantras out there? Why is the Hare Krsna mahamantra considered to be the most powerful one?

Mantras are all invested with power. Previously, there were sages, who by chanting mantras, could do many things. Some people were fighting with mantras. Now we think we are very sophisticated these days; we have missiles for instance. But in the old days, you could just chant a mantra and invoke a great power. So mantras are known to have all kinds of powers. People could light fire by mantras

But the mahamantra is the great mantra because it serves the ultimate purpose. ‘Krsna’, which is one word in the mahamantra, means the all attractive. There are many things that are attractive that we can all think of. We can go window shopping and see all those things which are good. But, nothing is all attractive. What is all attractive? There are people who are attractive, but did you ever meet someone who is all attractive? Well, Krsna is all attractive. So, the chanting of Krsna is focusing on the all attractive. ‘Hare’ means service to the all attractive. And ‘Rama’ means happiness, the result of serving the all attractive. 

So the mantra in this way helps us focus on the ultimate goal of life. Instead of wasting our time with things that are partially attractive, we focus on the all attractive. And by serving that, we approach the all attractive with love. The result of this is pure happiness. This is why the mahamantra is the greatest mantra. It gives us the greatest result; the all attractiveWhat more could we want? 

The article " The greatest mantra " was published on KKSBlog.

The TOVP Wants You!!!

Krishna wants you to become a TOVP Ambassador and share all the news and announcements about this historic and magnificent ISKCON temple at our World Headquarters in Sridham Mayapur. This flagship ISKCON project will alter the course of world history and the reputation of Srila Prabhupada and the Hare Krishna Movement for generations to come. Now you can be a part of that momentum as we move forward to the Grand Opening in 2022.

My name is Sunanda das, and I’m the Communications Director for the TOVP. My service is to make sure every devotee in ISKCON remains informed and focused on this most important endeavor for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada. But I can’t do this alone and need your help. If you send me your name and email address I’ll add you to my TOVP Ambassador Team and will personally send you regular news, updates and announcements about the progress of the TOVP to get the word out to everyone you know and beyond. I’ll offer suggestions and tools how to do that through emails, Facebook, temple websites and bulletin boards, etc. to reach as many devotees as possible.

There are only two years left to the Grand Opening of the TOVP, and it’s so important for us all to keep this project front and center, even in the midst of our own temple projects. Read this quote from Srila Prabhupada that illustrates the idea that the TOVP is like the rising water that lifts up ALL the boats:

“The more you help develop Mayapur, the more Lord Chaitanya will bless your area of the world and it will flourish.”

So, make up your mind today to become a TOVP Ambassador and join my team. Send your name and email address to The TOVP Wants You!!! appeared first on Temple of the Vedic Planetarium.

New Release – New Extended Songbook. HH Bhakti Gauravani…
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New Release - New Extended Songbook.
HH Bhakti Gauravani Goswami: This a songbook that I prepared in the last two years.
Here is the link to a website where you can find all the information, a link to request paper copies, a link to download the book in e-book format and a link to download the mp3 files that accompany the songs.
Combining Philosophy & Music
From the very beginning of my devotional life, I had been intrigued by the bhajans that were sung in the temple. Sanskrit and Bengali seemed to be designed for glorifying Krishna. The combination of philosophy and music was fascinating. Over the next couple of years, I made myself familiar with many of the songs that our predecessor acaryas had composed, and I wanted to share them with others by combining sound with sight to enhance the experience. In those days a slide projector would have to do, involving many hours of preparing appropriate photographs, often taking close-ups from the paintings in Prabhupada’s books. That was in 1975, decades before computers would make audiovisual presentations a breeze.
Times have changed. With the advent of the digital age, the combination of images and sound has become as easy as can be. During the last decade (2010-2019), wherever I was invited to preach, I used to give PowerPoint Seminars about the songs of the Vaisnava acaryas. When participants approached me afterward, asking for CDs with the songs that we had studied, I had to disappoint them. There were none.
The requests did not stop and finally, in 2017, I began to contemplate how to go about it. I did not want to simply record some songs. That I had done in the past and, at any rate, there were already so many recordings by so many devotees available. If I were to embark on such a project, it had to be different. I wanted people not just to listen to the songs, I wanted them to imbibe the meaning and become inspired and encouraged to sing these bhajans themselves.
Each song needed a choir, who would invite the listener to sing along with them. And a songbook was needed that would offer more than just the transliterations and translations. Our Vaisnava songs are a treasure house of transcendental knowledge, and Srila Prabhupada was very much familiar with its contents. He used to quote from the acaryas’ songs hundreds of times in his books and lectures. The reader/listener should hear Prabhupada speak, and to this end, I have included in Sacred Song Symphony quotes for almost each of the 108 songs.
Digital recording has many advantages over analog technology, one being the tremendous flexibility it offers. Many devotees collaborated and lent their voices for the choirs, but the more the merrier. I would love to see the choirs grow, and expand the synergy more and more.

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Make the Material World Spiritual (video)
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Make the Material World Spiritual (video)
A westerner’s first, weird temple experience /what is Deity worship all about? / controlling body, words & mind / how to wake up in the morning / Aindra Das’s intense devotion / “it’s not for me first” / duty is the first step in mastering the mind / St. Valentine / can dented cans become undented? / dedicating all our activities / tiny brains / putting oneself in the center leads to suffering / Krishna saves Raghu from choking on a lozenge / the secret to success / making the material world spiritual

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Festive Mood in Mayapur! (Album of photos)
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Festive Mood in Mayapur! (Album of photos)
Mayapur is getting painted with a festive mood everywhere. Attractive pandals, tents, variety prasadam outlets, exhibits, and most importantly, the feast of seeing all the wonderful moons of our movement together in Mayapur, Gaura Purnima festival is the highlight of the year in Mayapur. ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) setting is so creative, artistic and innovative and added with the various seminars on leadership skills that nurture a bright future for ISKCON.

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Prabhupada Bhagavata Swagatham Book Marathon distribution 2019 – 650 SB sets in 6 weeks by Radheshyam Prabhu
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By Suta Goswami Das

Traveling with Radheshyam Prabhu and distributing books is nothing short of an adventure. As per the English dictionary, the definition of an adventure is “an exciting or daring experience”. An experience is exciting when you don’t know what is awaiting you the next moment. With Radheshyam Prabhu, every day is an exciting experience, especially during Book Marathon. One day traveling in crowded trains, then traveling further to remote villages in the vehicle with bumpy roads. Some days lying down on a desolate station in the middle of the night, waiting for a regularly delayed train. Sometimes distributing books in trains trying to escape the eyes of local police. Or even sometimes getting into debates with unreasonable wranglers trying to mar ISKCON's reputation in public. Continue reading "Prabhupada Bhagavata Swagatham Book Marathon distribution 2019 – 650 SB sets in 6 weeks by Radheshyam Prabhu
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Kirtan is 2020 Vision for Cambodia Festival
→ Dandavats

By Aradhikā Radha Dasi

“Kirtan is 2020 Vision for Cambodia“ was organized to bring people's attention to the local programs so that they can become involved in devotional service to the Lord. The beautiful festival is an initiative of Srila Prabhupada's disciple, Kala Das who is assisted by two local devotees from Indonesia, Kumudaksha Das and Guna Avatara Das. The festival started on 26 January and continued for five days. Every day we visited different places, predominantly in the area of Siem Reap city. Wherever we went we brought kirtan with us. All the instruments and a portable sound system were always ready to accompany us in kirtan on the streets. Continue reading "Kirtan is 2020 Vision for Cambodia Festival
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Why do we associate religion with spirituality – are communists really anti-God?
→ The Spiritual Scientist

Answer Podcast

The post Why do we associate religion with spirituality – are communists really anti-God? appeared first on The Spiritual Scientist.

Any more? Bring, bring, bring!
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Any more? Bring, bring, bring!
Lord Chaitanya was a strict renunciate in Puri - then why did He consume stored prasadam for 100 men ??
Srila Prabhupada recites this extraordinary lila!
Srila Prabhupada: Yes. It is for the devotee. A devotee can eat, as Caitanya Mahaprabhu was eating. Govinda, His servant, complained, “Sir, so many things are lying here, and everyone asks, ‘Whether Caitanya Mahaprabhu has taken my preparation?’ 'Oh, yes, He has taken.’ So I have to speak so many lies. You don’t take. What can I do?” He said, “All right, bring it. Bring it.” So He began to eat for one hundred men’s foodstuff stocked. He finished. Then He asked, “Any more?” So now only the bags are there. Everything finished. [laughs] So He ate everything, one after another, one after another, one after another. “All right. Bring, bring, bring.” So He can eat. We cannot.

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Festive Mood in Mayapur!

Mayapur is getting painted with a festive mood everywhere. Attractive pandals, tents, variety prasadam outlets, exhibits, and most importantly, the feast of seeing all the wonderful moons of our movement together in Mayapur, Gaura Purnima festival is the highlight of the year in Mayapur. ISKCON Leadership Sanga (ILS) setting is so creative, artistic and innovative […]

The post Festive Mood in Mayapur! appeared first on

The Telegraph India Pujari Floor Opening Article

Prior to the Grand Opening of the TOVP Pujari Floor on February 13, several India periodicals and newspapers printed articles reporting on the event. Below is the article from The Telegraph India.

The Telegraph India Pujari Floor Opening Article


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Sun Love Feast – Feb 16th 2020 – Vedic discourse by His Grace Bhagavat Prabhu
→ ISKCON Brampton

Chant: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare 

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare 

And Be Happy!!

ayur harati vai pumsam
udyann astam ca yann asau
tasyarte yat-ksano nita

Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one
who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.
 ~ Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.17

11.00 - 11.15      Tulsi Puja
11.15  - 11.30     Guru Puja
11:30 - 11:55     Aarti & Kirtan
11.55  - 12.00    Sri Nrsingadeva Prayers
12.00 - 12:55    Vedic discourse
  1.00 - 1.30      Closing Kirtan
  1.30 - 2.00     Sanctified Free Vegetarian Feast


Vijaya Ekadasi
Fasting.....................on Tue Feb 18th, 2020
Breakfast................  on Wed 19th Feb, 2020 b/w 7:11am – 10:45am

Every fortnight, we observe Ekadasi, a day of prayer and meditation. On this day we fast (or
simplify our meals and abstain from grains and beans), and spend extra time reading the scriptures
and chanting the auspicious Hare Krishna mantra.By constantly ‘exercising’ our minds through
regular japa we can train our senses to push the threshold of contentment.
English audio glorification of all Ekadasis is available here 

Brahma Samhita Course from March 7th. Please note that there's a prerequisite for joining the course. Registration can be done on:
For further information, please contact HG Prema Gaurangi Devi Dasi @


Adult Education At The Temple
ISKCON Brampton offers various courses and Seminars for adults. The courses take a personal approach to learning. It encourages the student not only to study thoroughly the contents of Srila Prabhupada’s books but also to clearly understand the philosophy and practically apply it. The course focuses on behaviour and character, nurturing students in appropriate Vaishnava values.
Professionally designed and presented, it draws on the principles of Krishna consciousness
and the best of progressive education. In this way, it is true to ISKCON’s heritage and at the
same time relevant to its mission in contemporary society.

For further information, please contact HG Prema Gaurangi Devi Dasi @

Sunday School

To register,contact us

The Sunday School provides fun filled strategies through the medium of music, drama, debates,
quizzes and games that present Vedic Culture to children. However the syllabus is also designed
to simultaneously teach them to always remember Krishna and never forget Him.
The Sunday School follows the curriculum provided by the Bhaktivedanta College of Education and Culture (BCEC).

Monthly sankirtan Festival(MSF)
“One who has life can preach, and one who preaches gets life.”(Previous Acaryas)
Every member of ISKCON should have the opportunity to make advancement in Krishna
consciousness by preaching.We encourage everyone to come out and participate and make
Srila Prabhupada happy.

Please contact:
Dharma Dasa- and Brampton regions)

The Mentorship Program

Please note that registration in the Mentorship System is now a mandatory requirement for all initiation requests at ISKCON Brampton.It

1.Facilitates  and nurtures devotees aspiring for first and second Initiation.
2.One-on-One personal follow up on a regular basis.
3.Systematic training to devotees in matters of Philosophy, Sadhna, Vaishnava behavior, etiquette, Lifestyle and attitudes.

To find details please click here

Gift Shop

Are you looking for some amazing gift items which are less expensive and more beautiful for your
loved ones for festivals or many other occasions??
Our boutique is stocked with an excellent range of products, perfect for gifts or as souvenirs of your
visit. It offers textiles, jewelry, incense, devotional articles, musical instruments, books, and CDs
inspired by Indian culture.We're open on all Sundays and celebrations marked in our annual calendar.

Bhagavat-priyanam—Dear to Krishna
Giriraj Swami

In a talk on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.15.51, on December 28, 1973, in Los Angeles, Srila Prabhupada spoke about bhagavat-priyanam, those who are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Bhagavat-priyanam. There is a common saying in English, ‘If you love me, love my dog.’ That is very important. If you love such person who is very dear to Krishna (bhagavat-priyanam), then Krishna is more pleased.

“There is a version in the Padma Purana. Parvati was asking questions to Lord Shiva, and he was replying. This is the process at home. The wife is supposed to inquire from the husband about spiritual advancement of life, and the husband must be competent to answer all the wife’s questions. That will keep the relation very nice. Sravanam kirtanam, hearing and chanting. (SB 7.5.23) That is bhakti. So, Parvati was asking . . . Because according to the Vedas, there are so many demigods. Vishnu is sometimes taken as one, but He is not. Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh are the principal deities. So, her inquiry was, ‘Which worship is the best—Vishnu or Lord Shiva or Brahma or Chandra?’ There are so many demigods. Sometimes they are misunderstood, that all of them are Gods. No. They are called demigods. God is one. Originally, God is Krishna. Isvarah paramah krsnah (Bs 5.1). [“Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes.”]

“So, her inquiry was, ‘There are so many gods—which worship is the best?’ And Lord Shiva replied,

aradhananam sarvesam
visnor aradhanam param
tasmat parataram devi
tadiyanam samarcanam
(Padma Purana, Laghu-bhagavatamrta 2.4)

The meaning is, ‘My dear wife, Devi.’ The wife is addressed ‘Devi,’ not by name. The husband should address the wife, ‘Devi.’ They must be like devis. ‘Devi’ means goddess. And the wife must address the husband as ‘lord.’ This is the system. So, Lord Shiva replied, ‘Devi, aradhananam sarvesam.’ There are many kinds of recommendations. ‘If you want this, you worship this god. If you want this, if you worship . . .’ These are described in the Bhagavatam. So, Lord Shiva said, ‘Of all different types of worship, the worship of Lord Vishnu is the best (aradhananam sarvesam visnor aradhanam param). And further he said, tasmat parataram devi: ‘There is still better worship.’ What is that? Tadiyanam samarcanam: ‘To worship the devotee of Vishnu, the Vaishnava.’ That is the best. First he said, visnor aradhanam param—’That is the supreme.’ But then he said, tasmat, ‘above that,’ tasmat parataram, ‘still better,’ tadiyanam samarcanam, ‘to worship the devotee of God.’

“This is very simple method. You cannot approach God. It is not a very easy thing. But God’s representatives, God’s devotee, who is canvassing on behalf of God, tadiyanam—that worship is better. Tadiyanam samarcanam.

“So, to worship God is very good, but to worship the devotee of God is still better. That is also stated in the Bhagavad-gita (18.69), na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah. Krishna says, ‘Anyone who is preaching this Bhagavad-gita,’ na ca tasman manusyesu kascin me priya-krttamah. Bhagavat-priyanam. Priya-krt. Priya means dear, very dear. Krishna says, ‘Anyone who is preaching the message of Bhagavad-gita to the suffering people of the world,’ na ca tasmat priya-krt, ‘nobody is dearer to Me than he.’ ”

I aspire to serve and worship those who are bhagavat-priya, dear to God—first and foremost, Srila Prabhupada—and by doing so, by their mercy, I may also become dear, to them and to God.

Hare Krishna.

Yours in service,
Giriraj Swami

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
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Mayapura, India

Not A Night

There is not a night when the jackals don't howl.  It is, for me, reassuring that nature is still around.  And wild.  In the morning, when Corrado and I exit our room at 4:00 a.m., aimed at reaching the Samadhi for mantras, the moon is at some angle, seemingly jumping.  With each new pre-dawn period, we find him in a new corner in the sky, these days diminishing in size. 

There is a mist.  A chill. Some dew on the vegetation.  Then there's the samadhi itself, with floor tiles posing challenges for most of us.  Yes, it's a bone-chilling winter/spring. 

Meetings have begun, and I'm able to keep up some regimen with the drama practices, morning and evening.  A marvelous presentation was done by Vaisesika on the topic of book publication and sales.  In the auditorium, a new friend joined us—a bird, common to the area.  He got struck by a rickshaw, according to the rescuer, Arya.  She was witness to the bird's injury.  She picked him up, wrapped him in her shawl and brought him to watch one of our rehearsals, or at least hear it.  We were not aware of his presence until after.  He looked like a prince in that colour of cloth. 

Time passed, and then I asked Arya, 'How's the feathered jiva (living being) doing?"

"I brought him out and he flew away."

I guess he’s been given a second chance—a second chance to fly, take in the adventure, and then?  The rest is in the hands of you know who?

May the Source be with you!
5 km

Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
→ The Walking Monk

Mayapura, India


One of the most foundational principles in the science of bhaktiis expressed in a verse from the Adi Purana.  Here's the Sanskrit with Roman Transliteration then the translation.

ye me bhakta janān partha
na me bhaktās ca te janāh
mad bhaktānām ca ye bhaktās
te me bhaktatamāh matāh

“One who claims to be my devotee is not my devotee, but one who is a devotee of my devotee is actually my devotee.” 

The above verse from the text, is God speaking—the actual words of Sri Krishna.  The verse capsulizes the identity of the self and how we approach life in service to others.  It is not a direct access to the Supreme.  To progress spiritually, one must channel through via a medium—through one who is devoted, then the Supreme is achieved. 

In my walks in western countries, I see people take their dogs to parks, and it's my observation that pet owners usually have an interesting way of communicating.  As the saying often goes, "If you love me, love my dog.” (something like that) So to draw on analogy, "if you want to show your love to Me then serve those who love Me."

Today our meetings began.  I was in a seat next to my monastic peers.  To my left was Lokanath Swami and to my right was Bhakti Bhusana Swami.

The sensation was one where I felt protected, and that I have a chance to have access someday. 

May the Source be with you!
5 km