Goal for 2013 - 50,000 + books!

Last Update: Jan 31, 2013

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Celebrate Krishna’s Eternal Song

By H.G. Vaisesika Prabhu
This year, Gita Jayanti, the anniversary of Lord Sri Krishna’s speaking the Bhagavad-Gita to Sri Arjuna, falls on Sunday, December 23rd.
For those whose lives have been forever improved by meeting Lord Krishna personally in the pages of the Gita, Gita Jayanti is not only a day of celebration but also a chance to express their gratitude. And the best way to do so is to share the Gita with others. Krishna Himself says, “There is no servant in this world more dear to Me than he, nor will there ever be one more dear.” (Bg. 18.69)
The Gita teaches the essence of spiritual knowledge, purely and succinctly, in a way that anyone – in any situation of life – can practically apply its instruction and wisdom. And since Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, resides within the heart of every living being, He is always there to help the reader understand the Gita’s profound message.
Many people in the world are innocent; and when they hear the message of the Gita from a devotee, they at once embrace it and attain perfection.
Krishna says, “Again there are those who, although not conversant in spiritual knowledge, begin to worship the Supreme Person upon hearing about Him from others. Because of their tendency to hear from authorities, they also transcend the path of birth and death.” (Bg. 13.26)
More than ever before, people need the common sense and elegance of the Gita. Why? The modern media daily brings us foul rumors, incendiary disputes, and scenes of massacre. And a popular scientist has proclaimed, “The human race is just chemical scum on a moderate sized planet . . .” (Stephen Hawking, interview 1994).
It seems that the public demands these things—at least some studies suggest that they do. And news anchors across the world have come to count on the fact that people have developed an insatiable appetite for calumny and the gory details of tragic events.
As people disclose the acrimony and conflict that trouble their hearts in tens of millions of daily blogs, YouTube clips, Facebook postings, and interviews in the 24-hour news cycle, the resultant din is a toxic outpouring of malignant sound that flows into the ears of the innocent masses, leading the world’s population into anxiety, despair, and mental illness.
The delicate human ear requires Krishna’s soothing voice in the Gita to clarify the heart and fortify the intellect.
Even five thousand years after Lord Krishna’s departure from this world, “the Bhagavad-gita can be consulted in all critical times, not only for solace from all kinds of mental agonies, but also for the way out of great entanglements which may embarrass one in some critical hour.” (SB 1.15.27, purport)
Lord Caitanya exalts the Gita to Srila Sanatana Gosvami: “Kåñëa is so merciful that simply by aiming His instructions at Arjuna, He has given protection to the whole world.” (Cc Madhya 22.56)
The Gita issues from the beautiful lotus mouth of Lord Sri Krishna, our best friend and eternal benefactor. And as that message passes through the pen of Krsna’s empowered representative, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the Bhagavad-gita “As It Is” becomes all the more relishable.
As Gita Jayanti approaches, please read the Gita, remember the Gita, give the Gita.
Humbly in service,
Vaisesika Dasa

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Guess Whose Coming to Town?

The much awaited weekend is here, the icing on the “Marathon Cake” – His Grace Vaisesika Prabhu and Her Grace Nirakula Mataji arrive on Thursday! An exciting extended weekend has been arranged for your transcendental pleasure and inspiration!
If you've been to any of these events before, you surely need no convincing; and if you have not, then you really don’t know what you're missing! Check out the detailed schedule below, and mark off the dates! Make the most of this amazing weekend, come and drown into the ocean of bliss…as much as you can!

Detailed Schedule
Special 4-part Srimad Bhagavatam Classes (Fri Dec 14th to Mon Dec 17th, 7:30 to 9:00 am): “Books are the Basis - Meeting Krishna Through Srila Prabhupada's Books”
“By regular attendance in classes on the Bhāgavatam and by rendering of service to the pure devotee, all that is troublesome to the heart is almost completely destroyed, and loving service unto the Personality of Godhead, who is praised with transcendental songs, is established as an irrevocable fact.” Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.18
Come to inspire and be inspired, learn how to do “Sastra-deity worship”, develop strong personal sadhana through reading and distributing Srila Prabhupada's Books

Friday Evening Seminar (Dec 14th, 6:30 – 9:00 pm) on Top 6 Techniques to Fast Track your Krishna Conscious ‘Career’
Where do you see your Krishna Consciousness in 5, 10…25 years? What did that senior devotee do right? How to maintain and grow your KC with increasing responsibilities in life (family/job/health)? Come to find out answers to these questions from the ancient yoga texts!

Saturday Street Sankirtan Festival (Dec 15th, Noon – 4:00pm)
A rare chance to head out with Vaisesika Prabhu and share this beautiful gift of Krishna Consciousness with people of Toronto! Highlight is the sharing of the nectar stories with everyone over sumptuous lunch prasadam in the temple!

Saturday Bhajan Night (Dec 15th, 7:00 - 9:00 pm) - Bhajans with Sankirtan Stories led by Vaisesika Prabhu
The all-famous Bhajan Night interspersed with Sankirtan Stories. Come...get a glimpse of the spiritual world!

Sunday Feast Lecture & Kirtan (Dec 16th, 6:30 – 9:00pm) 
Not to be missed!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Another Ecstatic Weekend

Submitted by:- Minakshi Devi Dasi

We went on another two outings this past weekend during Prabhupada Marathon.
This past Friday November 23rdth we were at the Woodbine Banquet Hall for the HAONA Event and then on Sunday we were at Vaishno DeviTemple in Oakville.

The Friday event was fairly small with less than 300 people and many people that had already met us at other banquet hall events in the past few weeks.

One lady entered the foyer of the banquet hall and immediately came over, very pleased and joyful.  She began hugging me and telling me that she is on the board of directors of many community organizations and would love to have us come out to their events as well.  She happens to be a doctor with many connections that we can take advantage of to distribute more and more of Srila Prabhupada’s books.

A while later another I approached a woman who did listen with interest and looked at the Bhagavad Gita and then the Krishna book – she asked me which one she should take – I explained her that one is what Krishna spoke and one is about Krishna – she said that she has been thinking about the Lord for a few days and was thinking about getting some books but did not know where to go and here we are!  She took both books.

There was a huge extended family with sister-in-laws, husbands etc.  Radhapriya spoke to one, Vicky another, Jessica another and me the other.  Each of them was very interested and happily took a selection of Hidden Glory of India, Srimad Bhagavatam Condensed, Illustrated Bhagavatam Stories and more. 

Over 80 books were distributed at this event.

On Sunday we went to Oakville where we had kirtan and as well as a lecture by Subhavilasa Prabhu.  The congregation was very happy. They do not get to hear philosophy on a regular basis so this was refreshing and insightful for them.

One lady spoke to Ashalata devi dasi for a long time and just could not stop her enthusiasm for the chanting, the lecture, the books, etc. She took a Bhagavad Gita and a small book and exchanged her contact information.

I approached a teenager and showed him the Krishna book – he really liked it and showed it to his father.  His father made him promise that he would read the entire book and then agreed to take it. Another lady decided to take 2 Bhagavad Gitas as holiday gifts for her 20 and 21 year old sons.

A small girl of about 6 saw the kids books and desperately wanted it.  The mother was being very reluctant.  Finally Mother Ashalata told her that if your daughter wanted to buy a candy from the store you would buy it so why not buy this that the girl really wants and is more valuable.  She took 3 kids books.

There are so many more stories, so much nectar, but so little space….By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada over 80 books were distributed here as well. 

For the weekend, over 160 Books were distributed and about $800 collected.  Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Non-Stop Sankirtan

By Minakshi Devi Dasi

This past Sunday November 18th we had the opportunity to do two events in one day – the daytime was Vishnu Mandir in Richmond Hill and the evening was a Diwali Event at Versailles Banquet Hall.  So the Sankirtan day began at about 9 am and continued until about 12 midnight!  The sankirtan warriors for this day were myself, my daughter Radhapriya, Mayur Prabhu, Vicky Prabhu and Jessica Mataji.

Our first stop was at the Vishnu Mandir where they were holding their regular Sunday program plus their Diwali Celebration. We were able to setup a table in their lobby and even as we were unpacking the boxes, people were coming by with interest.

One girl looked at the Krishna Book and Bhagavad Gita and after being explained about both books wanted them.  Her mother was a little reluctant – will you really read them and so on – the girl was adamant and the mother purchased both books much to the delight of the girl who held on to them tightly.  There were actually a few kids who loved the Krishna Book and thus had the parent take them.

Adjacent to our table was another table where a young white lady was promoting a not for profit endeavor.  She looked bored so I went to her and spoke about spiritual yoga and showed her 3 of our smaller books including Spiritual Yoga, Consciousness - The Missing Link and Topmost Yoga System.  I told her to just look them over as she sits at her table.

A little while later I followed up with her and she was very excited – she said her husband grew up a Christian but as a teenager gave it up because he was not getting answers and both of them have taken a step back – these books look like exactly what they have been searching for.  She ended up taking 5 books.

We finished at Vishnu Mandir having distributed 120 books.

On we went to the Banquet Hall with a short stopover at Vicky Prabhu’s house for some rest and rejuvenation. 

Here our book distribution started very slowly but we did not give up.  Eventually, by the mercy of Srila Prabhupada things picked up.

One lady that took a Bhagavad Gita happened to be a Crown Prosecutor that is involved in murder trials – she said “I need something spiritual to help me.”

A professor from Nairobi that we met at an event a few weeks ago happened to be at this event and was excited to see us again.  Another fellow who saw us at another event invited us to come out to an event this Friday that is hosted by an organization that he is the Chairman of.   When I took his name and number and gave him my name – he said I already know you – I know you and your family from the temple since you were a little girl.

We distributed books to all bodies – white, brown and black, to government officials and to Sikhs – many took Bhagavad Gitas.  We distributed a total of 100 books at the Banquet Hall.

Although it was a long day, we were having such a Sankirtan rush and experiencing much nectar!

Final results for Sunday’s efforts – over 220 Books and over $1100 Laxmi Collected.  Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Glorious Gerrard Street Sankirtan

Submitted by:- Minakshi dd
Our weekend of Ecstatic Book Distribution continued on Sunday November 11th where we did Sankirtan on Gerrard Street.  By the mercy of Srila Prabhupada, we were able to get permission to setup a table in front of one of the clothing retailers.

As we were setting up we noticed a puja store adjacent to the clothing store and predicted trouble! 
About 20 minutes later the owner of the puja store came out and was asking “who gave you permission, you can’t be here” and proceeded to admonish the clothing store owner about it.  With Krishna’s mercy the clothing store owner said - yes, what is wrong? – he did indeed give permission – they are the Hare Krishnas – leave them alone.  So our angry puja store owner just stomped away.

Later on in the evening, Subhavilasa Prabhu came by and decided to go into the puja store and speak to the man – it turned out that Subhavilasa Prabhu knows this man’s brother for years.  The brother assisted the temple back in the 70’s. Subhavilasa Prabhu was able to not only soften the owner up but he ended up taking 9 books!

There were many stories from this event and I will relate a few quickly:

Jessica Mataji was speaking to a family and they purchase a couple of books and took a temple card.  They ended up coming to the temple that very same evening, spoke to Indresh Prabhu and took sweet boxes and more books – so instant reaction!

I approached a young couple and said Happy Diwali and showed them the Bhagavad Gita. They said that just two minutes ago as they were walking down the street they were thinking of getting something spiritual – they each took a Bhagavad Gita – just see how Krishna knows people’s hearts.

Ashalata Devi Dasi came by later in the evening and immediately began pumping out Krishna Books and Bhagavad Gitas both Hindi and English – one man, an Ismaili, listened to her about the Krishna book and said this looks interesting – I WILL read it and quickly took out his wallet to pay.

Final results for Sunday’s efforts – 150 Books, $502 Laxmi Collected, countless nectar, and many thanks to all who helped – Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ecstatic Weekend of Book Distribution – Diwali Event

Submitted by Minakshi dd

This weekend we had the opportunity to do Sankirtan not only on Saturday but also on Sunday. So two days of Sankirtan in the service of Srila Prabhupada!

This is a recap of Saturday’s event:

We went to a Banquet Hall in Mississauga where they were holding a Diwali Celebration.  We were able to secure a table in the lobby and immediately put up a huge poster of Srila Prabupada along with a variety of books. 

Beside us was a vendor selling saris – the name of her store happened to be “Maya” so we were joking among ourselves – “Do you want Krishna or Maya?” Of course we saw that people (especially the women) were all hovering around the sari table – Maya! 

Not only that, inside the hall, the music was blaring, the lights were pulsing, people were drinking and eating meat. But the Sankirtan devotees – Vicky Prabhu, Mayur Prabhu, Jessica Mataji, myself and my daughter Radhapriya stayed in the lobby and kept preaching and distributing books.  Our thoughts were on how Lord Chaitanya and Lord Nityananda dealt with Jagai and Madhai. We are insignificant compared to this example. 

Final results for Saturday’s efforts – 116 Books including several Bhagavad Gitas and Krishna Books and $534 Laxmi Collected – Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Transcendental Fireworks - Diwali Sankirtan

Submitted by Minakshi dd

We had the opportunity to do sankirtan at a Banquet Hall where there was a Diwali Event.

We got there at 5:30pm and met with resistance by one of the management as soon as we walked in.  However, we perservered and were able to get our table and get things setup.  Everyone was cooperative except for this one fellow we will call 'Angry Man' who had many objections - only 1 table, only in this corner, No picture of Srila Prabhupada, No picture of Radha Gopinatha, no distributing beyond your table and so on!

Anyhow, with the help of Mayur Prabhu, Vicky Prabhu, Jessica Mataji, Radhapriya and myself we kept approaching everyone and trying our best. 

I will relate a wonderful story. We were approaching many people and Mayur began speaking with one girl probably around 16 or 17 years old.  She really loved the Bhagavad Gita and wanted it badly, but did not have any money; she asked her mother and brother and both did not have (or want to give).  Suddenly it was realized that this girl is the daughter of this man who was objecting and indeed getting very angry at us.  So Mayur really wanted to get this Bhagavad Gita to this girl and told her just take it and have it.  She took the book.  Later in the lobby as we were packing up I went over to our 'Angry Man' to soften him and 'thank' him.  His daughter was right next to him and across from me.  She opened the Gita and asked me "Is this Hindi?" I told her no this is Sanskrit and then here is the phonetic English - the first word of the verse happened to be 'evam' and that this is the word by word translation such as evam=thus.  Suddenly our 'Angry Man' looked over and saw the Bhagavad Gita in his daughter's hands - the shock on his face was priceless.  So I told him that she really wanted the book, fell in love with it but did not have money so we gave it to her as a gift.  He got a little embarrased and asked how much is it - we said, no it is a gift - but he pulled out a $10 bill and handed it to us!  Thus despite all his offensive efforts to block Srila Prabhupada's Sankirtan Movement, a Bhagavad Gita ended up in his household!
Another quick incident - I was speaking with an older gentleman and showing him the books by Srila Prabhupada.  It turns out that he was a professor in Nairobi and had read the Bhagavad Gita As It Is.  He said he has ready many many books by others and the power of ISKCON is Srila Prabhupada's books bacause of their purity and authencity.  We couldn't agree more!

We left the Banquet Hall at 1:30 am and then proceeded to Vicky Prabhu's home where his mother kindly had wonderful prasadam prepared for us. 

Totals for this event:  115 Books including lots of Big Books and $900 Collected.

Thank you to all the devotees that helped in the service of Srila Prabhupada!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This is My Request

The Canadian Sankirtan Newsletter

Click on the link above to view the 1st Issue of the Canadian Sankirtan Newsletter, which was released at the recent Canadian Leaders Meeting in Brighton.

Sankirtan At Garba - Leaving No Stone Un-turned

Submitted by:- Minakshi devi dasi

On Saturday October 13th we had the opportunity to do book distribution at the Ontario Soccer Centre where there was a Garba Event. Imagine on the one hand loud pulsing live music with hundreds of people dancing with dandiya sticks and on the other hand Srila Prabhupada’s books trying to deliver these souls.  The sankirtan warriors included Mayur Prabhu, Vijay Patel Prabhu, Radhapriya and myself.

A quick incident: I had approached a couple of older men and started speaking to them and showing them the Krishna Book in Gujarati; they came closer to the table and we continued to speak.  In the meantime, another man came closer and said there is no need for these books – ‘everything is in your mind – you control your happiness’. Despite this, I showed them a paragraph about suffering and happiness and they ignored the interrupting man and purchased 2 Krishna Books and 1 small Gujarati book!

A lot of people said ‘we already have these books’ or ‘we already know about Krishna’.  Others had been drinking and we could clearly smell it on them. Anyhow we all persevered and by the end of the night we distributed over 60 books including many Krishna Books and Kid’s books and collected over $400.  Thank you to all the devotees who helped in this service! Jaya Srila Prabhupada!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Orillia Beatles Festival

This was our 3rd year participating in the Orillia Beatles Festival. Orillia, which is a small city about 1.5 hours away from Toronto hosts this annual festival in the memory of the Beatles - and the Hare Krishna's are an integral part of it. The city management and the festival organizers are very favorable and encourage us to participate every year. They've also provided us with on-stage slots for Kirtan, which have been led by Toronto's very own, Gaura Sakti group.  This year, the festival experienced lower than usual attendance (perhaps cut down by the festival entrance fee)! Still, the low numbers did not deter the sankirtan warriors as they used the opportunity to hit the streets of Orillia for kirtan and book distribution. A total of about 150 books were distributed. This was also the first out of town sankirtan festival where we explored prasadam distribution (Govinda's booth). We setup a booth next to our book tent, and served prasad in various combo meals. Although the sales were not spectacular given the number of festival goers - we made a great foot-in for combining prasadam "sales" with outdoor sankirtan festivals! We hope to bring more of those to action next summer.
Special Kirtan Performance by Gaura Sakti

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sankirtan Nectar from Toronto

One of the most enthusiastic sankirtan devotees in Toronto,  Bhakta Mayur, goes almost every day on sankirtan - whether there is a big festival with a team of 20 devotees, or by himself, his determination to share Srila Prabhupada's books is unshakeable.

Here is an excerpt from a compilation of some amazing sankirtan nectar, which was recently shared on the international book distribution portal.

We also met one boy who was I think about twenty years of age, and Jessica started a conversation near Rosedale garden. The guy said “I tried yoga but it is really hard to get it, and kinda’ boring”, and Jessica handed him a book and said “It’s OK you can just read the rear cover of this book”. Srila Prabhupada writes about the perfection of yoga, how we are not this body and that we are pure servants of Lord Krishna, and how what we really must do is realize this by chanting Hare Krishna. So then she said “let’s chant”, and the young boy and his girlfriend joined us in chanting the Mahamantra. Jessica showed him her beads and she explained what is Krishna consciousness, what the effect of the Mahamantra is in in our daily lives. Really amazing.

A Little Goes a Long Way at Toronto Carribean Festival

As many of you, recently we participated in Carribean FEstival here in Toronto! Here is an article by ISKCON News on the event!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival

Submitted by:- Mahabhagavat Das
Our second outing to the Multicultural Festival (June 23-24), located in the beautiful Victoria Park, Kitchener-Waterloo was another tremendous team effort, with more than 40 joyful Sankirtan enthusiasts working together. The organizers gave us a much better location than last year and we had enough space to conduct over 14 hours of nonstop Harinam from our "Hare Krishna Hill", one-on-one guided Mantra meditation sessions, beautiful conversations, and much more. Over 1,500 persons received Krishna Prasadam, more than 20 individuals chanted their first round of Hare Krishna Mahamantra, at least 250 people chanted the Hare Krishna Mahamantra for the very first time, and more than 330 books were taken home in return for generous donations. Above all, we made many new friends, renewed connections with some of our old friends, and it was a great opportunity by the grace of Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Prabhupada and the spiritual masters to extend ourselves in the service of Krishna.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Purity is the Force

By Minakshi Devi Dasi

On Sunday June 24th, a couple of temples in the Etobicoke/Brampton area conducted a small Rathayatra.  We had the opportunity to put up a book display outside under a small tent. Even as we were setting up, people were getting attracted to Srila Prabhupada's books.  There was some rain, but people were 'hungry' and interested and within only 20 minutes 40 books were already distributed. One individual was looking at the titles and listening and suddenly noticed that all the titles were by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada - he was simply amazed! The power of ISKCON is Srila Prabhupada's books and pure philosophy, something that is usually missing when people go to 'other' temples.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Astaprahar Sankirtan at Tagore Centre

Submitted by Minakshi Devi Dasi

On June 16th, we went to the Astaprahar being held at the Tagore Centre in Etobicoke.  It was an extremely hot day and we were already perspiring as we setup the table.  We noticed that the place was practically empty.  In fact during the course of the whole day, there were only about 30 to 40 people in the building.  However, this gave us an opportunity to approach everyone that passed. One lady decided to buy some children's books for her young daughter but would not buy the Bhagavad Gita saying that she is all about her daughter now and when she gets old maybe she will have time.  This was quite funny to hear because as Srila Prabhupada and indeed Prahlad Maharaj has taught us - the time is now - we don't know how much more time we will have on this planet.  In the end 73 books were distributed. Thank you to all the devotees involved in this service to Srila Prabhupada.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lord Caitanya's Troops at Yoga Palooza

Submitted by:- Keeshori

With the mercy of Srila Prabhupada and Sri Sri Radha Gopinatha, this weekend was packed with Sankirtan. This Saturday we went to a Yoga festival in a West end park to distribute Srila Prabhupada's books at  Yoga palooza festival. Anshul, Anjan and Indresh prabhus along with myself set up the tables and the tent.

I greeted a black bodied gentleman and asked  him to look at the books we got. Keeping the theme of the festival in mind, I offered him 'The Perfection of Yoga ' book and explained to him what it means to be a perfect Yogi and how to practice Bhakti Yoga. I think it made him curious to inquire more.  He flipped few pages and wanted to know who is God and how we relate ourselves to God. Without being very preachy, I simply offered him the Bhagvad Gita, showed him a few verses and told him this can answer all his questions.
He read the contents page and introduction to the chapters . He seemed interested even more  and looked at the nicely displayed vegetarian cook books. He asked why we were promoting vegetarianism.
I said without going into scientific and environmental details, just think why some animals like cows and rabbits are vegetarian and a tiger doesn't even think twice before killing and eating it's prey. Because they simply follow their instinct. Humans don't like to kill , see blood and eat animals like a tiger does. They are not naturally carnivorous. They cheat their own instinct to eat meat, so we are promoting what comes naturally to human beings.  He seemed satisfied with the answer and shared an incident where his friend was freaked at the sight of blood in his plate at a restaurant. I showed him the Higher Taste and told him that first half of the book will explain why we should be vegetarian and second half will give him recipes of vegetarian dishes.
He wanted the books but did not have enough cash. That is where the sankirtan innovation of the mobile credit card machine came in handy. He bought all three books and paid very generously.

Anshul and Anjan Prabhus did an amazing job distributing books as well and with krishna's mercy we distributed 46 books and had an amazing experience of sharing Srila Prabhupada's books!

Jaya Gaura Nitai!
All glories to Srila Prabhupada! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Italian Food Festival

Submitted by Anshul

With Italy qualifying for Euro Cup, the Italian Food Festival, at little Italy, was packed with people and 8 young devotees went out loaded with books, prasad and kirtan to spread some of Lord Chaitanya's love to the pizza-makers!

Devotees had a great time distributing over 23 books (including a few italian ones!), lots dum dums and singing kirtan Italiano style.  

The event was a success and showed huge promise for large scale sankirtan in the coming years. 

Looking to have a few italian phrases mastered for next year's festival!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Transcendental Sales At Guelph Multi-cultural Festival

Submitted by Mahabhagavat Das
A team of over forty enthusiastic volunteers joined together in a well-coordinated effort to take this sublime spiritual knowledge of Krishna consciousness and blissful process of Bhakti Yoga to Guelph on the weekend of 9-10 June 2012. The event was the Guelph Multicultural festival, where we went for the second year in a row. We met old friends from last year, we made new connections, and distributed 171 transcendental literatures, hundreds of pieces of Prasadam and many chanted, danced, and clapped enthusiastically. We had several wonderful conversations centered around Krishna. We are grateful to all who contributed so freely of their time, attention, energy, and personal resources to make this event such a smashing success!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Get The 20%

Sharing a letter sent out by H.G. Vaisesika Prabhu through the 7th Goswami Network:- Let’s go for 20% more book distribution in 2012!

Goals are Potent 
The moment one sets a goal and commits to it in writing, one’s mind begins to figure out how to achieve it. And when devotees set transcendental goals, like increasing book distribution by 20%, the Lord who lives in their hearts gives them all help and guidance.
Try it and see for yourself!
Acting on this principle in January of this year, all the leaders present at the North American temple president’s meeting set the following goal for this year:
All temple leaders in North America work together as one team to increase book distribution by 20% in 2012.
In 2011, N/A devotees remitted $903,613 to the BBT and distributed 714,334 books. Therefore, for 2012, the goals are as follows:

Laxmi: $1,084,336
Books: 857,000

Expenses at the NA BBT are fixed. Therefore, when we increase our Laxmi remittance to the BBT, the BBT is able to print more books, and a wider variety of titles at cheaper prices.

Not only did Srila Prabhupada create the BBT to distribute transcendental books, he also set it up as the instrument for developing ISKCON projects. Therefore, he mandated that half of the profit from BBT go for printing and the other half for funding international ISKCON projects such as new temple construction, the Bhaktivedanta Institute, and so on.

Now Get the 20%! is fast becoming a worldwide movement. Devotees in India, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, after hearing about Get the 20%! are joining in too.

In fact, everyone is invited. No matter where you live, please set a goal to increase book distribution by 20% and to join the effort to increase book distribution. Doing this will bring great happiness to our Founder-Acarya, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and will bring relief to people everywhere who are suffering the ill effects of Kali Yuga.
Join the Sankirtana party!

Let’s go for 20% more book distribution in 2012!
Your servant,
Vaisesika Dasa
(N/A Sankirtana Strategist)
This is our most important work. All the leaders should tax their brains for increasing the sales of our books. I have always said that if we simply rely on book distribution all our needs will be met.” (SPL to Rupanuga, 11th January 1976

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tamil Carnival Sankirtan

By Radhapriya (12 years)

On June 2 and 3rd, there was a Tamil Carnival in Markham.  The organizers were expecting thousands of people, but the weather did not cooperate – it rained and so there were no crowds and very few people. But we had a beautiful table filled with Srila Prabhupada’s books in both Tamil and English.  At first I was very shy but my mother (Minakshi devi dasi) kept approaching every person that passed and was encouraging people to look at the books and preaching.  Finally I got the courage to do so as well. I spoke to kids and adults and people actually stopped and listened!  Some just passed and said no, but I was still hopeful and kept trying. I distributed Tamil Bhagavad Gitas and Krishna books as well as some kids books. I was so happy everytime someone took a book that I was not even so tired after standing all day.  In the end a total of 200 books were distributed at the Tamil Carnival with the mercy of Srila Prabhupada

Stouffville Market Sankirtan

For the 3 year anniversary of the Monthly Sankirtan Festival (Mary 26th), the sankirtan warriors went to two location- a larger team went to the Yonge and Dundas Square while a smaller group of four devotees headed out to the Stouffville Country Market. This place is a home to the largest farmer's market in the area where inside and outside vendors also sell products ranging from home furnishings to sporting goods and electronics. Because it was a hot-humid day, there wasn’t much traffic of people but on the flip side, longer interesting conversations were possible. We met some really nice people and established some great contacts. A team of 4 devotees stood out through the hot summer sun from 7am-3pm and a total of 25 books were distributed. 

Upcoming Events

Tentative Calendar:-

June 16-17 - Astaprahar Kirtan; Yoga Palooza; Taste of Little Italy

June 23-24 - Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Festival

June 30 - MSF 3rd Year Anniversary

July 1-2 - Chin Picnic  Sankirtan

July 1 - Canada Day Harinam
July 14-15 - Ratha Yatra Festival

July 21 - MSF; Stouville Flea Market Sankirtan

Aug 4 - Caribana Festival Sankirtan

Aug 18- Masala Mehendi Masti Sankirtan

Aug 25 - MSF

Sep 1-3 - CNE  Sankirtan

Sep 14-15 - Beatles Orillia Sankirtan

Sep 23 - Word on the street Festival

Sep  28-Oct 8 - World Holy Name Week

Book of the Month June - Perfect Questions Perfect Answers!

We are now in our 10th consecutive month for the book club here in Toronto! A big thank you to all who have been a part of the book club, reading and sharing inspirations from the books of Srila Prabhupada.
This month, the book of the month is Perfect Questions Perfect Answers, its only a 100 page book, so we simply need to read about 3-4 pages a day to complete the book. 
This book is a compilation of conversations between Srila Prabhupad and Bob Cohen, a peace corps worker in India. Through the 9 chapters, we will learn about the real goal of life, the modes of nature, the perfect devotee and more...
Starting this month, we are also including one question for each day. We encourage and request you to participate. Anyone, who answers more than 50% of the questions will receive a free transcendental gift. 

Join our new google group : https://groups.google.com/group/torontosankirtan-bookclub?hl=en

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Toronto Sankirtan Newsletter - Summer 2012

We have an exciting summer planned with several sankirtan outings! Check out our latest Newsletter to learn more about whats happening:- Toronto Sankirtan Newsletter - Summer 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Celebrating Three Successful Years - Monthly Sankirtan Festival

Sankirtan in Kensington with Vaisesika Prabhu
May 2009 The 1st Monthly Sankirtan Festival
Tomorrow (May 26th) marks the 3rd Anniversary of the Monthly Sankirtan Festivals in Toronto. Inspired by Vaisesika Prabhu, the monthly sankirtan festivals have been going strong for the last 36 months. Numerous devotees have worked hard going out each month to distribute thousands of Srila Prabhupada books, even more pieces of prasad and the sweet sounds of the Hare Krsna Mahamantra. Many more have helped behind the scenes, organizing, packing, cooking for and supporting those who are out at the front.

We're heading out tomorrow to celebrate the 36th MSF! We request you to join us - to experience the taste of "Sankirtan". Come along - chant with the kirtan party, hand out prasad, distribute books or just come and "check it out"! We will be at Yonge and Dundas and out in Stouville country market! Come see us! 
We encourage you to come for the morning program at the temple which will include a special Bhagavatam Class by a visiting senior devotee - Ananda Caitanya Prabhu
We thank you for the last three wonderful years and pray to remain in the service of Srila Prabhupada and the devotees for the rest of our lives.
In your service,
Toronto Sankirtan Organizing Team
Glory to the Sri Krishna Sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtana movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious. Sri Siksastakam 1

Transcendental Bargain

Sourav and Mayur Prabhus at the Sankirtan Table 
Last weekend, warriors from Toronto Sankirtan Team, went out to distribute books at a local Bengali temple for their 12 hour kirtan. Below is an experience that Mayur Prabhu, as relayed by Sourav Prabhu (both of whom were at the spot that day)

He met a group of 4 young men and women. A black bodied person in the group claimed already to be a student of the Bhagavat Gita. He immediately and without any talking bought The Teachings of Lord Chaityanya. Then the discussion commenced with the woman in the group who had now put her faith in Buddhism in her search of the final truth. She had heard about Krishna but was not sure about the philosophy. Also the other person of the group was a believer in Christ. Mayur congratulated them for putting their faith in a higher power and told the lady in the group (who was the person heading the group with their questions) about the science of soul and how voidism is not the highest expression of the truth for in our daily existence we can see that there cannot be something out of nothing. He told her that Lord Buddha’s philosophy was correct in taking her to the level of Brahman but if she wants to go to the final height, she should read the Bhagavad Gita which is the final word in spirituality. She decided to take the book but she told she did not have any money. Mayur asked her to give him a cent. When she was fishing her purse for the money, 4 dollars came out. He asked her to give the 4 dollars. She refused and told him that he was doing business in the name of spirituality. 

He did not know how to handle the situation at this point. He asked Krishna for help. Suddenly one idea struck him. He asked her to just hand the money in his hand for the time being. She reluctantly did. Then he took out his purse and handed her the $50 dollar he had in his purse and asked her to keep it. She was dumb struck. The black bodied person was smiling and was absorbed with what was happening. She told him that 50 dollar is much greater than the $4. He congratulated her saying that mathematically she correct. Then he asked her to consider and think whether spiritually she was?

He explained that to him and to Krishna the $4 was far bigger a sum than the $50 dollar for it will give her imperishable knowledge. And that for spiritual knowledge she has to part with something that is dear as an exchange for that will give her Sukriti or spiritual power to understand the higher science. She was not convinced. He asked her whether she wanted a proof to learn this. She told she was. Then he warned her that she must be ready for consequences for He was going to put a special prayer to Krishna to reveal this logic. She agreed. He then put a special prayer to Krishna. Still the issue of money was not resolved. But somehow the conversation changed and she asked whether a Guru was needed to open the third eye. He asked her what she meant by Guru and third eye and how do did she know that for now he wasn't her Guru for he was trying to convince her about the highest science of Krishna and soul. He then told her the story of Dattatretya who had 24 gurus in the form snake, moth, bird, moon etc. The entire group was absorbed and impressed like anything. Then she asked him does he not love money? He replied that he is the happiest when he has no money in his pocket, not even a cent for that is the day Krishna reveals his mercy by revealing that He is the one that supports and not money. (I personally know that he being a student is often short of funds, he told her the absolute truth). The girl was defeated at this point and became very emotional and gave her the money willingly and took the book. Of Couse she returned the $50 dollar. And the entire group told that will come to the temple.

Sankirtan Yajna ki Jai!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Introducing Weekly Sadhana Calls!

Weekly Sadhana Calls: Starting Thursday, May 24th, 6:30-6:50am (20 min), we are launching a new initiative which will involve CHAD (reading a chapter from the Bhagavad Gita As It Is) and reading from the 'Book of the Month' (Sri Isopanisad for May) for 20 minutes each Thu morning. This will be done via Skype (Skype ID: ISKCON Toronto Sankirtan). For those who are not comfortable with Skype, contact us and we can walk you through a simple process of setting up a FREE Skype account (www.skype.com), or work out an alternative for you.

"Businessweek magazine suggests that "You can do better. To protect your business, create an emergency plan that includes phone lists, alternative working spaces and processes, and, most critically, a procedure to back up vital data. Finally, make sure you have the insurance coverage you'll need to make up for lost revenues or rebuild your business." As living entities - spiritual sparks , we should also have an emergency plan to sustain in our 'real business' of 'Going back to Godhead'. Srila Prabhupad suggests that "We should read, how Krishna protects the demigods or the devotees. We should seek protection of Krishna. This world is so dangerous. It is said...at every step there is danger. But if we take shelter,..., if we take shelter of the lotus feet of Murari, under whose lotus feet the whole mahat-tattva, cosmic manifestation, is resting, then this big ocean of birth and death, we can cross very easily... The whole ocean becomes like a spot, a small spot, created by the impression of the hoof..." - (Bhagavad-gita 7.5 Lecture,Vrndavana, August 11, 1974)

Reciting Bhagavad-Gita helps us remember this naked truth of the temporary miserable material world and the eternal blissful nature of spiritual world. Simply by giving our attention and concentration to CHAD everyday for a minimum of 5-10 minutes, we accumulate tremendous amount of spiritual wealth that can never be taken away by any powerful deadly agents in any of three worlds. Caring for our real 'self' by doing CHAD is one of the best ways to 'selflessly' perform the greatest welfare work for our fellow beings!"- 
HG Vaisesika Prabhu

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

April Sunny MSF Moments!

As it was our Nrsimha Dev special MSF, in the mood of Prahlad Maharaj, we wanted to reach out with compassion to every one on the street. We had a goal of at least 20 devotees doing 75 books that day. By the mercy of Sri Prahlad-Nrsimha, we had a team of almost 22 devotees who  distributed a total of 95 books. We had an ecstatic Harinama, and distributed many hundreds of pieces of Prasadam.  Afterwards, we all came back to the temple, and as is the tradition now, we had prasad along with hearing experiences on the street! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April Book Club - Science of Self-Realization

The Book Club initiative is going strong for the past several months now. The book club "book" for the month of April is the Science of Self-Realization.  In order to complete the book in the month of April, you have to read about 10 pages a day! If you are late to join in, No Problem :), we welcome you to sign-up for our daily email quotes, so you stay connected! To register for the book club,email us!

The objective of the book club is to facilitate and encourage readings from the wonderful philosophy of Krishna consciousness. We encourage you to participate! 

A little something about the book:-

In this book you will discover the timeless science that great teachers have spoken for millennia. The Science of Self Realization opens up the secrets of the self within, nature and the universe and the Supreme Self within and without. 

Here the world's most distinguished teacher of the science of self-realization talks about meditating and practicing yoga in the modern age, gaining liberation from the law of Karma, achieving superconsciousness, and much more. 

In all the interviews, lectures, essays, and letters chosen for this special book, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada speaks with startling clarity and power. He proves just how relevant the science of self-realization is to today's world and our own life.

Pick up your copy at the next Sunday Feast!