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Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple in Canada celebrates Janmashtami with chanting, singing and musical performances
Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) celebrated Krishna Janmashtami on August 15 with festivities that started in the evening and went on till midnight.

The devotees of Lord Krishna and ISKCON's cult followers who sing the "Hare Krishna Chant" with dancing assembled at the Hare Krishna Temple in the city to 'celebrate the biggest birthday party of the year, Lord Krishna's appearance day – Sri Krishna Janmastami' as notified by the organisers of the event.

The main festivities that started at 6:00 pm and went on until midnight were filled with kirtan, bhajans, discourses and performances dedicated to Lord Krishna.

However, the highlight of the event was the abhisheka or bathing ceremony with kirtan at its peak and opening the doors of the Deity 'Radha Ksira-Chora Gopinatha' for darshana in a stunning flower outfit. Also, as a part of the festivities at the temple, a musical performance was staged, Hare Krishna movie trailer was presented and mid-night arati were also performed.

The ISKCON, popularly known as the Hare Krishna movement that follows Gaudiya Vaishnava Bhakti traditions, was founded in 1966 in New York City by AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada who is worshipped by followers as Guru and spiritual master. Currently, ISKCON has temples in major cities of India and some cities across the world.

The devotees worship Krishna as the highest form of God and Radha is deemed as Krishna's divine female counterpart – the original spiritual potency and the embodiment of divine love and devotion.

Often devotees sing kirtan or do quiet japa on tulsi mala of the Maha Mantra which goes as follows: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna / Krishna Krishna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama / Rama Rama Hare Hare. However, the core beliefs of the Movement are based on select such as Bhagavad Gita and the Shrimad Bhagavatam.

"There are four pillars upon which human society rests. These pillars are: mercy, truthfulness, austerity and cleanliness. Everyone appreciates these qualities. By following the four regulative principles, we support these pillars and free ourselves from miseries and from causing pain to others. Along with chanting Hare Krishna, following these principles form the basis of Krishna conscious practice," states their website.

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