Hastinapura, City of Wisdom (ciudad de la sabiduria) in Argentina has temples of Ganesha, Krishna, Surya, Narayana, Siva and Pandavas. Argentines learn philosophy, read in the library, practise yoga, meditation and sing Bhajans.
Hastinapura is spread over 12 acres with temples and idols for about 12 hinu gods in serene surroundings and green garden with Rosewood trees.
The only noise is that comes from the hundreds of birds nesting in the trees.
Ganesha, Krishna, Surya, Narayana, Siva have individual temples built, while others have idols in open garden.
There is also a temple for Pandavas.
There are about 12 people who take care of this place and during weekends, local Argentines gather in few hundrends to meditate and sing bhajans.
Unlike in many temples of India, people here do not pray and ask for favors from god.
They come here to gain wisdom. That is why Hastinapura is called as the City of Wisdom (ciudad de la sabiduria).
On the other side of the fence, there are cows grazing. These cows are relaxed and free from fear because they know that they will not become food at the dining table in Hastinapura, which is a complete vegetarian place.
The inmates cook vegetarian food and distribute it among the children from poor families in the neighbourhood.
Hastinapura does not have any godmen seeking fame and fortune and flaunting wealthy followers.
It is an instituition to pursue pure wisdom, peace and divinity. Neither in the city nor in the website names of those who run the place are given.
Directors of the Hastinapura Foundation do not seek publicity. They are humble and devoted people.
They have their individual professions as company managers, engineers and professors.
They volunteer their free time and talents for this foundation.
There is no drum beating Hare-Krishna followers who shave their head and sell books, nor there are people who run trusts and collect money in name of Sai Baba.
Hastinapura respects all the religions and beliefs. They have ten temples, which include one for Buddha, one for Virgin Mary, one for the Greek god Demeter and another one called as the the Temple of All Faiths.
Their library has books of all religions and schools of thought.
Hastinapura seeks true wisdom, going beyond the boundaries of established religions.
For the devotees here, City of Wisdom is not the ultimate destination. It does not prescribe wisdom doses.
It simply helps people to seek, find and pursue their own path to wisdom. They give classes in yoga, meditation, philosophy, devotional singing and sacred drama. They organise workshops, seminars and retreats. They also provide community service. They celebrate festivals such as Ganesh Chathurthi and Baishaki. Their next project is to broadcast through radio.
These temples at Hastnapura do not have priests or other middlemen between the gods and worshippers. There is no money collection, no Hundi or cashbox.
Worshippers pray, recite mantras and sing devotional songs individually or in groups.
Hastinapura Foundation has a post graduate course in yoga which takes three years to complete.
These classes are held in the weekends only. There are 2500 students studying yoga and philosophy in the Hastinapura centres. Students are being taught by 100 teachers on philosophy and 120 teachers on yoga.
This place is about 50km away from the busy capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires. People come here on weekends to relax from hectic life, gain wisdom, knowledge and peace.
Hastinapura Foundation was established by Ada Albrecht in 1981. She introduced Indian philosophy and became a Guru for the Argentines seeking wisdom. She wrote a number of books such as ¨The Saints and teachings of India¨ and ¨The teachings of the monks from Himalayas¨.
Gustavo Canzobre was one of her students, who is now the Director of the Hastinapur college of professors.
Hastinapura Foundation has published a number of books on Indian philosophy and also has translated Bhagavad Gita, Bhakti Sutras, Upanishads, Srimad Bhagavatam and Yoga Sutras. Their latest publication is Mahabharata in Spanish.
Argentine architects and sculptors have studied Indian temples and have done their work professionally and aesthetically while building these idols and temples.
Hastinapura Foundation has sixteen centres in Buenos Aires and three more in the rest of Argentina. They have also established centres in Uruguay, Bolivia and Colombia.
For more information, Visit Hastinapura Foundation Website.