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Hastinaapur in Argentina
From US Brahmins Group, Oct 17, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011
Hastinapur, the city of wisdom, in Argentina
Hastinapur has a total area of twelve acres. Its population consists of a dozen Indian gods and an equal number of Argentine human beings. Some of the Indian gods reside in authentic temples filled with the scent of Indian Agarbattee while others stay outdoor enjoying the fragrance of the flowers from the garden. Some are sitting or standing on the pedestals and others hang on the sides of walls and pillars. The gods who have their own temples include Ganesh, Krishn, Soorya, Naaraayan and Shiv. Since it is Hastinapur there is a temple for Paandav too. Hastinapur is clearly a place fit for the gods ...who should be pleased with the cleanliness of the place, the serene surroundings and the green garden with Rosewood trees. The only noise comes from the hundreds of birds nesting in the trees. Then there is the soft music of the devotees who sing Bhajans. It is indeed a divine place which inspires sacred thoughts and holy spirit.

The dozen Argentines who live there look after the gods and the place. During weekend, the human population increases to over one hundred. The Argentines do not go there seeking favors as many Indians do in Tirupati. They go there for wisdom. This is why Hastinapur is called as the City of Wisdom (ciudad de la sabiduria). Saraswatee, the Goddess of Learning blesses the students through the sculptures all around the compound. The Argentines learn philosophy, read in the library, practice Yog and meditation and sing Bhajan.

On the other side of the fence, there are cows grazing and occasionally staring at the Indian gods. The cows are relaxed and free from fear because they know that they will not become food at the dining table in Hastinaapur, which is a vegetarian place. The inmates cook vegetarian food and share it with the children from poor families in the neighborhood.

Hastinapur does not have any god men seeking fame and fortune and flaunting wealthy followers. It is an institution to pursue pure wisdom, peace and divinity. Neither in the city nor in the website names of those who run the place are given. The founders and directors of the Hastinapur Foundation do not seek publicity. They are humble but devoted people. They have their professions as company managers, engineers or professors. They volunteer their time and talents for the foundation.

Nor is Hastinapur the work of some overenthusiastic drum-beating Hare Krishn types or faith-lead Sai Baba followers. Hastinapur respects all the religions and beliefs. Their ten temples 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. Hastinapur seeks true wisdom, going beyond the boundaries of established religions. The 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 Yog, meditation, philosophy, devotional singing and sacred drama. They organize workshops, seminars and retreats. They also provide community service. They celebrate festivals such as Ganesh Chathurthee and Baisaakhee. Their next project is to broadcast through radio.

Hastinapur temples do not have priests or other middlemen between the gods and worshippers. There is no money collection, like in Tirupati. Worshippers pray, recite Mantra and sing devotional songs individually or in groups. Hastinapur has a post-graduate course in Yog which takes three years to complete. The classes are held in the weekends only. There are 2500 students studying Yog and philosophy in the Hastinapur centers. The students are being taught by 100 teachers on philosophy and 120 teachers on Yog.

Many Argentines go to Hastinapur as a retreat from the hectic city of Buenos Aires which is just fifty kilometers away. They practice meditation in the quiet natural environment. They do Yog, read books from the library, discuss philosophy and join the singing of Bhajan. Hastinapur is an authentic Aashram.

Hastinapur Foundation has published a number of books on Indian philosophy and translated Bhagwad Geetaa, Bhakti Sootra, Upanishad, Srimad Bhagwat and Yog Sootra. Their latest publication is Mahaabhaarat in Spanish. They have so far published three volumes and plan to do a total of twelve volumes in the coming years. Each volume is over 500 pages. The founder Alda Albrecht and other members of the Foundation have also written a number of books.

Hastinapur 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. He was 17 years old when he became interested in Indian wisdom. During the Third Festival of India organized by the Embassy in Buenos Aires in November 2010, he gave a talk on the temple architecture of South India. He has agreed to give a talk on Indian philosophy in the forthcoming Fourth Festival of India in December 2011. He is a manager in a local company for living and dedicates rest of his time to Hastinapur Foundation. He is knowledgeable about Indian Ved and Upanishad and is going to India on his second visit in August this year.

The architectural and sculpture work of the Hastinapur complex has been done entirely by Argentines. The architects and sculptors have studied Indian temples and have done their work professionally and aesthetically. Even now they are constructing some more buildings with Indian sculptures and statues.

Hastinapur Foundation has sixteen centers in Buenos Aires and three more in the rest of Argentina. They have also established centers in Uruguay, Bolivia and Colombia. Information on the Foundation and its activities can be seen at their website

Latin Americans are, of course, known for fun and fiesta. At the same time, there are thousands of Latin Americans who take Mahaabhaarat and Meditation more seriously than many Indians....



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 04/14/12