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Welcome to the City of Wisdom

Compiled and written by Murali Kamma Email Compiled and written by Murali Kamma
November 2011
Welcome to the City of Wisdom If you’ve ever wondered about visiting Hastinapur, the good news is that it’s only a plane ride away. We’re not referring to the town in Uttar Pradesh, named after the fabled capital of the Kauravas in the epic Mahabharata.

This Hastinapur is in, of all places, Argentina.

Though it’s only a short distance from cosmopolitan Buenos Aires, the setting couldn’t be more different. While bustling Buenos Aires is South America’s most European city, a stay in bucolic Hastinapur will feel like a trip back in time—to ancient India. You’ll see a large marble statue of Ganesha after entering, and as you wander in the well-tended gardens of a peaceful retreat that’s just 12 acres, you’ll see no less than 10 temples dedicated to various gods and religions.

So who established this ecumenical ashram? And what is its purpose?

The Hastinapur Foundation was founded by Professor Ada Albrecht and a bunch of her acolytes exactly 30 years ago. Its lofty philosophy is not difficult to understand. This so-called City of Wisdom aims to “spread faith and the love of god, affirming the basic unity of all religions and the presence of god in the hearts of all beings.”

There are only a handful of permanent residents, but it gets a steady stream of visitors. Busy urbanites, especially, see it as a serene place to recharge their batteries. One can take classes in philosophy, meditation, yoga, even sacred drama. There is also a publishing house which puts out books and a monthly newsletter. A knowledge of Spanish will come in handy if you wish to attend a workshop or read any of their publications. Fortunately, there’s no such need if you just want to enjoy a retreat in beautiful surroundings—and maybe have a delicious vegetarian meal before leaving.

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