India embraces one of the earliest civilizations in the world,
providing a unique contribution to the cultural heritage of the
world in terms of fine arts, literature, architecture, sciences,
religion and philosophy. India is a land of diverse religious
heritage of which Vaishnavism represents individual monotheism.
Devotees of Vishnu, Rama and Krishna are called Vaishnavas.
According to the Vaishnava teachings, the only one way to attain
lasting happiness is to awaken and develop our lost affectionate
relationship with God. This spiritual process is called the yoga
of divine love (bhakti-yoga). Practising it, we can gradually
become open-hearted, selfless and faithful. We can read about
this in the Vaishnavas’ sacred book, the Bhagavad Gíta. At the
end of the spiritual process, pure love for God evolves in our
hearts, and this is what we call perfection of life.
Vaishnava temples and holy places can be found all over India.
As Vaishnavism is one of the strongest branches of Hinduism;
it has millions of followers.
In 1966, an elderly Vaishnava monk, Bhaktivedanta Swami, arrived
in America. Inspired by his spiritual master, he spread Vaishnava
philosophy throughout the western world. Bhaktivedanta Swami, also
known as Srila Prabhupad to his followers was a highly-educated,
charismatic person with a good sense of humour. Over the course
of 11 years, until his departure from this world in 1977, he achieved
monumental feats. He translated and published a great number of
Vedic scriptures and gave numerous lectures. He initiated thousands
of disciples, who established temples, farms and spiritual communities
in almost every country in the world. Thanks to the tireless efforts
of Srila Prabhupad, Vaishnavism started expanding into western
In 1972 our Guru met Bhaktivedanta Swami’s disciples in Stockholm.
This meeting had a great impact on him, so in Paris in 1973,
he became Bhaktivedanta Swami’s disciple. He was given the task
by his Master to preach in the socialist countries behind the
Iron Curtain. It was a difficult and risky mission at that time
because disseminating prohibited literature and idealistic philosophy
was a great hazard. His adventurous travels were known far and
wide to his contemporaries. In spite of his high stature, his
homeland, Hungary, remained a place of great importance to him.
From 1976, he regularly visited Hungary.
first Hungarian Vaishnavas organized their spirtual activities
under his guidance. In 1979, together with some of the members
of the new Vaishnava community, he purchased some farmland near
Szeged. Their goal was to establish a spiritual centre where
people could live in harmony with nature and practise their faith
freely. The small community developed nicely, and over the years
it has been expanding. Thousands of people have visited the centre,
experiencing the special atmosphere of the place, including the
ancient wisdom of timeless philosophy, the exotic smell of incense-sticks,
Indian vegetarian cuisine and heart-warming hospitality.
In 1985, our Master entered into the renounced order
of life and he received the name Bhakti_Abhay_Narayan_Swami.
He accepted many disciples up until his departure from this world
in 1993. He translated into Hungarian and published Bhagavad Gíta
and many other Vaishnava scriptures. He also launched the publication
of two periodicals. Kagylókürt is a cultural magazine which is
distributed all over Hungary and, the other one, Gangesz, represents
Vaishnava philosophy. Both periodicals are still being published.
In his final years, Narayan Swami taught Vaishnava philosophy and
Sanskrit at the University in Pécs.
Today centres operate in many towns, where Vaishnavas and their
friends can meet. The most important event of our community was
the building of the Vaishnava Hindu Temple in Nandafalva. Vaishnavism
has been present in Hungary for 25 years and in a humble way it
continues to spread all over the country.
Vaishnava Hindu Temple on the Hungarian Plain
The temple is situated five km from Balástya, and its unique style
combines traditional Hungarian and Vaishnava architectural elements,
symbolising the existence of two geographically distinct cultures
living together in harmony.
A small Vaishnava community has been living in this rural area
of the Hungarian Plain for about 20 years. The core of the community
comprises 8 families. Each family is virtually self-sufficient,
maintaining a house and a garden of their own. The homesteads are
situated one or two km from each other. Weekdays are full of work
but at the weekends and on holidays the community gets together.
The Hindu worship, similar to the Christian service, consists of
singing and preaching with the Vaishnava Brahmanas wearing traditional
Although the temple has been operating for several
years, some of the internal works and external decorations are
not yet completed. Our plan is to create a park around the temple
with plants matching the landscape. We also intend to renovate
the old community house and build new guest quarters. Our intention
is to launch Vaishnava Open University and summer camps dealing
with topics like naturalistic lifestyle, yoga and environmental
There are only a few Hindu temples in Europe, therefore
we hope that our Vaishnava temple in Balástya will be able to contribute
to the cultural value and attraction of the area through its architectural
values and events.