ISKCON Chile - Santiago
Templo, Asrama, Festivales, Ceremonias, Talleres
Encargado: Adi Kesava das
Av. José Miguel Carrera #330 Esquina Grajales.
Metro los Heroes. Santiago.
Tel: 6979264 – 6990025
Web site: http://www.iskcon.cl/
Presiding Deities: Sri Sri Gaura Nitai, Sri Nrsimha-Prahlad, Salagrama Sila. President: Amara Gauranga Das
Opened in 1989. A 4,300 square foot Chilean-style residential home, painted salmon pink and featuring arched doorways and windows and a balcony. Inside, there’s a moderately-sized temple room that lets in lots of light through large windows; a small boutique store selling devotional paraphernalia; a seminar classroom; and four residential ashram rooms.
Location: The temple is located in the university district of Santiago, where there are over 40,000 students, making it ideal for outreach. It’s also close to downtown, the subway, and to La Moneda Palace, the seat of the President of Chile.
Weekly Friday and Sunday programs that bustle with students, great prasadam, and active outreach including Rathayatra, book distribution, and weekly Friday Harinamas.
Number of residents: Only eight devotees, including one priest, reside in the temple itself, but 300 to 400 devotees live in and around Santiago. Number of visitors: 20 to 30 newcomers every week, and 50 to 100 during festivals.
Krishna consciousness was introduced to Chile in 1978, when several Chileans brought the new way of life back home after a visit to Argentina. After a brief one-year run in a big farm house, devotees moved from place to place throughout the 1980s. It was a difficult time for ISKCON. With the country run under an oppressive military dictatorship from 1973 to 1990, book distribution and other types of public outreach were not allowed. In 1989, after extensive fundraising, devotees finally found and purchased the current temple in the center of Santiago. The next year, a democratic government was introduced in Chile, and devotees were able at last to distribute Srila Prabhupada’s books, which have continued to grow more and more popular to this day.
Distributing books in Santiago
Devotees have also had a major social impact on Santiago with their distribution of sanctified prasadam food to starving citizens through Food for Life programs, with many recognizing ISKCON for its love and compassion.
The many students in the area around the temple have an academic interest in ISKCON, too. Often, student groups from nearby colleges visit in order to research essays or visual presentations on ISKCON from various angles: religious, sociological, and more. Perhaps the biggest outreach event of all, however, is Rathayatra, the ancient parade festival in honor of Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe. In the future, Amara Gauranga hopes to serve devotees by turning Santiago temple into a center for Vedic knowledge where young members from all over Latin America can study.
Another long term project is the construction of a custom ISKCON temple in Santiago. We hope to build a beautiful new temple within the next ten to fifteen years.
Video gallery >>