US Hindus want 'prayer room' in universities
A US-based Hindu group has urged for a permanent and dedicated prayer room at all the university campuses in United States of America (USA). Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Tuesday, said that US universities, both public and private, should respond to the requirements of its Hindu students to provide designated prayer-meditation hall for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise, which would help in their personal growth. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that it would be a "step in the right direction" in view of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at US universities, as it was important to meet the spiritual needs of these students. He noted that US universities needed to recognize the intersection of spirituality and education, which was important in Hinduism. Zed suggested that these Hindu prayer rooms should have an altar containing murtis (statues) of popular Hindu deities like Shiva, Vishnu, Rama, Krishna, Durga, Venkateshwara, Ganesha, Murugan, Saraswati, Hanuman, Lakshmi, Kali, etc.; besides being equipped with ghanta (big metallic bell hanging from the ceiling), dholak (two-headed hand-drum), Shiva-linga, etc. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in US.
(Posted on 18-02-2014)