Obama includes Hindus in Easter greetings
Hindus world over have applauded American President Barack Obama for including "Hindus" in his "Easter and Passover Greetings" address on April 19. Obama said in this address, "The common thread of humanity that connects us all - not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs - is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves". Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) on Monday, commended Obama for recognizing Hindus and for his inclusiveness approach. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour. Religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously.
And we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience. In our shared pursuit for the truth, we could learn from one another and thus could arrive nearer to the truth, Zed stressed.
He offered Obama wholehearted Hindu support in his worldwide efforts in the areas of human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social and economic development, etc.
Zed also welcomed White House gesture for including yoga in "136th White House Easter Egg Roll" to be held in the South Lawn of White House in Washington DC on April 21. A "Yoga Garden" was mentioned under annual Easter Egg Roll "List of Events" on the White House website. "Come enjoy a session of yoga from professional instructors", it said under the "Yoga Garden".
Zed noted that although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, yoga was a world heritage to be benefitted from and utilized and shared by all.
Zed pointed out that yoga was referred as "a living fossil", whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization. According to Patanjali, who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical, Zed added.
The Easter Egg Roll is a White House tradition dating back to 1878 and President Rutherford B. Hayes, but there are records of informal egg rolling events as early as Abraham Lincoln's administration.
Easter, the Feast of the Resurrection of Christ, is the greatest and oldest feast of the Christianity.
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 USA.
(Posted on 21-04-2014)