Hindus have applauded His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for hosting and eating lunch with poor.
Pope on December 26 reportedly hosted over 350 poor on lunch at Vatican; sat at a table with 14 of them for a meal that included lasagna, potatoes, pandoro cake, coffee, etc.; and was garlanded by them following an Indian tradition.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that “it was a step in the right direction” and urged Pope and other world’s religious leaders to join hands together on the poverty, the monumental crisis and biggest challenge facing the world today, and make poverty eradication a moral priority.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that religions should not remain silent spectators and should become active partners in helping world’s poor and hungry as religion told us to help the helpless. An immediate, unified, collaborative, and coordinated action was required on the part of world religions to uplift the poor.
Do not let the excessive greed blind our minds and thus distract us from helping the poor. Ancient Sanskrit scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) also tells us to abandon three gates to self-destructive hell—greed, anger, and desire; Rajan Zed adds.
Zed pointed out that world religions should develop a global partnership to stamp out hunger and poverty. As all the faith traditions told us to help the poor, so we as world’s religious leaders should give priority to the needs of the poor. Poverty had lead to many other societal problems, which we faced today.
Religion was the most powerful and far-reaching force in our society, and besides poverty, it could also prove very influential in handling common concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc., Rajan Zed stressed.
Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.