Jyoti Tewari , 15 Apr : Hindus have applauded Pope Benedict for reportedly including verse from ancient Hindu scripture Upanishads in the Good Friday Meditations and Prayers led by him at Roman Colosseum.Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was a remarkable gesture from Pope and invited him to study more ancient Hindu scriptures, which were very rich in philosophical thought. He or other Hindu scholars would gladly provide the help and resources in this regard, if asked, Zed added.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, also commended His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI for inclusion of a verse from India’s Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali and reference to peace icon Mahatma Gandhi in these prayers.
Catholic News Service described this out of the ordinary occurrence by saying that “…it reflects Pope Benedict’s view of Christianity’s relationship with the non-Christian world…”.
This year’s “Way of the Cross at the Colesseum” Meditations and Prayers on Good Friday led by Pope and put together by Vatican Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, included well-known verse from Brahadaranyakopanishad ("Lead me from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality."), line from Tagore’s Gitanjali ("Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service."), and reference to Mahatma Gandhi.
Rajan Zed stressed that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Dialogue would bring us mutual enrichment, he added.
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 moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.