USA : Saint Peter’s College, only Roman Catholic Jesuit college of New Jersey (USA), is providing a “Hindu prayer space” on its campus.Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a release today, has commended Saint Peter’s College (SPC) and termed this gesture as a “step in the right direction”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, has urged all universities, colleges and other educational institutions of USA and Canada to provide “Hindu prayer space” for its students.Rajan Zed pointed out that there was urgent need of allocation of permanent Hindu prayer space complete with a small library of Hinduism books at campuses because of unique requirements of Hindu rituals and prayer traditions; including deities, burning incense and jyots, taking off shoes, sitting on floor while praying, etc. These should be available to students 24-hours a day and seven days a week to meet their spiritual needs.
Various other religious groups reportedly had designated prayer spaces in many campuses, and now almost every campus had considerable presence of Hindu students, Zed added.
SPC also offers an honors course in “Art and Hinduism” in which “students are encouraged to develop an appreciation of Hindu art” and it includes “mandatory” temple visits.
Dr. Eugene J. Cornacchia is president, while Mary Sue Callan-Farley is director of Campus Ministry at SPC, which was launched in 1872. It upholds the tradition of “care for the whole person” and offers over 40 undergraduate and pre-professional programs besides master’s and doctorate degrees. Spread over 30 acres in Jersey City and Englewood Cliffs in New Jersey, 55 percent of its students are women.
Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.