21 Oct : Hindus are planning to come-up with a set of prayers and rituals to help their one billion faithful deal with the current global financial turbulence. Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that prayer and reflection could provide effective tools to handle this crisis for individuals and society. Ask God to provide us strength in these fragile times and be a source of light in this deepening darkness.
Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that this “prayer garland” could include prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad-Gita, etc., some as old as 1,500 BCE but still very relevant for handling current crisis, economic outlook and financial behaviors. Hindus were very fortunate to have abundance of scriptural resources and they should delve more into these for effective response to the crisis. Ancient Hindu principles always advised financial responsibility, we just needed to revisit those, he added.
Zed applauded His Holiness Pope Benedictus XVI Joseph A. Ratzinger and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Douglas Williams for coming out strongly against the culture of greed, which had overtaken the human race.
Rajan Zed suggested that world political leaders could also use some spirituality in this crisis and save the world’s poor from the effects of follies of the greedy on them. Temple priests should keep both the affected and world leaders addressing the crisis in their morning prayers and also pray for integrity and responsibility in world economic behavior.
He urged fellow Hindus to promote charity, condemn the greed and balance their financial and spiritual goals. World should work for fair division of the benefits and resources of mother earth, provide access to opportunity to all, and not neglect its weak and poor despite the current crisis.
Excessive human greed, which was condemned by all religions, was a transgression of spiritual and moral law. Since other economic systems had failed to deliver, so let us adopt “spiritual economics” as the solution, Zed pointed out.
Rajan Zed further said that illusion of money veiled our minds, resulting in unprecedented turmoil in the financial markets, bank failures, plunging of world stocks, etc. Saint Augustine (Letter 211) said, “It is better to need less than to have more.”
Zed stated that opening theme of pre-BCE Hindu scripture Isha Upanishad was clutching to the Real and declining everything else—everything less real.
Zed stressed the need to build a new world free from greed and quoted ancient Hindu scripture, Bhagavad-Gita, which says: there are three gates to self-destructive hell—greed, anger, and desire. Abandon these three. A person freed from these three gates of darkness, seeks what is best and attains life’s highest goal.
Paramahamsa Upanishad described the illumined person as the one who had no selfish attachments, had only minimum possessions, lived his/her life for the welfare of all, and lived united with the Lord, the source of all joy and wisdom. The seeker must free himself/herself from selfish attachments to people, money, and possessions, Rajan Zed argued quoting scriptures.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers. Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.