Hindus have asked for a permanent prayer room at Brandeis University (BU) in Waltham (Massachusetts, USA).
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that BU should respond to the requirements of its Hindu students to provide designated prayer-meditation hall for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise, which would help in their personal growth.
BU already has three chapels the Harlan Chapel (Protestant), the Bethlehem Chapel (Catholic) and the Berlin Chapel (Jewish) which can hold wedding and other ceremonies; besides a Muslim prayer room and resource center.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that it would be a step in the right direction in view of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at BU, as it was important to meet the spiritual needs of these students. Some other universities/colleges in USA now offered Hindu prayer rooms.
Rajan Zed urged all USA and Canadian universities, both public and private, to respond to the needs of their considerable Hindu student bodies and offer prayer facility. BU needed to recognize the intersection of spirituality and education, which was important in Hinduism, Zed added.
Founded in 1948 and spread over 235 acres with over 5,800 students, Brandeis is one of the most selective private research universities and is ranked in the top tier in the nation. It counts among its alumni a Nobel laureate, former Iceland Prime Minister, three Pulitzer Prize winners, and several Emmy Award-winning actors-broadcasters-producers. Annual tuition-room-board cost over $57,000. Perry M. Traquina and Frederick M. Lawrence are Trustees Chair and President respectively.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.