6 July : Allegheny College in Meadville (Pennsylvania), 32nd oldest college in USA, reportedly has a designated room for Hindu practice, reflection and prayer.
This Hindu room, on the second floor of College’s Prayer and Meditation Retreat, contains images of Hindu deities Shiva, Krishna, Trimurti, Rama-Lakshman-Sita-Hanuman, Ganesha, Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati. College
also observes Diwali, most popular of Hindu festivals.
Applauding Allegheny for provision of dedicated space for Hinduism practice, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described it as “a step in the right direction”. Zed commended Allegheny for recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education, which was important in Hinduism.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged other USA universities and colleges, both public and private, to respond to the spiritual needs of diverse student body and provide dedicated Hindu prayer/meditation room for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise; which would help in their personal growth.
Founded in 1815, 79-acre campus of this “national liberal arts college” has been ranked among the “Most Beautiful Campuses”. According to College President James H. Mullen, Jr.: “People who change the world come to Allegheny”.
Allegheny College defines itself as: “…inclusive, respectful and safe residential learning community that will actively confront and challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism, religious bigotry, and other forms of harassment and discrimination”. Eddie Taylor Jr. is Trustees Chairman while Reverend Dr. Jane Ellen Nickell is College Chaplain.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.