Hindus are commending launch of seven-week long “Mind. Body. Being.” Program at Montclair State University (MSU) in New Jersey, calling it a step in the right direction.
It combines yoga and meditation “with the goal of developing a more compassionate relationship with food, body and self. Members will learn important skills for relaxation, connecting with one’s body and attending to its need for nourishment,” a program announcement says
American Hindu religious leader Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, thanked MSU for recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education and utilizing yoga and meditation for connecting with self.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged all universities and colleges of USA and Canada to offer meditation programs if they were serious in the all-round development of their students.
Rajan Zed noted that meditation had been valued in Hinduism for ages and Hindus had been traditionally practicing various forms/levels of meditation; including manana, pratyahara, dhayana, upasana, dharana and samadhi; to achieve oneness with Brahman. Hindus sought to train the attention inward – training the mind to focus internally and not wander.
Moreover, yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization, Zed pointed out.
Rajan Zed further said that yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.
MSU, founded in 1908, with main campus encompassing about 250 acres, serves about 20, 500 students in about 300 majors-minors-concentrations-programs, including 134 graduate degree programs. Forbes’ listed MSU among America’s Top Colleges and MSU claims to have offered first doctoral program at a state college. Dr. Susan A. Cole is the President, while George J. Hiltzik is Trustees Board Chair.