Duke University opens Hindu prayer room


Two new interfaith prayer rooms were reportedly launched in prestigious Duke University (DU) in Durham (North Carolina) last week.

One “Interfaith Prayer Room”, also known as The Mosaic, opened in Keohane 4B; which includes diverse religious texts, prayer mats, floor cushions, facility to store removed shoes when entering the room, etc. It is a place for quiet reflection and unplugging offered by Housing-Dining-Residence Life, reports suggest.

A dedicated Prayer and Meditation Room also opened in Perkins Library; which is a shared space where “members of all faiths are welcome” to use either individually or in groups; and where “prayer or meditation does not necessarily need to be silent”. This Room “cannot be reserved and is not to be used for studying or for meetings”.

According to reports, there is already an “Interfaith Prayer & Meditation Room” in its Fuqua School of Business. In addition, at the DU; there is DU Chapel, Duke Catholic Center, Center For Muslim Life, Buddhist and Hindu Room, Freeman Center for Jewish Life, Goodson Chapel at Duke Divinity School and Jones Prayer Room.

Distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, welcomed the launching of interfaith prayer rooms, calling it a step in the positive direction for DU for quiet reflection and spiritual exercise.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, hoped that the presence of these interfaith prayer/reflection spaces would help the DU students to have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success after they graduated from the university.

Moreover, the interfaith dialogue resulting from gatherings at the interfaith spaces would make DU students well-nurtured, well-balanced, and enlightened citizens of tomorrow. It also made a good business sense to know the beliefs of “others” in a global community. Moreover, students should have knowledge of the entire society to become full participants in the society, Rajan Zed pointed out.

Zed thanked DU for recognizing the intersection of spirituality and education.

Created in 1924, seventh wealthiest private university in America and a prominent research institute, DU boasts of ten Nobel laureates and former US President Richard Nixon and Apple CEO Timothy Cook as its alumni. Spread in 8,547 acres with about 14,950 students, it runs one of the nation’s top 10 private research library systems. Richard H. Brodhead and David M. Rubenstein are its President and Trustees Chair respectively.

Source: World Hindu News (WHN)