Nevada, USA - In a remarkable interfaith gesture, prestigious Duke University in Durham (North Carolina, USA), affiliated with United Methodist Church, has reportedly set aside "Prayer Space" for Hindu and Buddhist students.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described this development as "a step in the right direction".
Located at Duke's Bryan Center, it will be dedicated on January 22, and is meant to take care of spiritual needs of the students; including religious observances, meditation, personal reflection, meetings, etc., reports suggest. Anju Bhargava will deliver keynote address.
"Aum" is said to be already painted on the wall and a weekly Gita discussion will be held in this "Prayer Space".
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that religion was a complex element of our lives and religion comprised much more than one's own individual experience or specific tradition. God, as a sign of God's munificence and benevolence, constructively wished presence of different faiths.
We are all looking for the truth and in our shared exploration for truth; we can learn from one another and thus come closer to the truth, Rajan Zed points out.
United Methodist Church, a denomination of Christianity, has about 11-million followers.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. Buddhism, largely based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, is the fourth largest world religion.
One of the world's top institutions of higher education, Duke University, created in 1924 and situated on about 9,000 acres, has over 14,000 students and about 142,000 alumni. Annual cost to each student (excluding books, supplies, personal expenses) is $52,405. Richard H. Brodhead is the President while Daniel Terry Blue Junior is Chair of Board of Trustees.