Hindu prayer space at Princeton University

Princeton University in NJ
Princeton University in NJ

NEW JERSEY: Princeton University in New Jersey has launched its first Hindu prayer space. It houses a temple for goddess Saraswati, musical instruments and books as also a private meditation facility.

There are plans to have guided-meditation/structured-worship in this space. Located in Green Hall, it will be available daily to undergraduate and graduate students and faculty for meditation, reflection, worshipping, and connecting with God, etc.

Editorial Board of Princeton student newspaper The Daily Princetonian, the University’s “only paper of record”, endorsed the student initiative of creation of a Hindu prayer space on campus in April, which it said “has wide support from both Hindu and non-Hindu, religious and non-religious students across the University”. Many Princeton students, Hindus as well non-Hindus, in a survey, reportedly expressed interest in creation of Hindu prayer space and supported the idea.

Princeton reportedly already has a University Chapel hosting many Christian services, Muslim Prayer Room, Center for Jewish Life and Interfaith Prayer Room.

Chartered in 1746 and spread in 500 acres, Ivy League world-renowned research university Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in USA. Many of its faculty/staff have won Nobel Prizes. Its library holdings are over 14 million and its students number around 7,946.

Commending the move by the Princeton University, Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was a “step in the right direction” in view of presence of a substantial number of Hindu students at Princeton, as it was important to meet the spiritual needs of these students.

Zed thanked Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber and its Board Chair Kathryn A. Hall for the University’s positive response to the requirements of its Hindu students.

He 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; as they needed to recognize the intersection of spirituality and education, which was important in Hinduism. Some other universities/colleges in USA also offer Hindu prayer rooms.

Neela Pandya

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