Vatican has a portable Vishnu temple

reclingin-LordVishnuCHICAGO: Indian American, Hindus and Christians, all have welcomed the news that the Vatican Museum now has a portable temple of Hindu deity Vishnu.

This colorful 18th century Vishnu temple folds and unfolds revealing many stories of Vishnu. It is made of wood, mirror, paper, pigments and glass paste. Collections at Vatican Museum also include bronze statues of Hindu divinities dating from 8th to 14th century.

Reports from Rome indicate that the Vatican Library carries extensive collection of ancient Hindu scriptures and various other Hinduism related texts including books on Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Bhagavad-Gita, Panchatantra, Krishna, Brahma, Yoga, Shakti, Hindu theology, Hindu pantheon, etc. This Hindu collection is in various languages and some of the editions are as old as 1819.

Commending Holy See and His Holiness Pope Francis, members of the Indian community including Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that it was a remarkable gesture and a step in the right direction to understand each other. Zed urged Pope Francis for a deeper study of ancient Hindu scriptures, which were very rich in philosophical thought, and offered to provide help if asked.

Over six million people visit Vatican Museums annually, which originated as a group of sculptures collected by Pope Julius II (1503-1513). Vatican Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), library of the Holy See, whose traces go back to fourth century, has manuscripts, printed books, prints, photographs, drawings and engravings, coins and medals. It is said to hold over 180,000 manuscripts and over 1.6 million books.

Pope Francis is the ex-officio head of state of Vatican City, a sovereign city-state within the city of Rome (Italy). Pope also heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations with about 1.2 billion members.

Madhu Patel