Bates College in Lewiston (Maine, USA), a highly selective residential college, founded by Freewill Baptists in 1855, has instituted a Hindu shrine.
Applauding Bates for provision of the shrine located in its Chase Hall, Rajan Zed, described it as a step in the positive direction.
Zed, is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged all USA universities, colleges and residential schools; both public and private; to respond to the spiritual needs of diverse student body and provide permanent and dedicated Hindu prayer/meditation room for rituals, quiet reflection, festivals and spiritual exercise.
It would help in the personal growth of Hindu students who were present in substantial numbers on various campuses. It was important to meet the spiritual needs of these students, Zed added.
Rajan Zed suggested that these Hindu prayer rooms should have an altar containing murtis (statues) of popular Hindu deities and other temple objects such as metallic bells and dholak (hand drum. He or other Hindu scholars would be glad to help, if asked, regarding the structure of Hindu prayer room, Zed said.
“One of the first US institutions of higher learning to admit women and people of color“, Bates claims to be “a college for coming times“. It has about 2,000 students and offers 33 majors and 20 minors. Ava Clayton Spencer is the President, while Michael W. Bonney is Trustees Chair.