NEVADA: Hindus have welcomed Utah State University (USU); respected public research university in Logan, Utah; for teaching about Hindu gods and goddesses, calling it a step in the positive direction.
Commending USU for exploring Hindu gods and goddesses, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, urged all US and Canadian universities to offer various courses about Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.1 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought.
USU, in addition to goddesses and gods of Hinduism, is also offering “Hindu Sacred Texts” (including Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita) and “Introduction to Hinduism” (Hindu religious thought) during 2017-2018 Academic Year.
It also offers Yoga Studies Minor and Yoga Teacher Training Program, “rooted in the teachings of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” and includes study and application of “yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana”. USU Campus recreation offers yoga classes daily during weekdays.
Its College of Education has developed a Resource Guide for Elementary Teachers regarding Diwali, most popular Hindu festival, involving “understanding of the themes and symbols that are associated with Diwali” by grade level 4-6, where “pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses” are used as “resources”.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that US and Canadian universities should realize that religion encompassed much more than what many were teaching currently.
Rajan Zed further said that a deeper, inclusive and broader understanding of religion was needed. US and Canadian universities should begin taking the religion seriously, start coming out of the “selective” mode and make efforts towards including “others”, Zed added.
Founded in 1888, female majority USU’s Mission includes “cultivating diversity of thought and culture”. Noelle E. Cocket is the President.
Utah houses the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.