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Zed welcomes inclusion of Pagan/Wicca holy days on Vanderbilt University calendar



rajanzed2011-150x150-8009806-8501523Hindus have commended prestigious Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) for including Wicca/Pagan holy days on its calendar on “religious holy days and observances” for 2011-2012.

Vanderbilt has mentioned Samhain-Beltane, Yule, Ostara Equinox, Mabon and Beltane-Samhain as Wicca/Pagan holy days on this calendar. It also mentions Christian, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Taoist and Confucian holy days. Hindu holy days mentioned are Diwali (Deepavali) and Maha Shivaratri.

Welcoming this inclusion and calling it “a step in the right direction,” Reno-based Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement today, said that all religions were different ways to relate to the Divine, different responses to the Reality and were a positive sign of God’s generosity.

Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, further stated that a more inclusive understanding of religion was needed and we should learn to live together with mutual loyalty despite our seriously different faiths. He urged world religious leaders to leave behind selfish motives and work together for greater ideals.

Zed pointed out that awareness about other religions thus created by this calendar would make Vanderbilt students well-nurtured, well-balanced and enlightened citizens of tomorrow.

A policy manual of Vanderbilt says: “A goal of Vanderbilt University is to foster an open and diverse society where the rights of all members of the community are respected.”

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents, and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. TheFreeDictionary.com defines Pagan as “an adherent of a polytheistic religion in antiquity,” while it defines Wicca as “a polytheistic Neo-Pagan nature religion inspired by various pre-Christian western European beliefs.”

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