Mount Holyoke College, highly selective residential research college for women in South Hadley (Massachusetts, USA), reportedly has a “Hindu prayer room”. Located in Eliot House, this “Hindu prayer room” reportedly includes images of Vishnu, Ganesha, Krishna and Saraswati, and offers puja, chanting and dinner each Thursday evening. College’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life supports a Hindu group “Sisters in Hinduism Reaching Inward”, whose aim is to create awareness about Hindu customs. Diwali, Holi and Navratri (with Dandiya) are reportedly celebrated.
Applauding Mount Holyoke College for provision of dedicated “Hindu prayer room”, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described it as “a step in the right direction”. Zed commended Mount Holyoke for helping to meet the spiritual needs of Hindu and other students.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged other USA higher education institutions, both public and private, to respond to the requirements of diverse student body and follow Mount Holyoke’s action to provide prayer/meditation rooms for quiet reflection and spiritual exercise, which would help in their personal growth.
Founded in 1837 and known for educating women leaders, Mount Holyoke, whose students come from nearly 70 countries, offers 48 majors, where “student-to-faculty” ratio is “9-to-1” and annual cost $53,596. Lynn Pasquerella is the President.