Hindus have welcomed reported participation of thousands of Mormons at the Hindu Holi “festival of color” in Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork (Utah, USA), said to be world’s largest Holi gathering, on March 29.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was wonderful to see youth belonging to diverse religious traditions celebrating festival together in harmony and love and enjoying it.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that a more inclusive understanding of religion was needed and we should learn to live together with mutual loyalty despite our seriously different faiths. 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 added.
Rajan Zed thanked The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly called Mormon Church), headquartered in Salt Lake City, about 56 miles from Spanish Fork, and nearby Brigham Young University run by it, for camaraderie which participation of their youth at this Hindu festival displayed. Mormons reportedly formed the majority at the festival, outnumbering Hindus in a big way.
Joie de vivre festival of Holi welcomes the beginning of spring and starts about ten days before the full moon of Phalguna. Besides color play, ceremonies also include the lighting of the bonfires, during which all evils are symbolically burnt. Holi also commemorates the frolics of youthful Lord Krishna; and celebrates the death of demoness Putana, burning of demoness Holika, and destruction of Kama by Lord Shiva. Holi fell on March 17 this year.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Mormon Church, which describes themselves as “followers of Jesus Christ”, launched in 1830 in upstate New York, now has over 15-million adherents. Thomas S. Monson is the President and its website talks of “goodwill and cooperation among different faiths”.