Princeton University Opens Hindu Prayer Space With Temple for goddess Saraswati

Princeton Chapel Credit Cocoloco-compressed
Photo Credit: Cocoloco/Wikipedia

PRINCETON, N.J. — Historic Princeton University has opened a prayer area for Hindu students, according to reports, complete with a temple for the Hindu goddess Saraswati.

The Universal Society of Hinduism had been asking officials for a space for adherents to Hinduism, and the editorial board of Princeton student newspaper “The Daily Princetonian” wrote in April that the concept “has wide support from both Hindu and non-Hindu, religious and non-religious students across the university.”

The university currently has a chapel that is used for Christian services, a Muslim prayer room, a Center for Jewish Life and an interfaith prayer room.

The new prayer area for Hindus is reported to be located in Green Hall and contains Hindu books, musical instruments and space for private meditation, with plans to also offer guided meditation in the future. The area also includes a temple for the Hindu goddess Saraswati, who is regarded as the “the goddess of knowledge and arts.”

“It is believed that goddess Saraswati endows human beings with the powers of speech, wisdom and learning,” writes Subhamoy Das, a Hindu expert, for about.com. “As a practice, only educated people worship her for knowledge and wisdom. They believe that only Saraswati can grant them ‘moksha’—the final liberation of the soul.”

Princeton University was founded in the late 1700’s by four Christian pastors, and is stated to have been one of the results of the Great Awakening. It was originally intended to open as a seminary, but rather was established as a college of liberal arts and sciences. Preacher Jonathan Edwards, known for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” served as the university’s third president.

As previously reported, the Universal Society of Hinduism is likewise seeking designated Hindu prayer rooms at airports worldwide, such as John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and Frankfurt Airport in Germany.

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“Prayer/worship to god was highly important in Hinduism—the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents—and it would be great to have a Hindu prayer service or ‘Hindu Prayer Room’ at airports so that Hindu passengers did not miss their daily worship rituals/rites while travelling through, which might include recitation of texts, repetition of mantras and dhayan (meditation),” stated President Rajan Zed.

“Hindus would appreciate if this ‘Hindu Prayer Room’ had murtis (statues) of popular deities, copies of sacred scriptures, a traditional bell and recorded devotional music; and once-a-week kirtan and arti session was held in it,” he said.


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  • Ambulance Chaser

    I fail to see any kind of problem with this.

    • bowie1

      But it is a far cry from its Christian roots!

      • Ambulance Chaser

        Okay, and?

        • bowie1

          It’s a shame when a Christian University abandons its original mandate to apply Christ in all areas of life and this is its original purpose:
          Harvard’s Original Purpose
          Harvard University was founded in 1636 with the intention of establishing a school to train Christian ministers. In accordance with that vision, Harvard’s “Rules and Precepts,” adopted in 1646, stated (original spelling and Scriptural references retained):
          “1. Let every Student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the maine end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3) and therefore to lay Christ in the bottome, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and Learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisedome, Let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seeke it of him (Prov. 2:3).
          2. Every one shall so exercise himselfe in reading the Scriptures twice a day, that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein, both in Theoreticall observations of Language and Logick, and in practical and spiritual truths, as his Tutor shall require, according to his ability; seeing the entrance of the word giveth light, it giveth understanding to the simple (Psalm 119:130).”
          The motto of the University adopted in 1692 was “Veritas Christo et Ecclesiae” which translated from Latin means “Truth for Christ and the Church.” This phrase can be found embedded on the Harvard Shield and on many buildings around campus including the Widener library, Memorial Church, and various dorms in Harvard Yard. Interestingly, the top two books on the shield are face up while the bottom book is face down. This symbolizes the limits of reason, and the need for God’s revelation.

  • Dave_L

    I believe the greatest understanding of the Doctrines of Sin and Grace in Church history came through the “Old Princeton School”. This would be approximately from the early 1800s through the early 1900s. The writings still provide a safe-haven from every wind of doctrine for all who hunger for a deeper experience in Christ.

  • xinthose

    goes to show how wicked man is; nothing stands the test of time except Christ’s church

    • Josey

      amen, Christ will build His church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.