Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has sent greetings to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on his 84th birthday, which falls on April 16.
In a release in Nevada (USA) today, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, conveyed his warm good wishes and felicitations accompanied by prayers.
Welcoming Pope Benedict’s efforts at the inter-religious dialogue, Rajan Zed said that it was a “step in the right direction” and urged him to focus more in this arena. Serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour and Pope, being the largest religious leader in the world, should take the lead in this direction and invite leaders of major world religions and denominations to Vatican and initiate the dialogue, Zed argued.
Religion was the most powerful, complex and far-reaching force in our society, so we must take it seriously. And we all knew that religion comprised much more than our own particular tradition/experience, Zed pointed out.
After intensive deliberations, this meeting of world religious leaders should come up with a concrete plan about the common religious concerns like human improvement, peace, ecological responsibility, social & economic development, etc. Maybe this gathering could become an annual feature after that, Rajan Zed added.
Zed further says that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we can learn from one another and thus can arrive nearer to the truth. This dialogue may help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations. As dialogue brings us reciprocal enrichment, we shall be spiritually richer than before the contact.
Pope Benedict (Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger) was born at Marktl am Inn (Bavaria, Germany) on April 16, 1927 to a policeman father and a former hotel-cook mother. He holds a doctorate in theology and has been Vice-President at the University of Regensburg (Germany).
Pope Benedict heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.S