Renowned Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has welcomed hosting of dialogue by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams with five Hindu swamis (ascetics) in Bangalore (India) on October 20, "to engage in discussions for mutual understanding".
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour. 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 stressed.
Rajan 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. The 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.
To be held at Whitefield Ecumenical Centre, participants besides Williams include: Tridandi Srimannarayana Ramanuja Chinna Jeeyar (Hyderabad), Sugunendra Theertha (Udupi), Harshanand (Bangalore), Shivamurthy Shivachary, Paramananda Bharati (Sringeri Math), and Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad (United Kingdom).
Its two sessions are titled as "Visions of the Divine" and "Social Harmony", which will be followed by public question-answer session, totaling dialogue about three and a half hours. "The Swamis and the Archbishop will discuss the social values central to their respective traditions and ask how a pluralist society can encourage and protect true freedom of belief", according to a release by Kate Wharton from Lambeth Palace in London.
Williams is visiting India from October nine to 24, travelling across Kolkata, Ranchi, Nagpur, New Delhi, Chennai, Vellore, Bangalore and Thiruvananthapurum. He will deliver the Chevening Lecture at New Delhi entitled "Pluralism and the Dialogue of Religions". It is his third visit to India.
Archbishop Williams is the senior bishop of the worldwide Anglicans, a Christian denomination, who number around 77 million. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. (ANI)