In a remarkable interfaith gesture, First Universalist Church of Norway (FUCN) in Maine (USA) celebrated Hindu festival of Diwali.
According to reports, its minister Reverend Richard Beal, in Diwali worship service on November seven, read from ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) and Rabindranath Tagore and said: enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul…Celebrate the real Deepavali by living in Brahman, and enjoy the eternal bliss of the soul…Merge yourself in this light of lights and enjoy the supreme Deepavali.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, welcoming the interfaith gesture of FUCN, said that religion being a complex and powerful component of our lives, a more broader and inclusive approach to religion was needed.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Dialogue would bring us mutual enrichment, he added.
Mission of FUCN, founded in 1799, is “to nurture spiritual growth”, and it is affiliated with the Boston (USA) headquartered Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), whose roots go back to 1793. Unitarian Universalism is a religion with Jewish-Christian roots. UUA has about 1,041 congregations and estimated number of its adherents is about 800, 000. Peter Morales is UUA President while Bernice Martin is FUCN Board President.
Largest of Hindu festivals, Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.