“When prayer becomes your habit, miracles become your lifestyle.” -Anonymous.
After a long and tiring day, one often wants to sit peacefully for some time and relieve themselves of the stress caused by work, study, or any other types of engagement. Different people use different strategies to relieve their stress; some prefer exercising, some prefer playing, while some prefer painting or just sitting down peacefully at a place, which is often termed meditating or praying. Among those who meditate, some prefer to simply sit down and close their eyes, while some want a statue or a photograph of the deity they worship. People meditate or pray according to their wishes when in their own space but getting a proper place for this ritual at hostels or dorms is quite unlikely. When you do not own the place, you have certain restrictions while using it. Ashoka University is planning to have a prayer room on the campus so that people who wish to spend some time peacefully, alone or with their deity get the opportunity to do so. But nothing in this world is without its pros and cons, some agree with the concept of a prayer room, while some oppose it. This article will look out at what are the pros and cons of having a prayer room at university places like Ashoka.
Some pros of having a Prayer Room
1. It gives space for those who wish to pray
Campus life is full of hustle and at times those who pray or meditate wish to continue their practice on campus to get relaxed from their daily busy schedule. So for those who pray or meditate regularly, having a proper room will be beneficial. They can sit peacefully and pray to their deity or God, or simply meditate.
2. Creates positive vibes
Temples, Churches, Mosques, Gurudwaras, or any other spiritual places create positive vibes. This place usually keeps us away from the hustle bustle of the daily life. The reason why many people go to religious places is that they create good vibes, regardless of the religion. When a student is upset or going through something, he or she can spend some time sitting in the prayer room.
Some cons of having a Prayer Room
1. Justice can’t be done to all religions
University places are always diversified. Students from almost each and every part of the country and even from outside the country stay together on campus. But every student brings with her a different culture, set of principles or norms, which are strictly followed by the religion or community they belong to. For example, a Hindu prayer room must have a statue of a deity in it, gurudwaras need a small tank to wash their feet before entering, and so do mosques. It is not possible to give justice to all religions and their rules or principles. Because of a constraint of space, if one forgets to do something properly, it might hurt the student or a particular community. So, to avoid this chaos, it is better that students pray in their respective rooms, and follow norms of their own community.
2. Might create a gap between students
All religions have particular festivals which are considered important by that community. When we have a prayer room, students will wish to celebrate that in the prayer room, but if another religion has another festival around the same time, it might get a bit chaotic because of limited space. Who will then celebrate their festival? This might create a gap amongst the students. A University’s main purpose is education and creating chaos because of a prayer room will not be justifiable at an institution.
Everything comes with its good and bad and so does a prayer room. While it is very important to bring peace to a student’s life on campus, it might create a divide between them. Some might find it useful to pray and meditate, while some might create a religious issue out of it. If there is a need of prayer room, then the administration needs to make sure that each and every religion gets the space to celebrate their festivals and carry out their norms; otherwise, one’s rooms are always the best to do it!
Edited by Priyanka Shankar
Images curated by Sanjna Mishra