First Hindu University in Muslim-majority Indonesia named after Sugriva

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After constructing the biggest Vishnu statue, Indonesia builds the first Hindu University in the country.

In a major development, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia issued a presidential regulation to establish the Hindu Dharma State Institute (IHDN) in Bali’s Denpasar as the southeast Asian nation’s first Hindu state university, reports The Jakarta Post.

The regulation decreed that the new university renamed I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa State Hindu University (UHN) shall proffer Hindu higher education programmes along with other types of higher education programmes.

The regulation also decreed that all the incumbent students, assets and employees of the IHDN have been converted and transferred to the newly formed UHN.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that IHDN itself had been established in Indonesia in 1993 as a state academy for Hindu religious teachers. It was later converted into the Hindu religion State College in 1999 and later to IHDN in 2014.

The IHDN’s director I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana has hailed the development as a historic moment for the Hindu faithful in Indonesia.

In fact, what shows Indonesia’s deep connect with cultural Hinduism and how Indonesia glorifies its roots is the island country is the only country in the world which boasts of Bhagwan Ganesha on a currency note. Bhagwan Ganesha is inscribed on the 20,000 rupiah note of Indonesia.

This move reaffirms that Indonesia, which despite having the highest Muslim population across all countries in the world, doesn’t live in an identity crisis by denying its past heritage and cultural Hindu roots.

In fact, last year a Hindu temple was restored in Indonesia after more than 1000 years. For the first time in more than 1100 years, the sanctification ceremony or the Abhishekam was performed at the Prambanan Temple complex, which is located between Sleman, Yogyakarta, and Klaten, Central Java.

The Prambanan Temple complex, constructed in the 9th Century AD, is one of the largest temples dedicated to Bhagwan Shiva around the world.

In fact, the Indonesian President, Joko Widodo is himself a Bhagwan Krishna follower. When asked about who is his favourite superhero, he had answered “Krishna”, recognising how the Chakra made Bhagwan Krishna very powerful and how the Hindu God also happens to be very wise. He had also iterated how Bhagwan Krishna is considered very powerful in Indonesia, the world’s largest Island country.

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