His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is the ex-officio head of state of Vatican City, a sovereign city-state within the city of Rome (Italy). Pope also heads the Roman Catholic Church, which is the largest of the Christian denominations. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about a billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. (ANI)
Even the Vatican Library has books on Hinduism and Yoga.
Catalogue search reveals that besides nine books on the subject of Yoga, Vatican Library carries books on Hindu civilization, manners-customs-ceremonies, music, pantheon, psychology, theology; in addition to some titles on Hinduism.
Well known Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauding Holy See and Pope Benedict, said that it was a remarkable gesture and a step in the right direction. Zed invited Pope for a deeper study of ancient Hindu scriptures, which were very rich in philosophical thought, and offered to provide help if asked.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also commended Vatican for including well-known verse from Brahadaranyakopanishad ("Lead me from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, from death to immortality."), line from Tagore's Gitanjali ("Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service."), and reference to Mahatma Gandhi in "Way of the Cross at the Colesseum" Meditations and Prayers on Good Friday 2009 led by Pope and put together by Vatican Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.
Rajan Zed further said that in 200-page "Verbum Domini" (The Word of the Lord) apostolic exhortation released on November 11, Pope Benedict wrote about "the sense of the sacred, sacrifice and fasting..." in Hinduism.
Zed argues that in our shared pursuit for the truth, we can learn from one another and thus can arrive nearer to the truth. 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.
Vatican Library (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) in Vatican City, library of the Holy See, whose traces go back to fourth century, has manuscripts, printed books, prints and drawings, coins and medals. His Most Reverend Eminence Cardinal Raffaele Farina is the librarian of the Holy Roman Church while Msgr Cesare Pasini is the Prefect. It is said to hold about 75,000 manuscripts and over 1.1 million books, which includes Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, the oldest known nearly complete manuscript of the Bible.