Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms

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Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms – The Christian Bible and the Bhagavad Gita share the space of a bedside table at the Best Western Windsor Suites in Houston. The National Motel Gita Project aims to share 1 million copies of the text.James Nielsen/icle

Open the drawer in some Houston hotel room, and next to your room service menu and the Gideons Bible, you may find a copy of the Bhagavad Gita.

Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms

Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms

Hindu scriptures continue to be read at night stations across the country in a campaign to popularize the scriptures and popularize Lord Krishna, the deity who is said to have preached philosophical teachings thousands of years ago.

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A local Hare Krishna temple has placed around 7,000 copies of the Bhagavad Gita in 100 hotels in the region.

This project was successful because of the number of Indian hotel owners who know the text and are happy to put books in their rooms to share the universal truth of their faith.

American Indians make up about 5% of the population but own about 40% of the country’s hotels and restaurants, according to the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

Best Western on Interstate 290 at FM 1960 was one of the first regional facilities to offer guests the Bhagavad Gita. According to the owner Alex Patel, the project is working well with the hotel which has 57 rooms so far.

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“People can read a different kind of scripture, and they love it,” Patel said. Visitors often ask him questions about the story, and he reassures them that they can take the manuscript.

Across Houston and its suburbs, the Bible is as familiar and accessible as a phone book, but many people have never heard of the Bhagavad Gita and probably can’t even read it.

“People will probably be surprised to see the Gita. We’re so new that we haven’t had much of a response,” said Sarvabhauma Dasa, a spiritual leader at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness Temple in Garden Oaks, who is a facilitator. facilitated the distribution of the Bhagavad Gita in the region. “Some Americans may not be open to certain passages of the Bible, but I think Americans are becoming more open and that acceptance has really grown. Maybe 20 years ago, that acceptance was not allowed. “

Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms

Even Gideons International, an organization that has placed religious texts in travelers’ rooms for more than 100 years, does not underestimate its bedside competition and continues to see a growing demand for Bibles, even if it they may not be the only spiritual textbooks. . available. “As Gideons, we do not have exclusive rights to hotels,” said spokesman Mac Arvin.

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The Marriott hotel chain, founded by a Mormon, often places copies of the Book of Mormon on bedside tables, and the country’s Panchajanya project has distributed more than 100,000 copies of the Bhagavad Gita, mostly from and hotels and budget houses.

The Bhagavad Gita is part of the great Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, a huge ancient text of more than 1.8 million words. It is well known and widely read in all areas of Indian religion, but it has special significance for followers of Krishna, who believe that it makes him the lord of lords. , than other forms of God.

“The basic explanation is that the Gita promotes the monotheistic message of devotion to Krishna as the Supreme Being, God the Father,” said Edwin Bryant, a professor at Rutgers University, who also teaches a seminar on the Bhagavad Gita. “But there are differences whether Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, or Vishnu of Krishna among the sects.”

The Bhagavad Gita emphasizes the role of spirituality in taking refuge in Krishna while introducing concepts such as personal divinity, reincarnation, and the distinction between body and soul. Each Sanskrit line is translated and written in English, along with a discussion of the text’s meaning.

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“For me, it strengthens my faith,” says Manish Puri, who organized the Gita distribution in Houston. Every time I read it, I understand better. Krishna was slowly revealing knowledge to me. “It’s definitely a Hindu scripture, but it’s also more than that. It’s a universal message.”

Puri must fulfill the requirements of the Bible, raising money to buy more copies to replace those that were removed. He tells stories of people who have surrendered to Krishna after reading the books, either through personal spirituality or through temple worship.

“Anyone can accept this message and live like this. It’s not like you have to be a Hindu. You can do the teaching at home,” said Puri.

Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms

The Hare Krishnas are considered one of the earliest wings of Hinduism, according to Bryant. They have been known to don bright orange robes to share their writings and speak about their faith in public places, bookstores and street theaters.

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The guru who founded the Hare Krishna temple in Houston, Swami Prabhupada, emphasized the distribution of the Gita, calling it “the most important task of our society”, a way to share knowledge and to know Krishna, their god. Ever notice that hotel rooms seem to have a holy book somewhere in the room? Why is that? Why are there Bibles in hotel rooms?

The short answer to this question is obvious. There are Bibles in hotel rooms because people are the first to put them there. There is also a close group of people, the Gideons.

The Gideons began because two businessmen named John H. Nicholson and Samuel E. Hill met one night while staying at a busy hotel in Boscobel, Wisconsin.

The hotel was so full that night that the only way the two men could find a room was to agree to share two rooms even though they were full guests. As they got together, they started talking and realized they had a lot in common. Not only are the two men businessmen, but they are both Christians. Also, the two men have tried to find a way to gather Christian businessmen into one group.

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A year later, in 1899, Nicholson and Hill followed through on their plan and convened a meeting in Janesville, Wisconsin under the guise of “mutual explanation, personal evangelism, and individual service for the Lord.” Unfortunately, the meeting did not go well. The only people who did were Nicholson, Hill and another man named William J. Knights. That said, they still have everything they need to get started.

It was a third man, Knight, who came up with the idea of ​​naming their new organization Gideon, after the Bible from the Book of Judges who was called by an angel to lead the Israelites to rise up against the Midianites. ., who plunder the wealth of their crops. Although Gideon was outnumbered, he miraculously led his men to victory.

Over the years, the Gideons have become a worthy congregation. Since the group is focused on businessmen, many working men are wondering how they can do more to promote Gideon’s mission of doing God’s work through acts of faith, humility and obedience along the way. Thus, the concept of the Gideon Bible was born.

Why Are There Bibles In Hotel Rooms

The Gideons decided that by leaving Bibles in the hotel room, they could serve two purposes because they could be useful to other members of the congregation who would no longer have their Bibles when they travel, and those who another manages the room. who may be interested in learning more about the gospel.

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Nine years after the formation of the Gideons, the group left their first Bible in a hotel room at the Superior Hotel in Montana in 1908. Many people are surprised to learn that the Gideon Bible is not actually the name of has where it is written. Bibles, but only the name of the organization is now known as they leave Bibles in hotel rooms. The Gideons used the King James Version of the Bible.

Yes, the Gideons are very humble. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the organization has 270,000 members and affiliates worldwide.

This group is responsible for distributing the Bible for free and uses money to do everything they do in donations. They will provide Bibles to the restaurant owner at a cost when the restaurant opens and replace Bibles as needed. They are currently distributing the Bible in more than 194 countries around the world in 94 languages.

Anyone interested in joining the Gideons must be a businessman or a retired businessman who is over 21 years old and in good standing in the congregation. Women were not allowed to join the Gideons, but Gideon’s wives could join the auxiliary group.

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Although the Gideons knew that they were keeping Bibles in the hotel room, the group did not stop there. They also distribute to the military, nursing homes, hospitals, prisons and Bible schools.

In the United States, the group will face

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