Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the image ...
Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the image of Our Lady of Fatima in central Portugal, May 12, 2010 Image by Catholic Church (England and Wales), credit M.Mazur/www.thepapalvis via Flickr

Special to Earthpages.org

The Pope has invited young people “to make good use of their presence in the digital world”.

In a message for “45th World Communications Day” posted on Holy See website on January 24, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI said: “The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness”. He urged his followers “to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible”, adding that “this network is an integral part of human life.”

But the Pope also pointed out: “It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives……Direct human relations always remain fundamental for the transmission of the faith!”

The Pope listed the limits of digital communication as: “the one-sidedness of the interaction, the tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world, the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence”. He listed dangers of entering cyberspace as: enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world.

Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, suggested other Hindus to realize the Self. He argued that digital networks were just tools, and the broader goal being self-realization, it really did not matter which tools one used.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, blamed Pope for indulging too much into materialism and consumerism in his promotion of “digital world”, “cyberspace”, etc.

Ancient Hindu scripture Katha Upanishad points out that when wise realize the Self, they go beyond sorrow. Self is supreme and those who meditate on Self are freed from the cycle of birth and death. When one realizes Self, there is nothing else to be known, quotes Rajan Zed.