5 US State Senates to open with Hindu shlokas

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{image-Rajan Zed1_25012008.jpg news.oneindia.in}Nevada (USA), Jan 25: Five state senates in US will have their reportedly first Hindu opening prayers containing ancient Sanskrit mantras in the coming weeks, thus creating a milestone in American history.

Rajan Zed, prominent Hindu chaplain and Indo-American leader, will recite these history making prayers in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Arizona, which will reportedly be the first Hindu prayers of these Senates since their formation. Zed will deliver these prayers from ancient Hindu scriptures at Senate halls in State Capitols in Santa Fe (January 28), Denver (January 29), Salt Lake City (February 13), Olympia (February 22), and Phoenix (March 24). After first reciting in Sanskrit, he will then read the English translation of the prayer.

Rajan Zed will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end the prayer with “OM", the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya", which roughly translates as “Lead us from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and from death to Immortality." Reciting from Chapter three of Bhagavad-Gita, he will urge the Senators to act selflessly.

Zed has already delivered the historic first Hindu prayers in the recent months in United States Senate at Washington DC, California State Senate at Sacramento, and Nevada State Senate and Nevada State Assembly at Carson City. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of all Indo-European languages.

Nevada Clergy Association has congratulated Rajan Zed for his efforts in spreading the message of love and peace. Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., President of the Association and who himself is a highly respected Christian Bishop in Nevada, in a statement here today, said that they were very proud of Zed because of his outstanding contributions in social, religious, and humanitarian causes in the region.

Dharam Loonaa, President of Prayer and Peace Circle, in a statement said that there was no match to Zed among overseas Indians in promoting ancient Indian heritage and culture, interfaith dialogue, and peace; and restoring a sense of belonging and self-esteem among Indians.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has no datable beginning but some scholars put it around 3,000 BCE. It has no founder, no one authoritative figure, and no single prophet or holy book. One of its scriptures, Mahabharata, is the longest poem ever written, comprising over 100,000 couplets. Hinduism in North America was introduced in 1830s with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau studying Hindu scriptures like Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita. Vivekananda made a strong impression at World"s Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 and he then founded Vedanta Society. Protap Chunder Mozoomdar of Brahmo Samaj delivered his first American address on September 02, 1883 in Concord, Massachusetts.

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