Olympia (Washington State), Feb.23 : Washington State Senate had its first historic Hindu prayer containing ancient Sanskrit mantras on Friday. Rajan Zed, a prominent Hindu chaplain and Indo-American leader, read out the groundbreaking opening prayer from ancient Hindu scriptures in Olympia. He delivered it first in Sanskrit, he then read the English translation.
According to reports, no Hindu has delivered opening prayer in Washington State Senate in the 154 years history of State Legislature before February 22, 2008. Zed recited 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.
"This is a great day for Washington and historic day of honor for us when prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures are being read in this great hall of democracy," Zed said before reading the actual prayer. Zed also presented a copy of Bhagavad-Gita to Senator Rosa Franklin, President Pro Tem, who presided over the Senate on Friday.
Brad Hendrickson, Deputy Secretary of the Senate; and Senator Edward B. Murray; personally thanked Zed for the historic prayer. He later met Brad Owen, Lieutenant Governor, in his office and also presented him with a copy of Bhagawad-Gita.
Washington State Senate, presided by Lieutenant Governor and composed of 49 members, each representing a population of about 120,000, exercises legislative powers granted by State Constitution.