Phoenix (USA), Mar 25 : Another landmark was created in the United States when the Hindu mantra 'Om' was used to open sessions of both the Arizona Senate and the House of Representatives on Monday.
Hindu chaplain, Rajan Zed, recited the groundbreaking prayer from ancient Sanskrit scriptures. Before reciting, Zed sprinkled water from the River Ganga around the Senate and the House. fter reciting the mantras in Sanskrit, he read out the English translation. Reciting from the Brahadaranyakopanishad, Zed said: "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya", and then translated it as "Lead us from the Unreal to the Real, from Darkness to Light, and from Death to Immortality."
Reading from the Bhagavad-Gita, he urged the legislators to "strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world".
Thammaji Vasudev, a local Hindu activist, said he was honoured to hear the Hindu shlokas in the Arizona legislature.
The Arizona State Senate is composed of 30 members, each representing an average population of 171,000. The Arizona House of Representatives is composed of 60 members, each member representing about 86,000 people.