Hindu Chaplain opens US Senate with prayers

Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain from Nevada who offered the invocation for the Nevada Legislature last March, gave the first Hindu prayer ever heard on the floor of the US Senate at the opening of yesterday’s session. At the invitation of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, Zed prayed, “United your resolve, united your hearts, may your spirits be at one, that you may long dwell in unity and concord,”

Zed’s appearance had been announced some time ago, and immediately roused opposition from some religious groups, including The American Family Association and the Family Research Council, who urged people to write their Senators in protest. A few people in the gallery of the Senate even interrupted the prayers with shouts and were arrested.

Here’s the full text of Rajan Zed’s prayer:

Let us pray.

We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky, and inside the soul of the Heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.

Lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality. May we be protected together. May we be nourished together. May we work together with great vigor. May our study be enlightening. May no obstacle arise between us.

May the Senators strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world, performing their duties with the welfare of others always in mind, because by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. May they work carefully and wisely, guided by compassion and without thought for themselves.

United your resolve, united your hearts, may your spirits be as one, that you may long dwell in unity and concord.

Peace, peace, peace be unto all.

Lord, we ask You to comfort the family of former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.

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