Nevada Hindu chaplain,
NRI will open Senate Session with a Hindu prayer on July 12
Reno, Nevada, June 26, 2007
NRI Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain, will read Hindu prayer at the
opening of United States Senate in Washington, DC on July 12,
2007. This is the first time in its history, any Hindu prayer
will be delivered in the US Senate since its formation in 1789.
- James Kirkland became the first African-American to deliver
the opening prayer in 1965.
- Six years later Wilmina Rowland was the first woman to pray
on the Senate floor.
- In 1992, Wallace Mohammed became the first Muslim leader to
deliver the invocation.
According to local news papers, he said he plans to start and
end the prayers with "'OM,' the mystical syllable containing
the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude
While the prayer will draw from Hindu religious texts, Zed said
it will be "universal in approach."
Inviting guest chaplains to open Senate sessions dates back to
at least 1857, according to SHO records. In that year, all sessions
were opened by guest chaplains, because the Senate did not appoint
an official chaplain.
According to US Senate website descrine that, "…Throughout
the years, the United States Senate has honored the historic separation
of Church and State, but not the separation of God and State…During
the past two hundred and seven years, all sessions of the Senate
have been opened with prayer, strongly affirming the Senate’s
faith in God as Sovereign Lord of our Nation..." Usually
the Senate Chaplain delivers the opening prayer, but sometimes
guest chaplains are invited from all over the country to read
the prayer. According to a Senate Chaplain Office communiqué,
the purpose of the opening prayer is to seek God on behalf of,
and for the Senators and the prayer should affirm our rich heritage
as a Nation "under God".
NRI Rajan Zed, read an opening prayer to the Nevada
State Assembly in March and May
On March 19, NRI Rajan Zed read an opening prayer to the Nevada
State Assembly and again on May 7 with the Nevada State Senate.
When Zed read from the Rig-Veda, it was covered by international
broadcaster Voice of America and numerous other American publications.
This is the first time any Hindu prayer is delivered in the Nevada
State Senate since its formation in 1864, says Pastor Albert Tilstra,
Chaplain Coordinator for Nevada Legislature.
At the opening of the Nevada Senate session, after President
of the Senate, Lieutenant Governor Brian K. Krolicki, introduced
Rajan Zed and he started Hindu prayers, all Senators stood up
and listened intently while standing. "This day of May 07,
2007, is an illustrious day for all Nevadans and memorable day
for us when opening prayers from ancient Hindu scriptures are
being read in this grand hall of democracy," Zed said during
Zed led with prayers from the Rig Veda, and the Bhagavad-Gita,
and concluded by chanting “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,”
which translates as “Peace, Peace, Peace be unto all.”
Zed prayed before the Nevada senators:
- 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.
Zed said that kind of support and interest in other religions
not only strengthens a person's appreciations for their religion,
but it also is beneficial to creating a culture of peace.
"I think it makes you spiritually strong and helps you in
your search for the truth," Zed said.
Zed, who wore a traditional sandalpaste mark on his forehead
and , translated all the Hindu prayers into English.
According reporter, he said, "we don't have a temple here.
We have what's called the Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada, and
we are raising funds to build a temple. The closest temples are
in Yuba City, Sacramento and Livermore. We have over 500 families
here in Northern Nevada. I moved to Nevada in 1997 from California"
According to Ms Chely of Workforce Development & Continuing
Education, Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, Nevada, he
teaches classes at Truckee Meadows Community College on Hinduism
and Hindu gods and goddesses. Next class will start from Nov.
It is also connfirmed that he teaches these classes just impart
information and and he's not seeking to convert students to hinduism
Mr. Sudesh Verma from Reno said, he work as a chaplain in area
hospitals in Northern Nevada. He attend the meetings also of all
the other chaplains of different religions.