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Illinois and Iowa Senate-House open with Hindu prayers

Illinois and Iowa Senate-House open with Hindu prayers
March 07
07:15 2018

Illinois House – Assembly and Senate – opens with Hindu Mantras

India Post News Service

CHICAGO: On February 27 and 28 respectively, Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives in Springfield started their sessions with Hindu prayers, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, delivered the invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Senate and House. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English interpretation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and the root of Indo-European languages.

Wearing saffron colored attire, a rudraksha mala (rosary) and traditional sandal paste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Rajan also recited from Rig-Veda, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He started and ended the prayers with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. The culmination was with the sprinkling of a few drops of water from river Ganga of India.

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, he prayed “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya, Mrtyormamrtamgamaya”, which he then interpreted as “Lead us from the unreal to the real, Lead us from darkness to light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged Senators and Representatives to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

A reception was hosted for Rajan by the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association, a “community of individuals engaged in ministry from many different faith traditions”. He met the Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and presented him a copy of Bhagavad-Gita.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Iowa Senate & House also kick off with Hindu prayers

DES MOINES: Both Iowa State Senate and House of Representatives in Des Moines started their respective sessions with Hindu prayers on February 26.

Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism delivered the invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Senate and House. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English interpretation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root of Indo-European languages.

Wearing saffron colored attire, Rajan sprinkled few drops of water from river Ganga and recited from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use; besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He started and ended the prayers with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work

Senate President Jack Whitver introduced Rajan to members of this august forum. The Senate adjusted its start time by few minutes so that Rajan could pray in both the House and Senate.

He also recited from Brahadaranyakopanishad and Bhagavad-Gita.

Linda L. Upmeyer is Speaker of Iowa House of Representatives, which has 100 members; while Iowa Senate has 50 members. Iowa, also known as Hawkeye State and whose flag states “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain”, is said to one of the safest states to live. Bordered by Mississippi, Missouri and Big Sioux rivers, its top exports include corn, tractors and soybeans. US President Herbert Hoover, actor John Wayne, Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, football player Kurt Warner and Olympian artistic gymnast Shawn Johnson—all hail from Iowa. Kim Reynolds is the Governor.

Ramesh Soparawala

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