History was made when the senate of the US state of Nevada opened its session with chanting of Hindu prayers for the first time since it was established in 1864. Director of Interfaith Relations of the Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada Rajan Zed chanted the prayers to open the session on May 7.
Wearing saffron robes, rudraksh necklace and traditional sandal paste tilak on the forehead, Zed began with a hymn from the Rig Veda. ?I open my prayer with an invocation to the divine-whatever it may be and however we may conceive it.?
He read the next prayer from Tattiriya Upanishad, composed around 400 BC, reciting again in Sanskrit-Om saha naavavatu, Saha nau bhunaktu, Saha viiryan karavaavahai,
Tejasvi naavadhiitamastu, Maa vidvishhaavahai, which means, ?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.?
The next part of the prayer was from the Bhagavad Gita, which was about duties, action, selfless work, welfare of others and compassion. He concluded reciting the last mantra of Rig Veda. President of the Senate, Lieutenant Governor Brian K Krolicki, introduced Rajan Zed and all Senators stood up as he started chanting the prayer. Besides people from the area Hindu community, ministers/priests from various Christian denominations like Presbyterian, Episcopal, United Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist; and activists from Satyachetana International and World Peace and Divine Mission also attended the prayers as a gesture of support. (FOC)