[Prayers and Politics] Namaste, all!
The Utah Senate will open with its first-ever Hindu prayer on Feb. 13.
This, according to information from the man who will give the prayer, Rajan Zed (that's him in the photo). The self-described "prominent Hindu chaplain and Indo-American leader" will deliver the prayer first in Sanskrit, then offer its translation in English.
While there are plenty of opening prayers at the Legislature of the familiar "Our Father In Heaven" variety, Rajan Zed says he'll recite from "Rig-Veda," which dates to around 1,500 B.C. and remains the oldest world scripture still in common use. He will start and end the prayer with "OM"--the "mystical syllable containing the universe, which, in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work."
Translated into English, Rajan Zed will pray: "Lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality." And reciting from chapter three of Bhagavad-Gita, he will "urge the senators to act selflessly."
Ah, that's the challenge. Does "acting selflessly" include sending back those Jazz tickets and canceling those executive tee times with the lobbyists? (Holly Mullen)