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Hindu prayer to open US Senate

On July 12, a Hindu prayer will be recited in the US Senate in Washington, a first since its formation in 1789.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2007 16:22 IST

History will be created when a Hindu prayer will be recited at the opening of the US Senate in Washington DC on July 12.

Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain, said that he had been officially asked to say the prayer. He said he believes this may be the first time any Hindu prayer is delivered in the Senate since its formation in 1789.

Zed is likely to choose the prayer from the Rig Veda, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. He said he plans to start and end the prayer with 'Om', the mystical Hindu syllable. The full text of the prayer will be included in the Congressional Record.

There are an estimated two million Indian Americans in the US. Followers of Hindu groups like ISKCON may add up to another one million.

"July 12 will be an illustrious day for all Americans and a memorable day for Indian Americans when prayers from ancient Hindu scriptures will be read in the great hall of democracy," Zed said.

Usually, the Senate chaplain delivers the opening prayer but sometimes guest chaplains are invited from all over the country to read the prayer.