Idaho Senate To Open With Hindu Prayer

Looks like the Ada County Highway District isn’t the only governmental body making headlines based on religious prayer to open meetings.

With its history of accepting free trips to Turkey from the Islamic-based Gulen Society, it is no surprise the Idaho Senate is set to open its Tuesday session with a Hindu Mantra–according to a press release we received from Rajan Zed who bills himself as “President of Universal Society of Hinduism.”
Rajan Zed Post
We assume the release is legit since it included the image of Zed and appeared to come from him. When we did some additional research (Google), it looked like he has enjoyed a vast amount of prior publicity forcing legislative bodies to hear his Hindu invocation. Most notable was on July 12, 2007, when he appeared at the United States Senate as its guest Chaplain to the dismay of some Christians who were arrested.

Idaho Senate, upper house in the State Legislature in Boise, will start its day with ancient Hindu prayers on March third, said to be a first since Idaho acquired statehood in 1890.

This reportedly historic invocation will contain verses from Rig-Veda; the oldest existing scripture of the mankind still in common use.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver this prayer from Sanskrit scriptures before the Senate. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.

Zed, who is the President of Universal Society of Hinduism, besides Rig-Veda, will also recite from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end the prayer with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he will then interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the Real, Lead us from darkness to Light, Lead us from death to immortality.” Reading from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge the Senators to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader, who besides taking up the cause of religion worldwide, has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe. Bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award; Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc. He was invited by President of European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) for a meeting to promote interfaith dialogue.

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

Lieutenant Governor Brad Little presides over Idaho Senate which has 35 members, while Brent Hill is its President Pro Tempore.

We predict the messenger–not the message–will be the source of any blowback. The Kootenai County Republicans recently called for declaring Idaho as a “Christian State.”

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I take it as an honor to have him here with hope of welcome arms of those who are able to attend. Just Listen to what he has to say as it will be positive.

  2. Since Turkey and Islam have nothing to do Hindu– what?

    “forcing legislative bodies to hear”…. again, what?

    Rajan Zed, ought to get two prayers with one airfare and visit ACHD Tuesday..
    I would guess it will only take about 12 non-standard prayers for Goldthrope to second guess his proposal and vote.
    Hopefully Cmr Baker and Arnold will make a continued effort to invite EVERY other nonchristian prayer maker to test the patience and tolerance of those inviting the prayer service.

  3. I agree with Easterner (yikes) on the confusing Turkey and Islam linkage. The Christian prayers over all these years haven’t brought the Legislature a level of wisdom that rises above average at best. Maybe the Hindu prayer will be more effective.

    EDITOR NOTE–Probably a poor attempt to show how easily the legislature is manipulated whether it be to advantage of business, Gulens, or a Hindu cleric. The cleric is not here because of the “vast constituency” he represents. He is here to make headlines and the GUARDIAN is certainly guilty of providing those headlines.

  4. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 1, 2015, 12:05 pm

    India (a mostly Hindu nation) has nuclear weapons and has been at cold and hot war with Pakistan (an Islamic nation, and also nuclear armed) for generations. Islamic nations have been trying to destroy Israel (a Jewish state) since 1948. European Christians sent armies of crusaders to the middle east to fight Islamic states. I fail to see how any of this religious nonsense has been any benefit to mankind. It needs to just go away.

  5. Grumpy ole Guy
    Mar 1, 2015, 10:25 pm

    Unitarian friends sometimes say that crossed index and middle fingers are Unitarian prayer: perhaps the Idaho Senate should invite a Unitarian Universalist to come and wave crossed fingers at them. It might be a pleasant change from the fingers usually waved in their direction.

  6. This guy doesn’t represent the government of India, Rod. I find this bit of news re the Hindu prayer rather amusing. When will the atheists get their shot in Idaho?

  7. Rod in SE Boise
    Mar 2, 2015, 11:49 am

    He may not represent the government of India but I guess he represents a majority of Indians.

    Jimmy Swaggart (or Swaggert) (you remember him) is back with his own TV channel or his own show. If he was in Idaho he would represent the Legislature.

    EDITOR NOTE–Rod, I would be surprised if he represents even the majority of Indians in USA. The title sounds a bit like Kirby Hensley and the “Universal Life Church.”

  8. Why in the world is this — and the ACHD prayer story — even allowed to be an issue? Go to work, do your job, practice your religion before and after work. It’s not complicated — I do that every single day.

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