Hindu prayer in the Senate

The opening prayer at the U.S. Senate usually doesn’t generate a lot of controversy. But on July 12, 2007, when chaplain Rajan Zed of Reno, Nev., became the first Hindu to deliver an opening prayer in the U.S. Senate, he was interrupted by Christian protesters. There’s a video clip here that, when it surfaced on the blogosphere, generated an outpouring of commentary.

Zed has responded in the Newsweek/WashingtonPost blogzine On Faith. He writes:

Many of us won’t accept it, but religion is a complex component of our lives and it encompasses much more than our own particular tradition or personal experience. We all must take religion very seriously as it is the most powerful force. The challenge today is to seek unity that celebrates diversity.

Bhagavad-Gita, one of the ancient Hindu scriptures, says: “In whatever way and path, humans worship Me, in that same path do I (meet) and fulfill their aspirations and grace them. It is always My Path that humans follow in all their different paths and journeys, on all sides.” It further says, “Whatever form (of the Divine) any devotee with faith wishes to worship, I make that faith of his steady.”

All of us are looking for the truth. Dialogue brings us mutual enrichment. We may learn from each other as we are headed in the same direction. We should at least cooperate in the common causes of peace, human development, love, and respect for others.

There is a hymn in Guru Granth Sahib, sacred Sikh scripture:

“The world is burning in the fire of passion

Save it, O Lord, by Thy grace;

Save it the way Thou consider best.”

Read the whole thing here.

Past Posts