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Rajan Zed


NRI Hindu Prayer in Senate, Disrupted and Shouted Down by "Christian patriots"

  • NRI Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain of Reno, Nevada, became nervous and uncomfortable
  • Very soon, he regained his footing then continued with his invocation.

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2007
Ashok Aggarwal

For the very first time, NRI Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain, was invited to perform the invocation for the Senate on July 12, at approximately 9:30am. Just before Zed was able to begin, though, three individuals- Ante Pavkovic, Kathy Pavkovic, and Kristen Sugar from the Christian Right anti-abortion group Operation Save America began shouting:

  • "Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which is an abomination in your sight. This is an abomination. We shall have no other gods before you."

Senator Bob Casey, the presiding officer for the morning, immediate asked the sergeant-at-arms to restore order. The sergeants were pushing them out .....Full Story

Nevada Hindu chaplain, NRI will open Senate Session with a Hindu prayer on July 12

Reno, Nevada, June 26, 2007
Ashok Sharma

NRI Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain, will read Hindu prayer at the opening of United States Senate in Washington, DC on July 12, 2007. This is the first time in its history, any Hindu prayer will be delivered in the US Senate since its formation in 1789.

  • James Kirkland became the first African-American to deliver the opening prayer in 1965.
  • Six years later Wilmina Rowland was the first woman to pray on the Senate floor.
  • In 1992, Wallace Mohammed became the first Muslim leader to deliver the invocation.

According to local news papers, he said he plans to start and end the prayers with "'OM,' the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work."

While the prayer will draw from Hindu religious texts, Zed said it will be "universal in approach."

Inviting guest chaplains to open Senate sessions dates back to at least 1857, according to SHO records. In that year, all sessions were opened by guest chaplains, because the Senate did not appoint an official chaplain.

According to US Senate website descrine that, "…Throughout the years, the United States Senate has honored the historic separation of Church and State, but not the separation of God and State…During the past two hundred and seven years, all sessions of the Senate have been opened with prayer, strongly affirming the Senate’s faith in God as Sovereign Lord of our Nation..." Usually the Senate Chaplain delivers the opening prayer, but sometimes guest chaplains are invited from all over the country to read the prayer. According to a Senate Chaplain Office communiqué, the purpose of the opening prayer is to seek God on behalf of, and for the Senators and the prayer should affirm our rich heritage as a Nation "under God".

NRI Rajan Zed, read an opening prayer to the Nevada State Assembly in March and May

On March 19, NRI Rajan Zed read an opening prayer to the Nevada State Assembly and again on May 7 with the Nevada State Senate. When Zed read from the Rig-Veda, it was covered by international broadcaster Voice of America and numerous other American publications.

This is the first time any Hindu prayer is delivered in the Nevada State Senate since its formation in 1864, says Pastor Albert Tilstra, Chaplain Coordinator for Nevada Legislature.

At the opening of the Nevada Senate session, after President of the Senate, Lieutenant Governor Brian K. Krolicki, introduced Rajan Zed and he started Hindu prayers, all Senators stood up and listened intently while standing. "This day of May 07, 2007, is an illustrious day for all Nevadans and memorable day for us when opening prayers from ancient Hindu scriptures are being read in this grand hall of democracy," Zed said during the prayer.

Zed led with prayers from the Rig Veda, and the Bhagavad-Gita, and concluded by chanting “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,” which translates as “Peace, Peace, Peace be unto all.”

Zed prayed before the Nevada senators:

  • 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.

Zed said that kind of support and interest in other religions not only strengthens a person's appreciations for their religion, but it also is beneficial to creating a culture of peace.

"I think it makes you spiritually strong and helps you in your search for the truth," Zed said.

Zed, who wore a traditional sandalpaste mark on his forehead and , translated all the Hindu prayers into English.

According reporter, he said, "we don't have a temple here. We have what's called the Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada, and we are raising funds to build a temple. The closest temples are in Yuba City, Sacramento and Livermore. We have over 500 families here in Northern Nevada. I moved to Nevada in 1997 from California"

According to Ms Chely of Workforce Development & Continuing Education, Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, Nevada, he teaches classes at Truckee Meadows Community College on Hinduism and Hindu gods and goddesses. Next class will start from Nov. 2007.

It is also connfirmed that he teaches these classes just impart information and and he's not seeking to convert students to hinduism

Mr. Sudesh Verma from Reno said, he work as a chaplain in area hospitals in Northern Nevada. He attend the meetings also of all the other chaplains of different religions.




Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain will open Senate Session with a Hindu prayer on July 12