Writings and observations

frazier DAVID


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.”

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.”

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Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

At Senate’s Hindu prayer, partial GOP walkout (Boise Statesman, Nampa Press Tribune)
UI student dean resigns after 2 months (Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Washington may raise minimum wage to $12 (Lewiston Tribune)
Boater say ‘poison pill’ in Deer Flat plan (Nampa Press Tribune)
Little action on road funding legislation (Nampa Press Tribune)
Idaho may get March presidential primary (TF Times News)
Should state try to recoup IEN payments? (TF Times News)

Oil pipeline protest at Eugene brings artists (Eugene Register Guard)
Bill would let workers discuss salaries (Eugene Register Guard)
‘In God We Trust’ motto opponent gets death threat (KF Herald & News)
Gold Hill city hall cameras watching employees (Medford Tribune)
Aryan gang may get plea agreement (Pendleton E Oregonian)
Why gas prices rose so fast lately (Portand Oregonian)
Unemployment rate falls again to 6.3% (Salem Statesman Journal)

Very low snowpack around Washington (Bellingham Herald)
Adele Ferguson of Bremerton Sun dies (Bremerton Sun)
House votes for $12 minimum wage bill (Spokane Spokedsman, Vancouver Columbian, Bremerton Sun, Olympian)
Flu kills 9 people in Snohomish (Everett Herald)
Big pay boost for Lacey manager (Olympian)
Local lawmakers oppose gas tax (Port Angeles News)
Moneytree pushes to weaken state loaning laws (Seattle Times)
Why gas prices rose so fast lately (Tacoma News Tribune)
Plans for five waterfront blocks released (Vancouver Columbian)
Yakima Clerk, commissioners battle rages (Yakima Herald Republic)

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