Famous Hindu chaplain honored at Hindu Sangathan Diwas celebrations in New York
New York, 27 August, (Asiantribune.com): Hindu Chaplain Rajan Zed, who read the historic first Hindu prayer in United States (US) Senate in Washington DC last month and which was protested, was honored at New York Ganesha Temple during Hindu Sangathan Diwas (Unity Day) celebrations for distinguished service.
Meanwhile, he is today reciting Hindu prayer in Sanskrit and English in California State Senate in Sacramento.
Zed was given “Award of Excellence” by Hindu Sangathan Diwas Committee and the plaque said, “in recognition of selfless and invaluable service to Hindu Sanatan Dharma and Hindus in America”.
The thirteenth Hindu Sangathan Diwas was jointly organized here by The Hindu Temple Society of North America (HTSNA), Indian American Intellectuals Forum (IAIF), and Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam, with the support of about 40 Hindu/Indian organizations.
Participants included Subramanian Swamy, former Union minister of India;
Dr. Frank Morales, President of International Sanatana Dharma Society;
Dr. Uma Mysorekar, President of HTSNA; Narain Kataria and Arish Sahani, President and Vice President respectively of IAIF; Parveen Chopra, well known spirituality writer/journalist; etc.
Ganesha Temple in Flushing (New York), a historically important temple in the West, is said to be the oldest Hindu temple in US.
Rajan Zed, besides delivering the first Hindu prayer in US Senate during its 218 years history on July 12 last, has also read first Hindu prayers in Nevada State Assembly and Nevada State Senate in March and May last respectively.
Nevada Clergy Association, drawn from various religions, recently gave a reception in honor of Zed in Reno (Nevada) where he was garlanded and presented a certificate. City of Reno issued him a proclamation during the City Council meeting and presented him with a plaque, while Reno Police Chief, Michael Poehlman, gave him “Chief’s Certificate of Commendation” to recognize his good works in “promoting peace and tranquility for all, regardless of race or faith” and to commend him for continuing his work in promoting interfaith dialogue. Sri Siva Vishnu Temple of Lanham, Maryland, invited and honored Zed on July 12 evening after the Senate feat. Various other organizations in US and India are planning to honor him.
About thirteen percent of the world’s population is Hindu. Currently there are about 800 Hindu religious centers in the US, concentrated in California, New York, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey.
Hinduism in North America began in 1830s with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau studying Hindu scriptures like Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita. Vivekananda made a strong impression at World’s Parliament of Religion in Chicago in 1893 and he then founded Vedanta Society. Protap Chunder Mozoomdar of Brahmo Samaj delivered the first American address on September 02, 1883 in Concord, Massachusetts.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has no datable beginning but some scholars put it around 3,000 BCE. It has no founder, no one authoritative figure, and no single prophet or holy book. One of its scriptures, Mahabharata, is the longest poem ever written, comprising over 100,000 couplets
- Asian Tribune -