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Priest Zed calls for united approach for greater Hindu identity

Monday, August 10, 2009 09:51:09 PM, UNI

Rajan Zed offering a Hindu prayer at the California Senate. (File Photo)

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New York: Rajan Zed, the first Hindu priest, who inaugurated a US Senate session with a prayer, has urged all Hindus, including religious and community leaders, to unite for better understanding and more harmonious relationship with fellow Americans.


''We need to have a national umbrella group in this respect to bring all of us under one roof,'' Zed said in an interview here. ''We have to create a Hindu identity by which we should be proud of.''


He was on his way to Nevada, his home base, from Washington. He received an award in the US capital from American Hindu Sabha and delivered a speech there on religion.


The priest, shot into prominence with his Hindu religious invocation in the US legislature, met with Dr Uma Mysorekar, president of the North American Hindu Temple Society in New York, popularly known as the Ganesh temple. He had exchanged with Dr Mysorekar ideas of mutual interest and issues of concern to the Hindu community.


Apart from meeting with representatives of the news media, the priest also spoke to leaders of the Hindu community who organised the annual ''unity day'' in New York last week.


Zed said, ''We all have to work together. It is time to do charitable work at least on days like Thanksgiving when some people go hungry. We should contribute to soup kitchens and take care of the economically vulnerable groups irrespective of race and colour.

Helping others is one of the ways to build bridges and identify ourselves.''


The priest stressed that the God is one for all human beings. ''We believe in one deity, but in several forms. We have about 800 temples here in the US for various gods in our Hindu pantheon. And in New York City alone, there are 67 houses of worship for us.''


He offered prayer in the US Senate on July 12, 2007. Since then he offered prayers in various state legislatures, making him the most sought-after Hindu priest by lawmakers in the US.


''It was an honour, and I felt humbled about the whole thing. I got good (news media) coverage,'' said the priest, who has been described by some as the ''Hindu statesman.''


He said, ''I made an effort and I was invited by the local US senator. It was a gods gift.''


The first Hindu prayer was not without an incident. Some in the visitors' gallery shouted slogans protesting the minority religions prayer in the upper house.


He studied in California and Nevada and worked for the US Postal Service, before switching to priesthood. The Himachal Pradesh native earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Punjab University.


He has worked on causes like the Roma rehabilitation, environment and inter-religion harmony.


No precise figures of US Hindus are available. However, it is estimated that between three million and four million Hindus live in the US. The numbers consist of Americans whose origin is in India and other South Asian nations, as well as followers of Lord Krishna and other Hinduism-related sects.


According to Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, there are about 21,000 Hindu families in Nevada, where Las Vegas is home to a temple.







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Only in ancient times we were a united Hindu society, But BJP like people turned up that created hared by cast, creed, Race, religion separation.  Since then, we have not been a united Indian society,   Aslo look at our Hindu religion. It gives birth to a Hindu God so often a year.  That is why we do not have a united Hindu society. Also cast and creed comes in the way of Hindu united society.  In India every Indian claims to be the PM of India.  One more enemy within Indis is hatred that in 1947 brought partition.  

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Arvind Amin (by e-mail)

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