Zed to pray

Reno Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed is delivering daily prayers in five Western legislatures over the next three months. New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Arizona invited him to their halls, and he gave prayers in the first two this week.

Zed, a member of the Reno Police Advisory Board, will read from Rig-veda, a Sanskrit scripture composed approximately between 1700–1100 BC, as well as from the Hindu scriptures Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita.

The first Hindu prayer in the U.S. Senate was said by Zed on July 12 last year at the invitation of Sen. Harry Reid, but the occasion was marred by alleged Christians who yelled “this is an abomination” from the gallery. The American Family Association had earlier sent out an “Action Alert” to its members to e-mail, write letters, or call their senators to try to stop the prayer on grounds that it meant “the invocation of a non-monotheistic god.” The dispute was reported heavily in India.

Zed essays are regularly used on the Washington Post’s new faith website.