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Hindu prayer kicks off legislative business

The prayer began and ended with "Om," the mystical syllable according to the world's oldest and third largest religion.   If it sounds like a Hindu prayer, that's because it is.   A Hindu chaplain began business in the state Senate and the House March 24 by reciting Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures. It may be the first Hindu prayer officially conducted within the halls of the Arizona Legislature, although no one can say for sure because the Senate does not keep track of the kinds of prayers invoked at the beginning of each floor session.   Reading in Sanskrit and English verses from the Bhagavad-Gita, or Song of the Lord, Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed urged Arizona's senators to "strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world."

He also prayed to "lead us from the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality."

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