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Rajan Zed Will Recite First Hindu Prayer To Open Session

Rajan Zed

Hinduism is known as the oldest religion still being practiced, and it's one of the most popular in the world.

The religion needs to be better understood by those in the United States. So says Rajan Zed, who has made educating others about it his mission. He's based in Nevada and travels extensively for his role as president of the Universal Society of Hinduism. He will be in Springfield Feburary 27th and 28th, opening session in the State Senate followed by the House of Representatives. Listen to the story:

Each day of the Illinois legislative session begins with a prayer. On two of those days at the end of February, it will start in a way that’s never happened before. When Rajan Zed appeared as a guest chaplain in the United States Senate - he was met by protest from a small group of Christian extremists, As C-Span covered in 2007.

Zed doesn’t care to address this incident from a decade ago. Instead, he’s focused on his goal of educating others about the third largest religion in the world – Hinduism. In Springfield he’ll be reciting from the Rig-Veda: "the oldest existing scripture of any religion." Hinduism is a set of beliefs and practices that draws from various roots and does not have a singular founder.

Zed is President of the Universal Society of Hinduism. This is the first time the state’s General Assembly will open with a Hindu prayer. Zed says he’s been warmly received in previous appearances in the state and is looking forward to his time in Springfield.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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