House opens peacefully with Hindu prayer

Rajan-Zed-11WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been almost seven years since protesters interrupted the first Hindu prayer to open a U.S. Senate session.

Today, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, was back on Capitol Hill to deliver the House invocation, but this time there was no disruption.

House speaker John Boehner introduced Zed, who opened and closed his recitation from the Hindu scriptures with “Om,” which his web site says is “the mystical syllable containing the universe.”

Democratic Rep. Mike Honda of California says opening the House session with a Hindu prayer showed a respect for “the diversity of spirituality and cultures.”

When Zed opened the Senate with a Hindu prayer in 2007, Christian protesters shouted prayers and Bible verses from the gallery and were arrested by Capitol Police.