By Caru Das
Caru Das was requested by State Senator Mark Madsen to deliver the opening prayer for the Utah State Senate in the capitol building in Salt Lake City. Senator Madsen & his family have been to festivals at the temple on several occasions & enjoyed them all. He accepted an invitation to say a few words at the upcoming Festival of Colors on March 27th, and said, “I will also stay to enjoy the pandemonium of Colors with my family afterwards.”
One of the photos is of Caru Das and Senator Madsen laughing on the stairs of the Senate, another of Caru Das side by side with Senate President Michael G. Waddoups, & the third of him delivering the invocation. At the very bottom is a Youtube video. Photos are courtesy of Jason Gonzalez & video of Yogesh Shah.
What follows is the text of Caru Das’ opening prayer on the 25th day of the current Senate Session, Feb. 19, 2010.
“We’d like to offer this invocatory Sanskrit verse from the ancient Katha Upanishad,
Saha navavatu, saha nau bhunaktu
Saha veeryam karvaavahai
Tejasvi naa vadhita mastu
maa vid vishaa va hai
AUM shaantih, shaantih, shaantih.
“Let us together be protected and let us together be nourished by God’s blessings. Let us together join our mental forces in strength for the benefit of humanity. Let our efforts at learning be luminous and filled with joy, and endowed with the force of purpose. Let us never be poisoned with the seeds of hatred for anyone. Let there be peace and serenity in all the worlds.”
Dear Lord, your light is brighter than the sun, your purity whiter than mountain snow, you are present wherever we go. Your names are many: Elohim, the Creator, Krishna, the All Attractive,
Yahweh, the Self Existent, Vishnu, the Preserver, Immanuel, the self Sufficient, Shantih, Peace Personified.
All people of wisdom praise you. So we too put faith in You, knowing that everything you teach is true.
You are omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient.
You are in everything and nothing is beyond you.
You are our Mother and Father and we are all your children.
Whatever you do is for our good.
You are the ocean of mercy and you forgive our errors.
You are our teacher and you guide us unto righteousness.
You are the Imperishable, the supreme Object of Knowledge;
You are the ultimate resting-place of this universe;
You are the immortal guardian of the eternal right,
You are the everlasting Spirit.
Today, in this hall, are assembled the elected representatives of the people of this State. They are ready to perform their duties. Lord, please guide them in their thoughts and actions so they can achieve the greatest good for all.
In your mercy reveal to them all they need to know, in order to find peace and joy. Tell them the truths that are necessary for the world in which we live.
Show them how they can meditate upon You, learning from You the wisdom that we need. Let none ever tire of hearing You, because Your words bring life.
Guide them, Lord, to this end:
Sarve bhavantu sukhinah. Sarve santu niramayah.
Sarve bhadhrani pashyantu. ma-kaschit dukha-bhak bhavet.
May all beings be happy. May all beings be peaceful.
May all beings be prosperous. May none in the world suffer.
In thy Name we pray.”