NEW HAMPSHIRE, U.S., March 14 2019 (Lokvani): The Hindu Temple of New Hampshire, Nashua, NH, once again had the honor of being invited by the New Hampshire State Legislature to give the opening prayer in the chamber of the House of Representatives on Thursday, March 7th, 2019. Sri Veeramani Ranganathan, co-founder of the Temple, shared ancient Indian wisdom from the Taittiriya Upanishad with those assembled, and prayed for a blissful life for all. This special and unique event was made possible through the kind support and efforts of the New Hampshire State Representative from Nashua, Smt. Latha Mangipudi. The custom of opening legislative sessions with prayer was borrowed from the British Parliament, where the practice of beginning each day with the reading of prayers had already existed for a long time. This custom has been practiced in the United States Congress starting from the first Congress in 1789. Most state legislatures have also adopted this tradition, and many have been practicing this for over a century.
The Honorable Speaker of the House, Mr. Steve Shurtleff, introduced Sri Veeramani Ranganathan as the Guest Chaplain and invited him to deliver the opening prayer. All the assembled members of the House and the guests stood up in respect as Sri Veeramani delivered the prayer which lasted several minutes. Sri Veeramani started by offering pranaams to all assembled, offered salutations to parents and preceptors, and went on to deliver a selection of chants in Sanskrit from the Yajur Veda's Taittiriya Upanishad. The chanting of the Taittiriya Upanishad was followed by a universal prayer in Sanskrit ("sarve bhavantu sukhinah") seeking the well-being of all. Sri Veeramani followed up the chanting with an explanation in English of the meaning of the Vedic hymns that he chanted. The members of the House and the guests gave him a warm applause to express their appreciation.