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Hindu priest invited by Trump recites vedic prayer at White House

Hindu priest invited by Trump recites vedic prayer at White House
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Pujari Harish Brahmbhatt speaks as US President Donald Trump looks on at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, on Thursday
Highlights

The sacred Vedic Shanti Path or peace prayer was recited by a Hindu priest in the Rose Garden of the White House on the occasion of National Day of Prayer Service to pray for the health, safety and well-being of everyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic

Washington : The sacred Vedic Shanti Path or peace prayer was recited by a Hindu priest in the Rose Garden of the White House on the occasion of National Day of Prayer Service to pray for the health, safety and well-being of everyone affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

At the invitation of US President Donald Trump, Pujari Harish Brahmbhatt from the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir in New Jersey joined religious leaders from other faiths offering prayers on the occasion of National Day of Prayer Service.

"In these troubled times of COVID-19, social distancing and lockdown, it is not unusual for people to feel anxious or not at peace.

The shanti prayer or peace prayer is a prayer that does not seek worldly riches, success, fame, nor is it a prayer for any desire for heaven," Brahmbhatt said in his brief remarks from the Rose Garden podium.

"It is a beautiful Hindu prayer for peace, shanti. It is a Vedic prayer derived from Yajurveda," he said before reciting the prayer in Sanskrit. Thereafter, he translated it in English.

"The prayer translates into onto the heavens be peace. Onto the sky and earth be peace. Peace be onto the water. Onto the herbs and trees be peace. Onto all the crops be peace.

Onto Brahma and onto all be peace. And may we realise that peace. Om peace, peace, peace," Brahmbhatt said. Trump thanked Brahmbhatt for his prayer recitation.

This is probably the first time that a priest from the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Robbinsville, New Jersey attended and recited prayers at the White House.

The BAPS temple in Robbinsville is one of the largest Swaminarayan temples outside India.

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