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NJ State Assembly Invocation Prayer

On May 20, 2010, Anju Bhargava became the first Hindu woman to lead the opening invocation prayer at the NJ State Assembly.  Ms. Bhargava serves on President Obama's Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and is the founder-convener of Hindu American Seva Charities.  This historic event was organized by Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula to honor Asian American Heritage month and the Memorial Day.

 The invocation started with a note of gratitude and thankfulness of the abundance in America, the land of the free and the brave which has brought people of all ethnicities, traditions and countries to this nation and continues to enrich us all as Americans.  In light of the challenges our country faces on many fronts she said we need to come together to cooperate, to solve the pressing problems. Ms. Bhargava recited the Om Saha Navavatu sloka asking the One God to protect and nourish the assembled body and to give them the wisdom to work together in harmony and to strengthen the various communities they serve.

 Ms. Bhargava reminded the legislature to contemplate on how they expend their energy Clarity would better prepare them face the daily strife and struggles courageously and rise above it. Quoting from the Gita she said our duty is only to perform the task at hand, in the best way we can.  We cannot control the results.  We leave that to God who controls everything.  So by focusing on the work, we keep our mind free from negative thoughts from anxiety, personal interactions from conflict, jealousy and envy.  We remove the interference in the successful completion of the task.

 Ms. Bhargava also asked the assembled legislative body to remember with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who, served the cause of freedom and justice when called for by the nation.  She said as a community we are humbled and moved by their courage and sacrifice. She invoked God's presence to help the leaders to honorably conduct their public service to strengthen the country and asked God to give them the courage and understanding to face what may come in their line of duty.  She ended with the Universal blessing prayer - Loka samastha sukhinau bhavantu - asking for the world and all our lives be one of peace, prosperity, joy and happiness.