For the first time in the history of the United States of America, Jainism and Jains of North America received the unprecedented recognition and honor of having a prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives when on May 22, 2001, in celebration of the 2600th birth anniversary of Mahavira, the twenty-fourth Tirthankara, the Jain Master Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanuji delivered the opening prayer.
After the prayer, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. of New Jersey, the sponsor of the event, paid tribute to the Jain philosophy of non-violence and to the Jain community in North America for organizing the event. He stated, “I guess you could say, in a way, Lord Mahavir was ahead of his times, once proclaiming that all human beings are equal whether mail or female, rich or poor. The Jain religion flourished in India for over 3500 years.” He thanked House Chaplain Coughlin for allowing Jains the opportunity to celebrate the Jain spirit on the House floor.
Prayer for the U.S. House of Representatives
Tuesday, May 22, 2001
Rev. Daniel P. Coughlin
Sponsor: Representative Frank Pallone, Jr.
Jain Guest: Gurudev Shree Chitrabhanuji
Let us all join our hands, heads and hearts together
and bow to all perfect and liberated souls,
and to all spiritual teachers
Let us pray that all elected representatives
of the people of this Nation be guided
in their thoughts, words and actions
to achieve the greatest good for all.
Let them have a high sense of responsibility
and be free from temptations of selfish interests.
Let them be filled with knowledge and wisdom
so that resolutions adopted and laws enacted
may meet the standards for the good of our people.
May the blessings be on our country, our government,
our elected leaders in this House of Congress, and
on all living beings of the world.
May the entire universe attain bliss.
May all beings be interested
in one another’s well being.
May all faults be eliminated.
May people be happy everywhere.
Om Shanti! Shanti! Shanti!