The Office of the Chaplain United States House of Representatives

Reverend Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala

Shiva Vishnu Temple
Parma, OH

Sponsor: Rep. Rep. Sherrod Brown, (D-OH)
Date of Prayer: 09/14/2000

One Minute Speech Given in Recognition of the Guest Chaplain:

Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, today is a great day for Indian–American relations. For the first time, a Hindu priest has given the opening prayer at a session of Congress, and the Prime Minister of India later this morning will address a joint session of Congress.

India and the United States share the bonds of history and culture. Our two great nations share a commitment to both the ideals and the practice of democracy. The close ties between the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy are invaluable to encourage free and fair elections throughout the world.

The United States is also home to an Indian–American community of 1.4 million people. I requested the House Chaplain and Speaker to invite Mr. Samuldrala to give today's prayer as a testimony to the religious diversity that is the hallmark of our great Nation.

I want to thank Mr. Samuldrala for his thoughtful prayer that reminds us that, while we may differ in culture and traditions, we are all alike in the most basic aspiration of peace and righteousness.

I thank the House Chaplain for inviting Mr. Samuldrala and look forward to future efforts to strengthen the bonds between our two great nations.

Opening Prayer Given by the Guest Chaplain:

O God,

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 onto righteousness.

Today, in this great hall, are assembled the elected representatives of the people of this Nation. They are ready to perform their duties. God, please guide them in their thoughts and actions so they can achieve the greatest good for all.

We end this invocation with a prayer from the ancient scriptures of India:

May all be happy
May all be free from disease
May all realize what is good
May none be subject to misery
Peace, peace, peace be unto all.

To learn more about Members who have sponsored a Guest Chaplain, please visit the Congressional Biographical Directory