Washington, Jan 4 (TruthDive): Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a newly elected first Hindu American congresswoman from Hawaii, brought her own holy book, Bhagavad Gita with her as she took part in a ceremonial swearing-in with House Speaker John A. Boehner.
Gabbard, 31, was born in American Samoa to a Catholic father and a Hindu mother, and moved to Hawaii when she was 2. In 2002, at age 21, she was elected to the Hawaii state legislature.
Tulsi will become the first Hindu member of the House. A number of eminent Hindu Americans from across the US attended Tulsi’s swearing-in ceremony.
Tulsi said she has chosen her personal copy of the Bhagavad-Gita to take the oath of office because its teachings had inspired her to strive to be a servant-leader, dedicating her life in the service of others and to her country.
In an interview, Tulsi has mentioned two verses of the Gita that are especially meaningful to her. Both the lines are from the second chapter and deal with the soul. Verse 17 defines the soul as “that which pervades the entire body you should know to be indestructible. No one is able to destroy that imperishable soul.”
Verse 23, elaborates on that idea: “The soul can never be cut into pieces by any weapon, nor can he be burned by fire, nor moistened by water, nor withered by the wind.”
Ami Bera, a physician from California, has also created history by becoming only the third Indian American — and the first physician from the community elected to the US House. During the oath ceremony, Bera took oath in the presence of his family members, including his wife, daughter, brothers and his father.
Sen. Mazie Hirono becomes the Senate’s first Buddhist. Though at present she does not practice, she has said that she certainly believed in the precepts of Buddhism and that of tolerance of other religions, integrity and honesty.