Congresswoman takes the Oath of Office on Bhagavad Gita

Congresswoman takes the Oath of Office on Bhagavad Gita

Washington, DC -- Today, January 3, 2013, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard became the first Hindu-American ever to be sworn in to the U.S. Congress.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the following statement about taking the Oath of Office on her personal Bhagavad Gita.

“I chose to take the oath of office with my personal copy of the Bhagavad-Gita because its teachings have inspired me to strive to be a servant-leader, dedicating my life in the service of others and to my country. My Gita has been a tremendous source of inner peace and strength through many tough challenges in life, including being in the midst of death and turmoil while serving our country in the Middle East.”

From Congresswoman Gabbard's earlier statemments:

On her upbringing:

I was raised in a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-faith family. My mother is Hindu; my father is a Catholic lector in his church who also practices mantra meditation. I began to grapple with questions of spirituality as a teenager. Over time, I came to believe that, at its essence, religion gives us a deeper purpose in life than just living for ourselves. Since I was a teenager, I have embraced this spiritual journey through the teachings of the Bhagavad-gita. In so doing, have been blessed with the motivation and strength to dedicate my life in service of others in a variety of ways.

On her military service:

My experiences in the armed services increased my desire to be of service to the people—to be a servant leader. It also helped me realize that what America—and indeed the world—needs, is mutual respect and understanding for one another. I and my fellow men and women in uniform were of all different races, religions, political parties, etc, but our differences never got in the way of our being able to work harmoniously as a team. It is this aloha spirit that we need in Congress inorder to successfully serve the American people.