Date:25/06/2008 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2008/06/25/stories/2008062556031500.htm
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11-day prayer for Obama’s success

Staff Reporter

Congress leader invokes blessings of Hanuman


15 kg, 21-inch brass idol will reach Obama by August 24


NEW DELHI: Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama can now expect help from an unexpected quarter — Lord Hanuman.

All-India Congress Committee member Brij Mohan Bhama has organised a 11-day religious ceremony at Karol Bagh here for his success in the U.S. elections.

The idea of sending an idol of Hanuman dawned on him after friends in the United States mentioned a “prominent American politician who carried a miniature Hanuman idol in his pocket for luck,” Mr. Bhama said speaking on the first day of the ceremony on Tuesday.

“After hearing that, I decided to gift Mr. Obama a larger, gold-plated version along with the wishes of thousands of his supporters in this country,” said the leader struggling to lift the 15 kg, 21-inch brass idol.

The first-day ceremony, pranapratishta, or infusion of divine life into an idol, was performed by a dozen priests reciting mantras in tandem. It was attended by Democrats Abroad India chairperson Carolyn Sauvage, who spent over an hour at the venue.

The idol was later kept in the sanctum sanctorum of the Sankat Mochan Dham, where it will be kept for 10 more days. Mr. Bhama said several temples in New Delhi had already expressed an interest in keeping the idol for worship on their premises before it begins its journey across the Atlantic.

Along with the idol, a copy of Hanuman Chalisa, a compilation of hymns in praise of the Lord, would be sent.

“We will ensure that Mr. Obama receives the idol by August 24, a day before the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado,” said Mr. Bhama.

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