RELIGION
09/05/2012 07:54 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2012

Ishwar Singh, Sikh American Leader's Invocation At Republican National Convention 2012 (FULL TEXT)

For the first time ever the Republican Party invited a Sikh American leader to offer an invocation at their national convention in Tampa, Fla. last week. Ishwar Singh, head of the Sikh Society of Central Florida, delivered the invocation. HuffPost Religion is honored to publish the full text of his invocation, which was cut in half by the RNC coordinators.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

It is an honor for me to be here with you today as a Sikh and as an American. I am proud that my country cherishes the values of freedom, equality, and human dignity. These values are at the heart of the Sikh faith. Sikhs believe that God is one. We are one people, one family, one humanity, and one United States of America.

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded 500 years ago in India. We believe that the Divine Light shines in all of us; we are all God's children. God, known by many names, is the ultimate truth. We express our devotion to God and our commitment to service through articles of faith. Whether the Christian cross, the Jewish yarmulke, the Muslim hijab, the Hindu mauli, or the Sikh turban, we respect all forms of peaceful religious expression.

When people forget that we are one family, we witness violence in our streets, our schools, and even our places of worship. We are deeply saddened by recent acts of violence, including the mass shooting of Sikh Americans in our gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Let us end hate against all people and remember that we truly are one nation under God. This evening, as we come together at the Republican National Convention to help decide the future of our nation, let us remember love and oneness.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, Vaheguru, we call you by many names but you are One. Keep your Divine Hand over all the delegates and candidates as they help steer the future of our great nation. Keep truth on our tongues, love in our hearts and sound judgment in our minds. Remind us of our purpose: to love and serve one another and create a more peaceful world.

We ask for blessings unto all leaders as they work for the common good. Give all who govern this land humility and courage, integrity and compassion. Release each one of us from ego so that we may serve selflessly. Help us remember that we belong to one family.

We ask of the Almighty to also keep watch over our nation’s protectors who work tirelessly day and night to ensure our safety and our freedom. Protect your children of the Gulf Coast and give them Your grace in weathering the storm.

You are everywhere; all are Yours. Whatever is seen, O God, is Your form. My Lord, you are but One.

Nanak nam chardi kala, tere bhaanai sarbat da bhala

In the Name of God, we find everlasting optimism.
Within Your Will, may there be grace for all of humanity.

Wahguru Ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

Almighty God, bless us all.

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