Manchester VA Medical Center

The leader of a national Hindu organization is calling on the Manchester VA to include a copy of its sacred text alongside a Christian Bible already on display in the medical center's lobby.

Rajan Zed is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, based in Nevada. He asks the Manchester VA in an open letter Thursday to add the Bhagavad Gita to the display.

Zed says doing so would provide veterans "comfort and strength," which is in line with the VA's mission.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

For the first time, New Hampshire’s Hindu community hosted a week-long religious festival in Concord called the Srimad Bhagavata Maha Purana (or just Purana for short). It’s a ceremony where participants gather from across the region to pray for global peace, emotional wellbeing and spiritual enlightenment. 

About 4500 people living in New Hampshire were born in India. And more than a third of them live in Nashua. They do their best to keep their connections with their culture through their cooking and recreation - Nashua alone has five cricket teams. But one thing they don't have is a place to pray. Now a group of local residents is saying it's time to open a Hindu temple.