Meetings of 14 city councils and county board of supervisors in California, including Gilroy City Council, are opening with ancient Hindu prayers during the next few months, mostly for the first time.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed is delivering the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Gilroy City Council, as well as the city councils or county boards in Madera, Dos Palos, Plymouth, Suisun, Wasco, Shafter, Chico, Anaheim, Downey, Paso Robles, Fairfield, Merced and Reedley. Zed has already read this year Hindu prayers before the California city councils of San Jose, Lemoore, Live Oak, Tracy, Waterford, Hughson, Exeter, Anderson, Tulare, Oakdale, Redding and Hanford; besides Nevada Assembly and Sparks City Council in Nevada.
After Sanskrit delivery, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, then will read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.
Rajan Zed will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end the prayer with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.
Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Zed plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he will then translate as “Lead me from the unreal to the Real, Lead me from darkness to Light, and Lead me from death to Immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge Councilmembers/Supervisors to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Rajan Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader, who besides taking up the cause of religion worldwide, has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe. Bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award; Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.