Hindus reject ‘end of the world’ theories

Rajan Zed. Photo by Debbie McCarthy.

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Hindus have rejected “end of the world” proclamations, saying that time is considered cyclical in Hinduism and not linear.

One such declaration said that “God will destroy the world” on May 21, 2011.

Hindu leader Rajan Zed said this week that ancient Hindu scriptures Upanishads point to the cyclical/non-ending nature of time through the principle of rebirth and karma.

Zed, who is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, says that world travels through infinite cycles of conception, ripening and desolation, thus resulting in the dismantled world to be reborn again.

He points out that destruction is not final in Hinduism as each is succeeded by a new fabrication. According to Samakhya, one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, Purusha causes Prakriti to evolve into various constituents, which will ultimately be reintegrated into Purusa at the termination of each cycle.

Zed argues that at the end/beginning of each mahakalpa, there is diffusion/formulation.

Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about a billion adherents, and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Area Baha’is celebrate “12th day of Ridvan”

A group photo taken on the occasion. Rajan Zed (in saffron attire) can be seen standing in the middle. Picture by Debbie McCarthy

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A group photo taken on the occasion. Rajan Zed (in saffron attire) can be seen standing in the middle. Picture by Debbie McCarthy

Area Baha’is celebrated “12th day of Ridvan” festival in Reno on May two evening.

Festivities included reciting prayers, listening to devotional music, reading from scripture, and ending with sharing food.

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, area Hindu leader Rajan Zed concluded the prayer part of the festival by reciting prayer from ancient Hindu scriptures. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, read Gayatri Mantra, the most sacred mantra of Hinduism, in Sanskrit and attendees repeated after him. He also read from Rig-Veda, oldest existing scripture of mankind; Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita, both ancient Hindu scriptures.

Twelve-day festival of Ridvan is also known as “the most great festival”, whose first (April 21), ninth (April 29) and 12th (May two) days are especially celebrated as holy days by Baha’is. These three days are marked by communal prayers and celebrations and no-work/no-school days. Baha’i administrative year begins on the first day of Ridvan.

Said to be youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions, Baha’i Faith, founded in Iran in 1844, has over five million followers.

Interfaith-panel of Nevada Episcopal Convention to be presided over by Hindu leader Zed

Hindu leader Rajan Zed (left) with Episcopal Bishop Dan T. Edwards (right).

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Hindu leader Rajan Zed (left) with Episcopal Bishop Dan T. Edwards (right).

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Hindu leader Rajan Zed will preside over the interfaith-panel at Episcopal Diocese of Nevada Convention to be held in Reno on October 14-16.

According to Right Reverend Dan T. Edwards, Episcopal Bishop of Nevada, theme of the Convention will be—“Who is my neighbor?” The interfaith-panel, consisting of a Muslim Imam, a Buddhist Priest, and a Jewish Rabbi, besides Rajan Zed (who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism), will engage in a dialogue around: How can we live as neighbors?

Episcopalians from all over Nevada, including both clergy and laity, will participate in this annual Convention, which discusses various developments, projects, proposals and other business of the Church in Nevada.

Episcopal Diocese of Nevada is a member diocese of the New York headquartered Episcopal Church of the United States headed by Presiding Bishop Most Reverend Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, who is chief pastor to the Church’s 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses.

Nevada Assembly opened with ancient Hindu prayers

Rajan Zed (right) with Nevada Assembly Speaker John Oceguera just before the Hindu opening prayer. Statue of Lord Ganesh can be seen in the front.

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Rajan Zed (right) with Nevada Assembly Speaker John Oceguera just before the Hindu opening prayer. Statue of Lord Ganesh can be seen in the front.The Nevada Assembly reverberated with Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures in Carson City yesterday.

Hindu leader Rajan Zed delivered an invocation from Sanskrit scriptures before the Assembly. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited 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 started and ended the prayer with “Om,” the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work. Om was followed by Gayatri Mantra, the most sacred mantra in Hinduism.

Wearing saffron-colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary) and a traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed sprinkled a few drops of sacred water from river Ganga in India around the podium before the prayer and placed a statue of Lord Ganesh in front of him.

Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, Zed prayed to the Lord so that public officials are “pure, efficient, impartial, selfless” in all the undertakings. He also presented a copy of Bhagavad-Gita to Speaker John Oceguera.

Zed opened the Nevada Senate on Feb. 14, Las Vegas City Council on January 19 and Sparks City Council on January 25 with ancient Sanskrit prayers. He also delivered the opening prayers in Clark County Board of Commissioners, Carson City Board of Supervisors and Henderson and Boulder City councils in the recent past in Nevada.

Zed is one of the panelists for “On Faith,” a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post. He has been awarded the “World Interfaith Leader Award” and is senior fellow and religious advisor to the New York headquartered Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association and spiritual advisor to the National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families.

Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Hindu monk welcomed in Reno

From left to right—Nicholas Frey of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Swami Vedananda, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, yoga exponent Rachelle Lanning.

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From left to right—Nicholas Frey of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Swami Vedananda, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, yoga exponent Rachelle Lanning.

Audience belonging to different religions and denominations listened intently to well-known Hindu monk Swami Vedananda from California in Reno on April 18 evening in an event organized by Universal Society of Hinduism (USH).

Welcoming Swami, Nicholas Frey, one of the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in the area, thanked Swami for coming to Nevada to spread the universal message of peace and love.

In his keynote address, Swami Vedananda said that Self had to be realized and with this realization, one came to understand everything in life. He also talked about karma, atman, dharma, Brahman, consciousness, detachment, goal of life, happiness from within, joy of renunciation, spiritual process, liberation, concept of time, apprehending reality, meditation, power of truth, etc.

Rajan Zed, USH president, points out that dialogue brings us mutual enrichment. He suggests that instead of mundane things, we should focus on eternal Reality and perceive God in every creature who is enshrined in your heart.

Unique Hindu baccalaureate service enters 4th year at UNR

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A Hindu baccalaureate service (Dikshant Utsav), held for the first time in the western United States at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2008, entered its fourth year last evening.

Organized by the Indian Student Organization at UNR and Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, it blessed the graduating class in the traditional Hindu style according to ancient scriptures, complete with applying tilak (religious marks) on the foreheads of graduates.

Besides a keynote address by a Hindu monk, it also included blessing prayers by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i and Native American religious leaders. Well-known musician Jim Eaglesmith was scheduled to chant a kirtan number in Sanskrit with the audience following him in the chant.

Starting with a ‘Gayatri Mantra’ (the most sacred verse from oldest scripture Rig-Veda) recitation by Zed and a traditional lamp lighting before the statue of goddess Saraswati, patron of learning and the arts, it included blessing the upcoming graduates with wisdom from Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita—all ancient Hindu scriptures.

Washoe County issued a special resolution to mark the significance of the first annual Hindu baccalaureate service at UNR. The purpose of this service is to root the graduating class in divine spiritual tradition so that they have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success, Zed stresses.

Reno Hindu leader Zed honored at Golden Temple of Sikhs

Zed in temple

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In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Reno-based Hindu statesman Rajan Zed was honored with a siropa on March 19 in Amritsar (India) in the Golden Temple complex, which contains the holiest shrine and highest seat of Sikhism.

A siropa (robe of honor) was presented by Punjab Education and Language Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan in the Information Office of the complex. Zed was also given a set of books about Sikhism, its scripture and Code of Conduct; Sikhs; Golden Temple and so on. Hardalbir Singh Shah, member of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee, was also present on the occasion.

Zed was recently honored by the Nevada governor with a certificate for his work in interfaith dialogue, which stated, “For exemplary service in building a dialogue between the various faiths in Nevada and around the world; for building unity and creating awareness about the diversity of our state; and for sharing those messages on behalf of the state around the world.”

Zed has taken up interfaith, religion, Hindu, environment, Roma and other causes all over the world. He is one of the panelists for “On Faith,” a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post, and has been bestowed with the “World Interfaith Leader Award.” He is president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, senior fellow and religious advisor to New York headquartered Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, director of interfaith relations of the Nevada Clergy Association, spiritual advisor to the National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families and more.

Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. Sikhs believe in one immortal Being; Ten Gurus, from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh; the Guru Granth Sahib; the utterances and teachings of the ten Gurus and baptism bequeathed by the tenth Guru. Personal contact with Sikhs usually impresses the outsider with energetic hospitality. Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Reno Hindu leader Zed honored at Art of Living headquarters in India

Rajan Zed (right) with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (left).

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Rajan Zed (right) with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (left).

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed was honored at Art of Living international headquarters in Bengaluru (India) on March 29.

Art of Living founder and humanitarian-spiritual-peace leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar presented Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, with an orange angavastram during his visit to the ashram.

Two religious leaders also discussed various spiritual, religion, interfaith dialogue, etc., issues during their meeting.

Art of Living Foundation, which operates in 151 countries, seeks to help build a global society that is free of stress, violence, and misery—and full of service, wisdom, and celebration.

Reno based Rajan Zed is a religious leader who has taken up interfaith, religion, Hinduism, environment, Roma and other causes all over the world. He is panelist for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post. Bestowed with “World Interfaith Leader Award”, he is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to New York headquartered Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc.

Hindu leader Zed speaks at Reno synagogue

Rajan Zed in Jewish synagogue

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In a remarkable interfaith gesture, area Hindu leader Rajan Zed was invited to a prominent Jewish synagogue of Reno, where he discussed Hinduism on March 11 evening.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, received warm welcome and talked about Hinduism and its concepts in the question-answer format during Shabbat services at Temple Sinai in Reno, which was established in 1962. He presented a copy of ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) to Teri Appleby, Temple Rabbi.

Judaism in northern Nevada has a long history going back prior to 1900. Doug Goodman and Tracy Bartlett are President and Religious School Director respectively of Temple Sinai.

Rajan Zed is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post. He has been awarded “World Interfaith Leader Award” and is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to New York headquartered Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc.

Judaism is a monotheistic religion of world’s about 14 million Jews whose most sacred text is Torah. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Nevada Assembly to open with Hindu prayers

Rajan Zed photograph I

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Nevada Assembly will open with ancient Hindu prayers in Sanskrit on April 25 in Carson City.

Hindu leader 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, in Sanskrit and then provide translation in English.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, opened Nevada State Senate meeting on February 14, Las Vegas City Council on January 19 and Sparks City Council on January 25 with ancient Sanskrit prayers. He also delivered the opening prayers in Clark County Board of Commissioners, Carson City Board of Supervisors, Henderson and Boulder City Councils in the recent past in Nevada.

Rajan Zed 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. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of all Indo-European languages.

Zed has already delivered Hindu prayers in United States Senate in Washington DC, various State Senates and State Assemblies/Houses-of-Representatives, and City Councils in various parts of the country. Most were the first Hindu prayers of these legislative bodies.

Rajan Zed is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post. He has been awarded “World Interfaith Leader Award” and is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to New York headquartered Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, 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.