SUBMITTED BY RAJAN ZED
City Council of Henderson, second largest city in Nevada, reverberated with Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures on May 18 reportedly for the first time since its incorporation in 1953.
Hindu leader Rajan Zed delivered invocation from Sanskrit scriptures before Henderson City Council on this day. 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.
Reno based Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, sprinkled sacred water from river Ganga of India near the podium before the prayer. Before beginning the actual prayer, he said: “This is a day of honor for us when wisdom from ancient Sanskrit scriptures is being read in this great hall of democracy of great city of Henderson.” Mayor Andy A. Hafen and Council members thanked Zed.
Rajan Zed 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. Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Zed said: “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he then translated 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 urged Councilors to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Rajan Zed is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. He has been awarded “World Interfaith Leader Award” by National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.