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Sparks City Council opened with Sanskrit mantras



Just before the Hindu invocation at Sparks City Council, from left to right are council members Phil Salerno, Ron Smith and Julia Ratti; Hindu leader Rajan Zed; Mayor Geno Martini; council members Mike Carrigan and Ron Schmitt; and City Manager Shaun D. Carey. Photo: Tracy Domingues

City Council of Sparks started day’s business with Sanskrit shlokas from ancient Hindu scriptures on July 12.   Well known Hindu leader Rajan Zed delivered invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before Sparks City Council after sprinkling sacred water from river Ganga of India.

After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayers.   Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE, 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 Taittiriya Upanishad, Rajan Zed said: “Om saha naavavatu, Saha nau bhunaktu, Saha viiryan karavaavahai, Tejasvi naavadhiitamastu, Maa vidhvishhaavahai,” which he then translated as, “May we be protected together, May we be nourished together, May we work together with great vigor, May our study be enlightening, May no obstacle arise between us.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged Councilors to “fulfill all your duties, action is better than inaction.”

City Councilors, city employees and public stood quietly in prayer mode with heads bowed down during Zed’s prayer, who was wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead.   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. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.

Submitted by Rajan Zed

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