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Hindu prayer to open 100th anniversary of scouting event



University of Scouting will open its day of training seminars to commemorate the 100th anniversary of scouting with prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures in Reno Sunday.

Hindu leader Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from Hindu scriptures before an assembly of leaders and parents from various scouting programs. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will 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 the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, 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 then will translate as “Lead us from the unreal to the Real, Lead us from darkness to Light, and Lead us from death to Immortality.”

Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge participants to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

Boy Scouts of America executive Marty Baldwin, chancellor Chris Harvey and professional advisor Kathy Grost will address the gathering in Bishop Manogue Catholic High School auditorium after Zed’s invocation. Thirty-eight training seminars will be held, including Religious Emblems in Catholics and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dealing with difficult people, utensiless cooking, venturing and outdoors skills.

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 the “World Interfaith Leader Award” by 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.

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