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In Utah, councils of Salt Lake County, West Valley City and Sandy City will reportedly have their first Hindu invocation on Sept. 20, which is more than a century after these were established.
Reno-based Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver THE invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before these councils. 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 the 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 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 council members to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
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 the Nevada Clergy Association, spiritual advisor to the National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, and more.
He opened the city councils of South Jordan, Draper, Taylorsville and Layton in Utah with Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures during the first week of this month.
Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents, and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.