Hartford City Council in USA to open with Hindu prayer

City Council of Hartford, capital city of Connecticut (USA), will reverberate with Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures on 13 June 2011.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver invocation from Sanskrit scriptures before Hartford City Council on this day. 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 fromUpanishads 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, Rajan 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 fromBhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge Councilmembers 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 “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.

Hartford, named in 1637, houses USA’s oldest public park (Bushnell Park), oldest continuously published newspaper (Hartford Courant), oldest public art museum (The Wadsworth Atheneum); besides Trinity College and Hartford Seminary. Notable people associated with it include dictionary author Noah Webster, inventor Sam Colt, financier J.P. Morgan, author Mark Twain, broadcasters Howard Stern and Bill O’Reilly, actress Katharine Hepburn, musician Mike Carabello, basketball player Marcus Camby, etc. Pedro E. Segarra is the Mayor, rJo Winch is City Council President, and David B. Panagore is Chief Operating Officer of Hartford, which is nicknamed as “Insurance Capital of the World”.

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