Hindu mantras will open the meetings of ten city and county councils in Utah, most probably for the first time, between June four to seven, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
These include Weber County Board of Commissioners (Ogden), Wasatch County Council (Heber City), Juab County Commission (Nephi), Payson City Council, Centerville City Council, Heber City Council, Woods Cross City Council, Salem City Council, West Bountiful City Council and Charleston Town Board.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before these city and county councils. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation of the prayers. 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 each 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 interpret 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 councilmembers and others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
During this trip Zed will also meet Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, Director of Interfaith Relations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints John Taylor, West Jordan Mayor Jim Riding, Kakuyo Sensei of Salt Lake Buddhist Fellowship, leaders of Urgyen Samten Ling Gonpa; and visit Weber State University (Ogden) and Utah Valley University (Orem). Zed will also meet Chair James H. “Jim” Harvey of Weber County Board of Commissioners, Chairman Clinton L. Painter of Juab County Commission, Mayor Rick Earnshaw of Woods Cross, Mayor Kurt L. Christensen of Salem, Mayor Brenda Kozlowski of Charleston and Mayor Pro Tem Stephanie Ivie of Centerville City before the respective invocations. During this Utah visit, Zed also plans to address students at Brigham Young University (Provo) and meet its Dean of Religious Education Dr. Brent L. Top; and address a gathering at Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah (South Jordan) and meet Utah Indian community leader Dinesh C. Patel and Temple President Satish K. Nachaegari.
Rajan Zed had opened Utah State Senate, Salt Lake County Council, Utah County Commission (Provo); and city councils of West Valley, Provo, Sandy, Layton, Taylorsville, South Jordan and Draper—all in Utah; with Hindu invocations in the past.
Zed, a global Hindu and interfaith leader, has been bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award. Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, on the Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project, etc. He had been panelist for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post; and leads a weekly interfaith panel “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication for over seven years.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Utah is the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has over 16.1 million members and 30,506 congregations worldwide.