Nevada Earth Day 2011 celebrations opened with Ganesha Puja and prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures and Baha’i prayer in Farsi on 1 May 2011. After lighting incense before Lord Ganesha statue and sprinkling holy water from river Ganga, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed read Shanti Mantra in Sanskrit from the Earth Day stage, followed by “Prithvi Sukta” (hymn to earth) from Atharva-Veda, invoking the Goddess Earth.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also prayed from Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), where Lord Krishna is quoted as saying, “The brightness of the sun, which lights up the world, the brightness of the moon and of fire—these are my glory. With a drop of my energy I enter the earth and support all creatures. Through the moon, the vessel of life-giving fluid, I nourish all plants.”
“We may believe in different religions, yet we share the same home—our Earth. We must learn to happily progress or miserably perish together. For man can live individually but can only survive collectively”, Rajan Zed said quoting ancient Hindu scriptures.
Roya Galata, a Baha’i elder, recited the Baha’i prayer in Farsi after Zed. Jim Meiklejohn, Treasurer of Nevada EcoNet, the organizers of the Earth Day, thanked Zed and Galata for the prayers.
According to Kaitlin Weeks, Nevada EcoNet Executive Director, estimated 10,000 people attended Earth Day to celebrate our planet and raise environmental awareness; which included live entertainment, crafts, display booths by various non-profit and other organizations/agencies/businesses offering energy conserving and sustainable living products, children’s activities, vendors selling eco-friendly products, etc. Local food, science, technology, policy and the arts were interwoven throughout the event with many experts on hand to address questions and issues.
Jo Simpson and Megan Gibson are President and Secretary respectively of Nevada EcoNet, whose mission is “to raise environmental awareness”.