Gayatri Mantra, considered the most sacred mantra of Hinduism, opened the “Day of Remembrance” at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on April seven in remembrance of lives lost or altered by Holocaust and genocides around the world.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who delivered the Gayatri Mantra from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, started and ended the invocation with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, reading from Brahadaranyakopanisad, another ancient Hindu scripture, said, “Lead us from the unreal to the Real, Lead us from darkness to Light, Lead us from death to Immortality”, after reciting the original in Sanskrit.
Dr. Robert Krell, Emeritus Psychiatry Professor of University of British Columbia, and Holocaust survivor and educator who was born in Netherlands, delivered the keynote address “Why Remember the Holocaust?” Besides Zed; Christian, Buddhist and Jewish leaders also participated in the Candle-lighting Ceremony on the occasion. Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer delivered the benediction.
History teaches us that genocide can be prevented if people care enough to act. Our choices in response to hatred truly do matter and together we can help fulfill the promise of “Never Again”, event announcement said, which was organized byOsher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) of UNR in partnership with the UNR Interfaith Students Club,
Dr. Krell has treated Holocaust survivors and their families as well as Dutch survivors of Japanese concentration camps. He founded Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, which teaches 20,000 students annually. Rajan Zed has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe, many of whom were also killed during the Holocaust period.
OLLI at UNR, a diverse community of independent thinkers which serves adults over age 50, “fosters intellectual stimulation and personal development through academic pursuits”. Joe Coleman is President of its Board. UNR Interfaith Students Club, with Daniel R. Sanchez as president, aims to “cultivate social cohesion among people of different religions”. UNR, founded in 1874 and which has over 18,000 students, is known for helping to create the world’s most accurate atomic clock and is home to one of the largest earthquake-simulation labs.