Gayatri Mantra read at Baha’i Ridvan Festival in Nevada

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed recited prayer from ancient Hindu scriptures at the “12th day of Ridvan” festival of Baha’is in Reno (Nevada, USA) on 2 May 2011.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, read Gayatri Mantra, the most sacred mantra of Hinduism, in Sanskrit and attendees repeated after him. He later translated Gayatri Mantra and other Sanskrit prayers into English.

Rajan Zed read from Rig-Veda, oldest existing scripture of mankind; Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita, both ancient Hindu scriptures. Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, Zed suggested: “Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind”.

Peter Rath and Nevada Metherd, area Baha’i elders, thanked Zed for participating in the “12th day of Ridvan” festivities.

Few days back, Rajan Zed sent greetings to Baha’i communities world over on Ridvan (which means paradise) festival, wishing that it brought joy, happiness, blessings and cheer to all. Zed stresses that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Dialogue will bring us mutual enrichment, he adds.

Twelve-day festival of Ridvan is also known as “the most great festival”, whose first (April 21), ninth (April 29) and 12th days are especially celebrated as holy days by Baha’is. These three days are marked by communal prayers and celebrations and no-work/no-school days. Baha’i administrative year begins on the first day of Ridvan.

Said to be youngest of the world’s independent monotheistic religions, Baha’i Faith, founded in Iran in 1844, has over five million followers. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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