Both Maine House of Representatives and Senate in Augusta will open their June three and four sessions respectively with Hindu mantras; containing verses from world’s oldest extant scripture.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Senate and House. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation 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 from Upanishads 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 interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the real, Lead us from darkness to light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reading from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge Senators and Representatives to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader. Bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award; Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, on the Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project, etc. He has been panelist for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post; and produces a weekly interfaith panel “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication for over eight 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.
Janet T. Mills is Governor of Maine, which was admitted to the Union in 1820 and is known for its lighthouses and lobster. The Shawshank Redemption, award-winning 1994 film, was set in Maine. Troy D. Jackson is President of Maine Senate, which consists of 35 members; while Sara Gideon is Speaker of the House, which consists of 151 members.