Board of Commissioners of Douglas County, formed in 1861, began its meeting at Minden (Nevada, USA) with Hindu invocation on July three, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the opening prayer from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the County Board. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited 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 started and ended 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 said, “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he then translated as “Lead me from the unreal to the Real, Lead me from darkness to light, and Lead me from death to immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged county commissioners to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Zed was wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary) and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead.
Rajan Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader, who besides taking up the cause of religion worldwide, has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe. 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, etc.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Douglas County is home to about 13.2% of Lake Tahoe, part of Toiyabe National Forest, Starbucks roasting plant and 23 landmarks listed on National Register of Historic Places. Doug N. Johnson and Nancy McDermid are Board Chairman and Vice Chairwoman respectively, while Larry Werner is the Interim County Manager.