It seems to be historic first for both legislative chambers of any state start their sessions with Hindu prayers for an entire week.
Both Nevada Senate and Assembly in capital Carson City are scheduled to kick-off their days with ancient Hindu prayers for the entire week of April 22-26, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the daily invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Senate and Assembly. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation of the prayers. 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 prayers 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 Assembly Members to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
In the state of Nevada, Zed has already delivered Hindu invocations at City Councils of Las Vegas, Henderson, Sparks and Boulder City; in addition to Board of Commissioners of Clark, Douglas, Lyon counties and Carson City Board of Supervisors. Besides Nevada, he has also read opening prayers in United States Senate, US House of Representatives, various state senates and houses of representatives, county boards and city councils all over USA.
Rajan 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 Reno Gazette-Journal 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.
With Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshal as President and Kelvin D. Atkinson as Majority Leader, Nevada Senate has 21 senators. With Jason Frierson as Speaker, Nevada Assembly has 42 members. Nevada, largest gold producer and seventh largest state, was admitted to USA in 1864. Nevada, also called “Silver State”, is known for Las Vegas, Burning Man, Lake Tahoe, etc. Steve Sisolak is Governor.