Nevada State Assembly in Carson City was invoked by a set of Hindu mantras on May two, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Assembly. 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 assemblymembers to keep the welfare of others always in mind. Assemblymembers, employees, public and others present were seen standing in prayer mode with their heads bowed down during the invocation.
Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed sprinkled few drops of water from river Ganga of India, considered holy by Hindus, around the podium before the prayer. Zed presented a copy of a Hindu prayer booklet Srihanuman-Chalisa to Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, who introduced Zed.
In the state of Nevada, Rajan Zed has already delivered Hindu prayers at City Councils of Las Vegas, Henderson, Sparks and Boulder City; in addition to Nevada Legislature, Clark County Board of Commissioners and Carson City Board of Supervisors. Besides Nevada, he has also read opening prayers in United States Senate, various state senates and houses of representatives, counties and city councils all over USA.
Zed has taken up interfaith, religion, environment, Roma (Gypsies) and other causes all over the world. He was invited by President of European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) for a meeting to promote interfaith dialogue. Many cities in USA have named October 25 as “Rajan Zed Day”. 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, Director Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, etc. He prominently appeared in a recently released documentary on religion titled “Unresolvable?”.
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.
Nevada Assembly is composed of 42 members. Nevada, largest gold producer and 7th largest state, was admitted to USA in 1864. Nevada, also called “Silver State”, is known for Las Vegas, Burning Man, Lake Tahoe, etc. Brian Sandoval is Governor.