Municipal Council of Newark, largest city of New Jersey (USA) founded in 1666, will open with Hindu prayers on June 18, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Municipal Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will 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 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 translate 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 proposes to urge councilmembers to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
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.
Luis A. Quintana and Mildred C. Crump are Mayor and Municipal Council President respectively of Newark, which is known for Newark Museum having largest Tibetan collection in Western Hemisphere and cherry blossom trees of Branch Brook Park. Prominent people associated with Newark include singer Whitney Houston; poet Allen Ginsberg; US Vice President Aaron Burr; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; actors Jerry Lewis, Joe Pesci and Queen Latifah; and basketball player Shaquille O’Neal.
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.