Distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed was warmly welcomed in the state of Illinois, which he visited recently and opened the Rockford City Council on May 16 with its first historical Hindu invocation since Rockford was chartered in 1852.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also opened the meetings of Kane County Board and Cook County Board of Commissioners, both in Illinois, with Hindu prayers during this visit.
These prayers, beginning in Sanskrit with Gayatri Mantra, considered most sacred mantra of Hinduism; contained verses from Rig-Veda, the oldest existing scripture of the mankind still in common use, besides Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. Rajan Zed started and ended the prayers with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.
Zed met and was warmly welcomed by Cook County Board President Toni R. Preckwinkle, Rockford Mayor Lawrence J. Morrissey, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockford Bishop David J. Malloy, Chicago’s Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership President Dr. Hal M. Lewis, Activities Director of Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette Chris Vodden, Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago President Tilak Marwaha, Bharatiya Temple & Cultural Center of Greater Lafayette President Bhavin Shah, etc.
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 conditions 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, and on Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project, etc.
Illinois, with nickname “The Prairie State”, is known for its association with US President Abraham Lincoln, novelist Ernest Hemingway, blacksmith John Deere; and for Chicago and Cahokia Mounds World Heritage Site.