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“Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”

17 city councils in California to open with Hindu prayers

 By BFP Staff  Saturday, June 2, 2012

Meetings of 17 city councils in California (USA) will open with ancient Hindu prayers during the next few months, most of those for the first time.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the city councils of Stockton, Fowler, Lodi, Ceres, Riverbank, Dinuba, Gridley, Shasta Lake, Rancho Cordova, Porterville, Sanger, Madera, Eureka, Bishop, Anderson, Anaheim and Redding. In addition, Paradise Mayor Steve “Woody” Culleton has agreed to read the Zed supplied Hindu prayer in the Town Council.

After Sanskrit delivery, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, then will read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.

Rajan Zed 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 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.

Nicknamed “The Golden State”, USA’s most populous state California is known worldwide for Hollywood film industry, high-tech Silicon Valley, diverse geography, prosperous agricultural industry, world’s biggest trees and scenic delights; besides Los Angeles, Death Valley, Disneyland and Golden Gate Bridge. In California, about 37,000 earthquakes are recorded annually and one can take driver’s license examination in 31 languages besides English. If California was a country, it would have been world’s eighth-largest economy. California contains both highest and lowest points of contiguous USA and Edmund Gerald Brown Junior is the Governor.

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