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

California’s Milpitas City & Plumas County opened with Hindu prayer on same day

 By BFP Staff  Thursday, June 21, 2012

Plumas County Board of Supervisors in Quincy and Milpitas City Council, both in California (USA), had Hindu invocations on June 19, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the opening prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures at both meetings. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation 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, 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 prayers with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

imageReciting 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 councilmembers and supervisors to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed sprinkled few drops of sacred water from river Ganga in India around the podiums before the prayers. He presented a copy of Bhagavad-Gita each to Plumas County Board of Supervisors Chair Robert A. Meacher and Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves.

imageRajan 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. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Plumas County, with only nine people per square mile, whose tagline is “where the Sierras meet the Cascades”, is home to Western Pacific Railroad Museum and boasts of over 100 lakes and 1,000 miles of rivers and streams.

Incorporated in 1954, Milpitas claims to provide “endless opportunities, civic pride and the ease of ‘one-stop’ living”. Pete McHugh and Thomas C. Williams are Vice Mayor and City Manager respectively.

Details of the pictures attached:
1.  Just before the Milpitas City Council invocation, from left to right, are: Councilmember Althea Polanski, Councilmember Armando Gomez, Councilmember Debbie Giordano, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Mayor Jose Esteves, Vice Mayor Pete McHugh.
2.  Just before the Plumas County Board of Supervisors invocation, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed (4th from left) is seen with Board Chair Robert A. Meacher (3rd from left) and other Board Supervisors.

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