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Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world

Porterville City Council in California to open with Hindu mantras 1st time

 By BFP Staff  Tuesday, June 26, 2012

City Council of Porterville (California, USA), incorporated in 1902, will reportedly have its first Hindu invocation on July three, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the opening prayer from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the City 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.

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.

Bestowed with All-America City Award, Porterville is home to California’s longest-running community theater (Barn Theater), Iris Festival, Lake Success, three structures listed on National Registry of Historic Places and Persian Lime. Notable people associated with Porterville include actresses Barbara Baxley and Margaret Hamilton, NASCAR driver Dick Brooks, Pulitzer Prize Winner novelist Allen Drury, Olympic Gold Medalist Sim Iness, football player James Sanders and basketball player Bill Sharman. John D. Lollis is the City Manager of this city nestled up against the Sierra Nevada.

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