Hindu mantras in Sanskrit opened City Council meet in Nevada

April 15th, 2009 - 1:21 am ICT by Sampurn Wire  

City Council of Sparks, one of the fastest growing city of Nevada (USA), reverberated with Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures for the first time on Monday since its formation in 1905.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before Sparks City Council today after sprinkling holy water from river Ganga (in India). After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayer.

According to Linda K. Patterson, Sparks City Clerk, no Hindu has reportedly delivered invocation before Sparks City Council since its formation. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages. Mayor Geno Martini introduced Zed, whom Zed presented a copy of ancient Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord).

Zed, who is the president of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita, both ancient Hindu scriptures. He started and ended 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 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, Lead me from death to Immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged councilors to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

Councilors and others stood respectfully in prayer mode with heads bowed down during the prayer. Collin Ferrari, who came just to listen to the historic prayer, described it as “wonderful”. Zed remarked before the prayer, “It is a historical day of honor for us when ancient Sanskrit scriptures are being read in this great hall of democracy in Sparks.”

Rajan Zed is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. He has been awarded “World Interfaith Leader Award” by National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

Known as “City of Promise”, Sparks is a tailor-made town, custom ordered by the Southern Pacific Railway Company. Its prestigious project “The Legends”, honoring Nevada legends, is expected to complete next year. -Sampurn Media

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