First Hindu Baccalaureate service planned at US varsity

April 29th, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 29 (IANS) Hindu Baccalaureate Service, perhaps a first in the US, will be held at University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) May 11 to bless the graduating class in the traditional style following Hindu scriptures. Swami Vedananda, a noted Hindu monk from California, will bless the graduates with wisdom from the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagvad-Gita and apply tilak (religious mark) over their foreheads.

The first annual service - called Dikshant Utsav in India - has been organised by Hindu leader Rajan Zed in collaboration with Indian Student Organisation of UNR.

Starting with Gayatri Mantra by Zed and Gita recitation by Subhashree Misra of Nevada Desert Research Institute, the ceremony will also include prayers and blessings by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and Bahai leaders.

Shanti-Shanti, the only Sanskrit rock band in the world, will render verses from Rig Veda on the occasion. Traditional Indian vegetarian food will be served after the service.

Commissioner Robert Larkin, chair of Washoe County Commission, will address the service at UNR campus.

The purpose of this Baccalaureate Service, said Zed in a press release, is to root the graduating class in the divine cultural tradition so that they may aspire to a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success.

The flagship institution of Nevada state, UNR was founded in 1874 and enrolls over 16,000 students and has over 100 graduate-degree programmes.

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