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Hanford City Council in California opened with Hindu prayer 1st time in 122 years

By hubVilla com - Thursday, August 8, 2013 No Comments

Hanford City Council in California (USA), incorporated in 1891, had its first historic Hindu invocation on August six evening, containing verses from world's oldest existing scripture.

 

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then 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 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 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, and Lead me from death to Immortality." Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged councilmembers to keep the welfare of others always in mind. Councilmembers, city employees and public were seen standing in prayer mode with their heads bowed down during this invocation.

 

Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed sprinkled few drops of water from river Ganga of India, considered holy by Hindus, around the podium before the prayer. Zed presented a copy of Bhagavad-Gita to Mayor Lou Martinez, who thanked Zed. "It is a historic moment of pride for the community when the prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures are being read in this great hall of democracy of this great city of Hanford", Zed stated before starting the invocation.

 

Rajan 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.

 

Female majority Hanford, whose tagline is "planning tomorrows"; is home to a Taoist Temple (built 1893), Center for Japanese Art and Culture and China Alley. Prominent people associated with Hanford include Nobel laureate James Rainwater, Alaska Governor Sean R. Parnell, pole-vaulter Cornelius Warmerdam, actors Jan-Michael Vincent and Slim Pickens, baseball player Ken Caminiti, basketball player Tyson Chandler and football player Lorenzo Neal. Gary Pannett and Darrel Pyle are Vice Mayor and City Manager respectively.

 

Details of the picture attached:

Just before the Hanford City Council Hindu invocation, from left to right, are—

Mayor Lou Martinez, Vice Mayor Gary Pannett, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Councilmember Jim Irwin, Councilmember Russ Curry.

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