RENO, Nev. (April 18, 2015) — Both the Nevada Senate and the Assembly opened with Hindu invocations on April 17, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism based in Reno, delivered the opening prayers. After Sanskrit delivery, Zed then read the English translation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.
Zed 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.
Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed said, “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he then interpreted as “Lead us from the unreal to the Real, Lead us from darkness to Light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he urged state Senators and Assembly-members to keep the welfare of others always in mind. Senators, Assembly-members, state employees and public were seen standing in prayer mode with their heads bowed down during these invocations.
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 prayers. Zed presented a copy of Hanumanchalisa to Nevada Lieutenant Governor Mark A. Hutchison, who introduced and thanked Zed in the Senate.
Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader and recipient of the World Interfaith Leader Award. In addition to taking up issues of religion worldwide, Zed is also a voice for the 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe.
In the state of Nevada, Zed has already delivered Hindu prayers at City Councils of Las Vegas, Henderson, Sparks and Boulder City; in addition to Clark County Board of Commissioners and Carson City Board of Supervisors. Besides Nevada, he has also read opening prayers in United States Senate, US House of Representatives, various state senates and houses of representatives, county boards and city councils all over USA.
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.
Nevada State Senate has 21 members while Nevada Assembly has 42 members. Nevada, largest gold producer and 7th largest state, was admitted to USA in 1864. Also called “Silver State”, Nevada is known for Las Vegas, Burning Man, Lake Tahoe, etc. Brian Sandoval is Governor.