RENO, Nev. (Jan. 29, 2017) — Both the Wyoming Senate and House of Representatives in Cheyenne will start their day with ancient Hindu prayers on Feb. 3, 2017.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, will deliver invocations that contain verses from Rig-Veda prayers — the oldest existing Sanskrit scriptures still in common use. After the Sanskrit delivery, Zed will read the English translation of the prayers.
Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and the root language of Indo-European languages.
Zed will also recite 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 interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the Real, Lead us from darkness to Light, Lead us from death to immortality.” Reading from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge the legislators to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader and senior fellow and religious advisor to the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, where he received the World Interfaith Leader Award. Zed is also on the advisory board of The Interfaith Peace Project, and is a spiritual advisor to the National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families.
For the past six years Zed has been invited by President of European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium for a meeting to promote interfaith dialogue. He also leads a weekly interfaith panel “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication for the last nearly six years.
Zed notes that the Wyoming Legislature has cleared the way for the spiritual adviser to wear his traditional saffron robes of a priest. Approval was necessary as the chambers have suit and ties dress policies written into a council dress code while in the chambers.
In the 64th Wyoming Legislature, Eli D. Bebout is the president of the 30 member Senate. Steve Harshman is the speaker of the 60 member House of Representatives. Matt Mead is the Wyoming governor.