April 6, 2023

Reno, Nev. (March 24, 2018) — The Centerville City Council in Utah will open with Hindu mantras on June 5, according to the Universal Society of Hinduism, based in Reno, Nev.

The mantras will contain verses from world’s oldest existing scripture, said Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, who will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Centerville City Council. Following the prayers Zed said he will read the English interpretation. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages, he said.

Zed will recite 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 plans to start and end 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, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge councimembers and others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

Zed, a global Hindu and interfaith leader, has been 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, on the Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project. He has been panelist for “On Faith,” a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post; and leads a weekly interfaith panel “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication for over seven years.

Clark Wilkinson and Steve Thacker are Mayor and City Manager respectively of Centerville, settled in 1847, whose tagline is “Friendly City Beside The Great Salt Lake.”

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

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