Layton City Council in Utah opened with Hindu shlokas


Kemmannu News Network, 09-07-2011 12:37:34


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City Council of Layton (Utah, USA), settled in 1850, reverberated with Sanskrit shlokas from ancient Hindu scriptures on July seven evening.
 

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered invocation from Sanskrit scriptures before Layton City Council on this day. 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 the 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. Om was followed by Gayatri Mantra, considered the most sacred mantra in Hinduism.
 

City Council members, City employees, and public stood quietly in prayer mode with heads bowed down during the prayer. Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Rajan Zed sprinkled few drops of sacred water from river Ganga in India around the podium before the prayers. He presented a copy of Bhagavad-Gita to Mayor J. Stephen Curtis.
 

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, 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.
 

“This is a day of honor for the community when wisdom from ancient Sanskrit scriptures is being read in this great hall of democracy of great city of Layton”, Rajan Zed said before the invocation after Curtis introduced him. Mayor Curtis thanked Zed for the prayer.

 
Earlier in the day, as an interfaith gesture, Zed met with Rt. Rev. Scott B. Hayashi, Episcopal Bishop of Utah; and Dr. Rev. Canon W. Ivan Cendese, Executive Director of Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable; in Salt Lake City and discussed interreligious issues. He was also welcomed at Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah in South Jordan by

 

President Chaitanya A. Achan and priest N. S. Satish Kumar and presented with temple souvenirs.
 

 

Rajan Zed is one of the panelists for “On Faith”, a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post. He has been awarded “World Interfaith Leader Award” and is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to New York headquartered Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc.
 

Utah houses world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Notable residents of Layton include football player Daniel Coats and soccer player Kyle Christensen.

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