Porterville City Council in California opened with Hindu Mantras for the 1st time since 1902


Kemmannu News Network, 05-07-2012 07:39:50


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Porterville City Council in California (USA) began its day with an historic first Hindu prayer on July three evening since it was incorporated in 1902, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.

Acclaimed 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.

Just after the Porterville City Council meeting on July three, from left to right, are: Councilmember Greg Shelton, Vice Mayor Pete V. McCracken, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Mayor Virginia Gurrola, Councilmember Brian Ward.

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.

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. “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 Porterville”, 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.

Bestowed with All-America City Award, Porterville is home to California’s longest-running community theater (Barn Theater), Iris Festival, Lake Success, three structures listed on National Registry of Historic Places and Persian Lime. Notable people associated with Porterville include actresses Barbara Baxley and Margaret Hamilton, NASCAR driver Dick Brooks, Pulitzer Prize Winner novelist Allen Drury, Olympic Gold Medalist Sim Iness, football player James Sanders and basketball player Bill Sharman. Virginia Gurrola, Pete V. McCracken and John D. Lollis are Mayor, Vice Mayor and City Manager respectively of this city nestled up against the Sierra Nevada.

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