USA,29 Apr:Hindu Baccalaureate Service, first of its kind in Western USA, will be held at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on May eleven.Organized by acclaimed Indo-American leader Rajan Zed in collaboration with Indian Student Organization of UNR, it will bless graduating class in the traditional style according to ancient Hindu scriptures.
Swami Vedananda, well-known Hindu monk from California, will be the keynote speaker at this First Annual Hindu Baccalaureate Service (Dikshant Utsav) of UNR. He plans to bless the upcoming graduates with wisdom from Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita—all ancient Hindu scriptures, and applying tilak (religious mark) over their foreheads.
Starting with Gayatri Mantra by Zed and followed by Gita recitation by Subhashree Misra of Nevada Desert Research Institute, it will also include prayers/blessings by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and Bahai religious leaders.
Shanti-Shanti, the only Sanskrit rock band of the world, will deliver shlokas from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world, on the occasion. Traditional Indian vegetarian food will be served after the Service. Commissioner Robert Larkin, Chair of Washoe County Commission, will also address this Baccalaureate Service, which will be held at Joe Crowley Student Union building in UNR campus starting six pm.
Education in Hindu tradition has been deep rooted, Zed says and adds that after many important universities in ancient India, like Taxila, Nalanda, Sarnath, Amaravati, Banaras, Kanchi and Ujjain; great Indian universities also flourished in medieval period, like Odantapura (745 AD), Vikramasila (810 AD), Somapura (480 AD), Jagaddala (1090 AD). The purpose of this Baccalaureate Service is to root the graduating class in divine spiritual and cultural tradition so that they have a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success, Zed stresses.
The flagship institution of the state founded in 1874, UNR enrolls over 16,000 students with a total budget of $500 million and has over 100 graduate-degree programs. It is one of the top 150 research universities in the country, whose biochemists have begun to develop genetically modified grapes. The University fields competitive teams in 18 sports.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion followers. Moksha (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.