Council of Salt Lake County (Utah, USA), settled in 1847, will reportedly have its first Hindu invocation on September 20.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will 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, 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 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 translate 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 proposes to urge Councilmembers to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
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 Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy, Director of Interfaith Relations of Nevada Clergy Association, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc.
Rajan Zed opened the City Councils of South Jordan, Draper, Taylorsville, and Layton in Utah with Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures in July; and he will open the City Councils of West Valley and Sandy on September 20.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
Salt Lake County, which houses the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is well known for its ski resorts and the area hosted XIX Olympic Winter Games in 2002. Peter Corroon is the Mayor and Max Burdick is Council Chair of the County, which has 15 cities and one town.