Hindu invocations were read at the June 12 meetings of Herriman and Bluffdale city councils, both in Salt Lake county of Utah, containing verses from world’s oldest extant scripture.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Herriman and Bluffdale city councils. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English interpretation of the prayers. 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 Upanishadsand Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), both ancient Hindu scriptures. He started and ended the prayers with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.
Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed said “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”; which he then interpreted 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 urged councilmembers and others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Besides Herriman and Bluffdale; Zed was also scheduled to read invocations in the city councils of Alpine, Oakley, Perry, Willard cities—all in Utah, between June 10-13.
Rajan Zed had earlier opened Utah State Senate, Utah House of Representatives; county commission meetings of Juab, Salt Lake, Utah, Wasatch, Washington, Weber counties; city council meetings of Centerville, Draper, Charleston, Heber City, Layton, Payson, Provo, Salem, Sandy, St. George, South Jordan, Syracuse, Taylorsville, Vineyard, West Bountiful, West Valley, Woods Cross—all in Utah; with Hindu invocations in the past.
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, on the Advisory Board of The Interfaith Peace Project, etc. 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 eight years.
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.
Vision statement of Herriman, founded 1851, states: “Herriman City will continue to be a place to establish roots…”. David Watts and Brett Geo. Wood are Mayor and City Manager respectively. Bluffdale, founded 1886; has variety of trails, including significant portion of Jordan River Parkway Trail. Derk Timothy and Mark Reid are Mayor and City Manager respectively.