Pennsylvania and Rhode Island Senates and Houses of Representatives will open their June 19 and 20 sessions respectively in Harrisburg and Providence with Hindu mantras, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocations from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the Senates and Houses of these states. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation 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 interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the real, Lead us from darkness to light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reading from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge Pennsylvania and Rhode Island Senators and Representatives to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader. 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, 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 seven years.
During the recent months, Rajan Zed opened with Hindu prayers the sessions of Iowa Senate and House of Representatives (Des Moines), Illinois Senate and House of Representatives (Springfield), Oklahoma Senate (Oklahoma City), meetings of ten city and county councils in Utah, and Sparks City Council (Nevada) meeting.
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.
Official website of the “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania” states: “Here, you can pursue your happiness to the fullest”, and adds: “This nation was born in Philadelphia, saved at Gettysburg”. Rhode Island, nicknamed “the Ocean State”, is the smallest state in USA but has the longest official name: “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”.