Hindu invocation

Rajan Zed reads the invocation at Utah House of Representatives in Salt Lake City on March 13.

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Remotely read Hindu prayers containing verses from the world’s oldest known scriptures will open the meetings of eight city councils and two county commissions in Northern Utah during the next two weeks.

These invocations via Zoom and other web-conferencing methods will start the proceedings of city/town councils of Orem, Brigham City (May 21), South Ogden, West Haven, West Point, Ivins, Price, Mantua (May 21) and county commissions of Box Elder and Iron counties (May 20).

Hindu faith leader Rajan Zed, who will deliver the invocations, states that divine guidance and blessing can be effectively invoked remotely, as God is omnipresent and hears the appeals (in the form of prayer) made to him from anywhere.

Zed is president of Universal Society of Hinduism. The oldest and third largest religion of the world, Hinduism has about 1.1 billion adherents, and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

After delivering a reading in Sanskrit — sacred language in Hinduism — Zed then will read the English interpretation of the prayers.

Zed will recite from Rig-Veda, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), all ancient Hindu scriptures. He plans to start and end each prayer with “Om,” the mystical syllable thought to contain the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.

Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, 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.”

Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge councilmembers and county commissioners and others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

Rajan Zed has opened the Utah State Senate and Utah House of Representatives. He has also done invocations for several county commission and city council meetings around the state, from Willard to St. George.

Zed has been bestowed with the World Interfaith Leader Award. He is a senior fellow and religious advisor to the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy and on the advisory board of The Interfaith Peace Project. He has been panelist for “On Faith,” an interactive conversation on religion produced by The Washington Post.

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