Reportedly for the first time since its incorporation in 1903, Claremore City Council (Oklahoma) will start its meeting on March 15 with Hindu prayers, containing hymns from world’s oldest extant scripture.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures remotely before Claremore City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will 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 President of Universal Society of Hinduism, has already read invocations in Oklahoma State Senate, Boards of County Commissioners of Grady and Oklahoma counties, and Enid City Council.
Rajan Zed 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, 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 others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Rajan 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 produces a weekly multi-faith panel “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication for over ten years.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Claremore, located in Green Country in the Ozark Mountains foothills near the Verdigris River and whose tagline is “Clearly More”, is home to Rogers State University. Entertainers Will Rogers and Patti Page and basketball player Rotnei Clarke were born here; and Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! was set in the area. Bill Flanagan and John Feary are Mayor and City Manager respectively.