Lyon County board meeting to open with Hindu prayer

Rajan Zed

Rajan Zed

For the first time, the Board of County Commissioners of Lyon County will start its day in Yerington on Thursday with Hindu invocation, containing verses from the world’s oldest existing scripture.

Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the board. 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’s 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, 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.”

Zed is also scheduled to meet Board Chair Bob Hastings and County Manager Jeff Page before the invocation.

Zed is senior fellow and religious advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, spiritual advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families 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; and has led a weekly interfaith panel “Faith Forum” for the Reno Gazette-Journal for more than seven years.


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