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Washington's Longview City Council to open with Hindu mantras on May 24
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the 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 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."
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, 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.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation)
City Of Longview, at the junction of the Cowlitz and Columbia rivers, has been recognized as one of the "prettiest cities" and is known for its squirrel-bridge "Nutty Narrows Bridge" and Lake Sacajawea. Prominent people associated with Longview include baseball players Bud Black and Jason Schmidt, author David Korten and actor Brian Thompson. Don Jensen and Kurt Sacha are Mayor and City Manager respectively.