Bishop City Council in California (USA), incorporated in 1903, had its first Hindu invocation on August 13 evening, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then read the English translation of the prayer. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited 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 started and ended the prayer with “Om”, the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work.
Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed sprinkled few drops of water from river Ganga of India, considered holy by Hindus, around the podium before the prayer. Mayor David Stottlemyre introduced Zed. “I am thankful to the City of Bishop for this historical opportunity of prayer, and I am grateful to the community for the support and love they have shown”, Zed stated before starting the invocation. As an interfaith gesture, Zed also had a meeting with Rick Klug, Secretary of Bishop Ministerial Association and Lead Pastor of local Calvary Baptist Church.
Rajan Zed is a global Hindu and interfaith leader, who besides taking up the cause of religion worldwide, has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe.
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, etc.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.
Known as the "Mule Capital of the World", Bishop is popular for its Mule Days Celebration and among rock climbers. Notable people associated with Bishop include sound effects developer Jack Foley, NASCAR driver Stanton Barrett, baseball player Matt Williams and actor Trevor Donovan. Susan Cullen, Robert Kimball and Keith Caldwell are Mayor Pro Tempore, Treasurer and Administrator respectively of City of Bishop.