This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
El Dorado County Board of Supervisors in Placerville (California, USA) will start its day with Hindu invocation on July 17 for the first time since its 1850 incorporation, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the opening prayer from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the County Board of Supervisors. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will 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 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 translate as “Lead me from the unreal to the Real, Lead me from darkness to Light, and Lead me from death to Immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, Zed proposes to urge Supervisors to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
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.
County of El Dorado, headquartered in Placerville, is located in historic Gold Country. Besides part of Lake Tahoe, it is home to a Talking Mountain and Lost Lake and portions of it are known to have natural asbestos formations near surface. It has 18 listings on National Register of Historic Places and is known for whitewater rafting, gold panning and snowsporting. John R. Knight and Ron Briggs are Chair and Vice Chair respectively of its Board of Supervisors while Terri Daly is the Chief Administrative Officer.