Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:July 28th, 2012 12:46 EST
First Hindu invocation in 89 years in Chowchilla City Council, California

First Hindu invocation in 89 years in Chowchilla City Council, California

By SOP newswire


Chowchilla City Council in California (USA), incorporated in 1923, had its first Hindu opening prayer on July 24, containing verses from world`s oldest existing scripture.


Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed delivered the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he 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, recited from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, besides lines from Upanishadsand 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.


Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed said "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya", which he then translated 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, he urged council members 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.


Chowchilla, which translates as "Murderers", is known for soccer team Chowchilla Gladiators. For every 100 females in Chowchilla, there were 42.7 males as the population figures include inmates of two California women`s prisons located in the city. Janan Hebert, Jim Kopshever and Mark Lewis are Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and City Manager respectively of Chowchilla, whose vision includes "Community pride".