Hindu Prayer in Nevada State Legislature in Sanskrit

March 20, 2007

Source: Punjab Newsline Network


CARSON CITY(Nevada, USA) :History was created when Rajan Zed, Director of Public Affairs of Hindu Temple of Northern Nevada, Public Relations Officer of India Association of Northern Nevada, and a Hindu chaplain, read ancient Hindu prayer/blessing in Sanskrit at the opening of the Nevada State Assembly session here today.

This is the first time any Hindu prayer is delivered in the Nevada State Legislature since its formation in 1864, says Pastor Albert Tilstra, Chaplain Coordinator for Nevada Legislature.

Wearing saffron colored garb, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste marks on the forehead, Zed started with "Gayatri Mantra" in Sanskrit (said to be the language of the gods and root language of all Indo-European languages) from Rig-Veda, dated from around 1,500 BCE, considered the oldest holy book still in common use in the world. Keeping with the Legislature tradition of offering inspiration, reflection, and encouragement, he read the next prayer from Brhadaranyakopanisad, composed around 400 BCE, reciting again in Sanskrit (Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya), which roughly translates as:

From the unreal lead me to the real, From the darkness lead me to light, From death lead me to immortality.