Yuba City Council in California had its first Hindu prayer

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Nevada (US), May 5 (ANI): City Council of Yuba City, known as "Prune Capital of the World", reverberated with Sanskrit mantras from ancient Hindu scriptures on May four, which was reportedly its first Hindu prayer since its founding in 1849.

Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu statesman, delivered the invocation from Sanskrit scriptures before Yuba City Council on this day. 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.

Mayor Kashmir Singh Gill welcomed Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism. Before the invocation, Zed sprinkled Gangajal (sacred water from river Ganga of India) and presented a copy of well-known Hindu scripture Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord) to Gill. Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed said before the prayer: "It is a day of honor for us when prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures are being read in this great hall of democracy of great city of Yuba City."

Zed recited from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, besides lines from Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita, 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. Mayor, Council members and public stood quietly in prayer mode with heads bowed down during the prayer.

Zed is one of the panelists for "On Faith", a prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com. He has been awarded "World Interfaith Leader Award" by National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. Key agricultural center, Yuba City is adjoining the "smallest mountain range in the world". Kashmir Singh Gill is the Mayor of Yuba City, one of whose "values" is: "Encourage broad-based public dialogue". (ANI)

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