Nevada, July 21 (ANI): City of Phoenix, fifth most populated city of USA, has appreciated acclaimed Hindu leader Rajan Zed's invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures opening the City Council meeting on July seven, reportedly for the first time since it was incorporated in 1881.
Mario Paniagua, Phoenix City Clerk, in a letter to Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, wrote: "Your invocation was greatly appreciated and we hope we may call upon you again in the future...We feel it is important to recognize the contribution you make to our City..."
In this invocation, Rajan Zed 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. Zed sprinkled few drops of sacred water from river Ganga in India around the podium before the prayer.
Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, 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 Councilors to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Rajan Zed met with Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon just before the historic prayer and presented both of them with copy of Bhagavad-Gita.
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. Spread out about 2,000 square miles and having hottest climate of any major city in the nation with over 300 sunshine days, Phoenix offers top-notch professional sports, major museums and world-class golf. One of the vision/value of City of Phoenix is: "We Learn, Change and Improve". (ANI)