Nevada (US), Jan 17 (ANI): The 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Interfaith Community Memorial Service in Nevada opened with Gayatri Mantra, most sacred mantra in Hinduism, on January 16.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, besides Gayatri Mantra, also read from Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord), Upanishads and Rig-Veda (oldest existing scripture of mankind) during his invocation on the occasion. Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, he said: Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrityor mamrtam gamaya; which he then translated as: Lead me from the unreal to the real, Lead me from darkness to light, Lead me from death to immortality.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that both Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King shared a common vision on peaceful resistance and held the belief that truth and love always won. Reading from Bhagavad-Gita, Zed urged the gathered to "act selflessly".
Held at First United Methodist Church of Reno (FUMCR) with the theme "Remembering the dream, Fulfilling the mandate", this Service also included musical selections "People Get Ready" (performed by The Power of Love and directed by Leon W. Smith) and another by Reno Second Baptist Church (RSBC) Choir (directed by Dr. Jesse Hall); congregational hymns "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and "We Shall Overcome"; and video tribute to King (presented by Reverend William Lyons of RSBC).
Reverend John Emerson, FUMCR Pastor Emeritus, delivered the keynote address; while Reverend Judith Bither, FUMCR Pastor; Reverend Michael Randle, RSBC Pastor; Right Reverend Gene Savoy Junior, International Community of Christ Bishop; Susan Lisagor from Senator Harry Reid's office; Paula McDonough, citizen activist; and Rita Weisshaar of Retiree's Club; also spoke on the occasion. Reverend Jon Vincent Shelton, Sparks Freedom Baptist Church Pastor, gave the benediction.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval's proclamation and message from US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were also read on the occasion. Service was jointly organized by Northern Nevada Martin Luther King Junior Holiday Committee and Nevada Clergy Association. (ANI)