A County Commission meeting typically begins with an invocation, and local faith leaders are often invited to offer it.
Hindu mantras will open the Jan. 4 meeting for the first time since the county was established in 1866, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed announced in a press release.
Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures remotely before Board of Lincoln County Commissioners. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English interpretation of the prayers. 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, will recite 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 plans to start and end the prayer with “Om”, “the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work,” he said.
Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”; which he will then interpret as “Lead us from the unreal to the real, Lead us from darkness to light, and Lead us from death to immortality.” Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge commissioners and others present to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents. There are about three million Hindus in USA.