Sanskrit mantras to open both Alaska State Senate & House for first time
Both Alaska State Senate and House of Representatives in Juneau will open with Hindu prayers reportedly for the first time on April nine.
Rajan Zed, Hindu leader, will read the opening prayers from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before Senators and Representatives on this day. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English translation of the prayers. Sanskrit is considered a sacred language in Hinduism and root language of Indo-European languages.
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, will recite from Rig-Veda, the oldest scripture of the world still in common use, dated from around 1,500 BCE, 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.
Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed plans to say "Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya", which roughly translates as "Lead us from the unreal to the Real, from darkness to Light, and from death to Immortality." Reciting from Bhagavad-Gita, he proposes to urge State Senators and Representatives to keep the welfare of others always in mind.
Rajan 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.
Alaska Senate is composed of 20 members with Gary Stevens as the President, while House of Representatives has 40 members with Mike Chenault as the Speaker.
Lonely Planet describes Alaska as "Big, beautiful and wildly bountiful" and its Mount McKinley is the highest mountain peak in North America.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.