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Hindu prayers opening two California city councils same day
City Councils of agriculture based Shafter and Wasco, both in Kern County (California, USA), will start their day with Hindu prayer on September three, containing verses from world's oldest existing scripture.Reports suggest that these would be the first Hindu invocations of these city councils.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation 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.

 Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, plans to say “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he will then translate 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 proposes to urge councilmembers to keep the welfare of others always in mind.

Rajan Zed, a Non Resident Indian (NRI) and a global Hindu and interfaith leader, who besides taking up the cause of religion worldwide, has also raised huge voice against the apartheid faced by about 15-million Roma (Gypsies) in Europe. Bestowed with World Interfaith Leader Award; Zed is Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, Spiritual Advisor to National Association of Interchurch & Interfaith Families, etc.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.There are about three million Hindus in USA.

City of Shafter is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Notable people associated with Shafter include Olympic medalist Larsen Jensen and athlete Anna Jelmini; while Jon Johnston, Gilbert Alvarado and John D. Guinn are Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and City Manager respectively.

 City of Wasco, whose history goes back to 1897 and which is the headquarters of the Tejon Tribe, has "Grow with us" as its tagline while its mission includes "foster safety, unity, stability, quality of life". According to a report, for every 100 females there were 160.3 males in Wasco and a scene of Alfred Hitchcock’s "North by Northwest" was filmed near it. Fred West Jr., Tilo Cortez Jr. and Dan Allen are Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and City Manager respectively.

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