Hughson City Council in California, founded as a township in 1907, will have its first Hindu opening prayer on April 22, containing verses from world's oldest existing scripture.
Area surrounding female majority Hughson, which describes itself as "prospering agricultural community nestled in the heart of the California’s Central Valley", is said to be one of the largest almond producers in the world. Matt Beekman and Jeramy Young are Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem respectively.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed will deliver the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then will read the English translation of the prayer.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.
Reciting from Brahadaranyakopanishad, Rajan Zed 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.