Hindu Bccalaureate Service Held at University of Nevada-Reno
Unique, one of a kind baccalaureate service in the world, was held at University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) on April 21 evening.
“Sixth Annual Hindu Baccalaureate Service of UNR (Dikshant Utsav)” blessed the graduating class in the traditional Hindu style, complete with applying tilak (religious mark) on the foreheads of graduates, participatory reading of Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit, keynote address by a Swami and kirtan (sacred chant). In addition, it also included blessings by Christian (various denominations), Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Native American, Baha’i, etc., representatives who recited prayers in Arabic, Pali, Hebrew, Paiute, Spanish besides English.
Organized by Universal Society of Hinduism (USOH) in collaboration with UNR Diverse Organization of South Asians and UNR Interfaith Students Club (ISC), it started with lighting traditional lamp before the statue of goddess Saraswati, patron of learning and the arts, and included blessing of the upcoming graduates with wisdom from Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad-Gita—all ancient Hindu scriptures, by well-known Hindu monk Swami Vedananda from California.
USOH President Rajan Zed, who recited Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit and audience repeated after him, said on the occasion that the purpose of this baccalaureate service was to root the graduating class in divine spiritual tradition so that they had a spiritually meaningful life in addition to material success.
Washoe County had issued a special Resolution to mark the significance of First Annual Hindu Baccalaureate Service of UNR.
Religious representatives belonging to different traditions blessing some of the graduating students at the Baccalaureate Service.