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Hindu mantras opened City Council of San Jose, CA

City Council of San Jose in California (USA), founded in 1777 and now 10th largest in USA, started its day on January 15 afternoon with Hindu mantras, containing verses from world’s oldest existing scripture.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed of Reno, NV delivered the invocation from ancient Sanskrit scriptures before the City Council. After Sanskrit delivery, he then 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 President of Universal Society of Hinduism, recited 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 started and ended 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 said, “Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrtyor mamrtam gamaya”, which he then translated 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 urged councilmembers to keep the welfare of others always in mind. Councilmembers, city employees and public were seen standing in prayer mode with their heads bowed down during this invocation.


Wearing saffron colored attire, a ruddraksh mala (rosary), and traditional sandalpaste tilak (religious mark) on the forehead, Zed sprinkled few drops of water from river Ganga of India, considered holy by Hindus, around the podium before the prayer. Zed presented a copy of Bhagavad-Gita to Mayor Chuck Reed, while Councilmember Ash Kalra introduced and thanked Zed.

4 Comments to Hindu mantras opened City Council of San Jose, CA

  1. Albert Khan says:

    A lot of Indian Senior retirees are migrating back to India, because as a Seniors, they do not fit into American culture, even though they reside with their own family in America, and they feel left out and depressed. This has been a very common problem with Indian Seniors in America.
    As a responsible organization like, why don’t you address this problem?

    Indian Consulate in America are issuing OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards to Indian Seniors to migrate back to India and live there permanantly. Can you varify this this OCI options to see if there is any restrictions?

    Waiting for your response. Thank you and Nameste.

  2. Shivamani says:

    Temple Monitors!!!!

    We just moved here in vegas and recently my visit to temple forced me to write this comment. I felt like I am not in a temple but back to school. Most scary place I had seen. You need to tell your kids not to move around, talk,laugh or walk and sit tight at one place. There are monitors all around watching your activities. Then we went to the food area. One fat short lady was shouting on someone “Its not your turn to cook the food, why are you preparing the food” That poor lady was almost crying afer humiliation. When I asked that poor lady, she told me that she was just preparing the prasad and trying to contribute some food. That lady who shouted and commanding all the activities looks like the owner of the temple.
    This is very strange here in vegas. My kids doesn’t wish to visit temple anymore. I can see there was of silence between two pundits. They both are silent and doing their activities like a hired hourly contractor and was closely watched by these monitors.

    One of the other weekend when I visited, I saw few committee members, looks like president or something, trying to control the things and doing the announcement in commanding way or rather to say trying to scare the people, hardly 10-12 in numbers and no kids.

    If you visit any other temple in US, you will see the difference. Kids are free to room around and they feel like visiting there again and again. Prayers in many languages and ample of food prepared by devotees. You will feel like you really visited a place of god.

    Hope someone will take the action against these monitors and make this place more comfortable instead of scary.

  3. Gulzar kular says:

    Temple Monitors
    I’ve been living in Las vegas last 25 yrs, you are right, all commitee members own the temple. They have no respect for anybody, they feel they have more power than President of USA. When they insult you they feel proud. I’m married to well educated Spanish lady who is very respectfull and does her best to help but people do not speak any english and do not wait for the right time to explain things to her. Temples are not owned by public or Sangant, Temples are own by Trustee. I donate good money to the temple, but I feel the same way. I do not like to go to the temple because these people think Indian way. They calcute $ in to Rupee’s and do not want to change, and will not change. These Temples shoud be owned by public/Sangat not by Trust. There should be an election every few years, like we choose US President.

  4. editor says:

    Over the last 2 years – we have made tremendous improvements in dealing with devotees who visit the Temple.

    The Monitors have been there every Sunday – volunteering their time to make sure things are orderly with bhajans, arathi, food program etc., There is only 1 designated Monitor every Sunday at the Temple. This has resulted in an increase in attendance at all our major events.

    The food is prepared by volunteers who spend a lot of time with the food preparation. I do not believe anyone has ever been asked to stop cooking. I do not think there is any Temple that offers free food on Sundays.

    We have actually seen an increase in Parents brining their children to the Temple these days, especially on Sundays and the major events at the Temple. We are running out of room for children’s classes as more children are signing up for Bal Vihar, Hindi and Jain classes.

    Our Temple is special. We have a number of visitors who come from out of town that are amazed at the cleanliness and beauty of our Temple.

    So, I do not understand these comments. It will be nice if people put their contact information so we can sit down and talk to them. It is unfortunate that these comments are made anonymously. Seems a little fishy to me.

    Others – please add your thoughts.

    Rao Gondy, Board Member, Hindu Temple

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