Council hears first Hindu invocation
by TP staff
Apr 18, 2013 | 1672 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, delivers an invocation before the City Council meeting Tuesday, April 16, reading from Sanskrit scriptures.  Jon Mendelson/Tracy Press
Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, delivers an invocation before the City Council meeting Tuesday, April 16, reading from Sanskrit scriptures. Jon Mendelson/Tracy Press
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In a first for a Tracy City Council meeting, a Hindu delivered the traditional invocation following the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, traveled all the way from Reno, Nev., to pray in English and Sanskrit dressed in robes colored sacred saffron on Tuesday, April 16.

“Tracy’s special,” Zed said, explaining that his trip was designed to foster understanding of his religion.

“It’s education, so we have a little pluralism,” he said. “There can be different ways to reach the divine.”

Christian ministers from the Tracy area typically deliver the invocation before council meetings, though anyone from any belief community is allowed to volunteer. The City Council invocation policy “encourages invocations designed to make prayers accessible to people who come from a variety of backgrounds, and which do not exclude or disparage a particular faith.”

Members of the Sikh community have recently delivered an invocation, but Zed believed he was the first Hindu in Tracy’s history to pray before the council.

“I feel honored and humbled,” he said.

• Contact Jon Mendelson at 830-4231 or jmendelson@tracypress.com.
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