Welcoming Nativity scene at Oklahoma State Capitol, Hindus intend to showcase various Hindu deities at the Capitol during next Diwali, most popular Hindu festival which falls on October 24 in 2022.
Hindus welcomed the idea of demonstration of religion at public places as long as it permitted the exhibits of diverse religions and denominations practiced in Oklahoma and the nation and the expression of non-believers, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said in Nevada today.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated: We would invite Oklahoma Governor J. Kevin Stitt and First Lady Sarah Stitt to inaugurate this proposed Diwali display by lighting a traditional lamp. We are thinking of a 10-feet tall display monument and plan to sanctify it by chanting of mantras, some as old as 1,500 BCE; sprinkling of holy water from river Ganga in India; ringing of ghanta (big metallic bell); and other ancient rituals. It would be a nice blessing for the state.
Religion is highly meaningful, important, intensely valuable, and significant to many as it: brings happiness; builds inclusive and stronger communities; empowers societies; generates sacred power; makes us good neighbors; motivates us to the common good; persuades us to do the right thing; promotes altruism, charity, empathy, ethics, generosity, higher morals, selfless service; uplifts us; etc.; Rajan Zed points out.
Zed hoped that Oklahoma Office of Management & Enterprise Services (which claimed to be “state government’s backbone” and whose “Core Values” included “We are servants”) and its Executive Director Steven Harpe would heartily welcome and approve their Diwali display idea. This Diwali monument would be a totally privately funded project, financed and built by Hindu community, with no money from government.
Rajan Zed further said that besides honoring the Hindus living in Oklahoma, this Diwali display would raise awareness of Oklahomans about Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 adherents and a rich philosophical thought.
Zed has read invocations in Oklahoma State Senate, Board of Commissioners of Grady and Oklahoma Counties, and City Councils of Claremore and Enid.
There are about three million Hindus living in USA and ultimate goal of Hinduism is moksh (liberation).
Lonely Planet described Oklahoma as “a place with deep Native American significance”.
Details of the picture attached: Rajan Zed (center) with interfaith leaders outside Oklahoma Senate just before reading its first Hindu invocation in 2018.