Baccalaureate Service (Dikshant Utsav), held for the first time in
Western USA at prestigious University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) in May 2008,
enters third year next month.
Organized by acclaimed Indo-American
leader Rajan Zed in collaboration with Indian Student Organization of
UNR, it will bless graduating class in the traditional Hindu style
according to ancient scriptures, complete with applying tilak (religious
mark) on the foreheads of graduates.
Various religious, political, and educational leaders who participated
in last year’s Hindu Baccalaureate Service
Besides keynote address by a Hindu monk, it will also include
blessing prayers by Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, Tao,
Confucian and Native American religious leaders. Well known musician Jim
Eaglesmith will chant a kirtan number in Sanskrit with audience
following him in the chant.
Starting with ‘Gayatri Mantra’ (the
most sacred verse from oldest scripture Rig-Veda dated around 1,500 BCE)
recitation by Rajan Zed and traditional lamp lighting before the statue
of goddess Saraswati, patron of learning and the arts; it will include
blessing the upcoming graduates with wisdom from Vedas, Upanishads and
Bhagavad-Gita—all ancient Hindu scriptures.