Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, delivered the first Hindu prayer before a Lodi City Council meeting Wednesday evening.
"I heard that Lodi has never had a Hindu prayer," Zed said. "We want to make it more diverse in Lodi. ... Many people don't know us, so we want people to understand us."
Zed's nephew Lalit Ahuja lives in Lodi and encouraged him to come give the prayer. Zed has offered prayers before other meetings, including the U.S. Senate. He currently plans to give prayers before 17 city council meetings, including Ceres, Stockton and Rancho Cordova.
Zed mainly recited from the Rig-Veda, which he said has been around since 1500 B.C. He said the prayer in both Sanskrit and English.
"Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selflessness one attains the supreme goal of life," Zed prayed. "Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind."
He ended it with "Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti" which translates to "Peace, Peace, Peace be unto all."