Peace by Cayusa / Bart

Special to

October has been designated as “Gandhi Month” by a team of Nevadans in USA who want to celebrate his 139th birth-month to highlight his message regarding human and spiritual rights.

Lead by Right Reverend Gene Savoy Jr., bishop of International Community of Christ, and Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader, this team will culminate the “Gandhi Month” celebrations with prayers from major world faiths by religious leaders of Nevada on a 5,000 foot high hilltop at Red Rock Consecrated Sanctuary north of Reno at sunset on October 12.

At this unique first-of-its-kind celebration, the recitations at the sunset to honor the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi will include Christian prayers in English, Muslim prayers in Arabic, Hindu shlokas in Sanskrit, Buddhist prayers in Pali, Jewish prayers in Hebrew, a Baha’i prayer in Persian, and a Native American chant in the Sioux tradition. All attendees will do mass recitation of one of the Gandhi’s favorite songs, “Raghupati raghav rajaram,” on the occasion.

A ringing of bells ritual, with bells collected worldwide, will be held exactly at sunset during this ceremony in memory of Gandhi as a promoter of global peace. Representatives of different faiths will garland a picture of Gandhi, and tributes will be paid to him in an interfaith dance. According to Zed and Savoy, they would like to make “Gandhi Month” an annual feature in Nevada. The two are also pushing for Gandhi monument around the state capitol in Carson City and Gandhi statues in Las Vegas and Reno.

A Nevada-wide essay competition will be held in October on the topics of non-violence, peace, conflict resolution, etc., to promote Gandhi’s teachings.

“This special sunset service is being held in recognition that every member of human family, equally and without distinction, is invested in God with a spiritual nature. Gandhi acknowledged this and was a champion of religious freedom as a fundamental human right,” Reverend Savoy said.

“There is a renewed interest world over in Mahatma Gandhi and his ideas, who is universally venerated as one of the paramount moral, political, and social leaders of the recent history,” Rajan Zed adds.