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Hollywood Celebrities Who Converted to Hinduism

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Julia Roberts. Hollywood Celebrities adopting Hinduism
Julia Roberts. Hollywood Celebrities adopting Hinduism. Wikimedia Commons
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New Delhi, September 23, 2017: Hinduism, neither requires nor forces any traditional conversion, unlike other religion. It is just their belief and affection that lures people towards Hinduism.

Hinduism is a belief that binds individuals not only to one another but with the society they live in.

Below is the list of some renowned celebrities who had no roots in Hinduism, but chose the religion to walk down the road of their lives.

  • JULIA ROBERTS – Academy awards winner actress converted her religion to Hinduism in 2010, while she was shooting film Eat, Pray, Love. ‘Actual Spiritual Satisfaction’, is what she gave her reason for converting into a Hindu. She also denied demeaning any other religion. Reportedly, Roberts showed interest in Hinduism after she saw a picture of deity Hanuman and Hindu leader Neem Karoli Baba who she never met.
adopted hinduism
Source: Wikimedia Common
  • GEORGE HARRISON – Considered being the most spiritual musicians; Harrison got converted from Christianity to Hinduism in mid-1960. His spiritual quest brought him to India in 1966 where he studied sitar with Pandit Ravi Shankar. He later met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who guided him to adopt meditation. In 2001, after his death, his ashes were scattered in Ganges and Yamuna.
adopted hinduism
Source: Wikimedia Common
  • RUSSELL BRAND – Hindu sect ‘Hare Krishna’ meditation and the practices of self-reflection saved the actor and comedian Russell to get away from drugs. This transformation changed him as a person and he got converted into Hinduism. On 23rdOctober 2010 he got married to Katy Perry in traditional Hindu style in Rajasthan.
adopted hinduism
Source: Wikimedia Common
  • HEATHER GRAHAM – American actress, known for her television series ‘Twin Peaks’, had catholic upbringing, but got influenced by the series creator David Lynch to follow Hinduism as her religion and practice Transcendental Meditation.
adopted hinduism
Source: Wikimedia Common

ALSO READ: Find out why Hinduism always emphasizes on being a vegetarian

Hinduism is believed to be a religion of Karma and thus followed by millions of people around the world. From common man to celebrities people are highly mesmerized with the philosophical and moral concept of Hinduism.

– Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram. Twitter: @Writing_desire

 

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  • Shlomo

    Russel Brand has shown an interest in the Hare Krishnas only long after ceasing to being an addict. He credits TM with helping him stay away from drugs.
    Hare Krishnas teach chanting, it isn’t really meditation. You will find him on the David Lynch Foundation webstie which sponsors Maharishi Mahesh Yogis teachings for poor people who cannot afford to the required donation for themselves.

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Buddhist Monk Losang Samten Uses Colors to Spread Message of Peace

Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. They lived in a refugee camp for years.

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Former Buddhist monk and Tibetan scholar Losang Samten uses colored sand to build mandalas, circular images filled with complex iconography, which have great meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism. VOA

According to one estimate, there are a 5 quintillion, 5 hundred quadrillion grains of sand on earth, a number so large it must be approaching infinity. This makes sand an appropriate medium for the construction of spiritual images of the universe.

Former Buddhist monk and Tibetan scholar Losang Samten does just that, using colored sand to build mandalas, circular images filled with complex iconography, which have great meaning in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Tibetan monks have created mandalas over the centuries from a variety of materials. Before sand, they used crushed colored stone. Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.

Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.
Tibetan monks have created mandalas over the centuries from a variety of materials. Before sand, they used crushed colored stone. VOA

Decades of mandalas

Samten, in his mid-60s, learned the craft at the feet of the Dalai Lama.

“When I was a teenager, age of 17,” he told VOA, “I had a privilege to enter His Holiness Dalai Lama’s monastery … in India. I have been studying sand mandalas ever since then. So it’s a long time.”

VOA found Samten painstakingly layering grains of colored sand at the gallery of the Philadelphia Folklore Project. The particular mandala he was working on was the mandala of compassion, or unconditional love.

Far from random designs, mandalas have been perfected over centuries.

“These are uniquely designed many, many, many, many, many years passing to an artist to another artist to another artist to another artist,” Samten said. “The color has a meaning, the shape has different meanings. Not my design; it didn’t come out of my own idea.”

When Samten created a sand mandala at the American Museum of History in New York in 1988 at the request of the Dalai Lama, it was the first time the 2,600-years-old ancient ritual art was seen outside of monasteries. Since then, Samten has made sand mandalas in museums, galleries and universities across the U.S. and many parts of the world.

“They are used to enhance the spiritual practice through image and meditation, to overcome suffering. Mandalas represent enlightened qualities and methods which explain this path, making them very important for the spiritual journey,” Samten wrote on his web site.

Nothing is permanent

Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. They lived in a refugee camp for years.

Now Samten travels around the world to find sand in various colors. He also dyes sand in watercolors.
Samten, in his mid-60s, learned the craft at the feet of the Dalai Lama. VOA

“In the winter of 1959, [we] crossed Mount Everest, it took us two months to cross,” he told VOA. “You cannot travel during the day and so scared and not enough food not enough clothes. I was age of 5. I saw, I mean unbelievable dead bodies, people dying without food. I became a monk at age 11 when I was in school, refugee school.”

Samten left monastic life in 1995 and became the spiritual director at the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia. He says the patience of the creative process, can lead observers to find calm determination within themselves.

“When I am doing this mandala at universities and schools, many kids came to me, (saying) ‘when I saw you doing the sand mandala, that help me so much to finish my education, patience …’ I have a lot of stories,” he said.

Monk Samten
Samten was born in Tibet. When he was a young boy, his family escaped to Nepal fleeing Chinese Communist control of his homeland. VOA

Beauty comes and goes

After a sand mandala is completed, it is dismantled ceremoniously.

“Dismantle has many different reasons,” Samten said. “… One thing is, dismantle is a beauty, whatever we see as a beauty on the earth, never be everlasting as a beauty and impermanent, impermanent, comes and goes. It’s like a season.”

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Or like sand, ever changing in the wind.

Samten often invites children to participate in the ceremony.

To gallery visitor Traci Chiodress that was part of the charm of the event.

“I think it’s powerful to see something so beautiful created, and then taken apart, and to be done in a community with a group of people of different ages,” she said. “I just think it’s an important type of practice.” (VOA)