Hindus have decided to honor Oscar winner Hollywood star Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman) for her unwavering devotion to Hinduism and her endorsing Hinduism in a way no Hollywood celebrity seems to have done in the past.
It was nearly two years ago she confessed of being a “practicing Hindu”, and she seems to be sticking to it devotedly. She finds India “spiritually healing” and her visit to India in the past was “a spiritually enlightening experience” for her.
According to recent reports in Indian media, she is planning to buy a house in India near one of Hinduism’s holy cities, thus becoming first Hollywood star to do so. “I would love to live near Haridwar or Varanasi, since they are such holy spots for Hinduism”, she was quoted as saying.
In her recent interviews to Indian media, she was quoted as saying: “I've received real spiritual satisfaction through Hinduism and I'm a practising Hindu” and “…ever since I’ve started practicing, the festivals (especially Diwali) attract me a lot too”.
Roberts also stated in these reports that she shared a common aspect of finding peace and tranquility of mind in Hinduism similar to Patsy of The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham. “I would love to return to this sacred land again and visit some key pilgrimage spots, like Haridwar or Puri”, she added while talking about India.
Welcoming her continued devotion to Hinduism, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that she would be honored in a Hindu temple in traditional Hindu manner near her California home and he would try to contact her staff in the near future in this regard.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged other Hollywood stars also to take time out of their stressful lives to explore Hinduism and pointed out that they would appreciate rich, diverse and long tradition of Hindu philosophy; and its interpretation of the nature of reality.
Rajan Zed suggested Roberts to realize the Self. Ancient Hindu scripture Katha Upanishad points out that when wise realize the Self, they go beyond sorrow. Self is supreme and those who meditate on Self are freed from the cycle of birth and death. When one realizes Self, there is nothing else to be known, Zed quotes the scripture.
Roberts, who grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father, revealed for the first time in September 2010 issue of women’s fashion magazine Elle that she was “definitely a practicing Hindu”. She later revealed on ABC that she became interested in Hinduism after seeing a picture of Hanuman devotee Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, who died in 1973.
According to reports, Roberts has been interested in yoga for quite some time. She was in Haryana (India) in September 2009 to shoot “Eat, Pray, Love” in an ashram (retreat). In January 2009, she sported a “bindi” (vermillion mark on forehead) during her trip to India when she also visited Taj Mahal with husband Danny Moder. She has a production company called “Red Om Films”, and “Om” in Hinduism is the mystical syllable containing the universe.
Julia Fiona Roberts, 44, one of the most successful Hollywood actresses besides a producer and fashion model, has won best actress Oscar for “Erin Brockovich” and earned Oscar nominations for “Pretty Woman” and “Steel Magnolias”.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.