The Indian culture and traditions are well rooted and supremely strong. Getting influenced by the Indian culture and traditions can have a very long lasting impact on your lifestyle, thought processing and also on the entire framework of your life. Which is why many of the International celebrities have found peace and tranquility with the Indian traditions, after their stint with various kinds of mental ailments such as depression, anxiety etc.
Let’s take a look at some of the International celebrities who have adopted and are enjoying our Indian culture:
Julia Roberts was born to Baptist and Catholic parents; however her experience in India while filming the movie ‘Eat Pray, Love’ completely changed her perception about life. Now she describes herself as an ardent follower of Hinduism who visits the temple often to “chant, pray and celebrate”. According to Roberts, she firmly believes in the Hindu science of reincarnation, which is why she would like to be born again as a normal human as opposed to her celebrity lifestyle that she is enjoying in her current birth. Julia Roberts also renamed her children by giving them the Hindu god names. Her daughter’s name now is Laxmi (Hazel) and both her sons are renamed as Ganesh (Phinnaeus) and Krishna Balram (Henry).
Steve Jobs had travelled to India in the year 1974 to meet the renowned Hindu holy man Neem Karoli Baba also known as Maharaj-ji. The seeds of Hindu spiritualism were sown into Steve’s heart by Jai Uttal, a Kirtan musician and a music pioneer. Steve Jobs’s speech on the Hindu science of Karma clearly specifies how he was influenced by Indian and the Hindu culture. His ardent love for animals, a firm vegetarian and for someone who practices yoga regularly, it is pretty clear that Steve Jobs absorbed the Hindu culture and teachings from end to end. The apple logo design creation is also loosely based on one of the experiences Steve had at the Kainchi Ashram in India.
It was Steve Jobs who advised Mark to pay a visit to the Hindu temples as he was on the verge of frustration during the starting days of Facebook. Mark travelled almost for a month, visiting people and connecting with them in the most beautiful and spiritual ways possible. This helped him clear the path to lay the foundation for Facebook.
It all started when Sylvester Stallone lost his 36 year old son and he was unable to get rid of his memories. Also he felt that he could sense his son’s spirit around him. After receiving a spiritual advice from Prateek Mishrapuri, an astrologer from Los Angeles, he visited Haridwar to conduct the ‘thithi shraddh’ ceremony. Sylvester’s half-brother Michael also performed the ceremony for his sister Toni Ann who passed away at the age of 48. This experience of Sylvester Stallone intensified his faith in Hinduism and in our Indian traditions.
It was probably his questioning nature that attracted Hugh Jackman to Hinduism. A Jew by birth, Hugh Jackman, felt closer to his self through the Vedic philosophies and concepts. Hugh Jackman practices Transcendental Meditation and Yoga for 30 years. The engraving on Hugh’s wedding ring is quite famous and highly influenced by the Hindu culture and it reads ‘Om Paramar mainamar’ which means ‘We dedicate our union to a greater source’.
Many a times we have seen the Queen of Pop ,Madonna adorning a mehandi tattoo on her palms. She was also seen wearing a sari and performing the aarti puja. This, according to her was due to her deep influence by the Indian and the Hindu culture.
Teenage Pop star Miley Cyrus was seen performing the Lakshmi Puja at her a Malibu home and every detail of the puja was well taken care of.
This isn’t the first time Miley Cyrus has taken an interest in Hinduism and accepted Hindu culture. Her Instagram is filled with photos of her doing yoga, and she even has two tattoos that are religious in nature. She has ‘Karma’ inked on one of her fingers and ‘Om’ inked on her left wrist. Miley Cyrus, on the other hand, did not elaborate on the significance of the Lakshmi Puja or the reason for performing it.
The ‘Army Wives’ actress Kelli Williams converted to Hinduism and embraced the Indian culture after her marriage to Ajay Sahgal in 1996.
“Through Hinduism, I feel a better person.
I just get happier and happier
I now feel that I am unlimited and I am more in control…”
This was what George Harrison of the Beatles had to tell about his experience with the Hindu and the Indian culture. His constant search for god and for a meaningful life led him to the world of Hinduism, Indian culture concepts and ideas and music.
Harrison’s strong mental connection to the Indian culture influenced him to travel to India to learn the sitar with Pandit Ravi Shankar. His meeting with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi motivated him to give up LSD and in turn encouraged him to adopt meditation. The 1969 summer saw the Beatles release the single track “Hare Krishna Mantra” that was jointly performed by Harrison and the devotees of the Radhe-Krishna temple in London. This also went to top the charts by becoming the ten best- selling record charts in United Kingdon, Europe and Asia.
It is said that when George Harrison died at the age of 58, chants and prayer, images of Lord Rama and Lord Krishna were kept beside his bed. Harrison also donated about £20 million to the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). He also wished for his body to be cremated and his ashes to be immersed in the Ganges at the holy Indian city of Varanasi,
It all started when Trevor Hall entered into his friend’s dorm room in high school and found a picture of the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba hanging on the wall. He felt the change from that very minute on and eventually decided to visit India in the year 2007, to learn more about Hinduism and the Indian culture.
According to Hall, India is a place where he visits to recharge himself. His music album “Kaala” is highly inspired by his spiritual experience in Nepal and India.
The NFL player Ricky Williams is an ardent follower of the Indian culture through his strict practice of fasting, yoga and meditation. He is a Pranic Healing practitioner, as it helps him recover from his injuries.
Well, the grass on the other side is always green! We as Indians do not or maybe will not understand the deep rooted meaning of our culture, traditions or philosophies unless we see a foreigner adopt and accept the same.
Something to think about