Actress Julia Roberts embraces Hinduism

Julia Roberts

Actress Julia Roberts embraces Hinduism

NEW DELHI:  Her parents were Baptist and Catholic and she was born in Georgia, part of the US Bible Belt. But Hollywood superstar Julia Roberts says she is now a practising Hindu. Speaking to the September issue of Elle magazine, Roberts said she goes to the temple to “chant, pray and celebrate.”

The 42-year-old actress, who won a million hearts with Pretty Woman and an Oscar with Erin Brockowich, took to Hinduism during the shooting of her upcoming film, `Eat, Pray and Love’ last year. In the movie, she plays a divorced woman who travels to Italy for food, India for spirituality and Bali, where she finds love. In the interview, Robert also spoke of reincarnation. “I’ve been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life. Next time I want to be just something quiet and supporting,” she said.

Swami Dharamdev of Hari Mandir, Pataudi, where `Eat, Pray and Love’ was shot for three weeks in September-October last year, said it is good news if someone accepts Hinduism from the heart. During the film’s shooting, he said, a makeshift temple had been constructed nearby where unit members would light lamps and burn incense sticks. “Julia too would pray there, run her hands over the lamp and her hair as we all do,” he recalled. “She also got her three kids here. I tied the sacred red thread on their wrists and applied the tilak on their foreheads,” he said.

Swami Dharamdev recalled the actress also requested him, through her private assistant, to pray for her mother who was ill. “Before she left I told her, `you may choose not to eat or love. But don’t forget to pray. Make that a part of your life, not just acting in this film’. She smiled and nodded affirmatively,” he said.

In a statement, Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism in the US, also said he and his fellow practitioners welcome Roberts into the fold.

Julia’s move to Hinduism has sparked off a torrent of online response. Some are highly critical of her; others the opposite. “Another confused celebrity trying on the religion “flavour” of the month. Hindu? Does she even know what that means? How can you convert to another religion after making a film? Next thing you know she’ll be wearing a Kabbalah bracelet after going to a Madonna concert!,” was a comment posted on The Daily Mail’s website. However, Anne, Leicester, wrote, “I like Julie Roberts, admire her work on screen and her commitment to her beliefs. If she’s living her life to the ideals of Hinduism, that’s all to the good. I look forward to seeing her latest film.

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 width=Julia Roberts is Hindu: Is America ready for a Hindu sweetheart?

By Elizabeth Tenety

Julia Roberts has long been called America’s sweetheart.

But is America ready for a Hindu sweetheart?

The star of the upcoming movie Eat, Pray, Love revealed in an interview in Elle magazine that she, along with her family, is a practicing Hindu.

From a People excerpt of the Elle interview:

“You make these people and you love them and you want them around for a thousand years,” she says about her three kids – 3-year-old Henry and 5-year-old twins Phinnaeus and Hazel – with cameraman Danny Moder. “And you want to be there for them for a thousand years.”

“In their public remonstrations of their parent’s faiths, Jindal and Haley tell well over three million Hindu and Sikh Americans that their time has not yet come as people of faith.”

The entire Roberts-Moder family, she reveals, goes to temple together to “chant and pray and celebrate. I’m definitely a practicing Hindu,” says Roberts, who grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father.

And since in Hindu cosmology souls can be reincarnated in other bodies, where does she see herself in the next life? “Golly, I’ve been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life,” she says. “Next time I want to be just something quiet and supporting.”

But is America ready for a Hindu sweetheart?

Roberts’ embrace of the faith that inspired the enlightenment of Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert puts her far outside the American mainstream in terms of religious affiliation: 78 percent of Americans identify as Christian; only .4 percent define themselves as Hindu. But Roberts’ seek-and-ye-shall-find spirituality is actually quite reflective of American religious practice: 44 percent of Americans currently identify with a different religious tradition than the one in which they were raised.

Still, recent events indicate that Americans may not be ready to fully embrace the Hinduism already in their midst.

Aseem Shukla, On Faith Panelist and co-founder of the Hindu-American Foundation, pointed in a recent post to the examples of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley (both converts to Christianity –Jindal from Hinduism, Haley from Sikhism) as evidence that association with Dharma traditions is a public liability.

“Haley endured ludicrous, unsubstantiated allegations of infidelity, and she and Jindal both faced down racial slurs and epithets on their road to victory. But listen to the buzz around Haley’s improbable rise and Jindal’s electoral success, and what is abundantly clear is that a politically post-racial America does not mean that a pluralistic America has emerged.”

What do you think? Is America ready to embrace Hinduism? Why or why not?

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Question: “What is Hinduism and what do Hindus believe?”

Answer: Hinduism is one of the oldest known organized religions-its sacred writings date as far back as 1400 to 1500 B.C. It is also one of the most diverse and complex, having millions of gods. Hindus have a wide variety of core beliefs and exist in many different sects. Although it is the third largest religion in the world, Hinduism exists primarily in India and Nepal.

The main texts of Hinduism are the Vedas (considered most important), Upanishadas, the Mahabharata, and the Ramayana. These writings contain hymns, incantations, philosophies, rituals, poems, and stories from which Hindus base their beliefs. Other texts used in Hinduism include the Brahmanas, the Sutras, and the Aranyakas.

Though Hinduism is often understood as being polytheistic, supposedly recognizing as many as 330 million gods, it also has one “god” that is supreme-Brahma. Brahma is an entity believed to inhabit every portion of reality and existence throughout the entire universe. Brahma is both impersonal and unknowable and is often believed to exist in three separate forms: Brahma-Creator; Vishnu-Preserver; and Shiva-Destroyer. These “facets” of Brahma are also known through the many other incarnations of each. It is difficult to summarize Hindu theology since the various Hindu schools contain elements of almost every theological system. Hinduism can be:

1) Monistic-Only one thing exists; Sankara’s school

2) Pantheistic-Only one divine thing exists so that God is identical to the world; Brahmanism

3) Panentheistic-The world is part of God; Ramanuja’s School

4) Theistic-Only one God, distinct from Creation; Bhakti Hinduism.

Observing other schools, Hinduism can also be atheistic, deistic, or even nihilistic. With such diversity included under the title “Hindu,” one may wonder what makes them “Hindu” in the first place? About the only real issue is whether or not a belief system recognizes the Vedas as sacred. If it does, then it is Hindu. If not, then it is not Hindu.

The Vedas are more than theology books. They contain a rich and colorful “theo-mythology,” that is, a religious mythology which deliberately interweaves myth, theology, and history to achieve a story-form religious root. This “theo-mythology” is so deeply rooted in India’s history and culture that to reject the Vedas is viewed as opposing India. Therefore, a belief system is rejected by Hinduism if it does not embrace Indian culture to some extent. If the system accepts Indian culture and its theo-mythical history, then it can be embraced as “Hindu” even if its theology is theistic, nihilistic, or atheistic. This openness to contradiction can be a headache for Westerners who seek logical consistency and rational defensibility in their religious views. But, to be fair, Christians are no more logical when they claim belief in Yahweh yet live life as practical atheists, denying Christ with their lives. For the Hindu the conflict is genuine logical contradiction. For the Christian, the conflict is more likely simple hypocrisy.

Hinduism views mankind as divine. Because Brahma is everything, Hinduism asserts that everyone is divine. Atman, or self, is one with Brahman. All of reality outside of Brahman is considered mere illusion. The spiritual goal of a Hindu is to become one with Brahma, thus ceasing to exist in its illusory form of “individual self.” This freedom is referred to as “moksha.” Until moksha is achieved, a Hindu believes that he/she will be repeatedly reincarnated in order that he/she may work towards self-realization of the truth (the truth being that only Brahman exists, nothing else). How a person is reincarnated is determined by karma, which is a principle of cause and effect governed by nature’s balance. What one did in the past affects and corresponds with what happens in the future, past and future lives included.

Although this is just a brief synopsis, it is readily seen that Hinduism is in opposition to biblical Christianity on almost every count of its belief system. Christianity has one God who is both personal and knowable (Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Corinthians 8:6); has one set of Scriptures; teaches that God created the earth and all who live upon it (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 11:3); believes that man is created in God’s image and lives only once (Genesis 1:27; Hebrews 9:27-28); and teaches that salvation is through Jesus Christ alone (John 3:16; 6:44; 14:6; Acts 4:12).  Hinduism as a religious system fails because it fails to recognize Jesus as the uniquely incarnated God-Man and Savior, the one solely sufficient source of salvation for humanity.

Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/hinduism.html

20 Responses

  1. Burning Lamp says:

    Hindu Smindu –
    There are Mormon celebs, New Age celebs,Scientology stars. What’s the big deal? It all adds up to the same result – eternally lost. If Julia Roberts is our role model it wouldn’t surprise anyone, but it indicates our folly. She may be beautiful,a nice person and a fabulous actress, but she has a potty mouth and her movies are not serious Christian fare.
    This should not surprise us. With a mixed bag for a religous background, she did not have a firm foundation. One can only wonder if she was ever presented with the true Gospel because she was obviously searching.

  2. Elmarie A says:

    Burning Lamp

    This should not surprise us.

    Nope you are correct. I can just see a new wave hitting this side of the world as i am sure a couple of churches around our area will promulgate this move especially in the New age streams. I can sort of see how the ladies JR age will prance around in Hindu gear at churches. Why because they will be told there is nothing wrong with that religion. hmmmmm sad but true. You must love and not judge others. Tagh BL the world is becoming a sadder and sadder place to be in.

    Believe me when I say this fad will hit SA false churches with a new motivation to motivate free religious practices any where any place is ok.

    Just think if we still had some old school preachers like A W Towzer who would not keep quiet for APOSTASY.

  3. Actually the Hindusim is probably just her surface religion, the usual dalliance, like Madonna, dabbles in kabblah but enacts luciferian rites right in front of a “blind” public. This may not be the forum to describe MK ultra and what that entails, or the true fact that in some true way, many of our so called “stars” do truly sell their souls to Satan for their fame.

  4. Jemah says:

    that’s what happens with too much money,first you get high, cause your’e bored, then you get bored of been high, so you choose to get high without been stoned, but your’e still bored cause your’e still dead!and you just dont know that what seems to go up then is only the way down,down,down

  5. Jemah says:

    as anyone read the book of the film she’s starring in- eat pray love- that’s why she’s confused and Burning lamp you’re right I hope someone will present the Gospel to her, it’s never too late!
    Why cant someone make a real good christian movie to show the world, I mean a good movie or documentary without any wishy washy stuff in it, something that will present the truth in simplicity, something that will make the world think a bit. In the face of plastic apostate Christianity with false smiles, positive confession and money wheeling and dealings if you where Julia Roberts and didn’t know any better wouldn’t you choose something more exotic? something that looked more holy?
    This is what we have to contend with, this is what we are faced to battle with,may the Lord Jesus Christ help us,for the remnant this is the invisible war!

    OH THE WORLD NEEDS SOME SALT!

  6. Burning Lamp says:

    El Marie, if dead guys Tozer, Ironside, and Moody,were here they would be blown out of their socks to see the state of the Church. Ironside was concerned in his day as I study his works. They would probably be tarred and feathered and be outcasts except in a few places because they would stand up and call a spade a spade.

  7. Burning Lamp says:

    Jemah – a hearty AMEN! You put it well. The salt has lost its savor and this is what we end up with. Even if the Church was healthy there will still be people making the choice to covert to cults, but the difference would be obvious and the reason would be the human desire to fulfill self and not to surrender one’s self to a Savior.

    The Word of God is still the most powerful force in the world to win the lost. Pictures can’t do it – stories can’t do it – it takes a messenger armed with the sword of the Lord, sharing it out of love and concern for the lost.

  8. Jemah says:

    if you re incarnate to pay for sins why is it that you cant remember what your previous sins where, now i tell you how can an ant remember it was a sinner, this just tell me that eventually for not remembering you will be obliterated into nothing ( or burn in fire?)and isn’t funny that everyone who has dejavu of a previous life always was somebody noble and of high ranking- i tell you that smells of lucifer!who has read the tibetan book of the dead?, once you die you have to go through all these levels and not be deceived by all these demons there who are there to nab you – what kind of love is that???????
    Thank- you Father for saving me, thankyou for your wonderful wonderful grace, everyday I am reminded of how Holy and Just and Powerful and amazing You are GOD!and thank you Jesus for pouring out your blood for me, thankyou for making me clean, thankyou for having enlightened my mind and soul so that I can understand your precious precious salvation, Thankyou that i am your child, i do not need anything else Father but your will to be accomplished in my life.

  9. Elmarie A says:

    Burning Lamp

    El Marie, if dead guys Tozer, Ironside, and Moody,were here they would be blown out of their socks to see the state of the Church. Ironside was concerned in his day as I study his works. They would probably be tarred and feathered and be outcasts except in a few places because they would stand up and call a spade a spade.

    Yes BL you are correct and their socks would have been blown much further than any cannon can…. 🙂

  10. Elmarie A says:

    Burning Lamp

    The Word of God is still the most powerful force in the world to win the lost. Pictures can’t do it – stories can’t do it – it takes a messenger armed with the sword of the Lord, sharing it out of love and concern for the lost.

    Very true words spoken BL 🙂

  11. Madelein W says:

    She’s just another lost soul. People’s eyes should be on Jesus, not famous people. TV and movies are one of Satan’s greatest weapons, and Christians are sitting ducks. Anton Lavey, the head of the satanic church, does not allow his children to watch TV.

  12. Elmarie A says:

    Madelein W

    TV and movies are one of Satan’s greatest weapons, and Christians are sitting ducks.

    Madelein I agree with you yes. But these things should be exposed and we cannot sit by and keep quiet.

    Anton Lavey, the head of the satanic church, does not allow his children to watch TV.

    I do not understand your point of what you are trying to say. Is this good or bad or important to know? The fact that Anton Lavey does not allow his kids to watch tv will or cannot keep him from going to hell being a santanist. There is no point to your statement. If Anton Lavey does not repent his sins and except Jesus Christ as his Saviour he is doomed.

  13. Madelein W says:

    Sorry, thought it spoke for itself. It’s not about salvation or keeping himself or his children out of hell, it’s about the massive influence that the tv/movies/music has on people. He said that his children can watch tv when they are old enough and can go into it warned.

    So my point is that even the biggest satanist has some sort of a ‘standard’ regarding the influence he puts his children under. And it’s not just children, it’s everybody, these are ways that we open ourselves to the worldly way of thinking and doing things and in the end it will influence our thoughts and our actions.

  14. Marie says:

    God is all powerful, all consumming, ever present, the bible states that we are in the end times, that we will see and hear about wars, earthquakes, and floods, but as the children of God almighty we are not to be terrified. The word of God also states that in the end times man will become lovers of themselves and money, that even the elite in the kingdom of God will be led away. The word of God says ‘for this reason Jesus christ was made manifest to defeat the works of the devil’. The devil was / is defeated.

  15. GMD says:

    NAMASTHE,
    As a Hindu by birth and having the natural tolerance of a Hindu, I noticed something like “Hinduism as a religious system fails because it fails to recognize Jesus as the uniquely incarnated God-Man and Savior, the one solely sufficient source of salvation for humanity.” in the explanation of Hinduism. Then the so called Paulinists a.k.a Christians should not forget the absconding years of the lord Jesus in his teens. Let me remind you that we Indians, our Vedic / Buddhist religions taught him or gave the right food for his quest. That great saint taught love, humanity, non sectarianism etc.etc. to the mankind. And where did all those righteousness / humanitarian teachings hidden inside your Christianity? Did Christ told you people to convert and conquer the whole world? we Indians (Hindus) suffered a lot of abuse and loss from your religion of love. For saving the Hindu Dharma (Vedic religion) CHATTAMBI SWAMIKAL wrote and preach KRISTHU MATHA CHETHANAM (Meaning: desection of Christianity) he did it only to withstand the harassment from the British rulers / Christian proselytizers. As for the above said Christ’s absconding yeras and his learning with Buddhists monks, search Holger kersten, Nikolai Notivich, Madam Blavatsky, Tomb of Jesus and various resources in and out from the net. As you stated in the explanation the oldest surviving organised religion, it is the proof of Hinduism’s success. It’s success is not counted by number of selling churches or sexual abuse in the monastirs or 10/40 windows or making man from mud and woman from a rib and their progeny from themselves. Better not judge other faiths by your own weakness, better not insult other faiths if you do not have the guts to survive. WE ARE NON-PROSELYTISING HINDUS (Julia Robert fell in love with Hinduism, that is not a work of Hindu missionaries allurement with free baby food and cloths. Julia succeeded and Christianity failed)LIVING AND LET LIVE OTHERS IN PEACE AND HARMONY, WE ACCOMMODATED ALL FAITHS IN OUR LAND AND WE HAVE SUFFERED AND WE HAVE SEEN MUCH FROM THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS. Please do not hurt the harmless one.

    LOKA SAMASTHAA SUKHINO BHAVANTHU
    (LET THERE BE PROSPERITY AND HAPPY TO ALL UNIVERSE INCLUDING CHRISTIANITY AND THEIR PROSELYTISERS)
    An Indian Hindu

  16. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    GMD

    >> Then the so called Paulinists a.k.a Christians should not forget the absconding years of the lord Jesus in his teens. Let me remind you that we Indians, our Vedic / Buddhist religions taught him or gave the right food for his quest.

    Bwwwwaaaaaahahahahhahahahaa *rolling on the floor laughing* yeah you keep telling yourself that, just like Hindu’s invented ice cream and karate.

  17. abey says:

    Roberts is but bitten by the pagan bug & Deborah seems a bit complacent to Hinduism. satan is one tries to show that he is non existant except seen in all those Hindu Avatars, as deceitful as satan is his religion Hinduism connecting to all those ancient beliefs on the other side of the flood later come to the other side of Jordan, denoting the fall of man into the Prophecy of “Spiritual Sodom & Egypt”.

  18. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    abey

    >> Deborah seems a bit complacent to Hinduism

    You kidding?

  19. Truthful Conversation says:

    Abey, Debs is anything but complacent, about anything! The article is to educate us regarding Hinduism, and ‘celebrities’ such as Julia Roberts are a good example of how the rich and famous seek peace and meaning through these false religions.

    Many people idolise and worship these celebrities (it sickens me) and so they are easily led into following them and using them as ‘role models’ (again, sickens me).

    There is a young woman in England who has become a ‘celeb’ because of something awful that happened to her. Her boyfriend threw acid in her face and scarred her for life. I have seen a few documentaries about her life and I was impressed with how strong she has been throughout all the operations and subsequent struggles. She is truly inspirational, but sadly she seems to have embraced new age teachings. She has written a book and has set up a foundation for abused women..so she has many ‘followers’, women that see her as a role model. She has a daily ‘affirmation’ site where she writes her new age ‘thought for the day’. How terribly sad, what a waste.. imagine how many people’s lives she could touch if she was saved! My heart went out to her when I saw her write online that she is seeking peace. I sent her a message telling her to look to Jesus because He loves her, and not to look to new age practises.

    Anyway Abey, be sure that Debs is always on the defence of Christ and the truth. She has been set free from the lies of satan and she throws all her life and energy into exposing false teachings. How I wish more Christians were as brave as Debs.

  20. Mike Evans says:

    I confess that I am not a fan of Julia Roberts (anyone who thinks she is strikingly beautiful has obviously never seen Ava Gardner or Julie Christie) and thought PRETTY WOMAN was a sleazy update of PYGMALION (aka MY FAIR LADY). However, its message was preferable to that of EAT, PRAY, LOVE, which you would have to first knock me unconscious in order to put it before me to view. Nonetheless, I am saddened to read that she has been deceived by Hinduism and has dragged her innocent children into this devil worship,ensuring their knowledge of Christ will be non-existent.
    Who would have thought when this movie came out that Yoga would be practiced in professing evangelical churches just a few years later? Private church schools where I work at times as a relief teacher offer yoga and meditation to children from the age of 5. One Catholic school I worked in briefly has mantras coming over the loudspeaker system at the start of each day,so that the entire school can meditate and invite familiar spirits to operate. When one considers the popularity of the kundalini spirit in charismatic ‘churches’, the Hindu invasion of the once’ Christian Western world’ is enormous and actually began over a century ago. Rick Warren may invite Julia to speak at his next ‘Daniel Plan’ conference. A year or so ago she voiced the ‘Earth goddess Gaya” on a video I saw on YouTube. Oddly, I recall visiting a local Baptist church when I was exiting charismania when this movie was out and hearing that they were having a Church Movie Night in a cinema showing EAT,PRAY,LOVE and encouraging people to bring unchurched friends (!?) I guess synagogues of Satan like to help people stay on the road to Hell…