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Julia Roberts embraces Hinduism

Contributed by Anonymous on Sunday, August 08 @ 11:03:53 CDT

Religion
The Times of India, Aug 08 2010

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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