4 Nov : Oscar winner Hollywood star Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman), the recent convert to Hinduism, says “Diwali should be celebrated unanimously throughout the world as a gesture of goodwill”.
In her “Diwali wishes”, published on the website of India’s leading English daily The Times of India dated November three, Roberts adds that essence of both Christmas and Diwali is the same as both “are festivals of lights, good spirits and death of evil”.
Roberts further points out that Diwali (Hindu festival which falls on November five) “not only belongs to Hinduism but is universal in nature and in its essence too. Diwali ignites the values of self confidence, love for humanity, peace, prosperity and above all eternity which goes beyond all mortal factors… When I think of Diwali, I can never imagine a world broken into fragments by narrow feelings of communalism and religion which does not care for human benevolence.”
“Ever since I developed my liking and fondness for Hinduism, I have been attracted and deeply fascinated by many facets of the multi dimensional Hinduism… spirituality in it transcends many barriers of mere religion”, Roberts stated. Talking of India, she promised “to return to this sacred land again and again for the best of creativity”.
Welcoming Roberts for attempting to fathom the depths of Hinduism and pointing to its universality, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Hinduism had a universal appeal which was very practical. It offered something to every seeker of every path and disposition.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, suggested Roberts to achieve the “state of permanent joy” through various techniques mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures. She should realize the Self and practice regular mediation as right meditation would result in intense inner wakefulness. Taittiriya Upanishad told us that “meditation is Brahman (the supreme Godhead)” and directed us to seek Brahman through meditation. If Roberts needed any help in deeper Hinduism exploration, he or other Hindu scholars would be glad to assist, Zed added.
Roberts reportedly became interested in Hinduism after seeing a picture of Hanuman devotee Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, who died in 1973 and whom she never met. She revealed in the past that entire Roberts-Moder family went to temple together to “chant and pray and celebrate. I’m definitely a practicing Hindu”. 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 (hermitage). In January 2009, she sported a “bindi” (vermillion mark on forehead) during her trip to India. She has a production company called “Red Om Films”, and “Om” in Hinduism is the mystical syllable containing the universe. There were reports that she was trying to adopt a child from India and her kids shaved their heads during her last visit to India. Roberts, however, grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father.
Julia Fiona Roberts, 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. Largest of Hindu festivals Diwali, the festival of lights, aims at dispelling the darkness and lighting up the lives and symbolizes the victory of good over evil.