10 famous people converts into Hinduism
Religion is the belief aspects of someone who choose spirituality as the way of living in the pitty world. But it is not the anyone’s identity, people are free to live in a way that they want and can accept any religion where they find peace and a closure of God. HowAndWhys made a list of 10 famous people converts into Hinduism and spend their whole life in the spirituality of Hindu gods.
10. George Harrison
George Harrison was lead guitarist of the Beatles as well as a singer-songwriter on many of their most memorable tracks. In 1966, George Harrison, lead guitarist of the most popular rock group ever, the Beatles, said, “The people of India have a tremendous spiritual strength which I don’t think is found elsewhere. The spirit of the people, the beauty, the goodness – that’s what I’ve been trying to learn about”. In 1966, he met maestro Ravi Shankar and thrilled to the sound of a sitar, to the lull of its sympathetic strings and the way it could stretch a single note to imitate the yearning of a heart in love. Later that year, George continued his sitar lessons in Srinagar, an extended village at the foot of the Himalayan Mountains surrounded by fields of golden saffron flowers. When he was a boy, George had been an indifferent student, but during that visit he was rarely without a book in his hands, including Swami Vivekananda’s Raja Yoga and Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi.
9. John Levy
John Levy (died 1976) was a British mystic, artist, and musician, best known for translating the works of his guru Sri Atmananda Krishna Menon, Atma Darshan and Atma Niviriti into English. Born into a wealthy aristocratic family, Levy was an expert in Asian folk music, especially that of India. At one point in his life, he gave up his entire fortune and went to live in India with only a loincloth. In India, Levy was a student of Krishna Menon, from whom he learned the Advaita Vedanta. In The Nature of Man According to the Vedanta, Levy expounds a classic nondualist argument about breaking down subject-object duality and the implications of this on the notion of the self. The Self, he says, can never be fully known, as to know it is to objectify it. Freed from the notion of a Self, we can stop trying to alter ourselves and enter into the stream of experience without hesitation.
8. Sister Nivedita
Born as Margaret Elizabeth Noble, she was more popularly known as sister Nivedita. She was an Anglo-Irish social worker, who was one amongst the many disciples of Swami Vivekananda. She came across Swami Vivekananda in the year 1895 in London. It was Swami, who called her by the name “Nivedita”. The word Nivedita is used to refer to someone who is highly dedicated to the almighty God. She began taking interest in the Buddhism principles. It is during this time that she met Swami Vivekananda, a great Hindu monk. Swami Vivekanand stressed on the fact that, it is the ignorance, selfishness and greed that pave way for our sufferings. His principles and teachings had an imprint on her mind and heart and this brought about a major change in the way she lived her life. He was the one who inspired her to do something for the welfare of the women of India. In the year 1898, Sister Nivedita established a school for girls, who were deprived of even basic education. She was a motivating force for people in all walks of life. Her lectures and various discourses gave people, direction on how to lead their lives. Throughout her life, she worked hard for serving the people and society at large. This started having adverse effects on her health. Finally, this great soul left for her heavenly abode on October 13, 1911.
7. Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami
The creative side of Satsvarupa Dasa Goswami’s (SDG) is clearly visible in the expression of his poetry, writings and art. But his journey wasn’t always imbued with artistic freeform expression and the lighthearted indulging of his creative impulse. Rather, his young adulthood and middle-aged years were marked by a heavily regimented life, one that carried the weight of both spiritual discipline and organizational responsibility. His was severe if also blissful path, full of dutiful action and devotional delight. As a serious student under Prabhupada’s tutelage in Bhakti since as early as 1966, he temporarily left the spontaneous world of improvisation of self-expression for the more structured life of a monk. Yet he did manage ISKCON Press in Boston for some time and became editor-in-chief for Prabhupada’s Back to Godhead magazine, which gave him an outlet for his creative writing. By 1972, in recognition of his serious commitment to ISKCON, he was awarded sannyasa, which is a formal stage of life in the Vedic social order, indicating learning and renunciation.
6. Srila Romapada Swami
Srila Romapada Swami was born in this world on December 27, 1948 in Utica, New York, as the youngest of five children. Although the youngest member of the family, Srila Romapada Swami was respected by the others as the most responsible, the most principle-centered, and the highest achiever amongst them. In course of time, the youngest son of the family would display his unique wisdom and superexcellence in all respects. Srila Romapada Swami was 21 years old and had just been accepted to medical school when he joined the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. His family had so much confidence and appreciation for his high sense of values and his individual expression of them, that when he decided to live his life in full devotion to Krishna they respected his decision. In fact, after becoming finally accustomed to the fact that his new way of life was not just a passing fling, they privately expressed the fact that they were quite proud of him; although they shared similar ideals, they saw that he was factually living by them.
5. Leelawathy Ramanathan
Leelawathy Ramanathan ( born as R. L. Harrison in 1870) was the Australia-born wife of Ponnambalam Ramanathan. Lady Ramanathan was an Englishwoman who was born in Australia where her father was into gold mining. All references to her maiden name record her only as R.L. Harrison. She, as a young woman, had been attracted by the Theosophical Movement in Australia and, searching for further spiritual enlightenment, arrived in Ceylon where Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan became her guru. Later she married Ramanathan who had been a widower for many years. She became a Hindu and took the name Leelavathi. After the reformed Council years, they spent much of their time in Kodaikanal where they had three houses, Ammanadi, Sivanadi, and Muruganadi . When Sir Ramanathan died in 1924, she took to wearing the white of a Hindu widow, built the Kurinji Andavar temple in her husband’s memory, overlooking the Palani shrine of Lord Muruga and the slopes that would be covered with kurinji flowers, and would worship there every afternoon.
4. Christopher Isherwood
Christopher Isherwood was a novelist, playwright, screen-writer, autobiographer, and diarist. He was also homosexual and made this a theme of some of his writing. He was born near Manchester in the north of England in 1904, became a U.S. citizen in 1946, and died at home in Santa Monica, California in January 1986. Isherwood went on to Hollywood to look for movie-writing work. He also wanted advice from Gerald Heard and Aldous Huxley about becoming a pacifist, and, like them, he became a disciple of the Ramakrishna monk, Swami Prabhavananda, head of the Vedanta Society of Southern California. He decided not to take monastic vows, but he remained a Hindu for the rest of his life, serving, praying, and lecturing in the temple every week and performing many literary chores for the order, including writing a biography, Ramakrishna and His Disciples (1965).
3. Alice Coltrane
In the 1980s, jazz pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane devoted herself to the Hindu tradition, adopting the name Swamini Turiyasangitananda and opening an ashram outside Los Angeles. There she continued to make music—merging Vedic Chants with gospel-inspired singing on cassettes she released through her ashram’s Book Institute. Coltrane’s Ashram tapes have been reissued in various versions since, but now Luaka Bop has compiled selections onto a new compilation, The Ecstatic Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda.
2. Alfred Brush Ford
Before he adopted the name Ambarish Das, he was known as Alfred Brush Ford. His mother is the daughter of Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s son. That makes him a fourth-generation Ford from his mother’s side and a part of one of America’s most iconic families. Back in 1985, Sharmila and Ford were named the top collectors in Indian art by Arts and Antiques Magazine. He had a team of devotee friends who went to India and they would scour different galleries and palaces. He collected paintings, sculpture and art objects for the home and things like that. They were married in 1984. It was a Hare Krishna wedding with the fire sacrifice in front of the deities in a Hare Krishna temple in rural New South Wales, Australia. Many people came, there was a lot of press coverage.
1. I’m a Hindu: Julia Roberts
Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts has converted to Hinduism. She is a confirmed Hindu who now goes to the temple in LA along with her cameraman husband Daniel Moder and their children to “chant, pray and celebrate on a regular basis”. Roberts, who grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father, reportedly became interested in Hinduism after seeing a picture of the deity Hanuman and the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, who died in 1973 and whom she never met. She revealed in the past that the entire Roberts-Moder family went to the temple together to “chant and pray and celebrate.” She then announced, “I’m definitely a practising Hindu.”