Oscar winner Hollywood star Julia Roberts' (Pretty Woman) conversion to Hinduism is among the top-20 "2010 Religion Stories of the Year" list created by Religion Newswriters Association (RNA).
In this list, Roberts (only Hollywood person to make the list) is in the company of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Reverend Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham), etc. RNA release on the subject says: "Hinduism gains more of the spotlight through the...word of star Julia Roberts' conversion to it".
Roberts, who grew up with a Catholic mother and Baptist father, 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. Earlier reports have said that she was a practicing Hindu and entire Roberts-Moder family went to temple together to chant and pray and celebrate. She has a production company called "Red Om Films", and "Om" in Hinduism is the mystical syllable containing the universe. She has been quoted as saying "My opting for Hinduism is not a religious gimmick" and "I have received real spiritual satisfaction through Hinduism".
Well known Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, interpreting wisdom of ancient Hindu scriptures, suggested Roberts to realize Self (through meditation), which was pure consciousness and dwelled in all of us. Real happiness, instead of coming from the outer world, would come from within. Although God was beyond space and time, yet could be found within one's heart through meditation.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that seeing Roberts' devotion, he would pray God to lead her to the 'eternal joy'. If she needed any assistance in deeper Hinduism exploration, he or other Hindu scholars would be glad to help, Zed added.
RNA, founded in 1949 and headquartered at the prestigious Missouri School of Journalism (USA), claims to be the world's premier association dedicated to helping journalists write about religion, and has been preparing this annual list of top religion news-stories for nearly 30 years. Steve Maynard is President.ulia Fiona Roberts, 43, 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. (ANI)