Some Famous Western Hindus

I saw the following post about Julia Roberts being a Hindu:

Julia Roberts Is A Hindu Julia appears in this month’s issue of Elle. She says her whole family goes to the temple to “chant and pray and celebrate. I’m definitely a practicing Hindu.” How does she feel about reincarnation? “Golly, I’ve been so spoiled with my friends and family in this life, next time I want to be just something quiet and supporting.” … Read Original Article

This made me think about other famous Western Converts to Hinduism. There are quite a few of them listed on Wikipedia. Here is a little bit about some of them.

John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin

John, also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin is a Jazz fusion guitarist. He formed a group called the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He played with Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix and as a backing player to the Rolling Stones.

He still tours and plays, his eclectic repertoire including recording a ballet score, Thieves and Poets, in 2003.

Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley was the British Author famous for writing “Brave New World“, a science fiction dystopia warning about the dangers of a world run on utilitarian ethics to maximise happiness for most people – even if that means altering their perceptions of what happiness is. He became a vedantist, following the teachings of Swami Prabhavananda. He was a friend of Christopher Isherwood, another Western convert to Hinduism.

George Harrison

George Harrison

George Harrison probably doesn’t need any description. Famous as a member of the Beatles he went on to have a successful career as a solo artist, his hits including “My Sweet Lord”. He was a devout devotee of Sri Krishna until his death in 2001.


There are many more: Ricky Williams – Miami Dolphins football player, Ambarish Das (born Alfred Ford) – American businessman, great-grandson of Henry Ford, and John Dobson – astronomer and telescope designer, to name a few. Looking through the list on Wikipedia it is clear that Westerners from all walks of life have found their way to Sanatana Dharma, the eternal way.

31 responses to “Some Famous Western Hindus

  1. Actually I don’t think she’s a practicing Hindu like she claims to be. Her movie is just up for release and we all know how celebs are like. I think it’s a just publicity stunt. However that being said, it hasn’t gone down too well with the christians based on online comments. I hope she’s for real but doubt it.

    • You could be right, time will tell!

    • Well, I watched Oprah today, a special episode on Eat, Pray, Love. This episode is after she “came out” and not a single word during the WHOLE show did she mention she was Hindu. I must say Oprah gave her several segways to share he religious views and not a peep!. In fact, she made one of the most un Hindu statements when Oprah asked a a question about what she likes to “Eat” and she said “Well last night I had the biggest steak and made me grin” =O

      So, I say big publicity scheme and she is no longer “Hindu”.

    • I believe she is genuine…I should know…

    • So tel me Dhurga-what right do you have to call yourself a Hindu?Because you have Hindu parents.As far as I am concerned Julia Roberts and others are more Hindu than you-they chose Hinduism….which makes them more authentic than you.So sit back and relax and continue to live your half-Hindu life and let the real Hindus express themselves……

      • Natisha Patel

        Steve, I agree.. I am a practicing Hindu and it always makes me smile when I see those who choose to be Hindu rather than are born into it doing their daily practices. It encourages me to be more active in my beliefs. So thank you for pointing this out. It had to be said and I am so glad someone said it! 🙂

        • Hi Natisha:I didn’t mean to be blunt or offensive-I apologize. It’s just that I am so passionate and at the same time so confident that Hinduism is going to make major impacts around the world in the years to come-our belief is quite different from the Abrahamic faiths…Sufism (branch of Islam) comes closet to Hinduism…we are the spiritual essence of Brahman,the all enveloping essence of who we really are….we are not “children” of some mighty (male) God watching our every move striking fear into us.It is this belief that drives me and others towards Dharma- the essence of Godliness…Thank You!

      • Shekhar kushwaha

        Hinduism is different from other religion which is in practice today..hinduism basically teach us how we can live our life in best possible way without hurting other religion…we not only care about ourself but also care about the other people who is practicing other religion too..hinduism never teach anything which hurt other people..the main base on which hinduism work is karma what I do to other the same will happen to me …

  2. You know what Tandava?

    i just came now to tell u bout this..n u have already posted it 😀

    n we know why “christians” will hate this

    a big 😛 to them

  3. Celebrity conversions can be such two-edged swords. I think a lot of westerners, particularly celebrity-types “become” Hindus because they see it as being less “invasive” to their chosen lifestyle – sometimes it affects them and they change their lifestyle to match their beliefs i.e. George Harrison being a good example. However, most times I see many celebrities choosing “Buddhism” or “Hinduism” – just so they can “check the box” and go on living exactly how they want. There are so many who say that they’re Hindu or Buddhist – but really don’t know what that means……(BTW – I’m a Catholic Christian and her conversion doesn’t bother me as much as my failure as a Christian, along with many others who call themselves Christian, to live up to to our own standards and to be an inspiration instead of deterrent that drives people like Julia away from Christianity)

    • Hinduism is not a cake walk as you imagine.According to Upanishad,it is walk on a Sharp-edged razor of the Barber. Don’t interpret Sanathana dharma with materialistic-religious view.
      Most of the intellectuals are attracted to Sanathanadharma(Hinduism) for its intellectual appeal and not to fix any belief.

  4. I find it odd that anyone would think that being a Hindu would be less invasive to someone’s lifestyle. It really is a way of life, and should be incorporated into your whole life. It is difficult, I struggle and sometimes fail to live up to the yamas and Niyamas (restrictions and observances) of Hinduism.

  5. Nandikesh Chandrashekharan

    Namaste, Tandava,

    I came across a statement that said J.D. Salinger was a Hindu. Not a peep about it since. Julia has stolen the thunder of the mass mind.

    Om Namasivaya,

  6. Thanks for sharing, nice words.

  7. Namasthe:

    1————Any one who searches after truth is automatically a Hindu, since Hinduism is the RELENTLESS SEARCH AFTER TRUTH.

    2————So as far as I am concerned millions of SEEKERS OF TRUTH are Hindus, even though they do not know they fit the definition of a Hindu.

    3————-Julia Roberts, Aldous Huxely, George Harrison, Robert Oppenheimer [ father of Atom Bomb ], Shirley MacLaine etc fill the pattern of people SEARCHING AFTER TRUTH ending up in Hinduism.

    4————Nobody is forcing them to become a Hindu. Nobody is brain washing them………Like a bee ending up in full blossom flower seeking honey , people end up in Hinduism since it is very enticing to people who search after truth.

    5———–Hinduism is NOT an organized religion like Islam or Christianity but CULTURE, a WAY OF LIFE.

    6———–Not even one Hindu scripture proclaim monopoly on truth or God………Instead they repeatedly stated those things are universal.

  8. Hinduism is great it is proud to be hindu

  9. Angela Mohanrajan

    never knew how much peace I could find intill I went of a spirtual quest with my husbands surport and relized his way of life was right for me to.

  10. Angela Mohanrajan

    A person can say they are what ever relgion they want to say they are , but the truth lies in ones own heart and is not for any other to decided or to poke at .

  11. Hmm,, hope ur right angela.!!, i am in my base roots nw, by 2016 il bring back the world into the right pathway. Il b on fire horse with a lightnening sword in my hand.. Sweeping the evil from the hearts, replacin everlasting love,.

  12. @Dhurga

    How do you define a practising Hindu? It’s impossible.

  13. happy to learn julia a hindu now.hope her life becomes divinely blessed

  14. Pingback: Not all Western Hindus are white Hindus | Western Hindu

  15. I do not think it is right to judge whether x person is really a Hindu or not. I could question any of you and very possibly find some things wanting in the context of being a “good Hindu” practitioner. This is Kali Yuga and next to no one is squeaky clean.

  16. type sadhu chellapa in youtube search you will get more information about what u are talking

  17. Anantha Moon

    The list is endless actually.people have a wrong conception that all westerner is christian but in reality there r hardly any christian left. The list goes…George Harrison, krishna das,bhagavan dads,ram das,Steive jobs,Garry brilliant, cheb i sabbah,goa gil,radha Mitchell, Alice coltrane , Alfred ford,Tulsi gabbard,John Mclaughlin,Al grocery khan,Prem Joshua, jai uttal,Jerry Garcia,

  18. Let not our sanathan dhan look like a product that is being sold in the market by the best Sales person.
    Practice it in an unadultered form and preach it all, not with the intention to convert but to allow them to bring themselves closer to Eshwara(God)

  19. Another Famous Western Hindu is the late great Jazz Musician
    Alice Coltrane aka as Swamini Turiyasangitananda.
    Founder of the Vedantic Center, Agoura, CA

  20. Shekhar kushwaha

    Hinduism is different from other religion which is in practice today..hinduism basically teach us how we can live our life in best possible way without hurting other religion…we not only care about ourself but also care about the other people who is practicing other religion too..hinduism never teach anything which hurt other people..the main base on which hinduism work is karma what I do to other the same will happen to me …

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