For a lot of celebrities, living life under a harsh spotlight can be extremely difficult. Many artists, be it in Hollywood or Bollywood, have opened up about the physical and mental toll of fame. However, a lot of celebrities have embarked on the path of spirituality to deal with their personal and professional issues.
From the pop star who found solace after her near-fatal overdose to the actor who first met a spiritual leader in prison, take a look at the celebrities who have opened up about embracing spirituality
Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has been associated with the Art of Living Foundation for many years. According to the foundation’s website, the actor was among 300 inmates of Pune Jail who had sought lessons from spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, when he was serving his sentence for his involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts. Sanjay has since then appeared in many events held by the foundation. In 2019, he along with the spiritual guru started the #DrugFreeIndia campaign. The actor has often tweeted about his involvement in the foundation as well.
After suffering from a near fatal drug overdose and battling eating disorders for years, actress and pop star Demi Lovato has credited her well-being to spiritual healing. In her documentary Dancing With the Devil, Demi said that she embraced spirituality over the 2020 lockdown which has helped her with mental health. In an interview with New York Times, Demi said, “This last year provided me so much self-growth and was so beneficial to my spiritual evolution.” She also regularly practices meditation and often posts about her sessions on social media.
Shahid Kapoor is an ardent follower of Radha Soami Satsang Beas. In fact, it is common knowledge that he met his wife Mira Rajput through the organisation and her family also follows the same organisation. Shahid doesn’t usually talk about his private life but in a 2017 interview with GQ, he said, “I have issues with situations I can’t control. But at the same time, I have this spiritual side where I know that nobody has control. I believe in that – that there are larger powers at play and you can participate in life, and try and mould it, but you can’t define what’s going to happen.” Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Shahid and Mira, along with their family had a tradition to spend some days attending Satsang in the organisation at Punjab.
Pop-star Lady Gaga has often opened up about dabbling in spirituality. The songstress who lives with chronic fibromyalgia and mental illness has talked about how her faith has helped her navigate life. She had previously also opened up about reading the works of controversial spiritual leader Osho or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “Oh yes Osho! I read a lot of Osho’s books and I have been reading a lot about (Osho’s views on) rebellion, which is my favorite so far. And how creativity is the greatest form of rebellion in life. Its important to stand up for what you believe in and to fight for equality. Equality is one of the most important things in my life – social, political, economic equality – these are all things I fight for in my country as a citizen. So I read Osho because not only do I love his work and what he writes about, but I guess I am kind of an Indian hippie!" More recently, she has found her spiritual awakening in Christianity.
Bollywood star Vinod Khanna temporarily left showbiz at the peak of his career to join Osho or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh at ‘Rajneeshpuram’ in Oregon, United States. The actor, who had frequented Osho’s Pune Ashram, gave up his worldly possessions as well as family in 1982 to live life as an ascetic. According to Mahesh Bhatt, who had introduced him to Osho, Khanna found solace in the organisation after the sudden death of his mother. In Rajneeshpuram, he worked as a gardener. However, Khanna soon returned after Osho’s cult landed in trouble with the US Government and the leader was deported after the alleged act of bio-terrorism against people of Oregon. When asked about his decision by Simi Garewal, Khanna said, “Everybody has to travel alone. You come alone. You go alone.”
Hollywood star Julia Roberts first came in close contact with Hindu spiritual practices when she visited India in 2011 while shooting Eat Pray Love. She has since called herself a Hindu. “I’m definitely a practising Hindu. 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 had said. Julia also said that her family visits a temple in LA to “chant, pray and celebrate on a regular basis.”