The Media Project is a network of mainstream journalists who are Christians pursuing accurate and intellectually honest reporting on all aspects of culture, particularly the role of religion in public life in all corners of the world. It welcomes friends from other faiths to such discussions and training.

The West turns to Hinduism

The West turns to Hinduism

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FROM THE DECCAN CHRONICLE. Decades ago photographs of the kurta-clad Beatles wearing marigold garlands at a Rishikesh ashram were splashed across the world’s press. And now, Julia Roberts’ recent statement that she’s a practising Hindu has refocused the limelight on the ancient religion.

The Hollywood sweetheart said that she goes to the temple to “chant, pray and celebrate.” Many westerners on a soul search are now looking beyond joss sticks, Om tattoos and the stereotypical image of a pantheon of a thousand gods to discover the spiritual core of Hinduism.

The Orient always wore the crown of mysticism. But Hinduism is now finding takers in the West as a religion that can provide solutions to contemporary problems of a stressed and distressed life.

Alexander Perevervev, a research scholar at the Dept of Sanskrit in Delhi University, who came to India from post-cold war Russia, after developing an interest in the religion, says that Hinduism provides a totally new world view for people who fail to find answers within their own culture.

“The modern experience of the Western world is very fragmented and people find a need to reconnect. They feel uprooted and are looking for something grounding, that would perhaps make their lives more meaningful,” he says.

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