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Julia Roberts is 'sadhavi' and her children Mahalaxmi, Ganesh, and Krishna!

Julia Roberts is 'sadhavi' and her children Mahalaxmi, Ganesh, and Krishna!

Publication: NewKerala.com
Date: September 24, 2009
URL: http://www.newkerala.com/nkfullnews-1-117956.html

Names of Oscar winner Julia Roberts' (Pretty Woman) three children are Mahalaxmi, Ganesh, and Krishna Balram now, according to reports.

Before she landed in India on September 17, their names were reportedly Hazel Patricia (4.5 years), Phinnaeus Walter (4.5 years), and Henry Daniel Moder (2 years) respectively.

Roberts is currently shooting at Ashram Harimandir hermitage, spread over 28 acres in Pataudi, about 60 kilometers from India's capital Delhi, for "Eat, Pray, Love" based on Elizabeth Gilbert's spirituality/travel memoir of the same name. Founded by ascetic Swami Amardev in 1920, this Ashram is currently headed by Swami Dharam Dev, and it has its own consecrated temple and gaushala (cowshed) and offers "spiritual development" and runs a Sanskrit learning center. Gilbert reportedly spent four months in an India ashram few years back, trying to find her spirituality.

Welcoming Roberts to India, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed urged her to explore Hinduism further. Deeper study of Hinduism would complement her interest in yoga and other things Indian, Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, added. In January last, Roberts sported a "bindi" (vermillion mark on forehead) during her trip to India. She has a production company called "Red Om Films", and "Om" in Hinduism is the mystical syllable containing the universe.

In published pictures, Roberts is seen sitting at Swami Dharam Dev's feet looking like a "sadhavi" (virtuous woman). When she reportedly went to seek his blessings, Swami was quoted as telling her to step into sadhvi's role in her real life whenever she was in self-doubt. Swami also reportedly suggested her to adopt prayers, meditation, sadhana (spiritual endeavor), and yoga in her real life and take all good things she learnt at Ashram back to USA. She reportedly introduced her children to Swami with the names of Mahalaxmi, Ganesh, and Krishna Balram, who said that Roberts was very impressed with Indian culture. Swami reportedly tied raksha-sutra (sacred protective thread) on their wrists.

For the success of the shooting and the film, Roberts reportedly launched the India leg of the shooting with a hawan (a fire sacrifice), which Rajan Zed says is central to Hinduism. She reportedly did puja (worship), cooked dal-roti (pulse-Indian thin bread) at langar (community lunch), performed kirtan (religious chanting), visited Hindu temple, offered prayers along with her children, learnt to say "namaskar" and "Hari-Om", was seen wearing ruddraksh (seeds of the tree Eleocarpus ganitrus) mala (rosary), ate with her bare hands, found Gulab-Jamun (an Indian sweetmeat) to be her favorite. She is said to have transliterated the 182-verse Sanskrit chant in English, which she has to recite as part of the script, and is said to be rehearsing it. Her living area in the nearby hotel has reportedly been furnished with a unique yoga center per her wishes. Roberts reportedly commented: "India is really amazing."

Rajan Zed has applauded Roberts for launching the shooting with a hawan and actively participating in it with her three children, and showing keen interest in Hinduism.

People of India will be anxious to see how perfectly Roberts does her job of cleaning ashram (hermitage) floors as a part of her devotional duty, trying to recite 182-verse Sanskrit chant, and going through grueling hours of meditation while being feasted on by mosquitoes as mentioned in Gilbert's memoir. Although Gilbert did not disclose the name of the ashram where she stayed in her book, but it is widely guessed that she stayed at Gurudev Siddha Peeth at Ganeshpuri (Thane district) in Maharashtra (India).

Directed by Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck), "Eat, Pray, Love", aimed at a release in 2011, also stars Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men), Richard Jenkins (The Visitor), Viola Davis (Doubt), Billy Crudup (Almost Famous), James Franco (Pineapple Express), Luca Argentero (Lezioni di cioccolato), etc.

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