Hinduism is the third largest and the oldest surviving religion globally with over 1 billion people sticking to their beliefs. For them, Hinduism is considered more like a way of life than a religion.
In fact, the teachings of Hinduism have always attracted people worldwide. Even Apple’s Steve Jobs and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg visited India in a bid to seek spirituality. Also, many Hollywood stars have converted to Hinduism after getting fascinated by the faith.
Religion conveys the principles of ‘faith’ and sometimes, the faith may change based on the circumstances. We’ve seen quite a lot of people renouncing their religious teachings only to convert to some other religions, a change that has been happening since the olden days. Only you can change what you believe in and others shouldn’t inspire you to do so.
There are notable Americans in the list who were not born Hindu but are following Hinduism. Let’s take a glimpse at those Americans who became Hindus.
#1. Kelli Williams
Kelli Renee Williams is a renowned American actress who is known for playing the roles as Lindsay Dole on the legal drama The Practice, psychologist and deception expert Dr. Gillian Foster on Lie to Me, and Jackie Clark on ‘Army Wives’.
The actress liked the teachings of Hinduism and was converted to the religion when she married her husband, Ajay Sahgal, in 1996.
#2. Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Born in New York, the 79-year-old Satsvarupa das Goswami is a senior disciple of Bhaktivedanta Swami. He was the one who founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and in fact, it is well known in the West as the Hare Krishna movement.
#3. Satyananda Stokes
Satyananda Stokes was an American and had practised Christianity. Later on, he became a British Indian as he settled in India and had also actively taken part in the Indian Independence Movement. He was highly inspired by Hinduism and got influenced by Hindu culture.
Even today, he is well known for having introduced apple cultivation to Himachal Pradesh in India, where apples are today the major horticultural export crop.
#4. Julia Roberts
Julia Fiona Roberts who had been practising Christianity has converted to Hindu. She is a popular American actress and producer. She carved out a reputation for herself as a leading lady in Hollywood industry after starring in the romantic comedy film Pretty Woman, which grossed $464 million worldwide.
#5. Krishna Das
Krishna Das is famously known as the “chant master of American Yoga”. He followed Christianity before converting to Hindu. He is an American vocalist known for his performances of Hindu devotional music kirtan.
He has by far released 17 albums since 1996. He has also performed at the 2013 Grammy Awards, where his album ‘Live Ananda’ was nominated for the 2013 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album.
#6. John Coltrane
John was a jazz saxophonist and composer. Early in his career, he worked in the bebop and hard bop idioms. It was him who helped pioneer the effective use of modes and was at the spearhead of free jazz. He converted to Hinduism along with his second wife identified as Alice Coltrane.
#7. David Frawley
David Frawley converted to Hinduism. He is an American Hindu teacher and also a Hindutva activist. He has written several books on topics spanning the Vedas, Hinduism, Yoga, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology.
#8. Renee Lynn
Renee Lynn is a public figure activist, published author, columnist and founder of “Voice for India”. She was born and raised in New Jersey into a Christian family.
Renee fell in love with Indian culture when she paid a visit to the country, later on, she converted to Hinduism and started promoting it in the USA.
#9. Alfred Ford
Alfred Ford is also known as Ambarish Das (converted to Hinduism). How many of us know that he is the heir to the Ford family fortune. He is a great-grandson of legendary business magnate Henry Ford – the founder of the Ford Motor Company.
#10. Geoffrey Giuliano
Geoffrey Giuliano is an American author, radio personality, and film actor. He is best known for his biographies of the Beatles members namely John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison, and of musician Pete Townshend respectively.
In 1997, he changed his legal name to “Jagannatha Dasa”.