Goldie Hawn Visits Varanasi
For immediate release
Oscar winner Hollywood actress-director-producer Goldie Hawn (Private Benjamin) visited Varanasi (India) over the weekend, considered the most sacred spot on earth by many Hindus, reports suggest.
Hawn, 63, according to reports, went around ghats (wharfs) taking pictures and writing notes, including famous Dashashwamedh Ghat, and standing with folded hands watched Ganga arti (Hindu ceremony performed in adoration of a deity) from a boat.
She also reportedly visited an ashram (hermitage) where she offered flowers to the portrait of a late guru, whom she first met in 1982 and who imparted her lessons in astrology and spirituality. She knows Varanasi for about 27 years but this visit was after a gap of about five years, reports suggest.
Oscar nominated Hollywood actor Richard D. Jenkins (The Visitor), MTV nominated Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) and Emmy nominated Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck) also visited Varanasi last month and attended Ganga arti. Jenkins reportedly offered diya (lamp) to holy river Ganga and was apparently moved by the city.
Welcoming Hawn and other Hollywood celebrities visiting Varanasi, acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that since Hollywood had worldwide reach, Hollywood bigwigs should become familiar with at least basics of world religions to understand the feelings of their audiences better. Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Hollywood and other celebrities to immerse in Hinduism but taking it seriously and with respect and not just using it as a fashion statement.
Varanasi, also known as Kasi, probably one of the oldest cities on the earth, finds mention in ancient Hindu scripture Mahabharata. Situated on the holy river Ganga, this city of Shiva contains hundreds of Hindu temples and is also linked to Brahma and Sati.