Jyoti Tewari , Canada , 1 July : Entertainment icon Michael Jackson reportedly visited famous Hindu temple in London (United Kingdom) in 1999. , On July 25, 1999, he went to Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Neasden in northwest London and took off his shoes before entering the temple like all other devotees. Masterpiece of exotic design and workmanship, this Hindu temple has been visited by Princess Diana also.
According to a business magnate who accompanied him, “Jackson was clearly taken with the whole ritual of taking off his shoes before entering the temple and the Hindu form of worship.”
Michael later reportedly visited Bhaktivedanta Manor, run by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) near Watford (United Kingdom). This temple, which contains the statues of Hindu god Krishna and his consort Radha, opens at 04-30 am everyday with Mangal Arti and closes with Shayan Arti at 09-30 pm. Besides arti (ceremony performed in adoration of a deity by circular movement of a lighted lamp), devotees here chant Hare Krishna maha-mantra also. ISKCON propagates consciousness of Hindu god Krishna and before initiation; its devotees take a vow of abstaining from intoxication, gambling, illicit sexual connections and the eating of meat, fish or eggs.
Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed argues that Michael’s fondness with poetry of India’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore during the last days of his life, his being vegetarian, his knowledge of major Hindu deities, and his Hindu temple visits appear to pointing his interest in Hinduism and its rich philosophy.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that they would pray for the peace of entertainer Michael’s soul. Michael’s personal life might had been controversial, but he did provide “joy” to a large populace of the world through his music. According to ancient Hindu scriptures: “From joy are born all creatures, by joy they grow, and to joy they return”.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksha (liberation) is its ultimate goal.