Author Topic: Bollywood latest success story Paoli Dam says her secret is her religion-Buddha  (Read 10265 times)


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Attributing success to Buddhism is not unusual, but it is interesting this Bollywood star practices not the traditional Buddhism, nor Tibetan Buddhism which is quite common in India, but practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a part of the Soka Gakkai International.,10882,0,0,1,0

By Walter Jayawardhana, The Buddhist Channel, May 7, 2012

Mumbai, India -- Bollywood screen’s latest success story,  actress Paoli Dam coinciding with Vesak or as the Indians call it Buddha Purnima told the Times of India that the reason for her success is her religion Buddhism.

In an interview she said, “I have been following this Buddhism for seven years now. Within the initial years of my practice, my life changed completely and new opportunities in my career suddenly opened up. Through Buddhism, I am able to maintain peace and balance in my life. It just feels so good."

Many leading actors and actresses of Hollywood during the last decades have become Buddhists following the preaching of  the Dalai Lama. Films depicting Buddhism was one of the result of their close association with the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

But the spiritual leader of Paoli Dam has been the Japanese Buddhist leader  Dr. Daisaku Ikeda.

The newspaper, with the world’s largest circulation said, “Not many know that Paoli Dam, the new success story in Bollywood, practices Nichiren Buddhism and is an extremely spiritual person. Paoli is a part of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) which is a lay Buddhist organization that promotes peace, education and culture throughout the world.”

The newspaper quoted  her as saying, "Buddhism has been a huge support in my life and whatever I have done till date has only been possible because of my mentor Dr. Daisaku Ikeda and by chanting Nam Myoho Renege Kyo. (Glory to the Sutra of the Lotus of the Supreme Law) It brings out my true spirit from within”

Paoli has been so affected by this wonderful philosophy that she's even introduced her brother to Buddhism! .the Times said.

The IANS news service wrote on her recently, “She is as bold as one can get. But Paoli Dam, who did a full frontal nudity scene in her Bengali movie "Chatrak" last year, says boldness is all in the head. "What is bold for you may not be bold for me. Boldness is a state of mind," Paoli, now the lead actress of Bollywood film 'Hate Story', said to be topped with dollops of sex and violence, told IANS in an interview

The 31 year old Paoli Dam who has completed her post graduate studies in a Bengali university in Chemistry says her parents have approved of her bold acting in the films.

 “I want to do good cinema with good directors and banners. Script matters to me. I am a newcomer and different people have their own way of growing. I don't want to compare myself with anyone. For me bold is beautiful in its own way," she added


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I believe Tina Turner is also a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism. The chanting is apparently very healing and is a form of meditation as well. It's true that many Hollywood actors and actresses are becoming Buddhists because the teachings and practices help them.

The movie industry is not a easy industry to be in. It's actually very competitive and unfriendly. Without wisdom teachings such as Buddhism, people in the industry tend to turn to alcohol and drugs as a form of release from their stress. Buddhism helps us change our perspectives and attitudes which are essential if we want to resolve our obstacles and challenges. In other words, we learn to take charge of our self created problems. It's more empowering.

This is very attractive to learned people as their minds are more inquisitive and trained in logical thinking. I learned that Tibetan Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in North America. Whatever it is, as long as people become more compassionate, it is a good start.


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Well said Klein. However, I wouldn't  go for compassion as a stating point in making the world a better place to live in and for humans to  become better humans.
Buddha's well considered practical  instructions for all is to first discipline ourselves to stop harming others by developing ethics. That is the most important wisdom which is aimed at social responsibility in relation to the society and world we live in since we are only one, while there are countless others' welfare to take into consideration. Before compassion can arise, we first need to love others in the proper way . If we have not developed this basic  quality it will be very difficult for other  higher qualities like compassion to arise. Without it, It will also be difficult for us to stop harming others.


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Ooohh.. I've heard of Nichiren Buddhism before but never really went into it so I decided to google after reading this post. Quite interesting.

Nichiren Buddhism is a form of Mahayana Buddhism named after the priest Nichiren, who devoted his life to the enlightenment and happiness of the entire universe. His basic story is similar in a couple of respects to the historical Buddha credited with the original teachings of Buddhism. Concerned with the suffering of the people all around him, he dedicated years of his life to seeking a way to eliminate their suffering. Once discovered, he made a bold vow to teach this philosophy to others, even under threat of losing his own life in the process. Due to his strong determination to eliminate the suffering of others, Nichiren became a Buddha. After all, that is what a Buddha is -- a person who carries out a determination to eliminate suffering from people's lives. Today, the members of NBAA are following in Nichiren's path; the path of every Buddha. That is, we're committed to finding and using ways to eliminate others' sufferings.

Chanting Namu-Myoho-Renge-Kyo is more than just trying to force a change in the way you think. It is a method of developing your inner spirit. It is at once a form of meditation as well as a determination and a cause (in terms of cause and effect, or karma) to alleviate your suffering, increase your happiness, and impact the lives of others in an extremely profound way.

Because religion has such a significant influence on all of our lives -- the practitioner and those they interact with as well -- by changing the way people believe, we can have a significant impact on the happiness of the world, and also its destiny.

Jessie Fong

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Stories of people who attribute their success to their religion are not something new.  Not many successful and influential people have declared their religious inclination until recently.

What we know is that people who have accepted the religion/faith have attained peace and calmness of mind that have empowered them to stay focused.  So it is not surprising that actors and actresses have benefited.  Many entertainment industry artistes from Hong Kong are also very "into" Buddhism - Andy Lau, Eric Tsang to name a few.

Tenzin K

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People are getting more aware of the important of spirituality. It’s just like what mentioned by Klein that in the movie industry it’s very competitive and they are so many sad story that we could heard from the news about the wrong doing and misbehavior of these celebrities. There are young celebrities into drugs, marriage and divorce or becoming alcoholic. Some just for publicity to gain more front page news. Their life is just for public entertainment. In another way I see them very depress. The most sadden one is they are so famous and wealthy but choose to end their life at very young age or due to depression. This obviously also shown that fame and wealth doesn’t mean that they are happy and the main reason in their life.

More and more celebrities’ practices religious and I saw more and more were into Buddhism.  I’m no surprise but rejoice instead. That also means that they start to understand and appreciate the truth of life and it also proof that spirituality is he cure for their sufferings. 


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Buddhist monk turn professor,Robert Turman,doesn't find the trend of celebrities becoming Buddhist all that out off the ordinary.Celebrities have fewer illusions than the rest of us,who still imagine that wordly success is going to solve all of our problems.Many of these stars have looked to Buddhism because,it  urges and helps them to look inside themselves for treasures and pleasures,rather than depending on some sort of external success for gratification.Rejoice to all of them.


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Found another actress who became a nun and the best part is that the husband supports her and he is becoming a monk as well. It is true, no matter how much one earn, there will never be enough and definitely cannot buy us happiness and health.

For years, she concentrated on making money, then spent it on her parents.

The turning point came when it hit her one day that she could not buy her family real happiness. Her career was consuming her and left her with less time and patience for her parents.

“I suddenly discovered my parents had become older, weaker, since I didn’t know when, as if they could leave me at any time,” she said.

“And what have I given them? What can they take with them?”

This soul-searching led her to Buddhism.

Chen had an epiphany in 1999 when she was in a friend’s car and happened to hear a cassette tape of the Venerable Shi Ching Kung’s lecture on the Infinite Life Sutra.

She flew to Singapore to meet him when he spoke there, and became his disciple.

As she made progress with her Buddhist texts and meditation, “failure and success became unimportant”.

She said in her 2005 interview: “I hope for my life to pass like running water and enter an especially tranquil state: I’ll read, write, be near nature.”

And now she is doing just that.

In a recent statement – signed “Miao Zhen”, her new name as a nun – she said she would devote the next decade to studying Buddhism in seclusion.

When she next meets Hao, they will not be man and wife – just fellow Buddhist students.

“We’ll definitely appear in public. We’ll be engaged in the work of Buddhist education,” said Hao.

There was talk that Chen had breast cancer, which Hao confirmed to the newspaper.

But in her statement, Chen would only say she was “slightly ill”.

Of her new mission, she declared: “I’m taking the most important, most correct path of my life. Becoming a nun is not negative, it isn’t shunning the world. It’s a more positive choice of life.”