Here’s a look at some of the famous Buddhist Celebrities in Bollywood and their quotes on Buddhism, to inspire you. Buddhist philosophy makes human life happy that’s why celebrities are turning to Buddhism.
Buddhist Actors in Bollywood: Famous Bollywood stars who followers of Buddhism, who rule millions of hearts through their best acting. These Bollywood Buddhist celebrities are popular all over the world.
If seen today, people of every religion live in India, in which the number of people who followers of Hinduism is the highest. Apart from this, the number of people who follow Islam in India is also very high. This is the reason that today every big movie star of Indian cinema is mostly Hindu or Muslim.
But this does not mean that there are no stars who followers of Buddhism in Indian cinema. Today there are many celebrities who followers of Buddhism, whose fan following is in crores. By the way, today there are many famous stars in South Indian cinema who are Buddhist including actors like Poonam Bajwa, Chetan Kumar and Hansika Motwani.
In India, movies are made in a total of 24 languages, including Hindi movies. This article only covers Buddhist celebrities from Bollywood (Hindi cinema). Buddhist actors in Hindi cinema
Although the majority of Buddhists in India are Ambedkarites ‘Navayana Buddhists’, most of the film celebrities in the country are Nichiren Buddhists. These celebrities follow different Buddhist traditions. Buddhist philosophy makes human life happy that’s why celebrities are turning to Buddhism.
Buddhist actors in Bollywood
1. Danny Denzongpa
Tshering Phintso “Danny” Denzongpa (born 25 February 1948) is an Indian actor, singer and film director who primarily works in Hindi films. He has acted in over 190 films since 1971. In 2003, Denzongpa was awarded the Padma Shree, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour. His film career spans more than 4 decades.
He was born into a Buddhist family in Sikkim, and still practices Buddhism. He is one of the most senior Buddhist actors in India. In an interview, Danny Denzongpa said, “I credit my parents and teachers for my upbringing and Buddhism. People call it a religion today but it is really a philosophy. I try to find peace in my work. I never rush into things.” (Source) Indian celebrities who practice Buddhism
2. Anita Raj
Anita Raj Khurana (born 1962) is an Indian actress and daughter of Jagdish Raj, whose notable roles include Films Prem Geet (1981), Ghulami (1985), Zara Si Zindagi (1983), Zameen Aasman (1984) and Masterji (1985). She is known for playing Rajmata Devvadan Singh Deo in Ek Tha Raja Ek Thi Rani and Kulwant Kaur Dhillon in Choti Sarrdaarni. She did maximum movies with actor Dharmendra.
Anita Raj is a follower of Buddhism. Even at the age of 59, he is also very conscious about his fitness. In an interview to ETimes TV, Anita Raj had said that her day begins with the chanting of Buddhist mantras. “Personally, I go crazy when it comes to fitness. I want to be fit. I don’t forget to make time for fitness. I love getting up in the morning. I wake up at 5:30 and chant Buddhist mantras. I chant.” (sources → 1, 2, 3) Buddhist actors in world
Jeetendra (born 7 April 1942) is an Indian actor and producer who is known for his work in Hindi films. Famous for his dancing, he was awarded a Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 and the Screen Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. He also serves as the chairman of the Balaji Telefilms, Balaji Motion Pictures and ALT Entertainment. Actor Jeetendra is a follower of Nichiren Buddhism. Similarly his son Tusshar Kapoor is also a follower of Nichiren Buddhism. (source)
4. Paoli Dam
Paoli Dam (born 1980) is an Indian actress who started her career with the Bengali television serial Jibon Niye Khela (2003). She is a Bengali actress. She has acted in many Bengali films and Bengali TV serials. She has also worked in some Hindi films. Paoli Dam is a follower of Nichiren Buddhism and also follows Buddhist philosophy. She gives full credit of her success to Buddhism. She has also introduced his brother to the beautiful and wonderful philosophy of Buddhism.
In 2012, in an interview Paoli Dam 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.” “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 Dam practices Nichiren Buddhism and is an extremely spiritual person. Paoli is a part of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI).” (Sources → 1, 2, 3, 4)
Mandakini (born 1963) is a former Bollywood actress. She is best remembered for her role in the 1985 movie Ram Teri Ganga Maili. She was born in an Anglo-Indian family in Meerut. Her father, Joseph is British and her mother is Muslim. In 1990, She married a former Buddhist monk, Dr. Kagyur T. Rinpoche, and has embraced Buddhism. She now runs a Tibetan herbal center in Mumbai. Also teaches Tibetan Yoga. In her short film career, the actress has acted in over 40 films. (sources – 1, 2)
6. Tusshar Kapoor
Tusshar Kapoor (born 1976) is an Indian actor and producer who appears in Hindi films. He is a follower of Buddhism. He opened up about the new phase of his life, and his take on Buddhism, in a chat with an entertainment website. Tusshar said, “I think a lot of it is also due to Buddhism. I am a follower of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism. I chant, I study and the book I am reading right now is called ‘Human Revolution’. It makes you sorted and a nice person in a way. The negativity from your life evaporates and you start focusing on what is important to you, your immediate family and your priorities become very clear.” (sources – 1, 2) indian celebrities following nichiren buddhism
7. Tisca Chopra
Tisca Chopra (born 1973) is an Indian actress, author and film producer. She follows Nichiren Buddhism and claims that it has increased her faith in humanity. She feels that Buddhism is a philosophy of great hope and self-actualisation which is very necessary for modern life. She also chants the mantra Nam MyoHo Renge Kyo every day.
Tisca Chopra says, “Buddhist philosophy answers all questions about life that I ever had, in the most complete way.” She introduced several other television colleagues to the philosophy including Manav Gohil and Shweta Kawatra. She said, “I am sure life will pose many questions in the future but now I am certain, I will never be without answers. Buddhism makes me deeply confident in my existence.” (sources → 1, 2, 3, 4) Bollywood Celebs Interested in Buddhism
8. Ayushmann Khurrana
Ayushmann Khurrana (born 1984) is an Indian actor, singer, writer and television host who works in Hindi films. Ayushmann Khurrana and his wife Tahira Kashyap are followers of Nichiren Buddhism, which has provided the fuel to fight their battles against cancer. Buddhism has also helped Khurrana articulate his journey as an actor better. “I practice Nichiren Buddhism. It has taught me that you have to be mentally strong. It has an impact on your physical being. It (cancer) was a minor frustration for me. But I accepted it truly. I decided that I will not live in denial and hide it from the world,” says Tahira, who was detected with DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) with high grade malignant cells last year. (sources – 1, 2, 3, 4)
9. Shibani Kashyap
Shibani Kashyap (born 1979) is an Indian singer, who is actively working in Bollywood film industry. She has Judged a reality singing show named Bathroom Singer. Shibani feels that Buddhism has made her a happier person. “Of course, the material rewards came with the practice but for me the real reward was being able to connect with my inner self.” Shibani whose belief in Nichiren Buddhism has strengthened over the years points out that a sizeable portion of the industry. (sources – 1, 2)
10. Siddharth Jadhav
Siddharth Jadhav (born 1981) is a Marathi actor and comedian. He has acted in television, Marathi and Hindi films. He also acted in a Bengali movie named Ami Subhash Bolchi. This actor with a Buddhist background is very popular in Maharashtra. He had once said in an interview that he came from a Buddhist community that believed in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Siddharth Jadhav is one of the leading Buddhist actors in Marathi cinema. Famous Marathi Buddhists
11. Sweta Keswani
Sweta Keswani (born 1983) is an Indian film actress, dancer and model, who is known for her roles in Hindi TV shows, Bollywood films and TV commercials. Shweta says, “There are many branches of Buddhism but essentially Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism that I practice is a religion for the 21st century. It is a process of transforming the self by chanting a mantra and through that changing not only ourselves for the better but our environment as well. Chanting gives me the clarity to see what action I should take and how I can make both myself and the people around me happier and more fulfilled.” (sources – 1, 2) buddhist actors in india
12. Shweta Kawatra
Shweta Kawatra (born 1976) is an Indian film actress, model and television presenter. She practices Buddhism and is a member of the Soka Gakkai of Japanese Buddhism. She is married to TV actor Manav Gohil. She was suffering from baby blues when she became a mother, but Buddhism helped her a lot to recover from this problem. At this stage of her life, Buddhism saved her. “Practising Buddhism helped me a lot; I would chant whenever I felt I needed strength. I was able to elevate my own life conditions and balance everything at one time and be happy,” says Shweta. (sources – 1, 2, 3) Buddhist celebrities
13. Manav Gohil
Manav Gohil (born 1974) is an Indian television actor. He has been active in the Hindi film industry for more than a decade and is best known for his roles in Hindi television shows, including the soap opera Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii, the dance reality show Nach Baliye 2, the crime drama C.I.D., and the drama Shaadi Mubarak. He is married to TV actress Shweta Kawatra. Manav Gohil follow Nichiren Buddhism. (sources – 1, 2)
14. Hansika Motwani
Hansika Motwani (born 1991) is an Indian actress who mainly appears in Tamil films, alongside Telugu and Hindi films. She made her film debut in Telugu cinema with Desamuduru (2007) and became the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Filmfare Award. Hansika Motwani follows Buddhism. She was quoted as saying in an interview, “The best way to effectively de-stress for me is to chant – Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo, as I strongly follow Buddhism.” Chanting has helped her personally and professionally. Hansika Motwani is one of the famous Buddhist actresses in South India. (source – 1) Buddhist actress in Bollywood
Buddhist actors and actresses in Bollywood
15. Shraddha Das
Shraddha Das (born 1989) is an Indian film actress, model and singer who appeared in different film industries like Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and Malayalam. Shraddha follow Buddhism and she has revealed that another bubbly beauty Poonam Bajwa (south actress) has introduced her to Buddhism. In an interview, she described herself as a Buddhist.
The lockdown across Maharashtra to combat the second wave of COVID-19 has affected the celebrities as much as the man in the street. Shraddha Das, who is currently in Mumbai, says she’s having a tough time, but Buddhist chants are helping her cope with the situation. “Those 20 days were a test of endurance, and the anxiety took a lot out of me.” Shraddha says she has been practicing Buddhism, and if it hadn’t been for this, she would have gone crazy. “It (Buddhism) gave me a different perspective about life and made me stronger.” “I chant Nam myoho renge kyo. It gives me peace, strength and makes me stay composed,” she shares. (sources – 1, 2, 3)
16. Rajesh Dhabre
Rajesh Fattesingh Dhabre is an Indian musician, singer, lyricist and social activist as well as an Ambedkarite-Buddhist from Maharashtra. He composes Bhima Geeta and Buddhist devotional music. His albums ‘Buddha Hi Buddha Hai‘ (2010) and ‘Siddhartha‘ (2013) focus on Buddhism. In 2016, on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, he released the album ‘Saranam‘, which was the first tribute paid by Bollywood to Babasaheb. He served as the Commissioner of Customs in Mumbai. Rajesh Dhabre is currently the Director General of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Research and Training Institute (BARTI), Pune. He is the Managing Director of Sant Rohidas Leather Industries Development Corporation Limited, Mumbai.
17. Akshara Haasan
Akshara Haasan (Born 1991) is an Indian film actress who has appeared in Hindi and Tamil-language films. She is the daughter of actor Kamal Haasan, and the younger sister of Shruti Haasan. She follows Buddhism and describes it as “a way of life and in an individuals way of life”. Buddhist actors in Bollywood
18. Abhijeet Sawant
Abhijeet Sawant (born 1981) is an Indian singer, television actor, anchor and the winner of Indian Idol (Season 1). He was the first runner up of Clinic All Clear – Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar and finished third in Asian Idol. Born into a Marathi Buddhist family in Mumbai, Abhijeet is an amazing singer. He sings Hindi and Marathi songs. buddhist celebrities
19. Usha Jadhav
Usha Jadhav (born 1984) is an Indian film actress who predominantly works in Marathi and Hindi language films. She is best known for her role in the 2012 Marathi film Dhag for which she won National Film Award for Best Actress at the 60th National Film Awards. In 2019, she received the IFFI Best Actor Award (Female) at the 50th International Film Festival of India for her work in Mai Ghat : Crime No 103/2015. Usha Jadhav is a Marathi Buddhist actress who is also heavily influenced by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. In 2020, on Ambedkar Jayanti, she had said that she believed in Babasaheb’s teachings and ideology.
20. Meiyang Chang
Meiyang Chang (born 1982) is an Indian actor, television host, singer, and dentist. He is a third-generation Indo-Chinese, originally from Hubei Province, China. He was born into a Buddhist family in Jharkhand and considers himself a Buddhist. famous buddhist celebrities
21. Barkha Madan
Barkha Madan (Born 1974) is a former Indian model, film actress and film producer who has appeared in Hindi and Punjabi language films. She has also been Miss India finalist. Impressed by Buddhist ideologies, in November 2012 she had her ordination to become a Buddhist nun.
In an interview after becoming a nun, she said, “The fundamental of Buddha Dhamma is based on love, compassion, and equanimity. For that matter whether you believe this religion or that religion, we human beings are equal, who need to learn to co-exist. With fear, harmony is impossible. We need trust. Trust is the basis of compassion. Distrust brings fear. Fear brings violence. Fear brings loneliness and depression. We all come from the same place. We have to learn to respect the source”. (Source)
Indian celebs that converted to Buddhism
22. Nagraj Manjule
Nagraj Popatrao Manjule (born 1978) is an Indian film director, actor, producer, scriptwriter, poet, screenwriter, filmmaker and he works in the Marathi Cinema, best known for his Marathi film Sairat, short-film Pistulya for which he received National Film Award in Non-Feature Film category. He is strongly inspired by B. R. Ambedkar. He believes in the ideas of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and the teachings of Buddhism.
23. Devika Punjabi
24. Rinzing Denzongpa
Rinzing Denzongpa (born 1989) is an Indian Bollywood actor who made his acting debut in the 2021 Hindi film ‘Squad’. He was born in Sikkim to a Buddhist family, and is the son of famous actor Danny Denzongpa.
25. Alankrita Shrivastava
Alankrita Shrivastava (born 1979) is an Indian screenwriter and director. Having made her debut as a director in 2011, she has since won such accolades as the Films de Femmes Grand Prix and a nomination for a Filmfare award. She was 21 when she started practising Buddhism. (Sources – 1, 2)
26. Sanjiv Jaiswal
Sanjeev Jaiswal (born 1972) is an Indian film director and producer who predominantly works in Hindi films. He believes in the thoughts of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar and the teachings of Buddhism. He produced or directed the films Fareb (2005), Anwar (2007), Shudra: The Rising (2012), and Pranaam (2019). His web series Ambedkar – The Legend is also coming in which actor Vikram Gokhale will be seen in the role of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.
27. Nandita Das
Nandita Das (born 7 November 1969) is an Indian actress and director. She has acted in over 40 feature films in ten different languages. Nandita Das is an atheist. She claims she has no religious affiliation – “If I aligned with anything it would probably be Buddhism,” she said. She did vipassana, a practice so ancient that it was rediscovered by the Buddha. (sources – 1, 2)
28. Shilpa Shukla
Shilpa Shukla (born 1982) is an Indian film and theatre actress from Bihar. She is known for her roles in the 2007 sports drama Chak De! India and the 2013 neo-noir film B.A. Pass, for which she was awarded the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress. She comes from a Bihari family. Shilpa Shukla follows Buddhism in her personal life. Shilpa’s brother Tenzing Priyadarshi is also a Buddhist monk. (Sources – 1, 2)
29. Deeksha Joshi
Deeksha Joshi, a beautiful actress from the Gujarati film industry, is a follower of Buddhism. She has acted in many Gujarati films and also in a few Hindi films. She was born in 1992 in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) and later her family moved to Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
The Dhollywood actor who has been following Nichiren Buddhism for a few years now has ever since been grateful for everything around her. She had revealed in her social media post that she is practicing Nichiren Buddhism. On February 17, 2020, Deeksha wrote in her post –
#WordThatDefinesToday ‘FAITH’ – As a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism, faith, practice and study form the 3 main pillars. Today, I will tell you a little about Faith.
Faith, is grounded in the experience of applying Buddhism and seeing improvements in the quality of your life. It is an ongoing effort to orient one’s heart toward the ideals of Buddhahood. Like, bringing out your inherent potential for good, or the ability to transform any negative circumstance into a source of growth and benefit, and a life dedicated toward helping others do the same.
Nothing is impossible, if you have FAITH.
30. Kailash Waghmare
Kailash Waghmare is an Indian film actor. He has acted in films, short films, one-act plays and plays. In the drama ‘Shivaji Underground in Bhim Nagar Mohalla’, he played the role of a fanatic Mawla (solder of Chh. Shivaji). After this, he entered the Marathi film industry with the film ‘Manatlya Unhat’ in which he played a leading role. After this, he played central roles in Marathi films like ‘Half Ticket’, ‘Dry Day’, ‘Bhikari’. He played the comic character of ‘Chulatya’ in the Hindi film ‘Tanhaji’.
Note : New names are constantly added to this post, and this post is always updated.
However, if you think any name should be on this list write it (with references) in the comment box.
On Dhamma Bharat, there are over 70 Buddhist celebrities in India, and you will find their information in the following different articles.
- Buddhist Celebrities in Bollywood (Hindi version)
- Buddhist Celebrities in South Indian Cinema (Hindi version)
- 50 Buddhist Celebrities in Indian Cinema and TV (Hindi version)
- Gujarati celebrities who converted to Buddhism
- Buddhist actors in India (in Marathi)
- Buddhist singers in India (in Marathi)
- 25+ Marathi Buddhist Artists (in Marathi)
- Top 5 Buddhist Economists in India (in Hindi)
- 5 Great Buddhists of the Twentieth Century (in Marathi)
- 50 Quotes by Dr. Ambedkar on Buddhism
- Top 10 Most Popular Singers in India – Pantheon report
- बौद्ध धर्म से सम्बंधित अन्य लेख
- डॉ. आंबेडकर से सम्बंधित लेख
Articles are written on ‘Dhamma Bharat’ in Marathi, Hindi and English:
(धम्म भारत के सभी अपडेट पाने के लिए आप हमें फेसबुक पर फ़ॉलो भी कर सकते हैं।)