Many celebrities across the globe seem to be fascinated by Hindi or Sanskrit words in search of unique tattoos either because of uniqueness or because of their spiritual meanings.
For the uninitiated, Sanskrit is an Indic Language of the ancient Indian subcontinent with a 3,500-year history. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. It is not surprising that these celebrities find Sanskrit words to be profound and with deep meaning.
Here we have compiled list of famous celebrities who chose to get inked with Sanskrit or Hindi words:
1. Angelina Jolie
A verse in Pali on her left shoulder blade.
Angelina Jolie got this tattoo on her back which is written in the Pali script. It translates to this:
“May your enemies run away from yo.
Your beauty will be that of Apsara
Where you may go, many will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides.
If you acquire riches, may they remain yours always.”
2. Miley Cyrus
An tiny speck of ink on her wrist forms the symbol for ‘Om’.
Known predominantly for her unusual antics and outlandish videos, Cyrus too joined the Sanskrit tattoo club when she had the word Om tattooed on her wrist.
3. Katy Perry
The Sanskrit words ‘Anuugacchatu Pravaha’ are tattooed along her right bicep.
While dating Russell Brand, she decided to go along with the British actor to get a tattoo of Anuugacchatu Pravaha which means ‘go with the flow’.
Katy Perry and her fiancé, Orlando Bloom, are expecting their first child.
4. Jessica Alba
A tattoo on her wrist that says ‘Padma’.
The word you see tattooed on Jessica Alba’s wrist here is the Sanskrit word Padma. Padma is the Sanskrit word for lotus. This aquatic flowering plant plays an important symbolic role in yoga and many Indian religions including Hinduism and Buddhism.
It is often seen as a symbol for those who overcome ignorance and suffering in order to find enlightenment and Self-realization. It can be seen as representing purity of body, mind and speech, as it rises above attachment and desire, liberated and full of bliss.
Padma lends its name to padmasana, a yoga posture often used for meditation.
5. David Beckham
An incorrectly spelled dedication to his partner, Victoria, on his left arm.
David Beckham got the name of his wife Victoria tattooed on his arm in Hindi. However the name was spelled incorrectly, but instead of having it changed, Beckham kept it as is.
6. Alyssa Milano
Tattooed below the nape of her neck is ‘Om’.
The word Om is inked just below the nape of the neck of the Who’s The Boss star. Alyssa Milano has often spoken about her spiritual beliefs and the word Om apparently has a deep personal significance for her.
Om is the term originally used to describe the feeling experienced by rishis, or “sages,” during deep meditation.
The physical sensation of sounding or chanting the Om in preparation for yoga invites the practitioner to enter a state of mindful, physical and emotional awareness.
7. Brittany Snow
Above her right ankle is the word ‘Abhay’.
The Pitch Perfect star known for her typically good-girl roles, Brittany Snow has the word Abhay, which means ‘one without fear’ in Hindi, tattooed above her ankle.
8. Gillian Anderson
An unknown word in Hindi is tattooed on her wrist.
It seems she wanted to have a word in Sanskrit tattooed on her wrist. Instead what she got was a word in Hindi the meaning of which she does not know. Reportedly, she is often approached by Indian fans asking her what it means to which she never has an answer.
A verse from the Gita is tattooed down the side of her right leg.
Rihanna’s Sanskrit tattoo was inked by New York artist, Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy, who is responsible for many of the pop star’s tattoos.
But as per Sanskrit expert Mark Fielden, the script, first part of which means “forgiveness, honesty, suppression and control”, is spelt wrong.
10. Vanessa Hudgens
A clever tattoo of the word ‘Om’ which comes together when she joins hands in ‘Namaste’ pose.
Her tattoo is not uncommon, but the style certainly is . When the former Disney princess presses her hands palm-to-palm, a ‘namaste‘, the word Om is formed. Her reasons for the unusual placement of the tattoo was that she wishes to spread positive energy and to center it upon herself.
Given right now during Covid-19 pandemic people prefer to do ‘Namaste’ than a hand shake to greet, she would be making best display of her tattoo.
11. Kimberly Wyatt
She got herself inked at the back of her neck.
The Pussycat Dolls singer has famous Sanskrit shloka ‘Loka samastha sukhino bhavantu’ inscribed on the upper part of her shoulder just below the back of the neck which translates into:
May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom of all.
Interestingly enough, she chose to have the tattoo written phonetically in the English script although the style looks like Sanskrit alphabets.
12. Adam Levine
The word ‘Tapas’ is one of the many tattoos on Adam Levine’s body.
The word Tapas features above Levine’s left pectoral. The word Tapas is derived from the root Sanskrit verb ‘tap’ which means ‘to burn’, and evokes a sense of ‘fiery discipline’ or ‘passion’.
Once Maroon 5 lead singer Levine explained the meaning of the word Tapas, he said, it means the inner fire. While the world has different meanings in different contexts, but to Levine it’s about his own determination.
13. Russell Brand
The same as Katy Perry’s, the phrase ‘Anuugacchatu Pravaha’ is tattooed along his right arm.
14. Theo Walcott
Theo has got not one but two Sanskrit tattoos.
First one is a heart-warming dedication to his family below his right hand.
“Beautiful, Blessed, Strong, Intelligent”, dedicated respectively to his sister Hollie, his father Don, his brother Ashley, and his mother Lynn are the words tattooed on his wrist.
Arsenal football player’s second and more recent tattoo shows a Sanskrit chant inked vertically down his back and it has been praised by many Indians. Unfortunately, his ‘Om Namah Shivay’ tattoo has also raised a few eyebrows on social media for its grammatical error. Walcott shared a picture of his tattoo on Twitter with the caption, “Open your heart, shed fear, hate or envy, to experience everlasting joy & happiness.”
Om Namah Shivaya is one of the most popular Hindu Mantra and the most important mantra in Shaivism. Namah Shivaya means “O salutations to the auspicious one!”, or “adoration to Lord Shiva”, or “universal consciousness is one”.
Walcott’s tattoo misspelled the “shivaya” as “shavaya” which changes the meaning dramatically – from God’s name to “dead body.”
15. Tommy Lee
It’s ‘Om’. Again.
Last but not least, we have Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe. The symbol Om is written right below his belly button.