You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : December 2001

About George Harrison

From: Balakrishnan M (
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 22:46:18 PST

From: "Goloka Candra dasa JPS" 
Subject: [imnews] George Harrison the Hare Krishna 
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2001 04:44:35 +0800 

Wealth and fame 'were never enough' 
(Filed: 30/11/2001 on website of British newspaper The
Daily Telegraph) 

GEORGE HARRISON might have been part of the world's
most famous pop group, but he made up for the
over-exposure of his early years by fiercely
protecting his private life in the post-Beatles
Harrison found solace in Hare Krishna. He often said
that he did not seek fame or riches, and it was the
pursuit of his own space - and something more - which
led to his interest in Far Eastern religion. 
For much of his life Harrison has been a devotee of
Hare Krishna - an interest which was emphasised last
year at the trial of Michael Abram, when it emerged
that the star had shouted a mantra at his attacker. 

The ex-Beatle told the trial: "[Abram] stopped in the
centre of the kitchen and started shouting and
screaming. I made a decision to shout back at him. 
I shouted at him `Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna'." 
His attacker was indeed confused - so much so that he
thought the musician was speaking "in the devil's
tongue", and redoubled his assault. 

For Krishna followers, the chant is a core principle
of their beliefs. The mantra is supposed to cleanse
the mind and free devotees from their anxiety and
illusions in their worship of Krishna, the supreme

Harrison himself said he chanted Hare Krishna
continuously for 23 hours while driving from France to
Portugal. "It gets you feeling a bit invincible," he
said of his mammoth chanting session. He once claimed
the mantra had saved him as he took a nightmare plane
journey during an electrical storm. 

In the Beatles Anthology, Harrison reflected on his
search for religion saying: "When you've had all the
experiences - met all the famous people, made some
money, toured the world and got all the acclaim - you
still think `is that it?'. 

"Some people might be satisfied with that, but I
wasn't and I'm still not." He developed an interest in
India after meeting the renowned musician Ravi
Shankar, reputedly at a party hosted by actor Peter
Sellers. Harrison told Shankar he wanted to learn to
play the sitar. He was invited to India to study the
instrument, and agreed to stay for six weeks. 

He and his then wife, Patti Boyd, flew to Bombay and
checked into the Taj Mahal hotel under a false name,
after he had, on Shankar's advice, cut his hair and
grown a moustache. 

During his stay, during which he visited Kashmir and
Varanasi, he learned basic sitar techniques and met
the master musician's disciples. His studies and the
country had a deep effect on his music and his
beliefs. Boyd also became fascinated and attended a
lecture on spiritual regeneration in London. 

She later convinced Harrison, Paul McCartney and John
Lennon to attend a 1967 appearance by spiritual guru
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the Park Lane Hilton. 
The band subsequently had a private audience at which
he invited them to a ten-day course on his
Transcendental Meditation technique in Bangor, north 
Wales, and also for a three-month stint at his ashram
in Rishikesh, India. 

But the Maharishi's relationship as their spiritual
guru was short-lived. After allegations about his
conduct, the group left the ashram. 

Shortly afterwards, Harrison developed an interest in
the Krishna movement. He met its founder, A C
Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, when he became a 
house guest of the Lennons in 1969. 

Harrison once reflected: "I always felt at home with
Krishna. You see it was already a part of me. I think
it's something that's been with me from my previous

He showed his devotion to the sect on his post-Beatles
hit My Sweet Lord, in which parts of the mantra are

Shankar's friendship with Harrison led to the pair
working together on their fund-raising extravaganza
The Concert For Bangla Desh. 

The idea was to raise cash to ease the humanitarian
disaster unfolding in the east of the Indian
sub-continent, where a military crackdown had been 
ordered in East Pakistan, causing 10 million refugees
to spill over the border. 

Harrison convinced Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Bob
Dylan to perform at the show, in Madison Square
Gardens, New York. 

The event, on August 1, 1971, raised 243,418 dollars
for the United Nations Children's Fund to help
youngsters in Bangladesh. 
>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "Goloka Candra dasa JPS" 
>To: ; 
>Sent: Saturday, 01 December 2001 04:14 
>Subject: A devotee passes on... 
> > "He left this world as he lived in it, conscious
of God, fearless of 
> > and at peace, surrounded by family and friends. He
often said, 'Everything 
> > else can wait but the search for God cannot wait,
and love one another,'" 
> > his family said in a statement. 
> > Harrison died at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at a friend's
Los Angeles home 
> > a battle with cancer, family friend Gavin de
Becker said in statement 
> > released to The Associated Press. 
> > 
> > "I am devastated and very very sad," former
bandmate Paul McCartney told 
> > BBC in London. "I remember all the beautiful times
we had together and I'd 
> > like to remember him like that, because I know he
would like to be 
> > remembered like that." 
> > 
> > Sir Paul McCartney has spoken to George Harrison's
wife Olivia about the 
> > moment his friend died. 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > He said his death was a "great blessing" and a
"very peaceful golden 
> > moment". 
> > 
> > Sir Paul added that he knew Harrison had been ill
for some time and he was 
> > "praying for a miracle". 
> > 
> > The pair lived in the same area when they were
young and grew up together. 
> > 
> > Sir Paul said: "He was a lovely, lovely man. We
know he's been ill for a 
> > while and we've just praying been for some kind of
> > 
> > "It wasn't to be, but I understand from his wife
that he went peacefully 
> > which is a great blessing and it was a very
peaceful golden moment 
> > apparently." 
> > 
> > He added: "I will just miss him but rather than
just dwell on the sadness, 
> > I'm tending to start remembering all the silly
little stories of where we 
> > went, all the things we did, and the laughs we had
> > 
> > "He was a very lovely man who didn't suffer fools
gladly and didn't like 
> > interferences in his private life. 
> > 
> > "He was a great man, a loving man, and I would
like to ask people, 
> > particularly the media, to be very kind to Olivia
and Dhani at the moment 
> > and to try and support them this time, because
they need support." 
> > 
> > Asked to remember the best times they had
together, Sir Paul said: "These 
> > are kind of private stories so I didn't really
want to go (into them). I'm 
> > like George - I don't like to get telling every
private story in the 
> > Suffice to say that we had a lot of laughs
together and he was a beautiful 
> > man, he was like my baby brother to me. I'll miss
him dearly but I'll 
> > remember the great times we had." 
> > 
> > 

Do You Yahoo!?
Buy the perfect holiday gifts at Yahoo! Shopping.

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to