"Really want to see you lord But it takes so long my lord"
My Sweet Lord
GEORGE HARRISON was a longtime friend of the Hare Krsna movement, often calling himself a "plainclothes devotee." Already interested in Eastern philosophy and music, he heard the 1966 recording Srila Prabhupada made with disciples. George would later recall in a November 1980 interview the impression that album, Krishna Consciousness, made on the Beatles:
"I remember singing it [the Hare Krsna mantra] just for days, John and I, with ukulele banjos, sailing through the Greek islands Hare Krsna. Like six hours we sang, because you couldn't stop once you got going. You just couldn't stop. It was like as soon as you stop, it was like the lights went out."
George was inspired to help the devotees of Krsna even before meeting Srila Prabhupada in 1969. He produced and recorded the Radha Krishna Temple album, featuring the London devotees. One of the songs from that album, "Hare Krishna Mantra," went to the top of the charts in several European countries. For many people, including many future devotees, this recording was their first contact with the names of Lord Krsna. On Srila Prabhupada's request, another song, "Govindam," is played in all ISKCON temples around the world for daily morning audience with the deities.
George included the chanting of Hare Krsna in his famous song "My Sweet Lord" and introduced the holy name to millions. He met Srila Prabhupada on numerous occasions and visited ISKCON temples around the world. He is also recognized for donating Bhaktivedanta Manor outside London to the Krsna consciousness movement for use as a temple and ashram. And he helped publish Srila Prabhupada's books and wrote introductory words for Prabhupada's book Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Many devotees are reflecting on George Harrison's contributions to Srila Prabhupada and his movement and remembering with appreciation his efforts to introduce Krsna's names around the world. For many of us, it was George who sparked our interest in Krsna consciousness, and we owe him our thanks.
Visit www.krishna.com for more on George Harrison, including expressions of gratitude by devotees.
George on Chanting Hare Krsna
Excerpt from an interview conducted by Mukunda Goswami in 1982.
Mukunda: As a practitioner of japa-yoga, what realizations have you experienced from chanting?
George: Prabhupada, acarya [spiritual master] of the Hare Krsna movement, told me once that we should just keep chanting all the time, or as much as possible. Once you do that, you realize the benefit. The response that comes from chanting is in the form of bliss, or spiritual happiness, which is a much higher taste than any happiness found here in the material world. That's why I say that the more you do it, the more you don't want to stop, because it feels so nice and peaceful.
Mukunda: What is it about the mantra that brings about this feeling of peace and happiness?
George: The word Hare is the word that calls upon the energy that's around the Lord. If you say the mantra enough, you build up an identification with God. God's all happiness, all bliss, and by chanting His names we connect with Him. So it's really a process of actually having a realization of God, which all becomes clear with the expanded state of consciousness that develops when you chant. Like I said in the Krsna book some years ago, "If there's a God, I want to see Him. It's pointless to believe in something without proof, and Krsna consciousness and meditation are methods where you can actually obtain God perception."
Mukunda: Is it an instantaneous process, or gradual?
George: You don't get it in five minutes. It's something that takes time, but it works because it's a direct process of attaining God and will help us to have pure consciousness and good perception that is above the normal, everyday state of consciousness.
Mukunda: How do you feel after chanting for a long time?
George: In the life I lead, I find that I sometimes have opportunities when I can really get going at it, and the more I do it, I find the harder it is to stop, and I don't want to lose the feeling it gives me.
For example, once I chanted the Hare Krsna mantra all the way from France to Portugal, nonstop. I drove for about twenty-three hours and chanted all the way.