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December 10, 2001 VNN7031 Comment on this story
Memories Of My Sweet George
USA, Dec 10 (VNN) by Mukunda Goswami
George Harrison, a very dear friend and one of the four Beatles, was one of the few musical stars to fully embrace the principles of transmigration of the soul, karma and many other elements of Indian philosophy.
I first met George in 1968 and he immediately remembered the letter that I had written to him before we actually met regarding the 300 copies of the Hare Krishna mantra records, made by Srila Prabhupada in 1966, that the Beatles had ordered. We struck off instantly.
He was so humble despite being part of the world's most popular musical group. What endeared me to him was his spiritual commitment. George has probably done more than any single popular cultural figure in history to spread Indian culture around the world. He became a dear friend of India.
His friendships with Ravi Shankar, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Hare Krishna Movement's founder Bhaktivedanta Swami became part of his lifelong quest to improve the quality of his life on earth.
In fact, some of his songs, All things must pass, The Lord loves the one who loves the Lord, Living in the material world, The art of dying, Here comes the sun, contain the essence of Vedic knowledge in their lyrics. He included the Hare Krishna mantra in his hit record, My Sweet Lord, a song that sold millions of copies and was one of the largest selling records of all time.
Thanks in large part to George's music the Hare Krishna mantra became known in every part of the world. I was a professional musician from 1960-66 and so enjoyed discussing music with him and even exchanged records. George believed in the transmigration of the soul. He saw death not as the end, but “as the same old mob going round and round and round.” His perceptions of a state of being beyond and higher than ordinary consciousness entered into his songs and altered millions of lives. Many times George said, “Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, nor can love for one another.” He was first treated for lung cancer in the late '90s. He had sounds of mantras playing all the time. I met him several times, and his mood was one of thanks that devotees were with him in his last days. I remember the time he visited Vrindavana in April, 1997. He made a parikrama and stayed with me there in the house of friend for about ten days. He toured Vrindavana several times and was very inspired by the ISKCON Krishna-Balarama temple and Srila Prabhupada's samadhi there.
-- The writer is emeritus member of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission and was with George Harrison during his last moments, chanting quietly.
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