3 facts about George Harrison’s Krishna connection

by Divyanshika Dhawan, Class 8th

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear of George Harrison?

Beatles..

Rock Music..

Fame, Success, Luxurious life..

Yes you are right…

Member of the greatest boybands of all time, the Beatles, which became a household name in the late 1960s-70s, George Harrison undoubtedly had a life that everyone wants to live. Fame, money, power, fans, you name it.

The Beatles

But something was still missing. Harrison was searching for that.

He was always captivated by Indian philosophy, culture, and religion. This interest grew, and towards the end of the 1960s, George got involved with the Hare Krishnas.

That was a life changing moment for him. He immediately developed a liking towards the devotees, to the process and to the chanting of the Hare Krishna mahamantra.

George Harrison with the Hare Krishna Devotees in his studio, Apple Records, London

In an interview to Mukunda Gosvami, Harrison said

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 Krishna mantra all the way from France to Portugal, nonstop.”

Although people got a hint of his devotion towards God, little do people know that George Harrison was strongly connected to the Krishna Consciousness Movement and to its Founder-Acharya, HDG AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

George Harrison with ISKCON’s Founder-Acharya, Srila Prabhupada

So much was his connection that just before Srila Prabhupada left this world in 1977, he removed the ring on his right hand and said to the disciples around him, “This is for George, give it to him.”

Some of his contributions in the Hare Krishna movement

George Harrison donated $19,000 for the first printing of the Krishna Book

Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead tells the story of Krishna’s life from Srimad-Bhagavatam, as a collection of beautiful readable short stories and illustrations. It forms a biography of the supreme Lord and is read by millions worldwide. It was published in 1970 by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. The publication was financed through a contribution of $19,000 from him. He also wrote a beautiful foreword to the book

KRISHNA Book, ofwhich George helped in publication

Bhaktivedanta Manor, headquarters of ISKCON London was donated by George Harrison

When the London temple in Bury place started getting small for the massive number of devotees, there was a need to have a bigger temple. After much search, a palatial property was finalised in Watford, which is today known as the Bhaktivedanta Manor, the largest UK center of ISKCON. George helped to purchase the place.

The Bhaktivedanta Manor, Watford, London

Harrison produced The Radha Krishna Temple, ISKCON’s first hit album, which made Hare Krishna a household name

The album, The Radha Krishna Temple was recorded in George’s studio — Apple Records. He produced and helped in the distribution. The album raked up the billboards charts and became hit, dominating for weeks in Europe.

He also sold multiple solo records like, “My Sweet Lord”, “Govindam Adi Purusham”, “Awaiting on you all”, and even an album dedicated to spirituality called “All things must pass”. He also recorded the Hare Krishna Mahamantra along with fellow devotees in the London Temple and released it as a single. He was deeply influenced by Vaishnava culture and tried to preach this message to his audiences in whatever way he could influence them.

Even when he was attacked with a knife at his home in 1999, he was chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra. On Thursday 29th November 2001, George sadly passed away in Los Angeles due to cancer.

I hope to get out of this place by the Lord Sri Krishna’s grace. My salvation from the material world.”Living in the material world (his song)

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