Thank you, George
Posted August 16, 2005
Srila Prabhupada once remarked that George Harrison was "more" than his disciple. During his final earthly pastimes in Vrindavan, 1977, Prabhupada took off his gold ring and requested that it be given to George. Due to his sincere and influential devotional service, George Harrison had pleased Lord Krsna's pure devotee, Srila Prabhupada.
"The relationship between Srila Prabhupada and George Harrison was very close, and Srila Prabhupada regarded George as his son. When Bhaktivedanta Manor was donated, Srila Prabhupada said of George, 'Because he has given shelter to Krsna by providing this temple, Krsna will surely provide shelter for him.' 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.'" (From the Bhaktivedanta Manor website.)
Srila Prabhupada appreciated George Harrison's humility and how he sincerely tried his best to utilize his God-given talents to spread the Hare Krsna mantra all over the world. He was bold and convinced in his devotion. Tribhuvannatha Prabhu used to see him quite regularly, and often said that George was very grateful and humble in his dealings. He especially liked prasadam, and never made a fuss about being an important rock star or drew attention to himself. In fact, when he attended public events at the temple, he remained quiet and unassuming. At other times, he was often seen chanting Hare Krsna sincerely on his japa beads.
Many devotees joined the Hare Krsna movement at least in part because of George Harrison. He legitimized Hare Krsna and Indian culture in the West because of his exalted status of being in The Beatles. He broke new ground by introducing the sitar into rock songs, studying under Ravi Shankar, and bringing an ancient wisdom from India into mainstream pop lyrics ("Life flows on within you and without you," etc.). He had long talks with Srila Prabhupada and they both got along well together. George offered many services to Prabhupada, and Srila Prabhupada was noticably pleased.
George Harrison was a devotee of Lord Krsna who Srila Prabhupada once referred to as his "uninitiated disciple." George Harrison was very fortunate to receive some direct service to Prabhupada's mission at such an exciting time in its development. He'll go down in history for his loving devotional songs like My Sweet Lord, which contain the chanting of Hare Krsna. He also produced the beautiful Radha-Krsna Temple Album in London, which many devotees cherished at home before joining the temples. He was a devotee at heart -- an individual who had the courage of his conviction along with an order from Srila Prabhupada to spread the Hare Krsna mantra worldwide. A true success story and a life well lived. Thank you, George. You're dearly loved and appreciated by so many all over the world.