A Beginners guide to spiritual bliss in 16 easy words, or…..
Chant & Be Happy
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna
Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama
Rama Rama, Hare Hare,
Shortly before Christmas I was wandering down Oxford Street with my recently purchased cabbage patch dolls, boxes of chocolates and enough soap to sink the Titanic when I was accosted by a shaven headed sari clad Krsna devotee.
I was about to do a disappearing trick involving a travel pass and a no.9 bus, when the budding swami waved a book entitled “Chant and be Happy”, (the story of the Hare Krsna mantra) under my nose.
This may not seem extraordinary and indeed wouldnot have been if it were not for the fact that emblazoned on the front cover were the words “New Exclusive George Harrison Interview”. As it was the season ofgoodwill I parted with some trappings of a capitalist society and left in an enlightened state…..well enlightened to the tune of £1 anyway.
Being a Beatle fan I quickly turned to the chapter that contained the George interview and was pleasantly surprised. The interview which was conducted byGeorge’s long standing friend Mukunda Goswami took place at Friar Park on 4th September 1982.
George talks about how chanting the Krsna Mantra has brought him happiness and in one case he believes it saved his life. George was on his way to New York from L, A. to organise the Bangladesh concert when the plane was caught in the midst of a raging storm, After the plane had been struck by lightening three times George feared for his life. Then however he started to chant and in his own words……
…. the difference between making it and not making it was actually chanting the mantra,
George desribes himself as a “closet Krsna” and goes on to talk about how he suppressed his spiritual life. As he says “There’s a time to shout it out and a time not to shout it out”.
Another interesting aspect of the interview is the part where George discusses his reasons for producing such Krsna inspired albums as “All Things Must Pass” and “LivingIn The Material World”. As he says the subject of the Hare Krsna religion did not have commercial appeal in most eyes but…
….”I thought just do it. Nobody else is, and I’m sick of all those young people just boogying around, wasting their lives”..
Other aspects include yoga, reincarnation, music, the soul, and George’s friendship with his grace A.C. Bhaktivedonta Swami Prabhupada the man who started the modern Hare Krsna movement and was responsible for bringing it to the west during the 60’s.
Whatever your religious views I thoroughly recommend this publication. Apart from theGeorge interview there are chapters on how the mantra was bought to the west and its early followers such as the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. The Krsna’s involvment in the montreal give peace achance sessions is also chronicled.
There is also a chapter on how to chantthe mantra properly, but if that’s too heavy for you then there are some good colour photo’s of George in the middle of the book, which at $1 are worth having anyway. I must stress however that £1 is only the recommended price for the book,
The money goes towards the upkeep of the Krsna teaching centres dotted around the world, and you are asked to contribute however much you feel like, If you can get a copy and enjoy it then you may want to send off for a mantra meditation kit, or for the real Beatles collector you can write off for a copy of the Goddess of Furtune album which George produced and which features the Hare Krsna mantra,
So if your spiritual being is in need of a repair or even if you just like George Harrison, why not take a trip down Oxford Street,
Paul Wightman [1985 Issue 18].