There is an interesting story that I wrote about. It took place when”Govinda” first came out, when the recording was first released. I was inEngland, and Yamuna was in England, and we sent this recording to the devotees in Los Angeles to show how we were really preaching big time to the Beatles and had done this record. But the devotees in Los Angeles didnít want Prabhupada to hear this, because they thought it was very strange that a womans voice would be leading the Hare Krishna mantra. And so they didnít let Prabhupada hear it. So, one morning, just before the greeting of the Deities, Prabhupada was sitting on his vyasasana. When the Deity doors open in Los Angeles, there is a big billow of incense smoke from the charcoals. The devotees use a lot of incense, and when they open the doors, it kind of pours out like a big cloud coming out.So, right before this, Prabhupada said, “What about that record that the devotees sent from London?” He had heard about it. So they told him, “It is just Yamuna singing; we don’t want you to hear it.” And they added, “There is no place to play it.” So he said, “Just play it on the system, the speakers.” They said, “Okay” and very reluctantly went and fetched the recording and played it. And it was just at the right time, and the song is about five minutes long. As the Deity doors opened, Prabhupada was sitting on his vyasasana, and he didn’t say a word. He just listened with his eyes closed. And devotees got to see streams of tears coming down his cheeks. And that day Prabhupada ordered that the song be played in all temples all over the world at the time of greeting the Deities.
George Harrison Interview: Hare Krishna Mantra–There’s Nothing Higher (1982)
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Beatles and Hare Krishna
George: It’s really the same sort of thing as meditation, but I think it has a quicker effect. I mean, even if you put your beads down, you can still say the mantra or sing it without actually keeping track on your beads. One of the main differences between silent meditation and chanting is that silent meditation is rather dependent on concentration, but when you chant, it’s more of a direct connection with God.
The Science of Self Realization
Foreword By Mukunda Das
From the very start, I knew that His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda was the most extraordinary person I had ever met. The first meeting occurred in the summer of 1966, in New York City. A friend had invited me to hear a lecture by “an old Indian svāmī” on lower Manhattan’s Bowery. Overwhelmed with curiosity about a svāmī lecturing on skid row, I went there and felt my way up a pitch-black staircase. A bell-like, rhythmic sound got louder and clearer as I climbed higher. Finally I reached the fourth floor and opened the door, and there he was.
About fifty feet away from where I stood, at the other end of a long, dark room, he sat on a small dais, his face and saffron robes radiant under a small light. He was elderly, perhaps sixty or so, I thought, and he sat cross-legged in an erect, stately posture. His head was shaven, and his powerful face and reddish horn-rimmed glasses gave him the look of a monk who had spent most of his life absorbed in study. His eyes were closed, and he softly chanted a simple Sanskrit prayer while playing a hand drum. The small audience joined in at intervals, in call-and-response fashion. A few played hand cymbals, which accounted for the bell-like sounds I’d heard. Fascinated, I sat down quietly at the back, tried to participate in the chanting, and waited.