I ran across this on Facebook, and being a George Harrison fan, thought I would share it here. -V
I sat with the Beatles overlooking the Ganges. After chai, everyone left except George and me. Sitting alone with him I felt shy, awkward. George was quiet and intense, but friendly. He was then just a few days away from his twenty-fifth birthday. I told him I loved Norwegian Wood and asked him how long he had played the sitar.
“A little over two years,” he answered. “It was when we made Help. We were filming and there was a sitar around. I was curious and fooled around with it on the set. But, the first time I really listened to sitar music was off a Ravi Shankar album. Later, I met him in London and asked him to teach me. He agreed, but it wasn’t until I came here with Pattie, to Bombay where Ravi lives, and studied with him that I really got deeply into it. And into India and all it has to offer, spiritually and otherwise.”
With regard to your question about Bengali style kirtana and mrdanga playing, one or two styles is best. To introduce more styles is not good. It will become an encumbrance. Who is that Krsna das Babaji who is teaching? If we introduce so much emphasis on style of kirtana, then simply imitation will go on. Devotional emotion is the main thing. If we give stress to instrument and style then attention will be diverted to the style. That will be spiritual loss. (Prabhupada letter to Satsvarupa Goswami 30th June, 1976)
In 1972, I had the opportunity to stay for three days at the Allahabad Gaudiya Math. Srila Prabhupada had assisted in establishing this center in the 1930’s. Srila Prabhupada had lived with His family in Allahabad for nearly 13 years, where he had His Ayurvedic Shop. I attended morning and evening programs at the temple. I was surprised that the inmates had sung the same tunes of the mahamantra as we did at 26 2nd Ave. ISKCON temple in 1966. Srila Prabhupada had introduced a distinct morning tune and different evening tune, which were sung at the Allahabad Gaudiya Math. I was so intrigued by this, that I inquired from the head Brahmachari, which person had introduced these two distinct tunes in Allahabad, which were also sung in NYC 1966. The brahmachari replied to me these two tunes, morning and evening tunes, were introduced by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakur Himself. Only then, in 1972, did I realised how important this parampara system was, that even Srila Prabhupada maintained the same tunes He heard from His Guru Maharaj without changing and introducing His own tunes………(Srila Prabhupada wanted Mukunda Maharaj to put these tunes in music script)
” Upon seeing His mothers whipping stick, He cried and rubbed His eyes again and again with His two lotus hands. His eyes were fearful and His breathing quick, and as Mother Yasoda bound His belly with ropes, He shivered in fright and His pearl necklace shook. To this Supreme Lord, Sri Damodara, who is bound with His devotee’s love, I offer my humble obeisances.” (Damodarastakam)
We are now in the month of Damodara (Kartika). In honor and in celebration of the month of Damodara, we will be focusing our attention on the pastimes of Krishna in Vrndavan. Especially Krishna’s childhood pastimes. The following song is sung morning and evening and it is customary to offer a candle or gee lamp as well to a picture of Lord Krsna and Mother Yasoda.
Following song lyrics is a link of Vishnujana Swami chanting the Damodara Prayers
There’ll come a time when all of us must leave here Then nothing sister Mary can do Will keep me here with you As nothing in this life that I’ve been trying Could equal or surpass the art of dying Do you believe me?
There’ll come a time when all your hopes are fading When things that seemed so very plain Become an awful pain Searching for the truth among the lying And answered when you’ve learned the art of dying
But you’re still with me But if you want it Then you must find it But when you have it There’ll be no need for it
There’ll come a time when most of us return here Brought back by our desire to be A perfect entity Living through a million years of crying Until you’ve realized the Art of Dying Do you believe me?