Jai Guru Deva Om

“Everything else can wait but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another.”
G. Harrison

Back in my university years I was very much into Hare Krishna movement, of which I came to know through George Harrison. Although a big fan of The Beatles, I wasn’t particularly interested in George’s music then. So when I first heard his song “My Sweet Lord”, the words “Hare Krishna Hare Rama” sounded strange to me. I had no clue of what it was about, but there was something magical and attractive in the mantra. Then during my first year in the university I received a precious gift from my close friend from Mauritius, Kevin. It was the “Bhagavad Gita as It Is”. In Russian. From that moment on began my journey to the beautiful world of Hindu religion, and particularly the Hare Krishna movement. And of course, George became my favorite Beatle, and today I call him my first guru – the one who awoke me from a deep sleep.

Years passed, and in the end of July of 2008, when I was back in Moscow for a few days after just another hitchhiking trip and getting ready for another one, a friend of mine invited me over to join an event at the Moscow ISKCON temple. A lecture by a man named Prithu Prabhu was scheduled, and in fact the whole event was in his honor, but I didn’t really know who he was.
Prithu Prabhu at ICKSON Temple in Moscow


The lecture was fine, and when the Q&A with the guru was over, I approached him to ask few questions related to Christ and Krishna. We shared some thoughts, and then just as I always did with other Hare Krishna teachers, I asked him one last question:

“What do you think about George Harrison?”
“I knew him,” said Prithu Prabhu and smiled.
“Oh, really?!” I surely wasn’t expecting to hear such an answer.
“Yes, I knew him very well. We were good friends. And sometimes he lived at my house. You know, I can tell you a little story about George. I saw him once carrying a huge luggage, so I told him, ‘George, let me help you.’ And he asked me why should I help him. I said, ‘Well, because big man must not carry such a huge luggage.’ George laughed, saying ‘Ah, but I don’t see any big man here.’ And a few seconds later he added: ‘Everyone must carry his own luggage.’”

Prithu Prabhu laughed and so did I. People passed by us, casting a surprised look at me, a complete stranger on their shores, and this man, engaged in a warm conversation as if we were good old friends.
George Harrison and Prithu Prabhu in Vrandavan India

(image source)

Before leaving the temple, I had another short dialogue with Prithu Prabhu, but this time about Rainbow Gatherings. He expressed his desire to join a gathering in Russia some time. I thanked him for the talk and the stories he shared, and we were about to leave, when all of a sudden he said: “Why, you don’t even want to give me a hug before you go?”

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