George Harrison the Hindu, or George the Son of Hari?

BY: GADI DAS (ACBSP) - 11.5 2020

The GBC recently posted an article on George Harrison… "The Hindu Beatle". It promped this reponse:

Those of us who were around at the time of Sriman George's surrender to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, never uttered the word 'Hindu', never considered ourselves Hindus, and certainly, in our craziest dreams, never thought of George as a Hindu. Prabhupada clearly defines all that is temporary in this world, and Hindu is a modern term that has evolved to define a race of people living in a certain area in India. It has nothing to do with the soul and the soul's journey to enlightenment… Krishna Consciousness, or more clearly defined as the consciousness of being in love with the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna.

There simply was no Indian influence in Iskcon at that time. I know that sounds odd, but it was wonderful. So simple.

When I opened a preaching center in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1973, I met a couple Indian families who became regulars at our little temple. At that time there were only 60 "Hindus" in Charlotte… now there are, as far as I have learned, more than 60,000 families. Things have changed. We unfortunately cannot claim to have made 60,000 sons of Hari, from good ol' American born, usually white, but not exclusively, in all of America through all these 50 years or so.

The Indian culture is very strong, having it roots in the Vedas. They have a natural affinity for assisting each other in ways that are illusive to us. They are intelligent, know how to organize, they don't waste their time at bars and frivolous pursuits. They know how to make money, they are determined to succeed. So it is not hard to see how they saw an opportunity of a weak Iskcon, losing its properties, step in and save the day. They are smart, crafty and respectful… But they have changed the identity of our simple, singular focused movement that was free from demigod worship… only Krishna… given to us compassionately by His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada.

Back in the day, when Brahmananda found himself in South Africa, he wrote to Prabhupada that many Indians have come forward and want to donate to build a temple. Prabhupada wrote back… 'Stay away from them, they only want to do this because of custom and sentimentality. Go out and make African devotees…. I am the only Indian in Iskcon!'

So what would Srila Prabhupada say today, seeing the condition of things… the western people becoming Hindus instead of sons of Hari?

The teachings of Lord Caitanya are so amazing… far beyond the confines of material definition. Prabhupada came to give us the association of Vrajavasis… that requires some understanding, and is far beyond the material designation of a group of people who live in a certain area in India called Hindus, or Indus if you like.

We are spiritual entities, tiny parts of the Supreme Soul, Lord Sri Krishna. We are being directed to take the path of the Rupanugas. We must regain that identity. We are not Hindus. We are only servants of the servant of the servant of the Lord of the gopis… who serve only their Lord Gopinath. We should never consider ourselves anything short of that, certainly not part of some religious organization that has become shockingly and depressingly Hinduized.

Hinduization is only one of Iskcon's ills… to get back to the essence of our sampradaya is not easy, but there are some who have understood this, we are some of them… You are invited to join fb… send requests to Gadi das fb… We broadcast live twice a day. Thanks.

Gadidas ACBSP 1971