By His Example
The Wit and Wisdom of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
One day the phone rang at Betterton Street. It was Rock Scully calling for Shyamasundar. He talked quietly in the corner for a few minutes, hung up the phone, threw his arms in the air, and started shouting, "Hare Krishna!" and dancing around the room.
"Wow!" Shyamasundar exclaimed, "That was Rock calling from their new place in Earl's Court. He and Kesey and the gang have got a meeting set up down at Apple tomorrow with the Beatles -- and he said I could tag along!"
The next day Shyamasundar was really nervous as he prepared to leave for Apple. The girls had baked a cake topped by a green apple and the words HARE KRISHNA made of frosting. We soothed his nerves with comments about how Krishna would help him, and saw him off down the stairs.
Shyamasundar describes his first meeting with George Harrison.
I had some trouble getting admitted into the Apple offices -- finally Yoko Ono drove up in a white Rolls and told the guard it was okay to let me in. I told the receptionist I was with the group from San Francisco, and she said, "Oh, you mean those, er, fellows with the, uh, motorcycles?" and pointed up some stairs to a large reception room. When I waked in, the place was packed with about fifty people -- rock stars, elegant ladies, Carnaby Street hippies, guys in suits -- and our San Francisco crew spread out among them. I greeted Rock, then took a seat at the far end of the room, away from two doors at the opposite end, behind which everyone said the Beatles were having a meeting and would be out shortly. Hours passed; no Beatles.
Finally, one by one, Paul, John, and Ringo each stuck their heads out of one of the doors then quickly bolted for the exit, not pausing or speaking to anyone. A few minutes later, George poked his head out, and those famous, intense dark eyes quickly scanned the room and alighted on me. Before anyone could react, George had shot out of the door, crossed the room, and come straight at me, grinning and saying, "Hare Krishna! I've been waiting to meet you!"
He sat down, and we started yakking a mile a minute, as if we were old friends meeting after a long time. The other people in the room were stunned and came over to gawk silently while we shot the breeze. Rather than nervous, I felt marvelously fluent, chosen, and wonderfully happy! George related how he often listened to the Happening record of Prabhupada leading Hare Krishna Mantra with the New York devotees. He described an incident that had happened to him a year before, when a light plane he was in suddenly lost altitude and started to crash, and George began shouting "Hare Krishna!" at the top of his lungs, and the plane leveled out just before hitting the ground. I answered some of his questions about philosophy, we had a few laughs, then he invited me out to his home in Esher on the coming Sunday and sketched a map to his place on a napkin. I also invited him to Betterton Street to meet the other devotees when he could find the time.
(To be continued.)
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