The Most Spiritually Important Entertainer of Our Time

George Harrison transformed the spiritual landscape by making eastern spirituality cool

BY: Steven Waldman


George Harrison--long thought of as the third most talented and the fourth most popular Beatle--was the most spiritually significant entertainer we've known.

The evidence can be seen in every health club in America that offers yoga, every athlete who meditates before the game, everyone who shops at a holistic health food store, and every rock star who gives a benefit concert. It was George Harrison and the Beatles who popularized Eastern spirituality and later crafted a different role for the American rock star. He took Indian religious practices from being counter-culture weird to pop-culture cool.

In His Own Words
Harrison on spirituality, meditation, and more.
Deepak on George
Deepak Chopra on his friend's relationship with eastern religion and Jesus Christ.
My Life As "a George"
Amy Cunningham talks about identifying with "the quiet Beatle."
How much do you know about the spiritual side of the Fab Four?
"It would not have happened" without Harrison, says Deepak Chopra, the Indian doctor who himself popularized so many Eastern concepts. "Overnight they made the world aware of Indian spirituality."

How did George Harrison--"the quiet one"--end up having such a colossal impact on the American spiritual landscape?

Harrison was baptized a Catholic and attended mass with his mother. But at an early age, he seemed to grow restless with the faith. "[Although] I almost became Catholic when I was eleven or twelve, I couldn't relate to Christ being the only son of God," he once said.

His first spiritual awakenings, he would later report, came through the drug LSD. "Up until LSD, I never realized that there was anything beyond this state of consciousness. First time I took it, it just blew everything away. I had such an overwhelming feeling of well-being, that there was a God and I could see Him in every blade of grass."

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