George Harrison is well known as the lead guitarist and composer/singer in history’s most successful rock group The Beatles. He wrote some of the band’s best known songs in their later years, including ‘Here Comes the Sun’, ‘Something’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.’
George is also known as a spiritual seeker and embraced Eastern Mysticism for many years during the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s. But this was just a part of his journey. It seems that all along he was seeking the One True God rather than just a ‘religious experience’, and George found him in the final months of his life on earth.
Author Bob Spitz wrote in his book; ‘The Beatles: The Biography’
“Later in life he [Harrison] would become a vegetarian, consult an astrologer, and devote himself to Transcendental Meditation before embracing traditional Christianity.”
When asked for the source of his statement, Spitz stated
“As for the source of George’s return to traditional Christianity, the source was the man himself, conveyed to me some months before he died.”
The Spiritual Seeker
George’s last album was called ‘Brainwashed’. On the cover, he signed his name, followed by two little hand drawn symbols, one a Hindu symbol and the other a Christian cross. The man so well known for following Hindu teaching since the 1960’s was now affiliating himself with Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.
This all backs up what UK evangelist Melvin Banks told me in 2005. Knowing that I was a fan of The Beatles, Melvin said,
“Did you know that George Harrison of The Beatles became a Christian shortly before he died?”
I said that I had not heard that. Melvin went on to explain what he had heard from Louis Palau, the well respected international Christian speaker who held large Billy Graham style meetings in stadiums across the world. Louis related the story of how George Harrison had become a Christian following an encounter with a Christian friend at a racetrack.
The story surfaced again in an article published in The Belfast Telegraph on 26th April 2003 by Derrick Bingham. The writer stated,
“A friend of mine was at a dinner at which the speaker was the international Evangelist Dr Luis Palau. He said that a Christian man was at a Formula One racetrack one day and saw the late George Harrison of The Beatles there.
He happened to have a Christian Devotional in his pocket called “Daily Bread” and decided to give it to George as a witness. He also gave him his name and telephone number and told him to get in touch if he wanted to talk.
George read the Devotional and was deeply interested. He rang the gentleman in question who later prayed with George, leading him to personal faith in Jesus Christ. Palau also maintains that George Harrison said that he wanted to dedicate his song ‘My sweet Lord’ to Jesus. I have often heard the song and the haunting beauty of its chords and wondered who the song was about… Now, to borrow a line from George Harrison’s song my desire is: “I really want to see you, Lord!’ That moment is what I and millions of others across the earth look forward to more than life itself.”
Further information has come from Dr Deepak Chopra, who was a lifelong good friend of George Harrison. Deepak said this of the ex-Beatle in the days prior to this conversion experience;
“So he was living a very simple kind of lifestyle. When he would engage in conversation it was all about spirituality. He was a very, very avid reader and not just an avid reader of Eastern spirituality, but a very avid reader of the Gnostic gospels, the other versions of the historical Christ, the Gospel of Thomas. When he signed a letter he would always put an eastern symbol and also put a cross. He very much had a relationship with Christ as well… All along, he had a very personal relationship with Christ. When he signed off to his personal friends he would always put a [cross] symbol.”
My Sweet Lord
Close friends have revealed that George was a seeker of Christ for some time before he met Louis Palau. Although always a fan of Christ the teacher, it appears that in his final year he also embraced Jesus Christ as the one he claimed to be, God the Son, the Saviour of all people who turn to him. In the Bible, God states,
“Those who seek me will find me.” (Jeremiah 29:13, Proverbs 8:17, Luke 11:10)
The media representation of George is generally of a spiritual seeker who embraced Eastern Mysticism. This was only a part of his journey. It seems that all along he was seeking the One True God rather than just a ‘religious experience’, and George found him in the person of Jesus Christ in the final months of his life on earth. George’s wife Olivia said that the last words George spoke before he died were the words of Jesus recorded in John 13:34, “Love one another.”
George’s awesome single ‘My Sweet Lord’ was originally written in praise of the Hindu god Krishna. It reached number one on singles charts globally in 1971. After his Christian conversion, George changed the emphasis. He told the evangelist who prayed with him that he was re-dedicating the song to Jesus Christ. Following George’s death in November 2001, the song was re-released and topped the charts again in 2002. This time it was in praise of Jesus Christ, God the Son, the Saviour of the World!
Story by Ralph Burden