Uploaded on Jan 4, 2010
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"My Sweet Lord" is a song by former Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison from his UK number one hit triple album All Things Must Pass. The song is primarily about Hindu God Krishna. It is ranked #454 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time."
Early in the song, the background singers repeat the Christian and Jewish word of praise, "Hallelujah". Later, the background singers chant two Vaisnava Hindu prayers:
Hare Krishna/Hare Krishna/Krishna Krishna/Hare Hare/Hare Rama/Hare Rama
This prayer consists of part of the principal mantra of devotees of the Gaudiya Vaisnavite faith, popularised in the Western world by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), colloquially known as the 'Hare Krishnas'. Harrison was a devotee of this religious path.
The mantra in full is "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare."
Gurur Brahmā, gurur Viṣṇur, gurur devo Maheśvaraḥ
gurus sākṣāt paraṃ Brahma, tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ
This prayer is chanted by Hindu devotees prior to beginning any action, after hymns to Ganesha and Sarasvati. The prayer is dedicated to the spiritual teacher of the devotee which is equalled with the Hindu Trinity Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva (Maheshvara) and with the Supreme Cosmic Spirit or Absolute Reality (Brahman). The prayer translates as:
The teacher is Brahmā, the teacher is Viṣṇu, the teacher is the Lord Maheśvara, Verily the teacher is the supreme Brahman, to that respected teacher I bow down.
The prayer is the first verse of the Guru stotram, a fourteen verse hymn dedicated to the spiritual teacher.
Various Christian fundamentalist anti-rock activists have objected to the chanting of 'Hare Krishna' in the song as anti-Christian or satanic while some born-again Christians appear to have mistakenly adopted the song as an anthem.
During his live performances of "My Sweet Lord", Harrison has tried to engage his audience into the practice of "chanting the holy names of the Lord" (kirtan):
Breaking into the thundering rhythm guitar intro to My Sweet Lord, Harrison would soon begin to invite the cheering, largely stoned crowd to chant the holy name of the Lord. Few responded. Switching messiahs midstream, he would then rocket into the famous Krishna Hallelujah chorus and begin singing, Om Christ, Om Christ, Om Christ over and over, adding, I know a lot of you out there think thats swearing, but its not! If we all chant together purely for one minute, well blow the roof off this place.
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