A minute of meditation to remember George

Ian Herbert,North
Tuesday 04 December 2001 01:00

From the Ganges to the Mersey, the spiritual power of George Harrison revealed itself in a one-minute act of collective meditation to mourn his passing.

Liverpool, which is still grieving for John Lennon, does the minute's silence profoundly well but Harrison's wife and son, who will receive most of his £200m fortune, asked for something more profound. A minute's "real meditation" of the Hare Krishna faith which The Beatles' lead guitarist first made widely known in Britain.

The city obliged. A candlelit vigil at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts involving pupils from his old schools was followed by rousing renditions of Beatles hits on the steps of St George's Hall, then some devout meditation.

Permanent city memorials are also under way: an oak tree at St George's Hall, with a possible music scholarship; and a park or building in his name.

Harrison's ashes were being borne to the northern Indian city of Varanasi – one of the holiest places in Hinduism – early today by his widow, Olivia, and son, Dhani.

Mother and son were to descend the 80 ghats – steps – to the river, for the ritual sprinkling of ashes on the river's surface before immersing the urn in the Ganges, then conveying it to the town of Allahabad for more immersion in the Sangam, a holy confluence where the Ganges meets the Yamuna River and the mythical Saraswati River.

The 58-year-old left the bulk of his fortune to his wife and son, the New York Post reported yesterday, though up to 10 per cent went to the Hare Krishna faith. The newspaper also said "several million" pounds would be left to charities.

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