George Harrison Bathed in the Ganges River in India Weeks Before His Death—Later His Widow Scattered His Ashes There

George Harrison made one final pilgrimage to sacred lands in India solely weeks earlier than his loss of life. Throughout his go to, he bathed in the holy Ganges River. Shortly after, on Nov. 29, 2001, George peacefully left his physique for the non secular realm.

After George was cremated and his ashes blessed, his widow, Olivia, and their solely son, Dhani, left for India. They scattered George’s ashes in the identical river he had bathed in weeks earlier than.

George Harrison | Les Lee/Categorical/Hulton Archive/Getty Photos

George Harrison traveled the world earlier than his loss of life

In 1997, medical doctors identified George with throat most cancers. They efficiently eliminated a lump, and George underwent two radiation therapies at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

Not lengthy after turning into cancer-free, George virtually died in a dwelling invasion in 1999, which left him with a number of stab wounds and a collapsed lung.

Docs at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota examined George yearly, however in March 2001, they identified him with lung most cancers. That Might, he underwent profitable surgical procedure to take away a development. Nevertheless, by the summer time, his most cancers had unfold to his mind.

Instantly, George and his spouse, Olivia, began a worldwide seek for remedy. He started receiving “grueling” cobalt therapies for a mind tumor at the San Giovanni hospital in Bellinzona, Switzerland. Amidst all the things, George traveled to attend his son Dhani’s commencement from Brown College in Rhode Island and vacationed together with his spouse in Fiji and Maui.

In November, the Harrisons’ remedy search led them to Staten Island College Hospital in New York. Nevertheless, remedy didn’t work. Weeks earlier than arriving in New York, although, George and Olivia additionally traveled to India one final time.

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George Harrison bathed in the Ganges River weeks earlier than his loss of life

Throughout the summer time, George traveled to India for the final time. In accordance with Rolling Stone, he visited Varanasi, a holy metropolis on the Ganges River, and bathed in the river earlier than returning to Europe.

Weeks later, after receiving remedy at Staten Island College Hospital, George moved to L.A., the place his family and friends got here to see him one final time.

Pals from the Hare Krishna Temple, Shyamasundar Das and Mukunda Goswami, saved a continuing vigil and chanted a mantra to arrange George for loss of life. The previous Beatle was in good spirits however began drifting in and out of consciousness.

On Nov. 28, George’s musical guru, Ravi Shankar, and his daughter, Anoushka Shankar, stayed with George the complete day. The following day, Olivia, Dhani, Das, and Goswami witnessed the profound second George left his physique.

As a really non secular particular person, George was not afraid of loss of life. It was similar to taking your go well with off. The previous Beatle had been making ready to die for years.

When he was prepared to go away the materials world, Olivia stated he lit the room. “There was a profound experience that happened when he left his body,” she defined in Martin Scorsese’s documentary, George Harrison: Dwelling in the Materials World. “It was visible. Let’s just say you wouldn’t need to light the room if you were trying to film it. You know, he just lit the room.”

The devotees chanted away as George’s soul left his physique at about 1:30 p.m. “The mantra – if someone else recites it, or if in an exceptional case you’re so incapacitated that you can’t vocalize it, if you just think it, then it’s equivalent to reciting it,” Goswami advised Rolling Stone. “It’s in the mind, a kind of meditation, so it has almost equal power.”

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Olivia scattered George’s ashes in the Ganges River

Shortly after George died, Olivia dressed him in “traditional Krishna robes, with tulsi leaves placed between his lips and a wreath around his neck in preparation for cremation at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery,” Rolling Stone wrote.

On the approach to the cemetery, the funeral procession stopped at the workplace of Dr. Lee Rosen, considered one of Geoge’s UCLA medical doctors. Rosen performed the autopsy and signed the loss of life certificates. A faux deal with for the place of loss of life was additionally listed, which George’s mates later modified to mirror that George had died in a Studio Metropolis dwelling as soon as leased by George’s former bandmate, Paul McCartney.

That evening, after a brief ceremony of prayer performed by Olivia and Dhani, George’s plain picket casket was cremated. Annette Lloyd, the Hollywood Endlessly Cemetery coordinator, advised Rolling Stone, “We were told everything must be handled in the strictest secrecy and that the arrangments were to remain completely confidential, and that was the way we handled it.”

The following day, there was a memorial service at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine. Then, Dhani and Olivia flew to India to scatter George’s ashes in the Ganges River, the place he’d bathed weeks earlier than, hoping the holy waters would assist him.

“In accordance with Krishna tradition, which prohibits the scattering of ashes over land, reports suggested that Harrison’s remains would be flown to India and dispersed in the Ganges at both Varanasi and the spiritual retreat at Allahabad, where the holy river Yamuna converges with the Ganges and, according to Hindu lore, a third mythic river, the Saraswati,” Rolling Stone wrote.

“He was so Indian,” stated Anoushka Shankar. “So comfortably Indian.”

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