John Lennon said his fellow Beatle, George Harrison, would be riding a magic carpet by 40 because of his ever-growing spirituality. Soon, George turned his bandmate on to everything he was learning, and they bonded over it.
John Lennon said it was interesting watching the mystery of George Harrison come out as he became more spiritual
George told CBS This Morning (per Joshua M. Greene’s Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual And Musical Journey Of George Harrison) that around 1965, nothing gave him a “buzz” anymore. He wanted someone to impress him. That’s when he met legendary sitarist, Ravi Shankar.
Shankar plugged George into Indian music, and with that came spirituality.
“Ravi embodied something new for the young musician, something that went far beyond fame and wealth,” Greene wrote. “Ravi was inviting George to examine life through a lens that revealed something extraordinary: that the talent behind his unprecedented success had a higher purpose.
“God is all around us but hidden. If George made the right sound, he could bring God out of hiding.”
After Shankar gave George some religious texts and the Beatle traveled to India to see the culture for himself, he dove head-first into his spiritual journey. Later, George said Shankar gave him a patch-chord that plugged him into God-consciousness.
John saw George’s spiritual transformation. It became clear his new enlightenment wasn’t a passing phase.
In 1968, George invited his bandmates on a retreat to guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in Rishikesh. They all agreed. They were to learn more about the kind of spirituality George couldn’t stop talking about.
“George himself is no mystery,” Greene quoted John saying at the time. “But the mystery inside George is im- mense. It’s watching him uncover it all little by little that’s so damn interesting.”
John joked that George would be riding a magic carpet by 40
George’s commitment to spirituality impressed John.
According to Greene, John joked, “The way George is going, he’ll be flying a magic carpet by the time he’s forty.”
John found his bandmate’s spirituality interesting because he wanted to know more about it. He meditated with George during The Beatles’ stay in Rishikesh.
The pair bonded over spirituality
Heavily meditating in India wasn’t the only thing that John and George bonded over. They once chanted to Krishna for hours until their jaws ached as they sailed through the Greek Islands.
John also let some of George’s friends and members of the Hare Krishna Temple stay at his estate, Tittenhurst. The two Beatles also frequently spoke with their leader, the bhakti-yoga teacher Bhaktivedanta Swami, a.k.a. Prabhupada, the same guru who recorded an album of chants, including the one John and George chanted in Greece.
After The Beatles split in 1970, John and George didn’t see much of each other. However, the last time they met, John surprised George by playing Indian music. Spirituality always connected them, even after John died in 1980.
George’s spirituality taught him that all of his deceased loved ones never truly left him. It later guided him into another plane of existence when he died in 2001. So, technically, John was right. George eventually did ride on a magic carpet.