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Chapter 11: Allen Ginsberg

Śrīla Prabhupāda Uvāca 11
Allen Ginsberg

Summer, 1973, Bhaktivedanta Manor, England

Allen Ginsberg, having just returned from India, came to see Śrīla Prabhupāda. He brought his harmonium with him.

"You are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa?" Śrīla Prabhupāda asked.

"Yes, I still chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and I am chanting some other things, too. Is it all right if I play the harmonium for you and chant?" Ginsberg asked.

"Yes, you can do," Śrīla Prabhupāda replied.

Ginsberg played the harmonium and chanted "Ooooommm." Each time he chanted "Om" his voice got deeper. Śrīla Prabhupāda leaned back behind his desk and listened. When Ginsberg finished, Śrīla Prabhupāda said, "You can chant whatever you want to chant. Just keep chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa. As long as you are chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, everything else is all right. You can chant whatever you want, but don't stop chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa."

By then, many devotees had entered the room. Śrīla Prabhupāda told them, "So have kirtan." Ginsberg began playing the harmonium and leading the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. A few minutes later, Śrīla Prabhupāda looked at Hamsadutta and said, "Your turn to lead." Turning to Ginsberg he said, "He'll lead. He'll chant."

Śrīla Prabhupāda knew how to encourage everyone regardless of orientation and background. His Divine Grace always inspired us on the path back home, back to Godhead.

Jai Śrīla Prabhupāda!