John Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980, at his home, The Dakota, in New York City. After his death, the rest of The Beatles were devastated by the loss of their friend. George Harrison in particular was furious about it, and it was because of his religion.
Harrison was featured by director Martin Scorsese in his documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World.
During the documentary, Harrison’s wife, Olivia Harrison, revealed her husband’s thoughts following Lennon’s tragic murder.
She said Harrison was “really angry that John didn’t have a chance to leave his body in a better way”.
It was revealed Harrison did “daily practices” to ensure his transition from life to death would be “easier” for him. This was a practice from his Hare Krishna beliefs.
She went on to say: “George put so much emphasis and importance on the moment of death, of leaving your body. That was very – that’s really what he was practising for.”
Olivia continued: “It’s like the Dalai Lama said something that really made him smile. He said: ‘And what do you do in the morning?’ He said: ‘I do my practice, I do my mantras, I do my spiritual practice.’
“‘And how do you know it will work?’ He said: ‘I don’t. I’ll find out when I die.'”
Harrison was a follower of the Hare Krishna tradition, and this way of thinking stuck with the star until he died in 2001.
Olivia went on: “And it was so great, but it’s like, that was it. [George thought:] ‘I’m practising this so that when I die, I will know how to leave my body, and I’ll be familiar, and I won’t be frightened.'”
Harrison went on: “The thing is, I hadn’t seen him for so long. I mean, for all I know he could still be there now because I didn’t see him for two years anyway. Occasionally maybe he’d send a postcard.”
He went on to add: “It’s knowing he’s on a telephone if you do want to call, that’s the difference.
“Now, you need the big cosmic telephone to speak to him.”
Harrison then explained: “I believe that life goes on. So, to me, I can’t get sad.
“I’m sad I can’t go and play guitars with John, but then I did that anyway. We’ll meet again, somewhere down the line.”
In 2001 Harrison died of cancer, aged 58.