Srila Prabhupada Cuts a Record

Srila Prabhupada Cuts a Record

(from ‘Broadcasting Krsna’s Glories’ by Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami)

“At the studio, everyone accepted the devotees as a regular music group. One of the rock musicians asked them what the name of their group was, and Hayagriva laughed and replied, “The Hare Krsna Chanters.” Of course most of the devotees weren’t actually musicians, and yet the instruments they brought with them — a tamboura, a large harmonium (loaned by Allen Ginsberg), and rhythm instruments — were ones they had played during kirtanas for months.

So as they entered the studio they felt confident that they could produce their own sound. They just followed their Swami. He knew how to play, and they knew how to follow him. They weren’t just another music group. It was music, but it was also chanting, meditation, worship.

Prabhupada sat on a mat in the center of the studio, while the engineers arranged the microphones and assigned each devotee a place to sit according to his instrument. When the engineers were satisfied, they cued the devotees, and Swamiji began chanting and playing his drum.

The first sound was the tamboura, with its plucked, reverberating twang. An instant later Swamiji began beating the drum and singing, Vande ‘ham sri-guroh . . . .

Then the whole ensemble put out to sea-the tamboura, the harmonium, the clackers, the cymbals, Rupanuga’s bells, Swamiji’s solo singing-pushing off from their moorings, out into a fair-weather sea of chanting. . . . lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca . . . .
Swamiji’s voice in the studio was very sweet. His boys were feeling love, not just making a record. There was a feeling of success and union, a crowning evening to all their months together.
. . . . sri-krsna-caitanya, prabhu-nityananda . . . .

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