I am focused on something else when from a TV playing in the background a single  opening note pierces my concentration. Although it may have been 30 years or more since I last heard it I think I immediately recognize the song, and the second note confirms it. It is “Season of the Witch” by Donovan, one of the signature songs of the psychedelic era in the 1960s. It was one of those songs that although a reading of the lyrics now seem pale or like a chemical analysis of a dead body, at the time it  seemed to embody the yearnings of a generation searching for the truth, an identity.

“When I look out my window,
what do you think I see?
And when I look in my window,
so many different people to be.
Its strange,
sure is strange.”

Now to hear it being used in a commercial was a little disconcerting, disconcerting enough that I didn’t even grasp what the commercial was for, though it was a bunch of electronic gizmo zombies staring into their plastic gods. Society has become even more soulless than it ever was with the youth firmly in the grip of the electronic opiates.

Donovan actually met Prabhupada.

“Through George Harrison, another famous pop singer and musician, Donovan, was drawn to come and see the renowned leader of the Hare Krsna movement. Donovan, accompanied by a musician friend and their two girl friends in miniskirts, sat in awkward silence before Prabhupada. Prabhupada spoke: “There is a verse in the Vedas that says music is the highest form of education.” And he began to explain how a musician could serve Krsna. “You should do like your friend George,” Prabhupada said. “We will give you the themes, and you can write the songs.” Prabhupada said that anything, even money, could be used in the service of Krsna.”

SPL 42: Developing Mayapur

If only someday I will develop enough attraction for the maha mantra that on hearing the first note I will be drawn out of my own mental miasma and have such an affinity for it.

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