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Indians featured on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band cover

Marilyn Monroe in the trailer for the film The Prince and the Showgirl (Source: Wikipedia)

The Beatles and especially George Harrison had a prolonged interest in Hindu spirituality. This is evident in the cover art of their legendary 1967 album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". The image includes a number of icons and celebrities including everybody from Sigmund Freud, Edgar Allan Poe, and Laurel & Hardy, to Marilyn Monroe, Karl Marx, David Livingstone, and many others. Sequestered within this list of luminaries are a number of Indians connected to spirituality and mysticism:

  • Sri Yukteswar Giri
  • Sri Mahavatar Babaji
  • Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
  • Sri Lahiri Mahasaya

The occultist, Aleister Crowley, who had a significant connection to India, is also featured. Mahatma Gandhi was originally supposed to be listed as well. However, fearing a backlash in India, it was later decided that it would be too risky to include him.

Besides the four Sris, an idol of Lakshmi and a hookah also find mention.