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Russell Brand loves the Hare Krishnas

Every month in the Matchless Gift magazine, the devotees recount tales from the road; funny, scary, interesting stories of experiences while on book distribution. The Matchless Gift magazine is a monthly compilation of Krishna conscious content by the BLISS devotees. Please support us and engage yourself in spiritual life by purchasing the magazines here!

Russell Brand loves the Hare Krishnas! Read about how we met him in this Sankirtan story...

Russell Brand showing his tattoo of Sri Krishna
Russell Brand has multiple tattoos of Sri Krishna

It all began when His Grace Purujit Prabhu was looking at the talk-show of this personality, Russell Brand. He became interested because Russell Brand appeared to be a very open minded and well spoken, intelligent gentleman. He also noticed that Russell Brand was associated with the devotees. There's a video of him where he's coming out of a temple and the paparazzi go after him, and he just starts chanting, "Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna!". He has a picture of Krishna in his office, and a tattoo of Krishna on his arm. So of course, Prabhu became interested. And he's also, you know, a very famous personality. Like George Harrison - he did so much service for Srila Prabhupada, he utilised that position of fame to propagate Krishna consciousness. Prabhupada wanted us to preach to big men of society, famous people, intelligent people, educated people, who could assimilate the philosophy and use their influence to push the teachings further, to propagate the movement more. russell brand Hare Krishna

Purujit Prabhu noticed that Russell Brand happened to be having a comedy tour in the UK. He was going to be in South London at the Brixton o2 Academy, just a couple of weeks from that date. So he immediately ordered us to start getting tickets. We were looking online, and we almost got scammed, because it was very exclusive to get them. Eventually we decided that we weren't going to get tickets, we were just going to crash the whole party and go there with a mrdanga, some sandwiches, wait outside and try to attract Russell. So that's what we did.

We made like 100 falafel wraps, which were really delicious, I have to say. We only ate like 25% of them. And then we went to the gig! We arrived at about 4pm. Russell was meant to get out at 8pm. The idea was that we would distribute prasadam and chant, and just wait there for any opportunity to see him. It just so happened that Russell did actually come out at the interval. At that time, we were talking to some of his fans that had come to see him. We were distributing prasad, books, and we were talking to them. There was a big commotion; Russell was coming out and people were surrounding him. So, we spontaneously burst into kirtan. It was very, very nice because his fans joined in with us. It was quite a big chanting party. And although I didn't see Russell at that time, he was just a stone's throw away from us, inside the theatre, while we were outside in the waiting line area. It came to my knowledge later that actually Russell had heard us, he knew the Krishna's were there. He became alerted but he didn't come out and see us, so we had to wait till he was finished with his gig. But that took a really long time.

It was soon eight, then nine o'clock. He was answering questions, it was really going on, and at one point we started to wonder, how are we going to get in touch with this guy? Our whole mission was what Prabhu had told us: go and give him the Bhagavad Gita and preach to him. "Wake up, Russell, come on". Because, Russell Brand, he's like a friend of Krishna. He likes Prabhupada. We wanted to get in touch with him and see what his understanding was. To try to inspire him and get him to come to the BLISS temple and talk with us, because he seems like such a nice man.

Russell Brand showing his Krishna tattoo
Russell Brand is a devotee in the making

It was about nine o'clock, and we were almost losing hope. But then, by Krishna's arrangement, really magically, the head of security just happen to be walking by. And it's amazing because this person is meant to be protecting Russell Brand from potential threats, terrorists and assassins. He runs the whole show, he knows everything about Russell's whereabouts. That's quite confidential information! But Krishna is so tricky that he used his Yoga Maya potency to cover this head of security's intelligence. We were asking him different questions like how much the venue costs and so on. Then, Nityananda Prabhu just dropped the bomb: "Where is Russell Brand, how can we talk to him?". And the head of security told us, "It's easy, he comes out this secret door, at the back of the theatre. This is his car", he pointed to Russell Brand's Mercedes. "You know it's his car because he has special seats for his dog." He revealed to us all these confidential secrets about Russell Brand. He even went so far as to click his walkie talkie on his chest and say, "where is Mr. Brand now in the building?", and he got a reply where his live location was. I was so amazed. The head of security is helping us to get Russel Brand. This was Krishna's arrangement. We got very inspired.

We went to that secret door where Russell Brand was meant to come out. And again, the night went on, and we were going over how to approach Russell. It came to 11:30 at night, and almost everyone had left. There was an entourage of people outside the secret door who were ready to receive Russell. Before long, the door swung open. Finally, Rreussell Brand came out. And I have to say, I haven't met so many very famous people in my life. One time I met the Queen of the UK, but I didn't have very much interaction with her. And also, she was very small. So it wasn't so intimidating. I hope that's not a blasphemy for any English people who are reading this. But Russell Brand is not small. He's actually very, very tall. And he has a powerful energy, quite a lot of charisma. He came over and I said, hi, Hare Krishna. And he was like, Oh, hi, Hare Krishna. Nice to see you. He asked if we wanted a picture with him. And I lost this idea of like, grabbing Russell Brand and trying to preach to him, because I was almost like, shocked, that we were actually meeting Russell Brand. So he took a picture with us. But then I got this urge, just as he was walking away. I mean, he was very friendly and all, but it wasn't what I had in mind. So as he was walking away, I said, "Russell, there's been corruption in the institution. And we're trying to start the movement again here in London, we're the underground Hare Krishna's". He looked somewhat surprised. He said, "Oh, I guess there are layers in divinity."

I handed him the Bhagavad Gita. He took it in his hand, and he kissed it right on Prabhupada. More than a kiss, it was like a smooch. And he held it up triumphantly. He said, "This is not the last time we will meet." Oh, it was very nice, very nice words. Feeling inspired, I tried to give him our card, but he was already walking away at that point. He said thank you, and he went to greet his other friends. But his wife, Laura I think her name is, she took the business card.

We had almost forgotten the sandwiches. It was Dhananjaya's duty to give the sandwich, but he was as shocked as I was. He spaced out and he was holding the sandwich. Then Nityananda remembered that Russell Brand must get this sandwich. So he grabbed it, and Russell Brand was getting into his car. His personal bodyguard was there by the car, holding open the door, and Nityananda, not caring for this big guard, ran up and shoved the sandwich into Russell Brand's hand. "This is for you, Russell" he said. "It's vegan." He thanked Nityananda. Hopefully he took that sandwich right there. Maybe he saved it for later. But anyway, Russell Brand, he got knowledge about BLISS. He got a card, he got Bhagavad Gita, he got a sandwich. It was very inspiring. And that's the story of how we met Russell Brand. So hopefully this will not be the last time we see him.

This article is from the Matchless Gift magazine, issue 2. Buy it here!

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