Tom Petty laid to rest at yoga shrine

Tom Petty
Tom Petty

LOS ANGELES • Rocker Tom Petty's family and friends bid farewell to him on Monday at a service in a California spiritual retreat, where his friend George Harrison's funeral took place 16 years ago.

One of Petty's daughters posted pictures of the private memorial and of the lotus-shaped archway to the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine, near the Pacific coast in Los Angeles County.

Petty - who died on Oct 2 at age 66 following a heart attack - practised transcendental meditation in his later years, seeking a way to control anger after abusing heroine and other drugs.

His daughter AnnaKim Violette Petty shared a series of images on Instagram, including one of a small bouquet of flowers with the words, "You belong somewhere you feel free", a line from his song Wildflowers.

She also shared an image from Petty's memorable Alice In Wonderland-themed video for Don't Come Around Here No More, with the rocker surrounded by three platinum-blonde women in skintight black-and-white dresses.

"May you be protected by the hottest vixens in heaven," his daughter wrote.

Petty's representatives did not immediately comment on whether there would be an additional public event or a permanent marker for his remains.

The rocker died days after completing a tour to mark 40 years with his band The Heartbreakers.

Harrison, the former Beatle who joined Petty in the supergroup Traveling Wilburys, was cremated at the shrine in 2001.

The remains of Harrison, who was passionate about Hindu spirituality, were then scattered in the holy waters outside Varanasi, India.

The Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine features a public garden with swans, wildlife and symbols of the world's major religions, with space for silent meditation and reflection.

The site was founded in 1950 by Paramahansa Yogananda, the Indian spiritual teacher and author of Autobiography Of A Yogi, who was instrumental in bringing Eastern meditation to the United States.

The shrine, which was also a favourite retreat for late rock legend Elvis Presley, features a sarcophagus that holds some of the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi, India's iconic freedom fighter.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 19, 2017, with the headline 'Tom Petty laid to rest at yoga shrine'. Print Edition | Subscribe