The first George Harrison song to appear on a Beatles single is also the last Beatles era George Harrison song inspired by his interest in Indian music.
A B-side to "Lady Madonna", "The Inner Light" was recorded in first in India and then at Abbey Road. The Mumbai musicians were among the same ones involved with Harrison's Wonderwall soundtrack.
Back in England, on February 6, 1968, with Lennon and McCartney offering encouragement, a nervous George sang the lyrics in a dimly lit studio decked out in incense and lit candles. They were inspired by Poem 47 of the Tao Te Ching by Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:
Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.
The more you know,
the less you understand.
The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing.
Two days later, Lennon and McCartney overdubbed some background vocals ( heard at 2:18) and completed the mono mix. Ringo doesn't appear on the song On February 6. He was performing on Cilla Black's live BBC show Cilla.