In a Songfacts interview with David Crosby
, he recalled the conversation that led to this song. "I was very taken with George," he said. "I liked him a lot. He was very friendly to me. He invited me over to his house, we had dinner together, we talked a lot. Paul was very friendly to me, John was very friendly to me, Ringo was very friendly to me, but the one that I had the relationship with was George.
So, George gets a hold of me one day and he says, 'I met this fellow in India. A teacher, a guru that I like a lot.' And I said, 'Really? No s--t?' And he said, 'Yeah. I think he's got something.' And I said, 'Well, that's wonderful.'
And what I wanted to say - the exact words I wanted to say - were, 'Take it with a grain of salt.' Because I am a skeptical person about religious teaching. I don't believe in God and I'm not really a big fan of religion... any of them. Buddhism isn't exactly a religion, it's a philosophy, and I did not want to come off like a snot to my new friend who I really respected hugely, so I didn't say anything.
But I had it in my head: 'Take it with a grain of salt. Don't just accept it at face value.' So I wrote that song to tell him that. That the person I thought was the wisest I had met was a child laughing at the sun. And that I thought I could learn more from that child laughing at the sun than I could from anybody teaching."